How to make virtual presentations engaging
Over the last year, I’ve been delivering more virtual presentations than I dare to count and I’ve learned not only the practicalities of setting up an online presentation effectively but also some invaluable techniques to keep my audience engaged throughout. As virtual meetings and online presentations continue to be the norm, I wanted to share these with you to help you engage your audience whether you’re delivering online or in-person:
The best way to make eye-contact
When you are delivering a presentation online, look directly into your camera. Your audience will see you looking at them directly in the eye – which is the most powerful way to engage with someone. This is a hard habit to master because you’ll naturally want to look at your participants on the screen, but if you have a big online audience your eye contact will be all over the place which can cause people to switch off.
Pace and volume
You won’t be getting as much tangible feedback from your audience when you’re delivering a presentation online as you would do with a room full of people, so it can be tempting to race through your presentation. Your audience will actually need longer to digest information online because they have other distractions around them, so you need to keep the energy high, but the pace steady.
To bring real dynamism to your presentation, try adjusting the volume and pace when you’re delivering your One BIG Message (Watch my One BIG Message video>>). This doesn’t necessarily mean speaking louder, speaking more slowly and softly can help bring emphasis to the important parts of our presentation.
Ideas for audience interaction
Craft your presentation so it has some element of audience interaction such as chats, polls, raised hand features so they feel involved. Use the audience guest list to interact with your participants by name, and invite them to turn on their mics or cameras to ask questions or put into practice what you’re teaching.
They’re more likely to stay engaged if they know you are picking people out in the audience!
Stand rather than sit
If you can, stand up when delivering your presentation as you’ll have more capacity to move and your energy will be higher. However, don’t allow this to compromise the angle of the camera. It needs to be eye level without you have to duck or dive. A stand-up desk works really well for this.
End on a high
Keep your energy high right up until the end. You can use your One Big Message to round things off and give your audience a clear takeaway.
Try to find ways of ‘looping’ your presentation so that your introduction has the same pattern or resonance as the ending. You can do this by really taking your audience on a journey through storytelling and engaging content.
Virtual presentations are sure here to stay, so if you don’t feel confident delivering online as much as you do in-person, I offer Presentation Coaching sessions where I can share techniques that I know have worked for me and my clients in really engaging your audience throughout a virtual presentation.
Book a free 15-minute consultation with me to see how I can help.