Today more than ever before we are attending more virtual presentations and giving virtual presentations.
These teleconferences, webinars, Zoom calls, Microsoft Team calls, Skype calls, and many other options.
I’ve had the pleasure of attending conferences virtually and several clients have ‘beamed’ me into their conferences around the world – so much fun!
To increase your engagement and effectiveness with this delivery methodology try these strategies next time you present:
Simple slides – when designing your slide deck don’t bore your audience with hard to read, badly designed slides. Less is more when it comes to slide design. Use clean fonts, avoid clutter and use more images than text. Also avoid sharing desktop unless it’s necessary (no one needs to see your private files or screen savers). If you want a great resource check out Slide: ology by Nancy Duarte.
Speak clearly (and slowly, especially if you have an accent) – sometimes your audience doesn’t have the luxury of watching your body language and they are focused on your tone and the word choices you make.
Seek interaction – you don’t have the same opportunity to engage an audience live, however, you can use polls and ask questions to increase engagement. Also consider sending communication in advance of the program (short video or email) to get people to interact with you before the performance.
Stay focused – eliminate as many distractions as you can. Shut off phones, turn off noises (bells and whistles) on your devices and focus on the screen or device where your audience is. Don’t be tempted to multi-task; your audience will hear the distraction in your voice.
Seek help – if you can share the program with a moderator or interviewer it can add a new dynamic to the presentation and your audience hears the energy of two people. It can also make you feel like you aren’t alone and talking to yourself!
System support – know the platform you are using, do a practice run if you haven’t used it before and know the commands of how to manage the sounds and interaction.
Seek best practice – watch how others handle their virtual presentation and learn from the great techniques they use. If you are looking for a resource in this area check out Roger Courville ‘The Virtual Presenter’s Handbook.’
Speak in stories, metaphor and images – don’t allow your words to be one tone. Using metaphors and stories will bring your message to life.
What can you do to make your next virtual presentation more engaging?
We’d love to hear your thoughts on what did you think, share your thoughts with us here on our blog.
Note: originally published in 2014 and updated due to the Coronavirus 2020.