The lockdown forced many organizations and individuals to explore other options of communication as face to face was limited and business had to go on. It increased our reliance on video conferencing applications such as Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams et.c
These options has shown more economic advantages to companies with employees in different parts of the world. It has also increase diversity in teams. We absolutely cannot do without web and video conferencing today. As a manager, how do you maximize the benefits of this platform and reduce the disadvantages for a presentation?
For a virtual presentation, the speaker must ensure that the audience members understand the technical know how of the software selected. Depending on the audience type, present the different software options available and ask them to make a final pick. In cases where this option cannot be explored and the audience are not familiar with the software, a technical support should be offered to them before the scheduled day.
For a smooth run, selecting people to function as panelists will be great and help avoid disruptions during the presentation. The support team can assist the audience with log in information in advance and make sure that they connect to the event. They also sort out issues in the chat, questions and answer box.
Advantages of a virtual presentation
• Audience size
On a virtual meeting, hundreds of people can log in. Everybody can log into the virtual conference room at the same time and participate.
• Distance and Time
Virtual presentation puts the idea of distance behind us. Because it is web based, technology can reach all over the globe and make time difference less significant.
Virtual presentation are more cost effective compared to face to face presentation. It saves travel cost for teams with members around the globe. It also saves the cost of refreshments.
The range of features on the video conferencing softwares include the white board, online pools, chat box, questions and answer boxes. These tools when used correctly increases participation among the audience.
When preparing and delivering your presentation online, remember that it is more difficult to capture and maintain the audience attention as you cannot see them in some cases. Also, do not interpret silence as affirmation. You can also practice the following:
• Let your audience know how much time you intend to spend on that presentation. This can convince them to dedicate that time to you. You should in return keep the information on your slides to the essentials only.
• Build in interactivity. Take advantage of the available features on software. Conduct online polls mid presentation. Encourage them to drop their comments and questions in the chat box and answer them when the presentation is over.
• Divide the presentation into small chunks. Moving through the small chunks in a presentation creates a sense of progress. This keeps the audience focused.
• Design simple to understand slides and eye catching visuals. Use charts to represent information in situations where it applies. Graphs in bright colors will attract and hold attention better than tables with rows of numbers.
In conclusion, always remember to do a sound check to ensure that your audience can hear you and never interpret their silence as attention.