Mastering Virtual Presentations
So many meetings and presentations are now done virtually. You've all heard stories or maybe have been caught (:-0) sitting at your home while in a meeting in your button down shirt and...underwear! Presenting virtually makes some things easier (ie: getting 1/2 dressed) and makes other things harder. The most obvious is not being there to 'feel the room'. You can't make eye contact the same way, reactions are often delayed and it's hard to tell if your audience is with you or not. There are ways to master the art of Virtual Presentations. Below are a few tips to get you started:
Using a power point is very common in both virtual and in person presentations. However in a virtual setting, consider: the length of time you have your slide up. As soon as you put a slide up on the screen, you are losing face time. Your audience will read the slide and then move on to other things like: fixing their hair, checking their emails, feeding their dog, etc. How long do you really need the slide up? The shorter the better. Slides should evoke ideas, conversations and stories, not be them.
I always encourage clients and groups to engage the audience. There are different ways to do this: Ask them a rhetorical question, ask them a question with a yes or no answer, ask a physical question: Please give me a show of hands- How many of you....?. When you are in person you are 3 dimensional, when you are virtual you are only ONE. So, you need to be that much more interesting and engaging. Consider engaging the audience more often. The less you engage them, the more they can take advantage of 'down or mute time'. Use the ideas above: Asking questions (rhetorical, yes/no, show of hands) around once every 7-10 minutes. This will help keep your audience with you.
Build in your own responses! There is lag time when giving a virtual presentation. You might be delivering your 'go to, sure fire, knock'em dead' joke that wins every time, but here in a virtual setting you don't get the response you are used to. Could be because there is lag time, could be that it just isn't the same if you aren't there, or could be they're on mute. Don't let it throw you! Consider building in your own response. Act as if they've laughed or laugh a little to yourself. Sounds silly but it will keep you on your game and you got exactly what you needed to feel good and keep on going.
Don't forget, always bring YOURSELF to the presentation whether it's virtual or in person. Don't turn into a talking head or a newscaster. The audience wants to hear from you!
Shoot me an email with any questions!