How To Deliver An Engaging Virtual Presentation
With the COVID-19 epidemic, remote working has become a new normal due to which virtual presentations are becoming the standard in our everyday work lives at a great pace.
When giving a physical presentation in the seminar room, your audience is somewhat captive since they are stuck with you during the whole session, but you still are required to engage your audience. However, with virtual presentations, there is a greater chance that your audience may wonder. Hence, now one would be competing for attention because there are more distractions at home than office and other priorities.
Are you struggling with visual presentations and want to stand out among others? If yes, then you must consider the following expert tips:
1. Select the appropriate background for your presentation:
We would suggest you consider visually appealing presentation templates available online so that you don’t have to spend extra time on making the presentation from scratch.
Once you have selected the relevant template, go for an appropriate background that complements your professional appearance and supports your message. Remember a busy background or if you add in anything else that could be distracting for the audience, it should be avoided. Hence, find out if your presenting platform supports virtual backgrounds (such as Zoom or Slack) or, if possible, then blur your background ( you can do this through Microsoft Teams).
2. Learn about the technology you are using:
No matter how well planned your presentation is, if you don’t know much about the technology you are working with, then you will fail to execute it successfully. A presenter stumbling with the equipment would give a wrong image about you to the audience. Hence, before you start your presentation, you must ensure that you are familiar with the platform’s functionality to put on a good show. It is better to delegate technology to your co-host so that you can concentrate on your presentation. Ensure you practice with the same setup as when you give the presentation so as to avoid any mishap, being visible and audible at the same time.
3. Make the Right Lighting Choices:
It is absolutely critical that your audience can view you clearly as a presenter. Hence, ensure that you have a nice light at your front side so that the light is directly on your face. In addition, if you are sitting against the window, then you must close the drapes behind you. However, natural light is frequently the best option. In case your home workplace lacks natural lighting, then consider investing in additional lighting so that the other person can see you clearly.
4. Direct eye contact to the camera:
When presenting your work, you must look directly at the front camera. This would take some practice, but it gives the impression that you are looking directly at the spectator. You may switch off your self-view as it is said to be the best way to avoid being distracted. It would be great if you adjusted the camera at your eye level. Moreover, Keep it not too far below because doing so runs the risk of developing a double chin.
However, if you set the camera too high, it is then difficult to establish eye contact since your attention may drop as you communicate. Moreover, be careful when your camera is working, especially when you are on a panel, to avoid any inappropriate behavior. If you are not speaking, but your camera is on, make sure you appear to be listening! Because influential speakers recognize the value of maintaining eye contact with their audience, you’ll need to replicate this effect electronically.
5. Be enthusiastic about what you are doing:
While presenting, you must pass positive vibes to the audience, making them feel that you are enthusiastic about it, just like you would in a physical presentation. Keep in mind that people will easily disconnect and leave the meeting if your speech is monotonous or too slow. Hence, to keep people involved digitally, it is necessary to engage yourself.
6. Connect to Your Modem:
If feasible, connect your computer directly to your modem via an Ethernet wire. By doing so, it will ensure you won’t face any discrepancy as you will get the highest powerful signal and the steadiest internet connection which is essential for a successful presentation.
7. Maintain an appropriate delivery speed:
Getting the tempo correct might be tough without the in-person audience’s feedback indicators. Do not go overboard with the delivery speed, even if you wish to add some movement and vitality to your presentation. In case you are a rapid talker in real life, try slowing your pace down a little bit so that you are sound and clear to your audience, which is essential to deliver your message effectively. Whereas you might try to hurry up a little if you are a sluggish talker because the slower pace can make your audience bored, and they might get distracted.
8. Don’t fabricate:
Audiences solely connect to sincerity, just like they do in physical presentations. Hence don’t try to fabricate someone or their delivery style; just be yourself. Allow your personality to shine. Have fun with it. This will give you more confidence, and others will enjoy and love your presentation if you are confident enough about yourself and appear to be enjoying it.
9. Redundant systems should be utilized:
If you are using slides for your presentation, then ensure that someone else (probably your co-host) gets a copy of it so that if your internet goes down, you have a backup plan so that you do not miss your presentation.
Moreover, try to make your slides visually compelling. Use high-resolution graphics and keep the quantity of text on each of the slides to the least minimum, don’t overload them. Since it is your responsibility to give the information which is understandable and overdoing won’t help you with that because slides are not to replace your spoken words. Just give a hint of what you are about to present and speak your thoughts out in words directly to your audience.
10. Engage Your Audience:
Take all measures to make an engaging presentation the same way you would if you were giving a live presentation. Include discussions, polls, features like raised hands, and other interactive elements. Avoid speaking continuously; at least take a break after every ten minutes and engage the audience in some way. Interacting with your audience by name using the list would help you in interacting well. Allow the folks to converse or raise their hands if they wish to talk or add in their thoughts. However, please keep track of who is in what order and then summon them to turn on their microphones or cameras for better communication.
11. Your Posture counts:
Suppose you can arrange a standing desk for your home office then what would be more convenient. However, if that is not possible, then place the laptop in something higher so that you can stand straight and have direct eye contact with your computer.
Standing up would give you greater energy and would force you to position your body in a more presentation-like position. In case you are sitting, then lean forward like you would do if giving a physical presentation, just like how news anchors posture is. Please avoid hunching away as this communicates to the viewer that you’re active.
12. Review and Improve:
If feasible, record your session and listen back to it to evaluate where you lay. Look for areas where you could improve and take measures to do so. Make a point of recognizing both your talents and your opportunities for improvement.
Remember, all of your performances are for the benefit of your audience, whether virtual or physical. Everyone’s time is valuable, so make the most of it by giving the greatest presentation possible. To make it possible, you must consider the above-discussed suggestion to establish genuine engagement and value regardless of the type of presentation you are making.