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What You Need to Know When Hosting a Virtual Presentation? Do’s and Don’ts

  • April 28, 2020


The new normal is disrupting everyone’s comfort zones. You may now have to transition from physical to virtual presentations. Even if you are a consummate professional when addressing a group of people in person, you may find it difficult to deliver the same experience using an online interface.

Whether it’s delivering a webinar or closing a deal on a virtual conference call with clients, getting your point across in a digital setting is still possible if you follow these presentation tips.

10 Do’s for Virtual Presentations

A great presentation is comparable to a form of art. It follows a narrative structure that guides the audience with information, illustration, and an overarching, cohesive message. The session intends to help attendees form an opinion, learn new information, or just consider your position.

These rules still apply to virtual presentations, but with changes in setting and delivery, you’ll want to make sure you don’t distract from the intended message. Here are ten presentation tips to help you prepare for your next online session.

1. Ensure Your Audience Can Hear You

Before starting any online presentation, double-check your audio. Echoes and background noises will distract your audience and disrupt your flow. Make sure you silence your phone and mute the notifications on your computer, as the microphone will pick up these sounds. To make sure everyone can hear you properly, you can call a friend on the same platform and test your set up before you start.

2. Frame the Audience’s View

You’ll probably be using your computer’s webcam, so take some time to frame the view if the audience will see you. Make sure the area you’re presenting from is tidy and private. If your dog is tearing up a newspaper behind you, the audience will probably remember that more than the message you intended to bring across.

3. Dress Professionally

Dress the same way as though you would if you were delivering the presentation in person (at least from the waist up). It’s better to put on the full outfit, as you never know what may happen during the session. Maintaining an air of professionalism is essential to maintain the tone and effectively communicate the gravitas of a situation or idea.

4. Be Prepared

Just like any other presentation, you’ll want to be adequately prepared. If you are using slides, make sure they don’t have too much text and that they inform the flow of the presentation while not dictating the experience. Speak slowly and clearly to ensure your attendees can follow the message you’re trying to bring across.


5. Keep Engaging with the Audience

Presentations aren’t lectures. You’ll want your audience to engage as much as possible. Stop and give them time to assimilate, process, and request more information as required. For some situations, you may want to pause questions until the end to avoid inconveniencing other attendees. Decide how you want to handle audience questions and tell your attendees at the beginning how they can engage with you during the session.

6. Make the Session Available on Demand

Recording the session will allow people who couldn’t attend to access it after you’re done. It could also increase the reach by giving attendees a way to share the presentation with other colleagues or contacts. Recording yourself allows you to review your performance and tweak your approach for next time.

7. Test Your Internet Connection

Always make sure your internet connection is working the way you expect. If you share your connection with the rest of the family, you may want to ask them to disconnect devices for the duration of the virtual presentation.

8. Keep it Short and Sweet

Online presentations should be short, informative, and collaborative. Unlike a conference call, you’ll want to focus on only the essential information and keep everyone engaged with the content you present.

9. Use Animations and Attention Grabbers

Use animations and other media to set the tone of the meeting. If it’s a Friday afternoon check-in, keep the tone light and friendly. Try to enhance your slides for digital presentations instead of switching back and forth between you and the presentation.

10. Have Fun

A personal touch still goes a long way in virtual presentations. Use your flair and identity to highlight the idea or concept. Using a personable approach will help the audience engage with the content.

What to Avoid During Online Sessions

When giving an online presentation, there are things you need to avoid doing that will hamper the experience. The quality of your slides, research, and delivery is vital for a successful online presentation, but some events or elements could distract your audience. Here are the top five things to avoid.

Speeding Up Your Pace

When speaking, take your time. Talk in a conversational tone while keeping a steady pace. You don’t want attendees to be interrupting you asking you to repeat yourself constantly.

Not Clearing Your Taskbar

Even if you think you have everything set up perfectly, you never know when something could go wrong, and you’ll have to show your desktop during the presentation to resolve an issue. Close all unnecessary tabs and applications. It’s the first thing attendees will look for when you minimize your slides.

Logging-In Unprepared

You need to prepare in the same way you would as if you were giving the presentation in person. Rehearse and test yourself before you start. Make sure that you remain a consummate professional at all times.

Pausing for Time

You should only engage when prompted by an attendee. If you want to stop and focus on a specific point, add a slide to ask the question. Try not to stop in the middle of a sentence and ask the audience what they think or if they have any questions regularly.

Don’t Forget to Have Fun

ou must remember to have fun while you give a virtual presentation. Using customizable backgrounds can lighten the mood and increase engagement. It is important to be personable while maintaining professionalism.