Do you struggle with leading meetings? You’re not alone. Public speaking is hard for many professionals. It can be stressful to feel like you have to grab the attention of your audience right away or get your team to respond enthusiastically about what you’re going to present. Now with COVID-19, there are additional challenges. With most business meetings being held virtually, distractions and multitasking in the background are more common than ever. And it looks like Zoom meetings are here to stay.
So, given these new circumstances, you may be wondering how you can give a meaningful virtual presentation… Here you go! We have compiled a list of tips to help you work remotely.
Keep it concise. With people working from home, even with the best of intentions, they won’t be as tuned in as they would be in the office. So instead of a long and drawn-out presentation with an introduction and a conclusion, consider keeping things concise and to the point. What is the main objective of your meeting? Do you want to encourage or provide guidance? Do you need to go over new details of a project? Write down the message you want to convey and try to keep your main points to two or three items. Make sure to repeat the main points of your meeting at the end so that listeners will come away with the most important ideas.
Create a PowerPoint. It can be helpful for your virtual listeners to not only hear but also see the message you want to convey in your meeting. Some professionals learn better visually, so providing a visual aid is a great way to keep them engaged. You don’t have to make a complicated presentation, just emphasize the main ideas of your meeting and consider visual aids, such as pictures or diagrams to provide another dimension to your meeting.
Consider recording your speech in advance. If you have an unstable internet connection or you are concerned that your children might be streaming Netflix on all of their devices during your meeting, that could cause the live audio to drop in and out. To avoid this problem, consider recording yourself and then playing the recording! This will allow for more stable audio and you can also make sure that you are coming across in the right way. If you don’t think this idea is feasible for your situation, consider calling into the virtual meeting room on your landline or cell phone to avoid any audio issues.
Dress for the occasion. To increase your confidence, dress as though you were giving your presentation in person. This speaks to your professionalism and will help everyone to feel as though they are in a “real” meeting. Of course, dress codes will vary by industry, but choose something appropriate to your industry that also looks good on camera. Keep in mind that your viewers will only see a portrait picture of you on their screen. You can do it! Dress and behave confidently and we promise, you can make it happen.
Choose a neutral background. If you have too many things going on in the background, this will only distract your listeners who are already struggling to pay attention. Try to choose a wall that is mostly neutral. Some background decoration can be appropriate, but don’t overdo it.