Over the last 18 months, virtual events have become an important solution to connecting people, and virtual events have many benefits. They provide an opportunity to extend events beyond geographical borders and time zones, as well as often create time and cost efficiencies. Yet there are also some challenges, including ‘zoom fatigue’ and the lack of a shared experience and central gathering point that in-person events provide.
While virtual events won’t entirely replace the human connection that in-person events offer, it is likely that a combination of both in-person and virtual will characterise the future of events. At McCrindle, we have conducted a number of virtual events (see our three tips for hosting a great virtual event here) and regularly deliver virtual presentations, so here are our top five tips for delivering a strong virtual presentation.
1. Visualise your audience
A big difference between in-person events and virtual is the lack of people! As a virtual presenter, remind yourself that there is an audience on the other side of the screen, so that you remember that you aren’t speaking to a computer screen but actual human beings!
2. Be mindful of length
Getting cut through and maintaining the attention of your virtual audience is harder than it is in-person, because there is no social obligation for attendees to sit and listen to you – for all you know they could be hanging up the washing or making lunch while you present. Therefore, be mindful of the length of your presentation, and as a general rule – the shorter the better when it is a virtual event or presentation.
3. Don’t look at yourself
This is a tricky one, and if you’ve ever been on a Zoom call you will know how hard it is to keep your eyes off yourself! Look into the camera as much as you can when presenting. The difference is notable when you look into the camera, and it helps to engage your audience and make them feel as though they are ‘in the room with you.’
4. Give an extra 10% of your energy
When delivering a presentation in front of people, we naturally ‘perform’ and give more energy. When speaking to a screen, this energy is often, understandably, removed. Therefore, give a bit more energy as you present at your next virtual event.
5. Work hard!
In a world of information overload and message saturation, any speaker or communicator needs to work hard to maintain the attention of their audience. Therefore, remember to work hard and put the effort in to make your virtual presentation as engaging as it can be.