With collaboration, coordination, and entire business operations going digital, remote presentations have become the go-to format for sharing ideas. Remote presentations can include hosting webinars, e-lectures, virtual trainings, and web-conferences, and these are usually considered to be as effective as live presentations. This is true because as a presenter you can share your content with a teammate, a client, or a stakeholder from anywhere and at anytime.
However, there are a few best practices to remember while hosting a remote presentation.
1. Do prepare with a dry-run and tech trial
One of the most important steps before presenting is to do a trial run and test your meeting software to make sure it’s compatible with your presentation tool. Learn the technical functionalities in and out and ensure the web cam settings and audio clarity are in sync so you can present without any disruptions.
2. Don’t schedule your presentation in the late working hours
Hosting a presentation at the end of the workday will give your audience a not-so-exciting experience, as they are already tired after a long day of tasks and meetings. The best time to schedule a virtual event is in the morning, as it drives maximum engagement. However, consult with your team or your audience on their preferable time slots before sending out an invitation to make sure attendees will be available.
3. Do maintain a calm and engaging body language
With in-person presentation, the presenter can present while standing in front of their audience, which allows for free, natural movement. However, an online session is usually done in a seated position leaning towards the camera, and the audience can see only the upper part of the presenter’s body. Maintain a steady posture while presenting and don’t restrict yourself to a stiff upper body position. Use calm gestures to be engaging (but not distracting) and remember to keep your body language casual while maintaining professionalism.
3. Don’t go lengthy with your session
Keep your content precise and engaging. Many experts suggest that the 10-20-30 rule (10 slides, 20 minutes, and 30 font size) as a good metric for presentations. Try not to exceed 20 minutes or at least be sure to deliver your key information and ideas within this duration as the optimal attention span of most audiences is said to be within this range.
5. Do document or record the presentation
Recording your session will allow people who couldn’t attend to access it at a later time. This would also give the opportunity for the attendees to revisit your material any time in the future. You can also go through the recorded presentation to review your performance and see what to improve for the next session.
6. Don’t go for flashy and complicated visuals
Visuals are an important aid to presenting your content effectively. Choose the right visuals that illustrate your information and make your points memorable. Keep your slides minimalist and engaging to avoid distracting from your topic.
7. Do close unnecessary taskbars and windows
Make sure to close your taskbars and other windows during your presentation. Keeping irrelevant tabs open while switching tabs will distract your audience and can seem unprofessional. Even if you have everything set up in your slides, chances are you may have to share your screen or open new tabs to answer questions or resolve queries during audience interaction session.
8. Don’t present impromptu or unprepared
While the process of preparation might be the same for live and remote sessions, chances are you might have to present on short notice based on the availability of your team. Preparation is the key to answering the questions your audience may have. Take as much time as possible to rehearse delivering your points with use cases and case studies.
9. Do schedule a Q&A or an interactive session at the end of your presentation
Offer Q&A sessions at the end of your presentation. Unlike live presentations, resolving audience questions right away in a remote setup can be a tedious task. Inform your audience at the beginning of the presentation that you’ll end with a Q&A session and ask them to write down all their questions to ask at the end.
10. Don’t forget to reiterate key points
Always end your session with a final note summarizing key points, reiterating your core message, and with a call to action (next steps) stating what you expect your audience to do. Some of the best ways to use the End slide is to give a powerful quote, tell a quick story, or even ask a rhetorical question to leave your audience with a final impactful thought.
11. Do follow up with your audience
Another imperative post-session task is to follow up with your audience for their feedback and suggestions for the next event. This can be sent as a survey link or an email along with a link to the recorded presentation. The feedback from your viewers will help you prepare for your upcoming session.
12. Don’t forget to have fun!
One of the challenges in remote presentation is building rapport with your audience. Thus, it is important to make your session interactive and fun while maintaining professionalism. Work on livening up your tone and approach to keep the experience light and memorable.
Presenting online does offer different challenges than the more traditional in-person format, but with proper preparation and planning, your remote presentation can be just as successful, if not more. These points are some of the best practices to implement for your next virtual event to deliver a memorable session.