Working From Home? Overcome Audience Attention Spans With These Virtual Presentation Tips.
We’re incredibly lucky to live in an age where technology allows us to work from home. Remote work even boosts productivity because of the comfort and convenience that it offers!
Like most jobs, working remotely also has its own hurdles. One of the main problems is the potential for video conferences to fall flat. This makes virtual presentation an important task to master due. However, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible! Here are three video conference presentation tips that you can use to grab and hold your audience's attention.
Digital avenues allow us to work remotely, especially during these… interesting times! As tools pave the way to enable regular virtual meetings and online conferences, it’s likely that you will find yourself leading a presentation via video conference soon enough.
When presenting remotely, it’s important that we aim to make our virtual presentations as powerful as our in-person presentations. Aside from ensuring that nothing goes wrong on the technical side, there are some very tangible changes you can make to connect (pun intended) with your clients and colleagues.
Check out the video:
Here at Deliverable Coaching, all of our advanced training programs are conducted virtually—so trust us when we say that we know a thing or two about how to conduct successful video conferences. If you have the proper tools, a killer deck, and an engaging narrative, these tips will spice up your virtual presentations like a habanero!
65% of your audience is multi-tasking
Are people really focused on the meeting during conference calls? Chances are, they aren’t.
One study suggests that employees are mostly preoccupied with other tasks. The research, spearheaded by Intercall, a large conference call company, claims that up to 65% of employees are “doing other work” during virtual calls.
So while you’re busy discussing monthly social stats, it’s likely that your team members and clients are sending emails, eating food, playing games, checking social media, or even shopping online.
If people are distracted, that’s a problem with the channel choice to begin with, why this person is on the call, or the facilitation skills.
Video Conference Tip #1: Show off that pretty face
Humans are hard-wired to notice faces. Because of this, showing your face can alleviate some of the stress and anxiety of communicating remotely.
It’s one of the best techniques you can use to establish trust and familiarity. People tend to be more familiar and engaged when they see the face behind the voice of the speaker. As a result, your audience perceives you to be more personable and trustworthy. It makes your audience go “oh, there’s a person there.”
Added bonus: turning on your camera also staves off the temptation to multi-task (you know who you are!)
Video Conference Tip #2: Make it look professional
You may be working remotely, but that doesn’t give you an excuse to sit in a messy room while hanging around in your jammies during video conferences! The key is to mimic a professional environment.
For a quick minute, act like a Pro YouTuber: lighting, makeup, clothing, environment, sound, and more. All of these elements need to be as pro as possible before going live.
Make sure your lighting is coming straight at you, slightly from the side and not from overhead. You wouldn’t want to cast gloomy shadows on your face whilst presenting!
It’s also important to consider your backdrop. Make sure nothing funky or distracting can be found behind you. Tidy up a bit or broadcast in front of a plain color wall. There should also be no sun or bright lights in view as this will definitely disrupt the viewing experience.
Most importantly, keep your webcam at or above eye level. The most ideal placement is near the top of your screen as this gives the illusion that you’re looking right into the camera. Not only does this enhance the quality of your presentation, but it also allows you to connect better with your audience.
Video Conference Tip #3: Break up the monotony
This third tip is all about the engagement. Remote work tools allow you to engage remotely without a hitch. Now it’s up to you to keep your presentation engaging!
Plan out your presentation ahead of time so that it has intervals every 5-10 minutes to interact, ask questions and chat a bit. If you don’t have the tech for live polls and the like, you can simply ask your audience a few questions that require answers.
That last bit is important, as saying something like: “Everyone tracking?” will only get you a “yes,” and rarely will it get a “no.” Open-ended questions are the name of the game. For instance, “what does everyone think about the spike in visits on the 9th of June?”
The more interactions, the better. After all, the more people talking on a conference call the better! No one wants to hear just one voice drone on for an hour and then hang up. Yikes.
Video Conference Tip #4: Keep it short and sweet
In the past, we have touted our two-minute-per-slide rule as the gold standard for slide budgeting. However, there are important factors to take into consideration during virtual meetings. Technical difficulties are almost always bound to happen. Apart from this, you may need to allow more time for discussion. With this in mind, it’s important to keep your presentation time to an absolute minimum. This means fewer and more concise slides.
Attention spans will also dwindle over time. It’s paramount to keep your presentation short and sweet. If possible, keep it to 30 minutes or less, with around 10 slides. For a 60-minute meeting, aim keep it to around 20 slides
Video Conference Tip #5: Share your screen
This is a common mistake among virtual presentation rookies. While it may be ideal to send a reference document in advance, it’s always better to share your screen to make sure you’re all on the same page (pun also very much intended).
It’s annoying and exhausting to keep repeating which slide you’re on during the presentation – or worse, you don’t mention what slide you’re on at all and your audience is completely out-of-sync. After all, attention is hardest to keep on video conferences due to the fact that there are so many distractions available to our audience. The last thing you want is your audience fidgeting with your deck instead of listening to you!
Sharing your screen will help align everyone and provides a thing that the audience must look at in order to receive the latest and greatest information.
Putting it into action
In virtual presentations, you have to work harder to capture and hold the attention of your audience. However, this can be curbed with the right tools, a powerful narrative, and an engaging presenter.
Want to learn a few secret Zoom features?
Zoom, a popular video conference tool, has a ton of hidden features that can help facilitate discussions and keep your meetings running smoothly.