Updated: Sep 30, 2021
Anyone who gives presentations as part of their job has most certainly had to adapt to the changing landscape over the last 18 months and had to adapt to delivering presentations over virtual means. This post will give you some great tips on how to deliver those great presentations remotely.
Prepare, Prepare, Prepare
As with any presentation, remotely or not, preparation is the key to success (or better put, the key to failure without it). Know your content, speak at a pace that is conducive to relaying the content to your audience and breathe. Your presentation should support your storytelling, not the other way around. Be prepared to ad-lib a little bit and as well be ready to answer off-the-cuff questions.
Virtual Eye Contact
With remotely delivered presentations, going off camera should never be an option if you want to deliver a truly impactful presentation. While your slide deck may be the perceived star of the show, it’s really you that the audience is paying attention to. Your voice, your tone, mannerisms, facial expressions – all of it is contributing to how your audience is judging your presentation quality.
As difficult as it might be, and this will take some practice beforehand, maintain eye contact with your web camera as much as you can. If it’s positioned in a spot that is close to the visual display of your audience then all the better so that you can simulate that face-to-face eye contact. When you see a speaker consistently looking to the side of the camera (assuming the presentation), then it devalues that simulated human connection to your audience. Be like a newscaster – only you won’t have a teleprompter. Eye contact is the key here to establishing that bond to your audience.
Find Your Fidget Ticks
Think about all those times you delivered presentations in person. Think of what you were doing when speaking – usually standing up right? Maybe walking around the room to help establish that personal connection to your audience? All these physical movements are part of our delivery. It’s rare that you see someone stand perfectly still for an entire presentation. You don’t see many TED talks delivered from a podium – the speakers walk around. The ability to walk around and move helps keep us focused on the presentation as well as make it feel more like we’re telling an anecdotal story rather than delivering a speech. Well, in a remote world we don’t really have the option to walk around (maybe in some cases/configurations but not normally). Be prepared for your presentation to be virtually glued to your chair or desk. And with that you need to ensure that you can find those physical movements that will help replace the ability to walk around. One technique that I use quite often is having a fidget spinner in my hand (the one that is not shown on camera) to help simulate that physical movement that comes with delivering strong presentations.