For the past four months the world has been virtually at a stand-still due to COVID-19. Many employees adapted to working from home, and that included learning how to hold meetings virtually. As many companies across the country start phase one of returning to the office, employees are still holding meetings and giving presentations virtually. Below are three pointers on how to knock a virtual presentation out of the park.
If you’re giving a presentation in-person, you make sure to dress in your best professional attire. It’s key when giving a presentation virtually that you do the same. While more people are working from home and dressing for a casual environment, you want to show your clients, colleagues, and other professionals that you’re taking the presentation seriously, even if you are only part of the audience. How you present yourself starts with your outward appearance, and if you dress professionally your audience is more likely to listen and engage with your message.
Since many people are still working from home, there are all kinds of backgrounds behind each person such as kitchen tables, pets, beds, and couches. However, it’s important when presenting virtually to have a simple background like a wall to cut down on distractions. A simple background will help keep your audience’s attention on what you’re saying and not what is behind you. In addition, it’s also important to make sure you have proper lighting. You want to make sure you don’t have too much back lighting where you wash yourself out, but you want to make sure you have the right amount of light so people can see your face. Always be sure to test out your camera settings prior to the start of meeting in case any modifications need to be made.
You’ll notice when you’re on a virtual call, many people will look at their own picture on the screen rather than looking into the camera to make eye contact. This is normal; however, this too can be distracting during a presentation. One way to avoid this when giving a presentation is to pull up your presentation notes or to minimize the video conferencing platform and keep a blank screen up so you don’t see your own video.
While virtually presentations might not be as nerve wracking as in-person presentations, it’s still essential to treat both presentations the same. Make sure to limit distractions, be confident, and smile.