Presentation tips for Zoom to overcome gloom  

So you thought you were comfortable with your presentation style… and then Zoom happened.  

We’ve found our clients have come to the rather uncomfortable realisation that advanced presentation skills are required when presenting online. Technology such as Zoom can be exceptionally daunting!  So here are some helpful tips to help you get over the worst issues and find your feet in a new virtual reality.

Zoom Bombing: Presenting online securely.

Firstly, let us speak to the paranoia over security settings around Zoom.  A major reason many presenters are so terrified of this platform is hearing horror stories about Zoom meetings being sabotaged by unwelcome or badly behaved guests. These fears are unfounded for two reasons. Firstly if you configure your security settings correctly when setting up you can use numerous options to lock down who can join your meeting and how.  Secondly it is important to understand that as ‘host’ you can easily mute or remove an attendee. These issues have more to do with user competence than Zoom itself.  Preparation is key! Play around with your security settings. Make sure you understand the implications of each and take ownership to know your tech.

The difference between face-to-face presentations and a Zoom Presentation.

There is truly nothing worse than speaking into a void where you cannot see your meeting participants’ faces. Perhaps you feel like Nietzsche gazing into the abyss as your audience appears as nothing more than a series of black boxes with names. In fact, you may find yourself doubting if you are even still online as you articulate each perfectly enunciated phrase, wondering how you are being received, or are you being received at all? Fear not, help is at hand!

Firstly, do everything in your power to prep audiences to use their cameras.  It is far more energising and helpful to be able to observe your audience as you engage with them. Do what you can to set the expectations for the session. Inform your audience that webcams will be required, unless they are experiencing bandwidth problems or perhaps do not have them. 

Now should your audience still be camera shy, there is still no excuse to not engage.  In fact, it is imperative that you do.   Even I have been guilty of leaving an online presentation to go make a snack and respond to some emails whilst the presentation plays in the background.   

Holding your Audiences Attention Online.

Your challenge is to captivate your audience’s attention. Keep checking in by creating opportunities for engagement so that you can temperature check the Zoom Room, ensure that you are being well received and create a far more interesting experience for everyone!

Make use of non verbal signals, create reasons for your audience to engage and use them. Ask questions to large groups using Zoom polls.  Collaborate and ask audience members to complete documents or add input using ‘annotate’.  Request that people answer questions and create a little healthy expectations so that those who are tempted to multitask rather refocus their attention on you. Make full use of all Zoom functionality. If you have the right forum, you can create breakaway rooms for smaller discussions to raise the energy of the audience. Create experiences where your audience can participate, discuss and integrate the material you are imparting.

Do slides work in an online Zoom presentation?

Sharing your slides for the duration of your presentation, no matter how beautiful they may be, is essentially leaving your audience with the experience of a voice-over narration.  If you’re getting requests for ‘the recording of the session’, then the odds are your audience has lost focus and are already heading for the kitchen to make themselves some lunch.

Nothing interests us more than human beings, and your Zoom presentation isn’t actually about your slides, it’s all about you!  Rather use less slides when presenting online, stop and start your screenshare to let your audience see you and engage with you.

If you thought presenting online wasn’t about making use of your presentation toolkit, think again! Welcome to the new normal. We have to face the reality that online engagements are here to stay, and the work of capturing attention is more important than ever. Still not sure about presenting online? Contact us to discuss us online presentation training skills. 

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