If you are a professional speaker (or hope to be one), you likely thrive by feeding off the excitement of the audience reaction and interaction. Connecting with guests from the podium or the stage is one of the best ways to engage the entire room. How do you keep that same spark from your computer? Here are three ways to build excitement and leverage your audience during a virtual presentation.
Engage the audience BEFORE your presentation
If your hosts will allow it, send out a survey and find out what topics the participants want to hear. A simple three to five questions exploration could pique interest and you can share the aggregate results during your presentation. The hosts could send it to the list on your behalf. If the hosts provide you the list, keep in mind privacy protocols for not sharing the names without express permission to do so. That includes for your own purposes. Ask the list to opt in for any emails you send on a regular basis.
Depending on the teleconferencing platform, you could also create a poll that the host can administer during your talk and those results can be shown during your talk. Allowing participants an opportunity to be a part of the discussion is a terrific way to keep the audience active and aware during the presentation.
Limit supporting materials
Slide decks are a highly visual way to get your message across. However, keep the focus on you and the discussion. If you are going to use visuals, make sure they are not too text heavy or busy. You might run the risk of the audience reading the slides or looking at the pretty pictures and missing the points you want to make.
Leverage your audience as supporting materials! Encourage them to ask questions in the chat or message feature. Share a story and ask for them to do the same (this can be done as part of the survey and shared with the audience with the participant’s permission).
Offer to send out information
A virtual presentation may lose some of its luster with the lack of intimacy through a monitor or laptop. To stay top of mind once your audience turns off their computer, offer to share some of the information you presented. Prepare a one-page document or checklist that the audience can use later. Brand it with your logo and most importantly, your contact information and website. This is a value add that the audience will appreciate, and it lets them know you care about their goals and values.
A whole new world of opportunities are available in the virtual meeting space. Don’t be afraid to take advantage of it. Stand out and maximize your screen time and be as impactful from your computer as you are on the stage.
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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.