How to be a Presenter in our ‘New Normal’
Annie Voller on Virtual, Hybrid, Augmented Reality Presenting in 2022
Annie Voller is a popular and experienced Broadcaster, TV Presenter, Media Entrepreneur and Founder of a New On Line Radio Station. She can regularly be seen and heard Presenting, Reporting and Commentating on SKY TV, Sky Discovery and the BBC. Annie is also an in demand Presenter, EMCEE, Interviewer, Facilitator and Keynote Speaker in the dynamic, global, corporate, experiential, virtual and hybrid conference and events arena.
Here, she shares her expert knowledge as a Hybrid, VR , Augmented Reality Broadcasting expert.
Since the global pandemic, the role of a Presenter and the skills required, whether in a professional studio or a complex home and virtual green screen studio set up, have continued to evolve.
The usual face to face interaction has been replaced with the new virtual solutions that must engage the audience in a meaningful, authentic way and offer a completely different viewing experience to that of a day-to-day video call. This means that as a Presenter you must be more adaptable and adept at using technology and the full tool kit of virtual complex and augmented VX, AR, Unreal Reality, and interactive options now available… so the event, launch, meeting, TV programme, broadcast, awards ceremony or show really does go on.
No More Zoom Fatigue, how to create a live experience on Steroids…
A number of recent, large scale, studio based, virtual shows, have seen Annie completely raise the bar, in live virtual and face to face Presenting.
One high profile project saw Annie host a live & fully interactive hybrid event for BAE Systems and Team Tempest. Other projects were for long standing clients Deloitte and Shell. What each event has in common, was the ‘ Think Global, Act Local ‘ attitude and ethos – how to successfully bring together a global team or global project to life in a personalized and interactive way.
Pre-pandemic, audience participation tended to revolve around break out’s, digital interaction via hand held devises on the day and social media.
“As a Presenter, on a studio set, events stage or runway precariously teetering on high heels, juggling talk back and the fast moving content and demands of a live event, has always been an exhilarating part of the job. During lockdown however and the use of Augmented ,Virtual Reality and Glass stages in studios, the worry of taking a tumble live -on- air on precarious glass stages is never far from your mind”. Thankfully the glass stages comprising of glass sheets placed on regular LED products which were in many studios sets at the beginning of the Pandemic, have been replaced with purpose- built LED floor products, which are now far safer, secure, comfortable to stand on and essential for any XR production. However, the biggest game changer in virtual events and production has come from the Computer Gaming World and the Unreal platform.
Submarines and 4D
Just like in a Hollywood Blockbuster such as The Mandalorian, a Presenter must face the challenge of interacting with many Augmented Reality elements, such as a full-sized Submarine to the whole of South America!
So how as a Presenter do you make this Augmented Reality interaction look natural? How do you know exactly where you are in relation to the object? and how do you improve the overall experience for everybody?
This can be achieved by either building the AR object into the back plane of the content, so that as the Presenter you can see it on the LED screen you are on stood on or in front of. Or an object can be added to the front plane which gives you as the Presenter a broadcast view on a comfort monitor which can be placed under each camera. This means that with either of these two methods, you can walk behind and in front of an object.
In Annie’s home studio she has used her own home filming kit, green screen, and existing webcams.
From simple green screen presenting for a select audience and handling unlimited audience sizes through live Feeds from the home studio to even multi audience Team Calls, it is the rapport and experience from the professional Presenter that is essential to drive, manage the event or broadcast that creates a dynamic live virtual environment.
People will always take value and pleasure from face-to-face interaction. And whilst online has its limitations, there are now opportunities for companies to host virtual events, that due to the sheer number of attendees, risks and logistical implications, would simply not have been possible before.
“People may forget what you say. They may forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ― Carl Buehner