Many of the things that work for in-person presentations also work for virtual presentations, but there are also quite a few things that need to be thought of differently. It’s difficult to predict how long virtual presentations will be required (even mandated) during the spread and response to COVID-19. If you’re presenting frequently, refining your virtual presentation skills will likely benefit you for a long time to come.
Table of contents:
00:00 – What is different about virtual presentations?
00:58 – 1 – Engaging:
You need to be even more engaging and enthusiastic during a virtual meeting than in-person. Why? Your entire audience has some digital device in front of them that distracts them with e-mail, voice mail, maybe even facebook.
Keep up the energy and excitement…
01:36 – 2 – Organized:
The more direct, structured, and uncluttered your argument is, the better you’re going to do in a presentation.
have an agenda/table of contents, keep walking the audience thru it so they feel like the presentation is progressing and they know where they are so they don’t feel lost.
02:19 – 3 – Keep slides simple:
More pictures… less text. If you have text they will be reading it, instead of listening to you. So if you do have text, make it so short, that you almost read it verbatim. But then you amplify with your talk track. Pictures should help make your point.. Not just random clip art.
03:40 – 4 – Point virtually:
When in person you can point to your slides, with a laser pointer, or your hand. Virtually it’s hard to know what part of your slide you are talking to. Consider calling their attention to different parts of the slide. “As you can see in the picture in the lower left”
If you have text… don’t just point to it and move on. Point to it.. And talk to it, or read it if it’s a quote. People can’t listen to you and read at the same time… they’ll be doing one or the other. Ideally you want to guide them, so your voice track matches the text that you are guiding them to.
04:38 – 5 – Connect with the humans in the room:
Tell a joke.. Ask a question of the audience. Mention people by name. Make it seem more personal, rather than just a monolog. Realize that the best presentations are facilitated conversations.
05:36 – 6 – Handling Questions:
Big – Virtual Conference Presentation
Questions at the end, or in chat
Medium – Board Meeting, Working Group, Big Team
Pause every once in awhile for questions. It’s hard for the audience to interrupt if you never take a breath. Say something like… “I’ll pause for a few seconds before going on to the next slide for questions” — if no questions… just keep going.
Small – team – See everyone on the same screen
You can ask “Is this all making sense?”
07:19 – 7 – Microphone Tips:
Use a headset — having a microphone close to your mouth will sound MUCH better. Microphones on laptops and phones aren’t very good.
Etiquette: Keep yourself on mute when you aren’t speaking. You can also mute other people.
08:36 – 8 – Camera Tips:
Put the camera at eye level. You can put your computer on a box. Or a phone holder.
Look at the camera when you talk. It will make the viewer feel like you are making eye contact with them. You will naturally want to look at their video, or your video.. But look at the camera. Or at least alternate between looking at your notes, their video, and the camera.
Stick a note above your webcam that reminds you to “Look Here!”
Position yourself so the camera is seeing you from the chest or waist up, instead of just seeing your face
Lighting from the front and sides much better than overhead lighting. And really don’t sit with a window behind you.
PRO TIP: Stand during your presentation. You can use your kitchen counter to put your stuff on.
12:50 – 9 – Avoid Tech Distractions:
Close unnecessary tabs, other applications, turn off e-mail notifications.
13:10 – 10 – Sharing
Desktop, or an application. Probably safer to share just a single application so people aren’t reading your e-mail in case you forgot to turn off those notifications earlier. Consider putting everything you want to share in a PDF.
13:55 – 11 – Multiple Monitors
14:42 – 12 – Multiple Devices
15:13 – 13 – Test