Effective Virtual Presentation Tip # 4.
Start on time. It is that simple.
Appreciate the time investment of your attendees by beginning when you said you would. Sure, there will be late comers. Delayed arrivals and late starts are easier to deal with in in a live event, because there is small chat and idle banter to fill a few moments. On screen, you as the presenter, organizer or facilitator, are the center of attention. Be respectful. Start as scheduled.
So, what do I do about the late arrivals? Quick answer is “do not start on time.” “But, wait you said, start on time?”
Yes, I did.
You may start your presentation late by using thee the first few minutes to handle a few housekeeping matters that do not detract from your presentation. For instance, I make a practice of telling everyone where they can find handouts for the event, or where they can find information that they may need during the meeting. These few minutes of housekeeping matters give everyone a chance to login and join the event. And, it feels like a timely start because it is. Only the content is delayed.
Effective Virtual Presentation Tip # 5.
There are several ways to be interactive. The first is direct conversation with the individuals. You may have a topic that allows you to discuss with the various people the issues at hand or engage them in conversation regarding the ideas you were sharing. Also, you can become interactive by giving them something to do. For instance, if you are doing a presentation of your goal is to generate thought and assist them in getting through their own processes, then a handout or worksheet that you can work with to give him something to keep him involved is always a plus.
Keep in mind, if you are going to do a session that involves conversation and dialogue, limit the number of people that can actually engage. If you have a smaller meeting everyone can engage in the dialogue. If you have a larger meeting, maybe you just want to allow a group or select panel to engage for everyone to watch. Consider, you may ask your audience to submit questions ahead of time so that they can hear their answers as you are presenting. Without an audience, you have nothing, so show them a little love.
However, you choose to handle the presentation, keep the tone and attitude conversational. You are not a newscaster delivering the news.
Effective Virtual Presentation Tip # 6.
Being engaging sounds easy. I’m sure you are where you are because you are extremely personable and people like you. But, that’s not the kind of engagement I am talking about.
When we present on stage, it is a theatrical event. People are watching us live and in person; we are larger than life. As people watch us in a virtual conference, we are pixelated images in a small box in their living room or kitchen. We are the evening news. We are television. Think cinematic.
One night while watching American Idol, I wandered off to the kitchen to find myself something to drink and an evening snack. While I was in the kitchen, I talked to my family about tomorrow’s schedule, I added a few items to the grocery list, and suddenly 10 minutes of past and I sat back down. Oh, wait a minute, it wasn’t American Idol. That happened during a Zoom conference when no one could see me on the screen.
In a real-life event people are trained to watch something on stage happening. But when it comes to the small screen, people are expecting camera-angles to change, they are expecting action, and close up dialogue. If a news caster stays on the screen too long, and she doesn’t cut to a new segment or someone in the field, our attention is lost. That is why a variety show changes between acts and interviews. Attention span dictates that people are not going to watch the screen for long. Give them eye candy and engage them. Create interest!
Effective Virtual Presentation Tip # 7.
Big Screen movies catch our attention because they are bright and colorful. Things are happening! We become glued to the screen. When a James Bond movie starts and we watch Bond skiing down the mountain covered in snow against a bright blue sky, we watch because of the grandeur of the color, the exciting motion and the thrilling action. Use your words to paint pictures that people can visualize and in which their minds. Allow them to become actively engaged in your words.
Also, remember, not everyone will log on to the presentation through a visual medium. Some people may be forced to dial-in on by phone, and others may be watching you on that old iPhone 4. Use your words and voice to keep them visualizing everything in their minds. Encourage them to want to be part of your message.