How to Make Your Virtual Presentation a Success

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My name is Amy, and I am a freelance presentation designer, working in PowerPoint, Google Slides, and Keynote. My passion is creating branded presentations that represent you as a trusted professional in your industry, strengthen your brand in the marketplace, and engage your audience with an elevated experience that will convert and make them remember you for all the right reasons.

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Sometimes, virtual presentations can be more anxiety-inducing than in-person presentations. Technology may not work the way you want, or your computer could power down in the middle of your presentation, etcetera. There’s also the added stress of making sure your audience gets the materials they need or accessing your presentation or the recording afterward. Below, we’ve compiled information on the best platform for your presentation and our tips on engaging your audience and delivering the best possible virtual presentation.

Pick the Right Presentation Platform

The platform you pick can be just as important as the presentation itself. You want to make sure it has the capabilities you require and creates a positive experience for your audience. I’ve found that these are the most common presentation platforms businesses use:

  • Zoom
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Google Meet
  • Webex

Don’t worry; I break down the pros and cons of each of these in this blog. Give it a read and do your own research as well to make sure you’re selecting the right platform for your business.

5 Tips to Make Your Virtual Presentation Successful

Consider how your platform affects your meeting.

The platform you choose to host your virtual presentation impacts audience engagement and information delivery. If you’re showing your slides for most of the presentation, choose a platform with high video quality that provides screen sharing. If you are demonstrating in real-time to your audience, select the software with the best video and audio quality. If you’re presenting at work, then use the software your company already uses. This avoids unnecessary expenses and confusion. For example, if your company already uses Microsoft Teams for meetings, then use Microsoft Teams for your presentation. If you have a large number of attendees, then pick the app that does not require your audience to have a specific account. Zoom and Webex do not require individual accounts to join a meeting. When choosing your meeting platform, consider what accounts your audience has and how well the meeting integrates with the software they already use.

Test the software beforehand.

Before sending out the invitation link for your presentation, select a platform you understand how to use and control. If you utilize features like screen share, polls, or recording in your presentation, confirm you know where these features are. Do a quick run-through of your presentation and features used in your presentation in front of a family member or colleague. A practice meeting is fantastic for figuring out your transitions, what works, and what doesn’t. It also ensures that your attendees can see what is presented to them. Some presentation software offers this feature. If yours doesn’t, schedule a practice meeting with a few colleagues.

Set ground rules.

Before your meeting starts, notify participants of the rules in your email containing the meeting link. Include details like whether cameras and microphones should be on or off, where to post questions, and if they need to have any materials prepared before the meeting. This information should be above the meeting link and invitation to ensure participants read through it before accessing the link. It’s helpful to include a meeting password to heighten meeting security and encourage your audience to read the entire email before joining the meeting. If you would prefer your audience to save questions until the end of your presentation or when you prompt them to ask, clarify that in the email and before the presentation starts. Keep in mind the type of information you are presenting and if you’re comfortable managing chat questions and the Q&A at the same time.

Incorporate engagement strategies.

If your presentation includes vital information for your attendees to remember, consider using engagement strategies to ensure your attendees understand the importance of your presentation. Here are some ideas for audience engagement you can use across meeting platforms.

Try asking questions throughout the presentation and encourage attendees to respond via chat. Ask people to give hand gestures if their cameras are on or respond with specific emojis for questions. For example, you could ask your audience to give the “thumbs up” emoji if they’ve worked with software or a program before your presentation.

You can also incorporate some humor or anecdotes throughout your presentation. This adds a bit of life and breaks up some of the formality of a big presentation. It can put you and your audience at ease as well. You know people are engaged if they smile or laugh in response.

If you’re looking for more ideas on engagement strategies to use throughout your meeting, check our article here on engaging your audience during a presentation.

Design the perfect slide deck.

Your presentation relies on how well your slide deck conveys the information you want to express to your audience. Brand colors, themes, graphics, and applicable information boosts audience interaction and information retention. If you’re short on time or need help creating a slide deck that conveys all the information your audience needs to know, contact me today to get started on making the perfect presentation.

The success of virtual presentations relies on the way you present your information and how you engage your audience. These presentations aren’t without their benefits. Some presenters may feel less anxiety about their presentation! The functionality of these platforms allows for a face-to-face feel. It permits long-distance calls and includes those who are unable to travel. With these tips in your toolbox, your next virtual presentation will be a success.