It’s not your imagination. Zoom or virtual presentations do suck both figuratively and literally. They sap energy and magnify flaws. Presenting online is challenging. What might you do to improve? Understand the challenges, adapt your presentation delivery, and enhance your skills.
The chat encourages people to think. What could be a higher form of engagement than that? The chat offers you as the meeting leader or presenter benefits that you can’t enjoy in a live presentation. You will tend to get a higher percentage of your audience actively contributing because there are those who prefer not to speak up but find it easier to write a short chat. It feels safer to chat then to speak.