The world has changed. As such, the way many of us do business has changed along with it.
In today's business climate, the right tips for presenting remotely to peers and clients is more important than it's ever been.
Recent studies have shown that your audience is involved in a lot of different activities during your remote presentations. Some may be watching a YouTube video, while others might be engaged in what they view as more pressing work.
Others may even be getting their online shopping out of the way while you present.
This fact begs the question: if your audience is distracted or engaged in other things during your presentation, how do you keep their attention and draw them into your message?
Unlike in-person presentations, it's more difficult to "speak over" the noise when you're presenting remotely. This makes audience engagement more important than any other factor during a remote presentation.
In this article, we'll walk you through the best ways to keep your audience engaged and excited about your remote presentation.
1. Tips For Presenting Remotely: Increase Your Visibility
Nearly 93% of communication involves what's known as nonverbal cues. This is important to understand for effective virtual presentations.
Nonverbal cues involve our gestures and overall body language. Because of this, one of the easiest ways to increase engagement during a remote presentation is to increase your personal visibility on camera.
Avoid making the mistake of hiding your face while talking to audience members. You'll lose your audience before you've even begun presenting.
If you're an extremely shy person who gets very nervous or uncomfortable on camera, consider putting a picture of yourself and your credentials on a slide. Then, begin and end your presentation by showing that slide.
It will build instant credibility and help you with customer nurturing.
2. Effective Pronunciation and a Clear Voice
When direct in-person interaction is lacking (as it always is remotely), your voice immediately becomes the chief of the remote presentation. If your voice is too low, quiet, or unclear, you'll quickly notice that your audience drifts off and becomes disconnected from your message.
It's an absolute must to make sure your voice is perfectly clear during every word of your presentation, and that you focus on effective pronunciation.
To do this, it's a great idea to practice your presentation by recording it on the same tools you'll be presenting on. Then, listen to yourself and see where you've made mistakes and can improve.
You may even want to do a practice video call with a friend or co-worker so they can give you their opinion on areas for improvement.
Remember to be open to criticism and not take it personally.
Finally, before you begin presenting, do a few warm-up exercises with your voice to get your vocal cords primed and ready for success.
3. Utilize Powerful Visuals
Generally speaking, people remember about 80% of what they see, as opposed to 10% of what they hear.
This makes great visuals one of the most important tips for presenting remotely.
The way you choose to incorporate graphics and colors into your remote presentation needs to accurately reflect your company, objectives, and presentation topic.
Include some interactive animations and simple jokes to give your audience a break from other intense conversations and meetings throughout the day.
They'll appreciate it, and you'll get their attention right away.
On your slideshow, make sure to use a uniform background that gives overall uniformity to your presentation.
Remember, our brains work much fast than we can speak. Because of this, it's important to add a little additional text to each of your slides, while talking a little less.
This technique helps your audience maintain their focus on your presentation because they're reading additional information with their own eyes.
When you want your audience to focus only on you or your words, change or blur your background.
4. Run a Diagnostic
If you've ever lost your Internet connection in the middle of an important presentation, then you know what frustration is.
Not only is this frustrating for you as the presenter, but even a short connection loss will also immediately destroy the tempo of your presentation, and you'll risk losing your audience.
Because of this, it's important to have all of the software and tools fully prepared for your presentation before you go live. Spend a few minutes doing a dry-run to make sure there are no technology hiccups that could jump up and unexpectedly bite you.
5. Have In-Home Ground Rules
Working from home presents its own unique challenges. You're probably already dealing with constant chatter throughout the house, a ringing doorbell, your child barging into your office while you're on an important call, and the dog barking right when you get online with your supervisor.
But when you're presenting remotely, it's critical that you don't experience the in-home disturbances that will keep you from fully engaging with the audience.
This is especially true when sharing your screen.
To that end, it's best to set some solid ground rules in your home while you're presenting remotely. Let everyone in your house know that you'll be on an important call and that it cannot be disturbed.
Beyond that, turn off your smartphone so that you're not distracted by unexpected notifications or social media messages.
6. Get the Audience Involved
The best way to get your audience involved in the presentation is to focus on collaboration. Avoid spending all of your time talking about your presentation. Instead, make random pauses and work to connect with your audience.
While presenting, make a few unexpected pauses to see if anyone has questions or if they're following along with your message.
If you know that silence is looming, encourage organized group conversations that can spark more ideas. Often, doing so is as simple as asking for input and suggestions as your presentation reaches its conclusion.
Master the Art of Presenting Remotely
Powerful and effective remote presentations are both an art and a learned skill.
With these six tips for remote presentations, you'll be well on your way to a fully engaged audience during your next important remote presentation.