How Do I Wow a Virtual Audience?

With more and more professionals working from home, you may find that you are called upon to give a presentation remotely. Virtual presentations are a great opportunity to reach a wider audience, but they also pose new challenges you may not typically consider with an in-person presentation. Check out our tips to make sure your presentation makes an impact no matter how its delivered.

Pace Yourself

If you tend to speak quickly, you need to be extra careful to maintain a relaxed, even rate when presenting virtually. Many people find it more difficult to focus on virtual content, and may need more time to absorb your message. In addition, reduced visual cues and variable audio quality can make your speech more difficult to understand. When practicing your presentation, focus on using frequent pauses and speaking at a slow, but natural rate.

Don’t Read

When presenting virtually, it can be tempting to read directly from your notes. Don’t fall into this trap! Reading your notes verbatim will make you sound robotic and decrease the impact of your spoken message. In addition, looking down and away from the camera can alienate your audience and make them feel disconnected. If you really need a written prompt, you can post notes around the edge of your computer screen to remind you of your main talking points and the general flow of your presentation.

Don’t Neglect the Q&A

Decide in advance how you want to handle questions during your remote presentation. Do you want to have an open Q&A session at the end of the presentation? If so, do you want audience members to speak up freely, physically raise their hands, or use a technical feature (such as Zoom’s hand-raising feature)? Another option is to have participants submit questions during the text-based chat feature throughout the presentation, and then choose from those submitted at the end of the presentation.

Whichever method you use, be sure to clearly communicate your preference to the audience at the outset so everyone is on the same page.

Related: 4 Ways to Project Confidence and Credibility in Virtual Communication