More and more of the companies and people I support are delivering their presentations virtually. (via webinars, conference call teleconference as well as videoconference) This brings with it even more challenges than face-to-face presentations. I am often asked for some best practice tips to ensure that what is being communicated is successful. So hre are my top 6 tips:
- Keep it short
Attention spans are getting shorter and shorter and as a presenter you are competing with many distractions (from emails – to – Facebook). Audiences begin to lose attention after roughly 10 minutes of hearing from the same presenter. If you have more than 10 minutes of content, use interactive activities to keep your audience engaged.
- Keep slides simple
Avoid too many words, graphics and animation features. Less is more!
- Look and feel like you’re on TV
If you are videoconferencing, look straight into your camera, not the screen. Wear clothing that is neutral in colour (not stripes). Light yourself well and from above. Be mindful of what appears behind you in the background. Invest in a good microphone. My personal favourite is the Blue Yeti.
- Stand up to speak
My personal top tip is to stand up, even if the audience cannot see you. This allows you to stay focused and use good presentation vocal delivery skills such as belly breathing, vocal variety, and pausing. If you are not sure just try and see for yourself the difference.
- Be Prepared
This is the ‘mother of all tips’! Practice delivering your presentation with your technology in advance of your talk. Make sure all of the features of the technology work. Record your practice using the recording feature of your tool. Watch and listen to learn what works and what you can improve.
- Be Connected
Imagine your audience even though you can’t see them. I often place pictures of audience members behind my camera so I can look at the people as I present. I also feel this helps the ‘eye contact’ and you will feel more connected, but more importantly so will the audience.