With more people becoming comfortable with working online and with the cutbacks happening in businesses, being able to present online effectively has become a prerequisite. But how can you ensure your message is received and that you hold the attention of your participants throughout the presentation? Here are six steps to presenting online effectively.
1. Test your gear
You need to make sure that the equipment you use is adequate for your online presentation. If you can, ensure you use a wired connection to the internet. If that is not possible then make sure you are connected via a WIFI connection. When you are doing your presentation, ensure that only essential applications and websites are open. Some websites can slow down your connection and cause interruptions when all of a sudden a video starts playing in the background. You should also make sure no automatic downloads happen while you are presenting.
Next, familiarise yourself with the video-conferencing platform you will use. Use a headset while presenting as this will make sure your sound comes through clearly and can help to lower any background noise which may be occurring around you. Another option is to use a standalone microphone. Organise a run-through of your presentation with your colleagues or family to test out your equipment and to ensure you can use the platform and equipment smoothly throughout your presentation.
2. Design your slides
When creating slides ensure that they are simple and easy to interpret. You should use images that convey your message well. Next limit your words. You don’t want your audience to be distracted by reading a lot of information on a slide, therefore it is important to only have the key points on the slides. You could send the audience a handout before or after the presentation if there is a lot of detail that you don’t want your audience to miss out on. Remember you are not sure what the screen size is that your audience is viewing your presentation on so it needs to be clear on a phone screen and a computer screen. Ensure your text is positioned in the middle of the screen.
When presenting points in a presentation, you could consider using icons for bullet points rather than bullets. You should also use colours that grab the attention of your clients but are also easy on their eyes. This also includes the font you use in your presentations. Here are some examples of good online presentations. You can use Pixabay to find images to use on your presentation and Canva to help you to design it.
3. Prepare your interactions
With the average attention span of a person being about five minutes, it is crucial to introduce an interaction every four to five minutes. These interactions could be a question you ask them to answer in the chat pod, or you could ask them to work together on a whiteboard where everyone interacts. Another great way to get interaction in your presentation is to do a poll. By involving your participants throughout the presentation, you will be able to hold their attention.
4. Make time for questions
You need to clearly state at the start of your presentation how you will deal with questions. You can offer to attend to questions as they pop up or you can offer to attend to them at the end of the presentation. By offering to attend to the questions at the end of the presentation you may encourage participants to attend the full presentation.
5. Use your time wisely
You need to begin and end your presentation on time. This will show that you respect your audience. Give your audience 4-5 minutes to enter the presentation and then begin. If you choose to record the presentation let the audience be advised so that they can switch off their cameras if they don’t want to be recorded. This will also allow those who have arrived late to watch the start of the presentation at a later date.
6. Begin well
You need to start your presentation well. Your audience will judge the rest of your presentation on how you start it. Show them at the start of the presentation that it will be worth their time to stick around. Start with a good statistic or a quote. You need to also put a face to the voice either by activating your video or ensure there is a photo of yourself at the start of your presentation.
By following these six steps, you will be presenting like a superstar in no time.
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