While that speech was pre-recorded, it had all the elements needed to get a message across, on Zoom or any other online platform. Regardless of your politics, there's much to learn from her:
1. She used short, simple sentences.
Yes, this was a prepared speech, done with a teleprompter, but the speech itself consisted of short sentences and simple words, with no buzzwords or jingoisms. The key concept here, which few businesspeople seem to grasp, is that simplicity creates eloquence.
2. She spoke from the heart.
It was quite clear that Michelle Obama said what she truly believed. The lesson here, for businessfolk, is that if you want to inspire and inform, the most effective messages are always those that come from your heart.
3. She had a neutral background.
The background from the speech was simple, consisting of a few plants and a Biden sign. Neutral backgrounds put the emphasis on the speaker, rather than the setting. While you don't need a studio setup in a home office, removing background clutter is good sense.
4. Her delivery didn't need an audience.
Most businesspeople (and politicians) are accustomed to "sensing a room" and adapting to audience reaction. However, because Zoom, even with video of the audience enabled, lacks that feedback, it's smarter to let your message have its own internal rhythm--even when it's only "your turn."
5. She kept her gestures in frame.
Michelle Obama mostly let her face and voice do the communicating. When she used gestures, she kept them close to her face. This approach is much better than how, say, Bill Gates behaves on camera: waving his hands all over the place like a crazy person.
6. She used a high-quality camera.
Michelle Obama had a high-quality camera at face height and about two meters back, thereby avoiding the fish-eye distortion, common with the cameras built-in to laptop and desktop screens. You can get a high-quality digital camera for $200.
7. Ditto with her microphone.
What could be more ridiculous and ironic than a businessperson talking about million-dollar deals using a $5 miniature microphone that makes them sound like cartoon characters on Mars? Seriously, people, get your act together.
Look, I'm not saying that your average businessperson should expect to be as effective a communicator as Michelle Obama. However, if you're serious about business, the least you can do is take your cues from somebody who's so clearly mastered the art.