Virtual presentations can be more challenging than a traditional presentation in front of a live audience. If you are thinking of embarking on more virtual speaking opportunities, take a few minutes to assess the steps you need to take before getting front of your computer audience. Here are three things that you should ‘get’ before your next virtual presentation.
Get knowledgeable about your audience
Out of sight is not out of mind when it comes to understanding who is listening to your presentation. It’s understandable to forget that there are folks on the other side of the computer who have needs and goals that they hope you can help them achieve. Work with your host to find out how many participants have signed up. Is the presentation open to a wide audience, to members or subscribers only? You can and should adjust the presentation based on that information. Using too much industry jargon when half the audience is outside of the industry will alienate a large portion of folks you want to connect with. Make your topic accessible to the entire audience but feel free to include targeted messaging appropriate to a segment that you may want to interface with for more opportunities.
Genuine and authentic personalities shine through even in front of a computer! Reinforce who you are and your expertise in your field. Don’t do a data dump of your amazing credentials but give a little of yourself and what matters to you.
Share real stories about your journey. The presentations that audiences remember come from story tellers not sellers. Use humor to convey your point. Don’t be afraid to entertain while educating your audience.
The virtual audience is different for the live audience. In the comfort of their own home, they are more restless and distracted by family, pets, or the internet. You’ll need to get creative and give your audience a reason to pay attention.
Start by providing an interactive element to your presentation in the form of a poll or quiz. Depending on the platform used for the presentation, there are several easy ways to run virtual trivia or flash cards for quick bursts of interaction. You can even incorporate props into your discussion where relevant.
Most importantly, deliver a concise presentation with structured visual elements like PowerPoint slides, Visio diagrams, or a short video. Don’t overextend your welcome with a lengthy presentation. Be conversational and focus on three to five main points and fully discuss them.
And as a bonus tip – get more visibility by creating two presentations with the content you normally delivered in one live presentation. Audience attention spans are shorter for virtual presentations so save some of that content and develop another lecture with it. Give your host a reason to invite you back!
The saying goes, “meet them where they are,” and virtual presentations are a wonderful way to do that. So, get out there and get more out of your next virtual opportunity!
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Kristen White is a Content Catalyst and Powerful Interviewer. She can quickly add the crisp clarity, magic dust and unique brand elements to any message, book, product or campaign.
Through her award-winning interview skills, Kristen will excavate and synthesize a personal story and legacy into a magnetic brand and content strategy. Her strong intuitive insight, journalistic training and versatile wordsmithing, offer clients a wellspring of fingerprint language options to apply to all levels of their written, spoken and video communication. Kristen is a bestselling author, award-winning documentary film director and cast member, television series creator/writer, and television on-camera journalist. As the CEO of White Media Agency, a digital media and marketing company, Kristen supports clients with unique personal brand development, speech writing and performance, book concepts, titles, outlines and marketing, and online business consulting.
Rock the Stage, INC, offers professional video production for authors, speakers and coaches with a variety of speaking topics. The company also offers speechwriting, broadcast-quality lifestyle video interviews and fast-track book publishing via an on-camera interview.