One of the questions we are asked a lot is how do you make a good presentation great? If I was being terse I’d say there is actually only one way to make a good presentation great …
… Engage your audience!
The importance of engaging your audience is the same whether you are presenting virtually or in person.
How do you engage your audience when giving a presentation virtually? Well, it’s harder, that’s for sure. When you are presenting virtually you will be faced with a number of very different challenges:
Some may turn their video off
Some may be distracted by emails
It’s harder for you to read your audience’s body language
Children, animals and partners might be a distraction
Some may be suffering from a bit of ‘zoom fatigue’
Some may have poor audio or a poor broadband connection
And of course, your ability to establish an emotional connection will be diminished because you’re not there physically.
So, what will you need to do to make a good presentation great?
Here are the 3 things that will help:
Know your audience
Know your content
Know what you want to happen after your presentation
Knowing your audience’s needs, existing knowledge and preferred style of communication will make it easier to engage them.
For example, if you are pitching to accountants, use numbers to tell your story. If you’re presenting to lawyers use previous cases to illustrate your points. A pitch to architects should be highly visual but a presentation to engineers could utilise models and props to show them how things work.
The likelihood of our audience buying into your ideas or taking action after your presentation or webinar will hinge on how confident they are in you. Perhaps even more than how much they buy into your idea. This means that you have to appear confident.
Preparing thoroughly so you know your content inside out is the only way you will come over as genuinely confident.
Too many presentations just stop. However, if you want something to happen after your presentation you need to tell your audience exactly what you want them to do something immediately after you stop.
Here are 3 things you could encourage people to do after your talk to keep the conversation moving:
1. Say “I have a [fact sheet/ additional material/template/report] I can send you that supplements what we’ve covered today. If you’d like this, please email me later.’”
2. Say “I am going to be staying on at the conference and will be in [wherever you plan to be!] for the rest of the event. Please come and see me if you have any questions.”
3. Say “On [date and time here] I will be running a free video surgery. If you would like to book a slot, please email me and we can find a convenient time to meet.”