How can lawyers and accountants maximise their audience’s engagement when presenting online?

Whenever and however you’re presenting, you know your number one objective is to engage your audience.  This immediately becomes more difficult on Teams, Zoom or Skype so how can lawyers and accountants maximise their audience’s engagement when presenting online?

My first tip would be to always remember presenting virtually is very different to presenting in person!

This means engaging your audience is always going to be harder.  They will probably be a bit more passive.  It’s also likely they’ll be easier to distract with partners, children, animals and deliveries vying for their attention.

So, what practical things can you do to really engage your audience during video meetings?

6 practical tips for lawyers and accountants presenting online

1. Share your content in advance

This not only creates positive anticipation before the event, it also gives participants an opportunity to get familiar/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 you begin.  This will make it more likely that your event goes well.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. Break it up

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

– Direct your question to 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 

Presentation skills training for lawyers and accountants is one of Tenandahalf’s specialisms, if you’d like to discuss how we can help your fee earners deliver more engaging presentations, please get in touch. 

This blog has been taken from one of our special reports – How can you make sure your video presentations have the maximum impact and effect – which you can download for free by clicking the name.

Published by sizetenandahalfboots

Douglas is a director of Size 10½ Boots, a specialist business development agency that works solely with the professional services, helping firms grow by winning more new clients and more work from the clients they already have. Although every project is different our work generally falls into one of three camps - strategic marketing support, BD training and 1on1 coaching and independent client research.

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