Today, presentations have become an integral part of the business world. Everyone – from a team assistant to the CEO – often gets into a situation when they need to make a presentation either to the internal team or to a broader audience, including clients, partners, and colleagues. Some experts used to be of the opinion that one can make full use of the potential these activities possessed, only during a live event. However, the situation has changed dramatically over the past years. In the modern world, audiences go global, and to keep up with the times, you need to connect with more people via different technology solutions like webinars, online workshops, and video conferences. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, followed by teams shifting to the remote mode worldwide, the importance and popularity of video communication tools became apparent even to the most hard-core skeptics. Naturally, both online and offline modes have many things in common: basically, they are all about getting the message through to the audience in a maximally efficient and effective way. Just like with traditional public speaking events, some people are natural-born presenters who enjoy this type of activity, while others struggle to make it fork. At the same time, virtual mode definitely has its specifics that you need to take into careful consideration if you want to make your online presence as efficient as an in-person one. These practical tips will help you to cope with this task flawlessly.
#1: Plan Every Step
To make things easier for yourself, view your upcoming presentation as a well-choreographed event. In practical terms, this means that you need to plan every step well in advance. Though it may look perfect on the screen on your computer, it may turn out to be not so good in real life. Since there is no live interaction, try adding a bit more funny stories or anecdotes to keep your audience from feeling bored. When your preparation is, rehearse your presentation. It would be good to have your friend or relative make a video of your rehearsal so that you can analyze it and make necessary adjustments.
#2: Put Visual Part in the Spotlight
Given any presentation in general, using plain text only is definitely not the best idea imaginable. Yet, during a live activity, there is always a possibility to save the situation with voice intonations, facial expressions, gestures, posture, and so on. Unfortunately, with a virtual event, your chances not to fail with boring slides are very low. Visuals are extremely important elements of an online presence. The good news is that nowadays you can use special design tools, like VistaCreate, to produce online free presentation templates components for your presentation without any effort. For example, you can incorporate infographics, images, animation and similar features into your virtual event to immediately capture the participants’ attention and keep them focused on what you are saying throughout the event.
#3: Audience Interaction is the King
Let’s be honest – your virtual participants will be less captive when compared to the audience one would normally have during an in-person event. The solution is to make your delivery as interactive as possible. Try inserting some short surveys, polls, or Q&A sessions in your presentation. Also, it’s good to know your participants by name so that you can address them directly by the name with questions or comments. Depending on the estimated duration of your presentation, you might want to consider including a short break.
#4: Keep It Short
Sad but true, during your virtual presentation, your participants will have approximately one million different distractions at their disposal ranging from email and instant messengers to online news. The only solution here that really works is to keep your activity precise, straightforward, and to the point. Even if you have serious reasons to give a long presentation, still double-check everything and leave out everything that is not 100 percent relevant and important.
#5: Test Your Equipment in Advance
Most likely, you remember at least one time when something went wrong during somebody else’s online event: they were speaking with their microphone off or were not aware that the camera was on or something similar. This is something you should do your best to avoid because such an experience is equally uncomfortable both for the presenter and for the audience. Before you launch your presentation, make sure you have time to test audio and video settings as well as screen-sharing options and close all other applications and windows for the period of your delivery. Importantly, don’t forget to check your background and lighting in the room.
Despite many common characteristics, online presentations and in-person events require different approaches to keep the audience engaged in what you are presenting. Remember, during any virtual activity some technical issues may come up – if it happens to you, keep calm and act reasonably. This happens even to the best of us, no worries. Get prepared, believe in yourself and you’ll make a presentation that will stay on everyone’s mind.