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Six steps to better online presenting

March 3, 2020

According to a Polycom survey, 96% of business leaders believe online presenting improves productivity. And recent market conditions show how effective it can be.

Make sure  your next online presentation by video conference runs smoothly by following our six steps to effective online presentations:


1. Choose the right setting

Background distractions and poor audio quality are often the biggest problems with video conferences.

Double check what background sounds might be heard.  And check the quality of your microphone.  It may be worth investing in a separate external microphone. 

And check your background – no windows or bright lights behind you.  And which books are on your shelves?  Avoid clutter. These distractions distract your audience and impact your image of professionalism.


2. Prepare yourself properly for online presenting

Most importantly, plan what you say with care.

When speaking directly to camera each word matters.

Use all your presenting and public speaking expertise to connect with your audience, grab their attention, reinforce your messages and illustrate your examples.

Then, familiarise yourself with the online presenting software.

  1. Test the connection,
  2. Test the sound levels
  3. Know how to share your screen or start your digital presentation.

This will help you appear professional and in control.

And, if you are using an online conferencing system, include a quick-start guide in the email invitation.

At BBA we use online video conference packages Zoom Teams and Skype


3. Demonstrate positive body language when presenting online

“The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said,”

according to management guru Peter Drucker.

Nonverbal communications includes movements and postures that communicate our feelings and attitudes. And, facial cues play a vital role in how participants perceive you.

Quick tips for transforming your body language in virtual meetings:

  • Sit upright
  • Nod or lean forward to acknowledge contributions.
  • Smile to stimulate feelings of trust, warmth and cooperation.
  • Look at the camera lens (and position it at eye level).
  • Frame yourself so you are not too close to the camera,so your reactions appear normal.
  • And always pay attention. Demonstrate active listening.


4. Dress for success when presenting online

When deciding what to wear, a good rule of thumb is to ask yourself: would I wear this to the office?

If your clients would expect to see you in smart business attire, wear that.

Also, choose clothes that look good on-screen.

For example, news reporters on television avoid wearing white because it catches too much light. And they rarely wear clothing with bold or checkered patterns, as these tend to ‘jump’ on screen. Instead, opt for solid colours.


5. Focus on the job at hand

Winston Churchill once said, “You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks.”

So, however tempting, avoid distractions such as emails or messages. When your gaze is not on your the camera, participants will assume you are distracted. That means switch off your phone and if using a computer, exit applications such as email that generate alerts.

And, above all, remember that you are always visible. If you hold your head in your hands, others will interpret this.


6. Practise

Finally, do what the best do and prepare yourself properly.

That means rehearsing and practicing.  That is what makes the difference.

Keep building your skills so that you look great.

If you want us to help, we can support you either remotely via video conference or face-to-face.


Become a more effective communicator today

I want to look better online


About Benjamin Ball Associates

Benjamin Ball Associates Team

Benjamin Ball Associates helps clients to communicate better.

Over 12+ years the award-winning BBA team has coached thousands of senior executives globally to present powerfully. You get access to a transformational toolbox of techniques to help you become a clear, confident communicator.

We’ll help you create a powerful first impression that hooks and engages your audience immediately and we’ll transform you to deliver clearly, confidently and with impact.

Speak to Louise on +44 20 7018 0922 or email to find out more and discuss your upcoming speech or presentation.


Contact us to transform your online presenting skills

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