Find Your Digital Presentation Prowess

Communicating Effectively Through The Interweb

Mar 17, 2020

People often assume presenting online might be totally static, procuring scenes from OfficeSpace or —œDeath By PowerPoint— memes. (Raise your hand if you've wandered off to raid the fridge during a WFH conference call—¦) 

But there are a variety of ways to efficiently navigate digital presentations, engage your audience, and keep that human-to-human magic alive. 

Here are some tips, resourced via Steve and the Rancheros.

PROs to presenting online

Your audience is already at their desks. You can send supplemental information beforehand or invitations to follow-up and expect they'll be seen a lot quicker. Keep that communication loop open and a-flowin'! 

You get to glance at your notes easier. Prop your notepad up beside your computer to reference easily as you go along. This is a total hack that would be harder to pull off walking around a stage or standing at a podium. 

Continuing conference/client relationships 

Amid this time of rapid cancellations, it really sucks if your dinner plans and side-meetings are no longer happening as well. Send the folks you were planning to see a gift or card in lieu of those meals together to help win some favor and make for more comfortable teleconferences in the future.

At-home obstacles

Don't let your desk be an inhibition. If you can, stand up—”even if your video thumbnail isn't visible to your audience. Just like if you were presenting in person, standing up will help align your energy for commanding your space.

Play the part. Get ready and get dressed like it's an in-person presentation. Lindsay specifically says she does her hair and makeup as normal and wears something that will make her feel confident. —œI want that professionalism to translate to the small screen.—

Get used to presenting to an unreadable audience. In person, you can feel the energy in the room and feed off of it. A digital presentation means you may not even have a tiny Zoom thumbnail to gauge how your slides are being received. If you're presenting to other stakeholders with their cameras off and microphone muted, know that they can give you feedback at the end. 

If you do have tiny Zoom thumbnails, Lindsay says she makes a point to check-in on micro expressions. If time allows, make space throughout your presentation to take questions as you go along and make sure everyone's on the same page.

Not being able to see or hear your audience comes with it's own bag of uncomfortable challenges—”get some practice in (maybe with a pet?!) before your big moment.

Testing, testing—¦tech tips.

Practice like you play. Get in the same space you plan on presenting from. How are the acoustics in the space and how does your microphone sound? Are there enough plugs in a useful place? Can you hard-wire into your internet? (Check out Steve's handy —œThe $70 that made my home office work.—)

Turn your camera on beforehand and make sure your pile of dirty laundry isn't in the video frame. Find your lighting, adjust your angles. It may sound vain, but ensuring your space is both professional and comfortable will boost your confidence and help you feel ready to rock.

In conclusion, don't be thrown by doing things digitally! 

You can still communicate your message and leave an impression—”all from the comfort of your home, and the Gallery View of Zoom.

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