Virtual presentations are the new normal. However, many presenters are having a hard time adjusting to this format. It’s easy to miss the in-person connection that comes from being in the same room as your audience. If you are giving a virtual presentation soon, keep these tips in mind:
Most presentations are done while standing. If standing is how you’ve given most of your presentations in the past, I’d suggest doing the same while presenting from home. Just put your computer on some books (so the camera is still at eye level), and give your presentation standing up. Not only will you feel more comfortable, but it will also help give you more vocal power since you won’t be hunched over.
2. Don’t Instantly Share Your Screen
Most presenters start their virtual presentations by sharing their screen right away. Unfortunately, if you start this way, the audience never has an opportunity to connect with you, since the video image of your face becomes a very small box on the side of the computer. Instead, I recommend only sharing your screen after you’ve introduced yourself. Let people see your face first. Let them have that moment of connection. Then, once you’ve said hello, you can start to share the main content of your talk.
3. Talk to a Person
Presentations are an opportunity to talk to people. However, during virtual presentations, most participants turn off their cameras in order to lower the bandwidth on the call. This can make it very hard for speakers to connect to their audience since they have no one to look at and talk to. I recommend asking a few people to leave their videos on so that you have someone to look at during the presentation. If that’s not possible, post a picture of someone you enjoy talking to behind your camera. That way, you have a real person to look at while giving your presentation.
Especially in the virtual world, it’s important to take every opportunity that makes it easier for your audience to connect to you during a presentation.
Bri McWhorter is the Founder and CEO of Activate to Captivate.