Practice and preparation still apply with video-based presentations, but there are added considerations in terms of understanding the technology, having help with interactive features and knowing that things sometimes go wrong, writes Stephanie Scotti. “Use all your resources — voice, facial expressions, posture and gestures — to engage listeners,” Scotti writes.
Recently, I was one-third of the way through delivering a virtual, high-stakes client presentation when my screen went blank — that’s right blank. When I went to grab the document I had been sharing, it was gone.
Stressed, I took a deep breath and asked my client, Barbara, to bring up the duplicate deck sent to her in advance and to please share her screen. She did, and we proceeded. Phew! I was grateful we had a Plan B.The lesson: The question isn’t whether something will go wrong during a virtual presentation. It’s what and when.
Managing the virtual environment is a steep learning curve. Technology is constantly evolving, and it’s hard to keep up with video platforms, cameras, lights, microphones, backgrounds and bandwidth. The following tips will help you prepare to own the virtual room.
Tip No. 1: Practice is the price of proficiency
Practice is vital for all presentations, but with virtual presentations, proficiency has additional dimensions. You’ll want to practice with all the tools you will be using when you deliver your presentation – everything — visuals, lighting, microphone, platform, clicker, collaborative features (e.g., polls, chat, hand-raising). In addition to mastering your content, being proficient with the tech is mission critical.
Be sure to practice even if you have used the platform or tech tools numerous times. If presenting on the client’s platform, request a dry run. Even if you are familiar with the platform, their interface may have varying capabilities or operate differently than what you’re used to.