10 tips for virtual presenting

Find out our 10 top tips for virtual presenting below. With more of us now interacting virtually, it's critical we can present, pitch, facilitate and deliver business-critical communications online.

1. Check and rehearse the technology – much more is dependent on the technology. Check all systems thoroughly before use – leave plenty of time for set up on the day.

2. Be methodical and deliberate – everyone is digesting information virtually so they cannot rely on in-person visual, body language and voice cues. Slowing down and being more precise than usual about instructions, process and timing is a pre-requisite for audience understanding.

3. Keep them attentive by varying the way you present frequently – in face-to-face presenting, best practice suggests varying the way you are presenting every five minutes or so. Virtually everyone’s attention span is even shorter. Consider changing the way you are presenting even more frequently and ask them to interact more often than you normally would. Remember people respond best to a variety of presentation modes including stories, videos, flipcharts and white-boarding and demonstrations.

4. Voice is disproportionately important – in virtual land, voice becomes your primary asset and the thing that commands the most attention. It is more important than ever to modulate your voice, slowing down and pausing for emphasis and clarity.

5. Do not overload them with information – face-to-face, most people can remember only 3-7 items of information in under 40 minutes. It’s even less virtually. Do not cram too much information into a presentation. Think about creating meaning and memories for them rather than swamping them with detail. Get them to do even more than you would face-to-face.

6. If you’re using breakout ‘rooms’ – make sure everyone is back before moving on – you need to frequently check that everyone is literally ‘with the programme.’ There is nothing that guarantees an attendee checking out more than them being left behind.

7. Consider having ‘location ambassadors’ to ensure local participation – having senior executives take responsibility in each location helps everything run more smoothly and greatly facilitates any breakouts or chat rooms you may want to use. Physical guidance in location is a crowd pleaser.

8. Ask people by name if you want them to participate – building some personal touches into virtual presenting should be a key aim. People will respond much more quickly and more actively if they are called by name.

9. Check-in frequently with your audience to ensure things are working for them – in virtual land, process takes precedence over content. People need to be clear on what you want to happen next, how much time you are allotting and when you want them to move on.

10. Use high speed WIFI – nothing defeats a session more than power drop-outs and buffering. Invest in high speed WIFI.

Madano supports clients design and deliver communications virtually to their stakeholders, whether it's customers or staff, as well as offering advice and support in making clients' own virtual pitches and presentations far more effective. For more information, contact Mark Dailey.