The transition to remote work during the pandemic changed the business landscape forever. Teams went from connective and collaborative in-person meetings to virtual ones practically overnight. As many companies remained flexible to appease workers, streaming presentations have become the norm.
The real challenge is delivering creative, engaging presentations through a screen, whether to teams or clientele. Ultimately, presenters must acquire new skills to get their messages across. Let's explore how virtual communications are replacing in-person meetings and uncover ways to enhance presentations to captivate remote audiences.
"Schedule a Zoom meeting" was a common phrase during the pandemic. Video conferencing platforms like Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams and Cisco WebEx became popular gathering places for teams to link up during lockdowns.
With recent technology developments, virtual communications continue taking over the digital age. Experts say 75% of business meetingswill be held virtually by 2024. Yet, despite the rapid transition to online sessions, some users have complained about technical difficulties, the lack of culture and distracting backgrounds. Others feel self-conscious about their appearance on camera.
Video conferencing is here to stay, and managers and workers must adapt. Fortunately, virtual meetings have advantages, such as reserving more time for important projects, saving money on travel and bringing remote and office workers together.
Workers would prefer doing anything else than listening to a presenter drone on about strategies, processes and numbers. The key to streaming presentations more excitingly comes down to storytelling, visual components and participation, among others. Here are six approaches for enhanced virtual presentations.
Coming unprepared is one of the worst things a presenter can do when streaming presentations.
Before you jump into your video conference, outline the presentation from start to finish. It is also essential to jot down at least three speaking points for each section. Outlines create structure, keep you on track and allow attendees to follow along more easily.
Your notes should include facts, figures, stories and questions you want to share with your audience. Are you fielding questions afterward? Start thinking about what they'll ask and how you'll answer.
One of the more aggravating aspects of video conferencing is technical glitches. You must have a strong internet connection for the highest-qualityaudio and visuals.
Always ensure your equipment — at a minimum, a laptop, camera and microphone — works correctly before streaming presentations. If you intend to open a PowerPoint or Google Docs file, practice doing so using the video conferencing platform.
The more equipment challenges you eliminate from the start, the better your chances for a seamless virtual experience. Technical difficulties will interfere with your presentation as much as they will your audience's attention.
Uploading a different background to your video stream will reduce distractions in whatever environment you're streaming from. Attendees will be less focused on the room the presentation is in and concentrate more on the materials.
If you do not intend to use a background image, declutter your surroundings as much as possible. It is best to put away personal photos and accessories, especially potentially offensive objects.
You must also ensure minimal background noise so you come in loud and clear. Close yourself off in a quiet room or ask others around you to quiet their voices while you present. A noise-canceling microphone can reduce ambient sounds around you.
You can enhance the delivery of your virtual presentation using various meeting features. Often, video conferencing platforms have built-in tools to improve meetings and remote experiences.
For example, Google Meet enables access to conferences through Google Calendar, allows you to share screens with your audience and delivers a chat for audience discourse during meetings. It is an adequate meeting platform for under 25 people.
For larger teams, presenters should utilize Zoom. This channel can host 100 participants at onceusing the free version. It also authorizes calendar access, group and private chats and screen sharing.
Other video conferencing applications record the presentation for you and deliver unique interactive tools. For example, ClickMeeting is ideal for webinars and allows screen sharing, whiteboards, surveys, chat boxes and document collaboration.
Charts, graphs, images and videos will keep eyes drawn to your presentation. Depending on the information you are delivering, visual aids can further drive your points home and help workers understand specific trends.
Traditionally, in-office meetings relied heavily on PowerPoint presentations. You should utilize the same technology in the virtual space. However, you are encouraged to include more animations and imagery than text on each slide.
Other visual aids include sharing your screen with audiences to deliver website and program demonstrations, separating people into smaller groups in "breakout rooms," and sharing documents.
Understandably, audio presentations or listening to one person speak on camera doesn't make the most exciting presentation. If you want to enhance your presentation delivery, have remote teams participate.
Virtual meeting fatigue isn't a matter of stress and overwhelm after all. According to a recent study from Aalto University in Finland, less mental stimulation and boredom is the real causeof drowsiness and reduced engagement.
You have the tools to make meetings more interactive, so use them. Encourage attendees to discuss the presentation topic in the chat, field questions and give them activities to do as a team or individually. Short quizzes and games will also facilitate their involvement.
Captivate your audience with compelling storytelling — this could be a personal experience, case studies or relevant headlines. For instance, a story could lead to discussing solutions to a similar problem or induce positive change or action.
A good story always includes a beginning, middle and end. It should also play on people's senses or emotions. Metaphors and anecdotes help create a visual in users' minds.
To immerse attendees in the presentation, ask them to share their own stories and experiences related to the topic. Opening the floor for participants to speak fosters community and learning among remote teams.
A little creativity and attention to detail improves virtual communications tenfold. To deliver a stellar presentation remotely, one must ensure audiences are engaged in the materials and the speaker. Eliminate glitches, enhance your setting and include interactive opportunities for a motivating and exciting seminar.