Whenever and however you’re presenting, you know your number one objective is to engage your audience. Presenting via video is even more difficult so how do you engage your audience during video meetings on Zoom, Teams or Skype?
Firstly, if you think presenting virtually is the same as in person or easier you are getting it wrong!
Getting your audience engaged is always going to be harder. Your audience is likely to be more passive. They’ll have more potential distractions from partners, children, animals and Amazon deliveries.
So, what practical things can you do to really engage your audience during video meetings?
1. Share your content in advance
This not only creates positive anticipation before the event, it also enables participants to get comfortable with material. This means they are more likely to ask and answer questions on the day.
2. Warm people up
Use the 5 minutes between dialing in and starting your talk to warm your audience up. Be confident, make everyone feel comfortable and focus on building rapport. If you can find a connection with different audience members before you start, they’ll be on your side before your begin and your event is more likely to go well.
3. Appoint (and manage) a chairperson
A good chairperson will set the tone by introducing you warmly and enthusiastically. They’ll also add structure by managing the Q&A professionally, sparing everyone the unedifying spectacle of you sitting silently squinting at your screen.
3. Set expectations
Know exactly how you want to manage your conference meeting or webinar. This is more than sharing agenda items, it means succinctly explaining what you’ll cover, how you’ll cover it and how you’d like to handle questions.
4. Break it up you
The best sessions are interactive. Practice asking questions and, just as importantly, the art of gently coaxing people to answer these questions. Here are a few tips that will make this easier:
– If there are a few empty seconds silence after you’ve asked your question, resist the temptation to fill the silence
– Ask your question part of your audience, not to the whole room. This avoids embarrassing an individual whilst focusing on a specific group of participants. It will also reduce the likelihood of certain people talking over one another
– Ask for an answer from a specific office, practice or department
We provide highly specialist presentation skills courses for lawyers, accountants, patent and trade mark attorneys, barristers and architects that now covers presenting virtually as well as in person. If you’d like to find out more, please email us today.