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How to present with impact on the virtual platform

Virtual presentations are an exciting yet potentially terrifying experience every person has likely encountered these days. Even if you are not presenting, just speaking personally in front of the virtual group can cause anxiety. Take it from the Comedian Jerry Seinfeld: “According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death … This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.”

We cannot deny the fact that anxiety can adversely affect your delivery and presentation. No matter how great and meaningful your content is, if you sound hesitant, speak unclearly, and lose confidence during the presentation, your audience may have difficulty grasping your message. As research says, how you say something matters twice as much as what you say!

Presenting (or even speaking) on the virtual platform is more than just clicking a link. 

Mastering the Art of Presentation on Virtual Platforms

While presentation anxiety and “zoom fatigue” are familiar to many, they shouldn’t hinder you from improving and building your presentation and communication skills. Instead, it would be best if you mastered the art of presentation on virtual platforms. No matter what field you are in, whether it is about virtual sales presentation, virtual pitching of an idea to a committee, or a concept to a potential funder, your skills to speak and communicate in the most engaging, clear, and confident manner plays a vital role. 

Prepare yourself for a successful virtual presentation with these ten tips below.

  1. Experiment with the virtual platform in advance. A successful virtual presentation would require a reliable virtual platform to ensure a smooth discussion. Hence, test the technical setup in advance. Test and troubleshoot any possible issues such as screen sharing and audio quality, to avoid any downtime possible. Be sure your audio and lighting present you in the best possible manner. 
  1. Deliver strong but keep it simple and clear. Ensure to have a confident pace, smile, take a deep breath, and maintain a relaxed pace. In a virtual presentation, many factors can make your audience easily get distracted. Thus, it is vital to use a dynamic voice to highlight the essential points and keep everyone engaged. Carefully using the strategic pause will make all the difference in highlighting the most important parts of your presentation. 
  1. Own your space. When communicating virtually, it is still crucial to maintain a relaxed, confident, and in-control gesture so the audience will not be distracted as you present. Center yourself in the middle ⅓ of the screen and make sure to have a clean and professional background, or choose a virtual background. 
  1. Connect with your audience. While it may be challenging to create eye contact with a virtual presentation, look into the camera to “make eye contact,” and maximize video conference chat tools to keep engaged. It allows the audience to speak and share while not disrupting your discussion. Many online platforms also offer other interactive options such as break-out rooms, polls, and Q&A boxes. 
  1. Tone matters. Your vocal quality is one of the factors that can either deliver a positive or negative presentation. It is especially crucial during the presentation on a virtual platform. Because non-verbal cues are greatly diminished on the virtual platform it drives you to communicate and engage more carefully with your audience. Ensure to use the right and proper tone according to your message so that the listener can absorb its true meaning and value.
  1. Be engaging. Always keep your audience engaged and share the spotlight of the presentation. Include interactive elements to allow your audience to have a direct verbal response, showing you are not just speaking at your audience but also engaging. 
  1. Don’t read. Reading your notes during a virtual presentation means you will not be making eye contact and may lose your audience’s interest. Try to make regular eye contact by looking at the camera while speaking, do your best to avoid looking down, as your audience may feel you are disconnected. It may help to only have bullet points and practice how you want to share your message in the mirror prior to the presentation. For even better practice, present to your partner, children, or even pets. 
  1. Let your audience know why your message matters. While it is challenging to keep your audience attentive in a virtual presentation, clear communication about why your message matters can help them be engaged. Let them understand the benefits upfront and what’s in it for them if they keep attentive and engaged with your presentation. 
  1. Don’t neglect the Q&A. Decide and discuss in advance how you’d like to handle questions from your audience during your presentation. You may allow them to speak verbally and directly, ask them to chat their questions on the chat tool, or use a different technical feature on a virtual platform. By doing this, your audience will have time to prepare their questions or themselves to ask you their inquiries.
  1. Close strong! Conclude with a quote or a point that represents the one primary takeaway you want the audience to remember. Practicing your closing can also help you focus on your delivery, leading to a more confident virtual presentation closing.

Indeed, your ability to present with an impact during your virtual presentation plays a significant role in your professional development. Continue to enhance your speaking style by seeking out continuous education by way of individual training, group training, and even online courses. In no time, you’ll be successful in not just what you say but how you say it

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