For more than a year now, people across the globe have been working from home. Though many are starting to transition back to the office, some companies plan on continuing with a remote workforce for the foreseeable future. This means those virtual meetings and presentations we’ve all become familiar with are here to stay.
With this in mind, it’s vital that you perfect the art of virtual presentations. Here are some tips to help.
Outline Your Presentation
Before you get started, you first need to determine the goals of your presentation. What are the most important things you need to communicate to your colleagues? As you develop your presentation, keep your goals in mind. Everything you include in your presentation should serve your goals.
As you develop an outline for your presentation, there are many factors to consider:
- Structure your presentation effectively, with an intro that previews what your presentation will cover and a conclusion that wraps everything up
- Consider the length of your presentation. How long can you hold people’s attention?
- Gather statistics and/or evidence to back any claims you make
Create Dynamic Visuals
Including dynamic visuals in your presentation is arguably more important for a virtual presentation than an in-person one. Why? Because it’s harder to hold the attention of a virtual audience. A visually engaging presentation can help with this.
Here’s what to include:
- Develop a slide presentation with key points, facts and figures
- Include dynamic imagery like slide animations, gifs, graphs and appealing photos
- Use a limited color palette for your slide designs. Best to stick with 3-4 colors.
- Consider adding video clips if applicable
You should practice your presentation in front of a mirror, friend or family member just like you might before an in-person presentation. It’s cliche, but practice does make perfect.
Test Your Tech
Before presentation day, you need to test your technology to make sure everything is working correctly. Nothing will lose the attention of your virtual audience faster than technical difficulties that take forever to fix. Mitigate the risk of your presentation falling apart because things aren’t working and test everything beforehand.
Start with Attention Grabber
A virtual audience is much more easily distracted than an in-person audience. They have easy access to a host of distractions, and can easily hide the fact that they aren’t listening. To prevent this, you need to get their attention early in your presentation.
Here are some ideas for attention-grabbing intros:
- Start with a compelling question
- Introduce a little-known fact
- Tell an interesting story
- Present a mind-blowing statistic
- Tease a compelling conclusion to your presentation
Encourage Audience Participation
A great way to hold the attention of your virtual audience is to make them active participants. Tools like Poll Everywhere or Slido make it easy to get instant audience feedback. You could conduct a real-time survey or ask trivia questions throughout your presentation. Getting your audience involved somehow will help keep them engaged.
Send a Follow-Up
Before your presentation, if possible, gather your attendees’ email addresses so you can send them a follow-up after the meeting. In your follow-up, make sure to thank them for their time and include your presentation slides as a PDF. You can also use the body of the email to reiterate the main points of your presentation.
Nail Your Next Presentation
Like it or not, remote work is likely here to stay for a long time. In fact, many companies are making it permanent. So it’s in your best interest to perfect your virtual presentation skills. Following these tips will help.
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