Three Tips to Wow a Virtual Audience When Presenting Remotely

Over the past few weeks, Zoom and Skype have become household names as more and more professionals are working from home and connecting with their colleagues and clients online. If presentations are a part of your professional routine, 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 below to make sure your presentation makes an impact no matter how its delivered:

Keep Your Eyes on the Camera

When presenting virtually, it may feel natural to look at the faces of your audience—after all, a good presenter is supposed to make eye contact with their listener, right? The problem is, in a virtual presentation, “eye contact” is achieved by looking directly into your camera, not at your audience. Looking at the faces on your screen or at your presentation itself will make your gaze look unnatural and will make you appear disconnected from your audience. When practicing your presentation, practice glancing at your slide to know what you’re going to say, and then immediately shifting your gaze to the camera to deliver your message.

Clarity Matters More Than Ever

Clear speech is always essential to projecting confidence and professionalism. However, it takes on a new level of importance during remote presentations. Since your audience won’t be seeing your face directly, visual speech cues are reduced, which means your listener is relying more heavily on the sound of your voice to interpret your message. In addition, microphones on your computer or headset vary in quality and can reduce the clarity of your speech. Slow down, enunciate each sound of each word, and pay particular attention to the consonants at the ends of words to make sure your audience doesn’t miss a thing.

Keep Your Message Simple and Clear

Remote presentations aren’t just a challenge for the speaker—being a remote audience has its challenges too! Watching a presentation remotely can make it more difficult for some people to fully concentrate. If people are participating from their homes, they may also be subject to additional distractions like pets or family. Try to distill your presentation down to its most essential points. Communicate your core message to your audience multiple times, using slightly varied language each time to avoid monotony.

Follow the three classic steps of a strong presentation: Tell your audience what you’re going to say, say it, then tell them what you said.

Related: 3 Strategies to Develop Executive Presence