If you’ve spoken in public before, you know it’s a nerve-jangling experience. Even seasoned public speakers we’re really impressed with suffer from pre-presentation nerves – though you’d never know it, because they’ve developed their own coping mechanisms over time.
But, guess what? Virtual presentations have got even scarier since our mass exodus online due to lockdown restrictions.
There’s now more for you to think about than stage fright. As if that’s not bad enough, there’s things like the tech, the backdrop, the lighting, internet connection, managing multiple activities (clips, chat, breakout room etc.) to consider. All the aspects that were previously taken care of by venue professionals at in-person events.
According to Dr Carmen Simon, “Audiences forget 90% of the information they’re exposed to after 48 hours”. If we take her findings on board, that means they’ll remember 10% of what you say.
Our presentation skills training courses are tailored to help you fine tune your key messages and, avoiding the common mistakes that make virtual presentations dull and boring to a disengaged audience, such as:
Information overload – too much information, too many slides will mean most people will switch off. Even more so virtually than face to face.
Lack of clarity – No clear conveyance of an end goal you’re trying to convey to your audience. Often because it’s diluted with too many mixed messages.
Too long – Too much quantity relates directly to too much time – something we all have less and less of whilst working from home.
Not visually engaging – Bland and unanimated slides don’t appeal to the senses and, don’t capture and retain interest.
Tips to Make Your Message Memorable
- What’s important to them? (what’s in it for me WIFM). Whatever it is, virtual presentations need to be all about them and not you.
- You should laser focus on that key important message you want to embed in their brains. Everything else should iterate and support your key message. The key is cut down the information to key facts and if necessary, split into more than one presentation. Remember to re-enforce your message throughout and at the end.
- Plan interaction and you will have more chance of them being engaged (think polls, chat, annotate, break out rooms, whiteboard etc), because they are not just being talked at by you. They’ll feel more collaborative – like you’re accompanying them on a journey towards their desired outcome.
- Simplify slides. Keep them all the same format. Make them visually engaging. Where possible include short video clips.
- Stand whilst presenting and keep eye contact with your camera at all times.