How to Better Present Online – 9 Online Presentation Skills

Do you want to make an impact when you present online?

Could you video calls be better? 

Do you feel it hard to make an impact in video calls?

Is it challenging to keep your audience’s attention online? 

Can you be sure you are being listened to on video calls?

Do you find the lack of feedback frustrating when presenting online?

We now live in a world of virtual meetings, video calls and online presenting. That means we all need to get even better at presenting online.  There’s a huge difference between an ordinary online presentation and one that works.

If you need to:

  • participate in online meetings,

  • present online via Zoom or Teams, or

  • transform your next presentation into a video conference…

…then take this advice from the BBA team so that you make an impact when presenting online.  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 top tips to effective online presentations:

Top tips to present online in virtual meetings

  1. Simplify what you say to make an impact online

  2. Make good eye contact when you present online

  3. Be animated in video calls

  4. Smile and sparkle when you present online

  5. Check what you wear when presenting online

  6. Test the detail for better video calls

  7. Arrange your video call lighting

  8. Focus on the job in hand when you present online

  9. Practise your online presenting

1. Simplify what you say when presenting 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 in video calls

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.

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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.

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

according to management expert Peter Drucker.  Non-verbal communication 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.
  • 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. 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.  You can practise your smiling –

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5. Dress for success in video calls

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 checked patterns, as these tend to ‘jump’ on screen. Instead, opt for solid colours. Things to avoid: black, white, checks, stripes, tight patterns, big jewellery and anything that might interfere with your microphone.

6. Check the detail in video calls

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.

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. 

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7. Arrange the lighting for your video call

Ideally, you want a light directly in front of you or just to one side ahead of you, and no bright lights behind you.

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

8. Focus on the job at hand when presenting online

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.

9. Practise your virtual presentation

Finally, do what the best do and prepare yourself properly. The best online presenters always rehearse – a lot. That means rehearsing and practising.  That is what makes the difference. Keep building your skills so that you look great.

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, Google and Skype

How to become really impressive when you present online

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 perfect their Zoom presentations to get the most from their online presence.

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About Benjamin Ball Associates

Benjamin Ball Associates  Presentation skills coaching team

At Benjamin Ball Associates, we help our clients to communicate better. You get presentation coaching for executives.

Over 15+ years the award-winning BBA team has coached thousands of senior executives globally to present powerfully. You get access to a transformational toolbox of presentation skills & 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 transforming your speeches, pitches and presentations.

Contact us for a free consultation on your coaching needs

Contact us for a chat about how we can help you with your presenting.

Let's talk about your presentation training needs

Contact us for a chat about how we can help you with your presenting.

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