We offer six best-practice tips for delivering a captivating and successful virtual presentation.
Webinars, teleconferences and Zoom meetings are part of our new normal, but they present unique challenges.
How do you engage remote audiences so they don’t zone out, get distracted or multitask?
1. Invest in the best audio-visual tools and equipment
A fully functional technical set-up with excellent audio-visual features is a prerequisite for delivering engaging remote presentations.
Use a stable high-speed internet connection and invest in good quality tools, such as an external microphone and webcam.
They’re key to providing an optimal virtual experience.
So, too, is familiarity with the features of the platform you use.
The easiest way to identify and resolve potential problems is to give the full presentation a test run. Make any necessary improvements ahead of the scheduled start.
2. Appearance matters
A professional image sets the scene for the entire event. It also affects how the audience responds.
A well-groomed presenter, dressed in formal attire, commands more respect than someone who is untidy and casual.
3. Create a suitable environment
Distractions of any kind have a negative impact on audience engagement.
A busy background, a barking dog, or alerts and notifications on a smartphone are distracting and unprofessional.
Ideally, the background should be as neutral as possible.
If that isn’t possible, a virtual or blurred background, enabled by the likes of Zoom or Microsoft Teams, is an effective solution.
It’s essential to operate from a quiet room. Aim to eliminate external sources of noise for the duration of the presentation. Think alarms, phones, TVs, radios and… children and pets.
4. Keep it short and on-point
One of the most important tips for successful virtual presentations is to keep it short.
The average attention span is under 10 minutes.
The most effective way to communicate is in short, sharp bursts, interspersed with question-and-answer sessions.
That way, you can gauge how much information the audience has retained and how actively they’re participating.
Talk for too long and the audience will likely get restless and side-tracked.
5. Engage the audience on different levels
The best way to engage an audience is by looking directly at the camera.
Be animated in speech and gestures. Enunciate your words clearly and speak at a suitable pace. If possible, use graphs, images and statistics to back up what you’re saying.
Another tip is to encourage the audience to get involved by setting quizzes. Ask them to answer questions via chat.
Repeat the points or concepts that may be difficult to understand. Also, regularly ask the audience, or individual participants, for feedback.
6. Rope in an assistant
A co-presenter or assistant can fulfil several invaluable roles.
This person can listen to and critique your presentation prior to streaming.
He or she can also:
- troubleshoot if technical issues arise in-session
- enhance audience engagement by taking over part of the presentation.
- deal with the participants’ chats and questions in real time.
In these ways, an assistant can prevent disruptions or delays in your virtual presentation.
Enhance your virtual presentations at The Workspace
At The Workspace, we offer affordable, fully serviced offices and coworking – a flexible alternative to traditional workspace.
All our branches feature fully equipped boardrooms, available for rent by the hour or for a half or full day. These are ideal venues for successful virtual presentations. Members also have access to meeting rooms, a professional reception area, comfortable lounge areas and more.