tips for an Engaging Virtual Presentation
5 tips for an Engaging Virtual Presentation
5 tips for an Engaging Virtual Presentation
Be memorable on your next online meeting.
Virtual presentations are not a new concept, but we’ve never before experienced them as frequently as we are in the current moment.
With improved collaborative solutions and enhanced audio and video quality, virtual meetings are more effective and important than ever, helping millions of remote workers stay productive and connected during the global health crisis.
When you match your message to the medium, master optics and online tools and make room for interactive elements, you can captivate your audience and deliver a compelling, highly engaging presentation in the process.
Nearly 70% of employees believe they work at least the same, or more, hours from home as they do when working from the office.
With the coronavirus pandemic continuing to impact our global population, the vast majority of in-person conferences and live events are on hold for the foreseeable future.
But this doesn’t mean daily operations have stopped altogether; rather, there has been a significant rise in remote work across the country and around the world in these last few months.
In conjunction with more teams working remotely, virtual meetings and presentations are increasingly a part of our daily lives as companies are recognizing the value and increased productivity associated with working in an online space.
In fact, a recent study by Citrix found that nearly 70% of employees believe they work at least the same, or more, hours from home as they do when working from the office.
While many practices are applicable for both in-person and virtual presentations, the best presenters know how to adjust their approach to fit within an online platform.
The most polished virtual presentations capture (and hold) the interest of all attendees, despite the possibility of diminished attention spans, additional distractions and conflicting priorities.
By incorporating these tips into your next meeting, you can anticipate stronger results, as well as greater satisfaction among your team.
Any windows you have open that don’t relate to the presentation should be closed prior to the start of every meeting. Failing to close non-essential tabs and apps or forgetting to mute notifications can disrupt even the most polished presenters.
Additionally, having these windows in view may result in being tempted to complete other work, read headlines or send a quick email while your meeting is still happening.
Remember, your colleagues or clients are likely able to tell when you’re looking at something else, rather than focusing on the topic at hand.
If you do need to pull up an email or similar document as a reference, be sure to communicate that to everyone on the call, so there’s no confusion about whether you’re distracted or actively engaged.
One great way to stay on task throughout your presentation is to take advantage of presentation notes so you always know what to expect next and what your main talking points are.
If you want to be well-prepared for a virtual presentation, it’s imperative you test out your equipment beforehand – nothing kills a presentation faster than pausing to resolve a technical issue.
Time permitting, a dry run of your presentation may be helpful in avoiding mechanical hiccups, as you can anticipate potential problems and feel more confident using the platform’s features.
In the same way, encourage other participants to test out their own equipment, as well, so they can come to the meeting as prepared as possible.
Whether you’re giving your presentation via Zoom, GoToMeeting or another software, make sure you know where all the controls are, how to share your screen and more.
As a presenter, all eyes will be on you, which means you’ll want to be intentional in how you set up your virtual meeting space.
Make sure to have ample front light (so your face is clearly visible), and a neutral backdrop that won’t take away from your talking points.
The camera should be positioned to frame your face, neck and shoulders; it’s important to be close enough to feel connected to the participants, but not so close your head takes up the entire screen.
If possible, use a standing desk or set your computer where it can meet you at eye level. Standing up during a meeting boosts your energy and gives your posture a more professional look, a true win-win.
In recent years, modern meeting solutions have added a number of helpful features to further enhance the virtual presentation experience.
From screen sharing to integrated chat to interactive features like real-time polling, there are now plenty of ways to supplement prepared content in order to hold attendees’ attention and communicate your message in a more creative way.
These same resources will also appeal to the different skill sets and learning styles of your participants, so everyone will feel included and new concepts will be easily understood by all.
In addition to utilizing online tools, you can strengthen engagement by limiting your talk time to no more than ten minutes before inviting audience interaction.
Use the participant list to interact with everyone by name, and open up for a round of feedback, a brainstorming session, a quick Q&A or whatever makes the most sense for your particular meeting.
Participants who’d like to contribute can raise their hand, so you (as the presenter) are able to unmute that individual when it’s their turn to speak.
Not only can virtual presentations keep teams safe in times of crisis, but they are an amazing way to drive home results and see goals achieved.
Delivering a meaningful, high-caliber presentation is no easy feat, but with the right amount of preparation and a bit of practice, you can certainly make it happen.
Remember, presentations are essentially performances, so honor that time and your participants by giving the best performance you can.