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.
What sucks about virtual presentation?
The Presenter’s Experience
Delivering a virtual presentation, whether on Zoom, Teams or any other platform is tough for the presenter because it’s like speaking on TV. There’s no audience to provide you with instant feedback. You can’t hear them laugh at your jokes or see them react to your profound insights.
The camera sucks the energy out of the presenter. When you’re speaking in a room or on a stage, you get energy from the audience. In a Zoom presentation, you’re putting out energy and receiving nothing back. It sucks the energy from you as the speaker.
Imagine the audience as one person. See one person as your audience. Ideally, talk to a few of them before your presentation so you’ve made the connection.
Engage the audience during the presentation and ask for feedback. You might encourage feedback verbally, chat, polling, or a thumbs up. That tells you that they’re still with you and their response returns energy to you.
The Audience Experience
Watching the speaker on camera can be deflating. The camera sucks energy from the presentation. The audience is removed as an uninvolved observer – not a participant. The difference is watching a live play or watching a poorly made movie. Which is more engaging and energizing? Imagine attending a live concert of your favourite band versus watching the news feed the next day.
It sucks the energy from the performance for the audience.
As the presenter, speak to your audience as individuals. Don’t refer to them as “everybody” “anybody” or “you guys”. Instead use the word “you” during the presentation. That feels more personal.
Engage the audience throughout the presentation with frequent changes in your delivery. Use questions to engage them and involve them in the presentation. Pose and answer rhetorical questions to convey the feeling of a conversation.
Weak Presentation Skills are Magnified in a Virtual Presentation
If you’re a weak presenter, that weakness is magnified in a Zoom presentation. Attention spans are shorter when online. If your opening was uninviting and confusing, you’ve lost their interest. If your delivering is unengaging and boring – you’ve lost them. If you stumble, confuse and appear anxious – you’ve lost them.
Rehearse your presentation so you’ve got the content and delivery feeling good. Work with the technology so you are comfortable with the logistics.
Familiarize yourself with the delivery platform and leverage the engagement tools.
Enhance your presentation skills by building on the fundamentals.
Be prepared for things to go wrong. Have backup options and an assistant who can help you recover.
Yes, you can deliver a virtual presentation that is engaging, effective and enjoyable. It requires more awareness about the medium, better preparedness and attention to details.
What’s your experience and lessons learned from delivering or attend virtual presentations?
Why do Zoom presentations suck and what to do about that?
George Torok can help your team learn how to deliver engaging and effective virtual presentations.
You can arrange for group training or individual private coaching.
Poor presentation creates stress, wastes time and loses money. George Torok, President of Superior Presentations, helps presenters deliver the intended message for greater success. You can arrange for individual coaching or team training – online or onsite.
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