I’m guessing by now we’ve all experienced a video call or two! However, it’s clear that being a guest on one is very different from hosting and presenting on one. As a guest you are expected to turn up on time, make sure you’re named correctly and most importantly it’s hoped you’ll have mastered the basics of the mute button! Hosting on the other hand can mean juggling delegate management, technical difficulties as well as delivering a presentation. Simple, yes? Only if you’re an expert multitasker!
I’ve worked with a number of people over the last year, hosting video calls, and see some great examples of engaging and memorable presentations. Here I have summarised what I think are the 11 key elements to nailing online presenting…
Keep your slides simple – there’s a lot going on during a video call and adding to this with complicated slides is going to lose attendees’ attention quickly. Keep slides interesting with plenty of visuals.
Encourage audience participation – use the tech to get your audience engaged, this could be in the form of polls, interaction buttons, or whiteboards. At the very least encourage the use of the chat for comments and questions.
Practice your tech – it’s important you feel comfortable with the functions you plan to use to make sure the session runs smoothly. Practice on your own and then rope in some colleagues or friends so they can feedback on the audience view
Get some help – presenting and hosting is hard work, your attention will be on delivering your presentation but then there’s the Waiting room, delegate tech issues, and any other functions such as breakout rooms to consider. Working with a host allows you to focus on your delivery and leave the rest to someone else
Keep your background clutter-free – choosing the right space is vital, make sure the background is clear with no clutter to ensure a professional appearance…sitting in front of the clothes dryer is a definite no-no!
Wear something that helps you to stand out and feel confident – just like you would if you were presenting in person
Lighting – make sure the light is right in the space you use. If you sit with the window behind you make sure you close the curtains/blinds so that you can be clearly seen.
Record yourself on a test run – a good practice during a run-through is to record yourself and watch back. This will make you aware of any habits or mannerisms that might be distracting to your audience
Position your camera correctly – make sure your camera is elevated to avoid an unflattering view up your nose!
Leave time for questions – this gives a professional appearance and avoids overwhelming the participants with too much information. Finishing 10-15 minutes before the scheduled end allows time for questions, comments, and discussions
Relax and have fun – you will come across best when you relax and be yourself, just like you do when presenting in person. You need to be even more conscious of it online as the audience will find it harder to ready your body language and energy
I hope these tips help you in your next presentation, I’d love to hear how you get on!
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