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Ever found yourself being frustrated by audio glitches or screen sharing issues during your presentations, causing frustration for both you and your audience? We’ve all been there, haven’t we? Besides the technical issues, this article covers the four common issues that presenters in the virtual world typically struggle with and gives solution how to start to address them.
We all know how confusing and exhausting following online presentations can be, and how quickly one can get distracted, lose attention, and focus on something else. And this often leads to the message and the impact of a presentation being lost.
Let’s dive in and uncover the secrets to delivering presentations that captivate, engage, and leave a lasting impact. Ready to join me on this journey of improvement? #PresentationSkills #ProfessionalDevelopment #LearningJourney
Many people face problems with audio, video, or screen sharing during presentations, disrupting the flow and causing frustration for both the presenter and the audience. Failing to prepare and minimize the impact of technical issues leads to a less confident and professional delivery. Similar to real-world scenarios, a poorly prepared delivery diminishes a presenter’s credibility, message, and potentially their offer or business.
The first area for improvement is practicing the selection of the right window or app to share and adjusting audio and video settings. When sharing a PowerPoint presentation (PPT), ensure that the initial landing slides is shared in presenter mode, not the browser or in the presentation’s edit mode.
Individuals presenting solely from their laptop screens may find this challenging as windows overlap other apps, making it difficult to find the right menu. Therefore, when aiming for professional online presentations, a second screen – one for showing and sharing your screen and one for managing the online meeting – becomes indispensable.
In an attempt to cover everything in a limited time, presenters often create slides with excessive text or complex visuals, making them more suitable as self-study or report material. With an overload of information, changing fonts, poor-quality images, or irrelevant animations, presentations appear visually crammed and overwhelming. This makes it exhausting for the audience as they are torn between listening to the presenter or reading the slides.
The second aspect to address is reducing the information on the slides. Presentation slides are better thought of as a sequence to support for the audience and for the presenter when following the spoken content. The audience’s focus should be on a presenter’s message, not reading the slides.
A good rule of thumb is to reduce the amount of text and increase the size of the characters until it makes the slides easily readable on a picture or a video on a mobile device.
In many presentations, there are segments that are best delivered as one piece, be it in a physical or virtual setting. This doesn’t mean the entire presentation must be an uninterrupted monologue; scheduled times for questions or discussions can be communicated beforehand. Despite this, many presenters see a dynamic side discussion in an online chat during the presentation as engagement, not realizing its potential to be distracting from the message for both the audience and themselves, resulting in significant time loss.
The third consideration is what the audience needs to know, comprehend, execute, and conclude to prompt a change in their actions. Whether sharing information, facilitating a decision, presenting reasons for change, or highlighting the benefits of a purchase, presenters must acknowledge the gap between the audience’s current state and their desired future state and the purpose of the presentation is to bridge that gap.
Often overlooked is the fact that the audience needs time to process this gap. Providing support during the presentation to help to internalize the message’s impact is essential. Consequently, this transforms a presentation into a guided and interactive process, incorporating information, rhetorical questions, reflections, questions, and answers, aiming to meet the audience where they are and guide them through a mental journey.
Respecting the audience and their needs extends beyond managing presentation time. A rushed presentation overloaded with information is a common problem, not only with online presentations. The dynamics of a presentation and the audience’s perception are influenced by the presenter’s position, posture, and presence. Many show masters, newscasters, training moderators, and presenters stand while delivering their message.
The fourth adjustment during an online presentation is to stand up, step back from the desk, and deliver the message standing while looking into the camera, as if being in the room with the audience. Those with a rising desk can increase their height to stand and maintain eye level with the screen and camera, significantly enhancing the presenter’s presence.
However, peer pressure, habits, and self-awareness often limit presenters, leaders, salespeople, managers, and business professionals from breaking out of their comfort zones, resulting in decreased engagement, enthusiasm, and support for ideas, leading to postponed decisions.
To avoid these mistakes, virtual presenters can seek regular feedback from a coach and incorporating lessons learned in prioritizing technical preparedness, creating visually appealing and digestible slides, planning to engage the audience, and carefully managing the dynamics during online presentations.
This will contribute to a professional online presentation where the people are more focused and engaged, and the message is easily understood and supported.