Due to the coronavirus pandemic, working from home has become a common experience for workers around the world. While the remote work setup has its perks, it also has its own set of challenges. In this article, we’ll talk about the challenge of doing a virtual presentation, specifically how to ace it.
Virtual Presentation Tips & Tricks
When giving a presentation in person, you have a captive audience – you still need to engage your audience, but they are stuck with you for the duration of your talk. But for virtual meetings, your audience has more freedom to multitask. You have to put in extra effort to get their undivided attention. Below are 10 tips for a captivating virtual presentation.
1. Good lighting
Being the presenter, it is important that your audience can see you well. To establish a contrast between yourself and the background, you must be in a well-lit room. If you have a window, use the natural light to your advantage. But if you don’t and hold a lot of virtual meetings and presentations, it is about time you purchase supplemental lighting.
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2. Right background
A clean and non-distracting background will help make your virtual professional presentation a success. Getting creative and expressive with your meeting background is great, as long as you still appear professional and trustworthy. These days, there are virtual backgrounds that you could use to look like you’re presenting in the Bahamas or in New York. However, it is important to keep still because every time your webcam sees movement, color changes, and pixelations start to distort your image. The same effect comes from people walking behind you. So, keep these in mind to prevent distraction.
3. Know the presentation tool
Knowing how to navigate your presentation tool, whether it’s Zoom or Google Meet, and becoming comfortable with troubleshooting are two skills that will come in handy if things go wrong. When a presenter fumbles with the presenting tool and other software, it’s difficult for the audience not to become sidetracked. Additionally, try doing a dry run of the presentation to see how it will go so you can make any necessary modifications.
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4. Eye contact
A good presenter knows how important it is to make eye contact with their audience, whether it’s electronically or in person. With some practice, the speaker should gaze directly into the computer’s camera, rather than at the screen or at the screens of others, to achieve a more genuine feel. If you position the camera at eye level, you’ll avoid the possibility of developing a double chin if it’s too low or making eye contact difficult if it’s too high.
As previously stated, you should practice and observe how you will appear during the presentation. You want your face, neck, and shoulders to be framed by the camera. You don’t want to be too near to the camera since it will appear strange. Practice posture and distance before each presentation, especially if you’re using a chalkboard or whiteboard.
6. Get up, Stand up
Standing up gives us more energy and forces us to move like we would in a normal presentation. One thing to remember is to imagine yourself as a TV news anchor, find your spot and relax. But If you have to sit, don’t slouch because it will make your audience feel disconnected.
7. Engaging your audience
Presenters naturally want to keep their audience engaged. Animating or creating an avatar instead of your usual photo can keep them interested. Games and trivia are also excellent ways to hold your audience’s attention. But still, be sensible of your virtual meeting etiquette such as being punctual and respectful.
8. Pace yourself
It is common to get lost in your presentation that you speak too fast or too slow. Being lively and getting your audience engaged is necessary but be mindful of how you pace your presentation.
9. Check your tech
Technological variables such as your internet connection, audio, and camera are some of the most important aspects of a successful virtual presentation. We’ve already talked about lighting and positioning above, so let’s cover audio and your internet.
Test your audio by using your meeting platform to actually test how you’d sound to others. Invite a friend or colleague to the platform to give feedback. Plus, make your internet connection stable by having a wired connection directly to your router. This has proven to be more secure than your average WiFi connection.
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10. Have a Co-Host
Have a co-host or a moderator to help you with managing the chatbox, requests, inquiries, and issues. This will give you more time and energy to concentrate on your presentation. Sending your co-host a copy of the presentation is also strategic so your co-host could continue in case of complete disconnection.
Conducting meetings and multiple presentations will build your confidence. But doing presentations every day is not enough. Mastering elements of presentation such as eye contact, positioning, pacing, and tech checks is more important. Beyond that, it is crucial that you take note of common mistakes and improve on them. When you master virtual presentations, you can do anything, including running your business as a digital nomad. At the end of the day, it is all about preparing yourself for future opportunities.
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