Venturing into the World of the Virtual Presentation
Let's face it. Virtual presentations are here to stay. They are not just for the IT savvy who can merely look at your computer and somehow magically fix it. No, virtual presentations are fast on their way to becoming the norm. It's time to get ready, time to listen up to those people who have already ventured into the virtual waters and immerged with ideas about what works and what doesn't.
In our change-resistant, if it ain't broke don't fix it world, it shouldn't come as any surprise that the issues arising from virtual presentations are less technology based and more people based. It is critical to understanding that the crux of a successful virtual presentation is your voice.
Unlike presentations given in a face-to-face environment, virtual presentations require an extra level of attention to what you are saying and how you are saying it. You can not rely on watching your audience for clues as to whether they are actively listening or nodding off. You have to be sure to maintain a high level, high-energy momentum to make sure you keep your audience engaged.
But some tips to consider, even before you start your presentation, are important as well. First, do a tech check! Make sure computers, and network connections, and servers, and virtual meeting software, and conference phones are in working order. It might be a good idea to let someone in your IT department know that you will be giving a virtual presentation and at what time, so he or she will be available to handle any frantic emergency calls from you.
Again, remember your voice is crucial to a successful virtual presentation, to it must be heard. Before the presentation starts, turn off all cell phones, beepers, and any other noise makers in the room or just outside the room. Additionally, plan on making use of the telephone headset rather than trying to talk into a speakerphone. The voice clarity is far better. Along those lines, during the virtual presentation, make sure you project your voice and enunciate words. Don't forget that all-important bottle of water. Just because you are not standing at a podium doesn't mean your throat won't get dry.
While giving the presentation, it is important to remember your audience. They're sometimes easy to forget in the virtual world where there aren't rows and rows of people watching your every move. This being the case, you need to draw them into the action of the virtual presentation. Virtual presentations require slightly more visual changes than the stand in-person presentation. Add more slides. Add more movement within the slides. Just be careful not to over do it. Also, refer vocally to the visual aspects of the presentation often. As an audience, we are accustomed to having someone to watch. So instead of having your audience watch you, you will need to repeatedly direct your audience’s attention to the presentation.
Keeping these tips in mind, you will be on your way to hosting successful virtual presentations in no time.