Making live presentations gives a familiar and dreaded feeling of butterflies in the stomach. Online presentations are a step above; they pose more challenges and of a different nature.
Consider this: You can’t read people’s body language, you can’t know if people are even listening to you. Your effectiveness goes for a toss since virtual presence is a great equalizer. And then there is a risk of home stuff creeping in official business.
All this while you are trying to influence that big sales or swing that executive decision in your favor!
In the wake of Coronavirus, people are forced to work remotely and make online presentations. They find themselves seriously underequipped with the tools and ways of thinking about online presentations. On the other hand, people who have these skills will rise and shine: They will be the masters of the Virtual Domain
Here are the tips to shine in the online presentation:
- Dress up: As you usually would if you were presenting in person, even if it is an audio-only discussion. While it is undoubtedly comfy in your pajamas, you run a psychological risk of slipping into a comfort zone, which can take the edge off your presentation. Be fully groomed, look sharp so that you can be sharp
- Gear up: How many “can you hear me now moments have you had”? How about apologizing for the call dropping? Take our advise and do the following
- Invest in good equipment. Here are our picks:
- Jabra Speak 510: Improves quality of the audio connection from your laptop; has a variety of connectivity options; Makes connecting with Skype of MS Teams a breeze
- Sennheiser Double Sided Business Headset: SC 660 USB CTRL (504555): The best headset I have come across. This is the only one that had a physical mute button- yes you read that right- a rare physical mute button that lights up when you press it.
Disclaimer: We earn no commission or have any commercial interests in the recommended products
- Dial-in two lines at the same time: Here are the advantages of doing that –
- You can hear your voice on the other line: that way you will not have to ask if you are audible
- If one disconnects, you can pick the other
- Warm-up: You do not have the human touchy-feely warmth when on a cold, dry phone call. Believe it or not, we are all humans and need a bit of small talk. Going straight to the point can make you appear very transactional and not interested in the other person. A little bit of warm-up can go a long way. While most discussions these days start with virus talk, weather, sports continue to be safe all-time favorites.
One caveat is to find an opening to move quickly to the point and not make the starter encroach your main course
- Watch your back: If on Video, a cluttered background can ruin everything for which you should try to use MS Teams if possible and blur the background or use a white background
- Read cues: This one needs a bit of practice and is a pro technique. But you will do it if you are willing to listen carefully: The signs are all over the place
- A breath inward: Someone wants to speak.
- Sigh: Didn’t fully agree with part of what you said
- Total silence: Usually means no engagement
- Sounds of typing: Same as above and many others…
- Send pre-reads: Send pre-reads, if possible, a day in advance for dense topics. It will give you a lot of invisible power and provide a solid impression that you are in command. Then restrict your presentation to topics that require discussions rather than pour over the material. I would recommend you send pdfs to avoid cluttering your audience’s mailboxes. They will notice this and thank you in their hearts.
- Jazz up: The audience will not get the benefit of your charming physical presence. Make up for that by using good quality slides. A thumb rule is that slides have to speak for themselves since, like it or not, many will scroll ahead and read through everything while you are talking and make their impressions, which can often be hard to change. Use SlideUpLift to take advantage of the online library of great looking Powerpoint templates that use principles of vision science to create an impact
A few more…
- Be there at least 2 mins in advance: always! Creates a solid impression that you are on top of your game
- Speak at a slower cadence than that of your normal conversational speech;
- More you can think of? Please share in the comment box
Online presentations present an excellent opportunity to make an impact- while others are catching up: don’t miss it
Check out our blog to conduct successful virtual meetings.
I hope you find these tips useful. Have a terrific online presentation!
SlideUpLift is an online platform to help professionals make compelling presentations using principles of vision science and storytelling. The platform contains an online library of pre-designed presentation templates that can be used across industries and functions
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