How to present online with impact: eight essential tips
March 05, 2020
Do you want to make an impact when you present online?
In the last few months, our clients have turned investor meetings into video conferences and now practically live on Zoom.
If you need to:
participate in online meetings,
present online via Zoom or Teams, or
transform your next investor meeting into a video conference…
…then take this advice from the BBA team so that you make an impact when presenting online.
1. Simplify what you say to make an impact online
Even more than usual, when you present on Zoom, you need to be clear and precise. What you say will be better received if you simplify what you say. That means using short phrases, bold ideas and more pauses – and simplify your messages so they are easy to understand. And be conversational rather than formal. Speak as if to one person.
2. Make good eye contact
Zoom is very personal. That means you need to look directly at the lens. Put your camera just above your eye line and imagine someone standing in the camera to whom you are talking. Keep eye contact right to the end of each sentence – don’t look away.
3. Be animated when you present online
Energy and passion look good on camera. Limit your body movements, but show your energy through your voice and enthusiasm. Use your hands to emphasise a point, but not too much.
4. Smile & sparkle to make an impact presenting online
Look like you love what you do. Feel happy so you look happy and comfortable. A smile and a twinkle in your eye tend to work well on Zoom.
5. Take care what you wear
Things to avoid: black, white, checks, stripes, tight patterns, big jewellery and anything that might interfere with your mike.
6. Check the detail
Before you go on screen, check whether you have hair out of place, a crooked tie, a smudge on your face. What’s in the background? The camera will accentuate any faults. And make sure you have good sound. A high quality external microphone will make a big difference.
7. Arrange the lighting
Ideally, you want a light directly in front of you or just to one side ahead of you, and no bright lights behind you.
Your coach will help you refine your eye contact, your body movement, your animation. Then you will make the impact you want to make.
If you want support to present online with impact, then get in touch. Our team can support you either face-to-face or remotely via Zoom / Video Conference.
Recently we’ve helped transform a major Capital Markets Day into a video conference. We have helped hundreds of people new to Zoom to get the most from their online presentations.
Six steps to better online presenting
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.
- Test the connection,
- Test the sound levels
- 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.
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.
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
About Benjamin Ball Associates
At Benjamin Ball Associates, we help clients to communicate better.
Over the years the 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 firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more and discuss your upcoming speech or presentation.
Contact us for a chat about how we can help you with your presenting.
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