You may be a veteran public speaker, but virtual presentations via platforms like Skype and Zoom create new challenges that can trip up even the most confident presenter. Would you like to learn how to overcome some of these challenges? Read on for tips and techniques to help you project confidence, credibility, and professionalism in your next virtual presentations.
- Experiment with Tech in Advance: If you’ll be using slides, practice with a colleague in advance to make sure you fully understand how screensharing looks to your audience. Be sure that your audience is seeing your presentation itself, not the presenter view with your notes visible. Practice using the virtual laser pointer feature to direct your audience’s attention as you present. If you are using audio, make sure your computer’s audio feed is being shared directly with the audience (i.e., not just playing through your speakers).
- Keep Your Message Simple and Clear: Watching a presentation remotely can make it more difficult for some people to fully concentrate. If people are participating from their homes, they may also be subject to additional distractions like pets or family. Try to distill your presentation down to its most essential points. Communicate your core message to your audience multiple times, using slightly varied language each time to avoid monotony. Follow the three classic steps of a strong presentation: Tell your audience what you’re going to say, say it, then tell them what you said.
- Get Your Lighting Right: It may seem trivial, but poor lighting isn’t just unflattering, it can be a significant distraction for your audience. Practice your presentation in the location that you will actually be holding the meeting at a similar time of day. Then take a good look at yourself in the camera to see if there are any distracting shadows or glare. Try leaning slightly forward and backward to see how the lighting changes. Don’t like what you see? Try putting a small desk lamp directly in front of you behind your computer. To soften the light and make it more flattering, drape a scarf or other thin fabric over the lamp.
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