Presenting Virtually: 5 Best Practices for Online Presentations
In a post-COVID world, presenting virtually has become the norm for millions. However, the experience is nothing like the in-person presentations you’ve been practicing for years.
But what is it about giving online presentations that feels so unnerving? Well, the reality is that virtual presentations bring on a whole new set of challenges. While presenting online, the pressure of the audience tuning out and losing interest is multiplied.
Plus, the technical difficulties that come along just add to your anxiety. You're relying on your internet connection to make or break your business. And even worse, presenters lose audience visibility while presenting materials and sharing their screen, which makes it difficult to gauge feedback.
In this article, we’ll explore 5 best practices for online presentations – to elicit greater connection, win over your audience, and get your message across. Get ready to ace your next online presentation!
5 Best Practices for Virtual Presentations
Get your technology ready ahead of time
As a presenter, your technology failing you right before your presentation would be the biggest nightmare. So, make sure to test your system’s camera and microphone beforehand. Nothing kills a presentation more than audio and video distortion.
Consider getting a webcam that surpasses the audio and video quality of your original system. Upgrade your system for better quality and reliability – this AI Smart Camera offers 1080p video quality with responsive features.
Above all, ensure that your laptop/PC is up to date on software leading up to your presentation.
Prepare for the worst when it comes to your Wi-Fi connection
One of the best practices for virtual presentations that people often overlook is presenting with stable internet. You need to minimize any possible hurdles, so present in a location where the signals are strong. You can also get an ethernet connection for greater reliability.
Whether online or offline, the best presenters are those who prepare for the worst. Keep a backup plan in case your Wi-Fi fails you. If your internet connection fails, be prepared to dial in to your meeting or use a cellular hotspot to connect.
Dry run your presentation
Practice your presentation before you speak by doing it on your own, with a colleague, a peer, or family member. By doing so, you ease your own tension, learn to better time your presentation, and make the delivery flow much more smoothly.
Gather your assets and materials
Adding visuals is yet another excellent approach to help demonstrate more abstract concepts in your presentation. It's possibly the best way to interest the audience (and get them to interact with you).
For this, collect all of your visuals and other resources beforehand, and make sure to practice referencing them. Make sure you send backups of your materials to a trusted colleague in case you’re unable to access them during your presentation.
Be sure to engage your audience
Virtual presentations mean that you’re competing for your audience’s hearts, minds, and attention. While it’s relatively harder to captivate your audience through a screen, your presentation's success frequently depends on their acceptance.
Not sure about how to engage the audience during virtual presentations? Let’s dive deeper into some techniques that encourage interaction.
How to Engage the Audience During Virtual Presentations
Make your visuals useful and eye-catching
The audience is better able to comprehend and remember the information that is presented visually. Ideally, if you’re using a pitch deck, each slide should only contain one or two main points and some eye-catching visuals for the main concepts.
Even if you don’t have a slideshow for your presentation, other visual materials can still be useful to your audience. Consider showing images, videos, infographics, or other visual assets that support your points.
Keep your energy up
Within a virtual medium, your audience is more likely to zone out – especially if their cameras are turned off.
So, tailor your presentation to your audience, and keep your energy up while you present. If you look bored, your audience is more likely to pay no attention and, eventually lose interest. Speak passionately about your topics, and the audience is more likely to match your energy.
Look at the camera and address the audience often.
When considering how to make a virtual presentation interactive, looking at the camera is a critical factor. The most effective way to engage your audience is by making "eye contact" (as much as you can through a screen) and using engagement techniques like polls, interactive exercises, and more.
While presenting, you have to switch tabs frequently. Attaching a second screen, like the TRIO Monitors, can help you multitask, viewing your presentation screen and your audience’s video stream simultaneously. This is a great way to stay connected with your audience while remaining in control of your presentation materials and reference notes.
Presenting in the new era of digital settings has several challenges. Those who manage to crack the code eventually win the game. Once you get a handle on your technology and learn how to engage the audience, you're set!
Got a virtual presentation that you want to ace? Learn more about conferencing tools and how Mobile Pixels can help you present more effectively in digital settings.