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Mastering Virtual Presentations

By Susan Hall

Can your clients see you clearly in virtual meetings? Do you have a plan for your presentation? Have you practiced? In this video, Susan Hall shares three best practices to make your virtual presentations more effective.

Susan Hall: 00:01 Hi, I'm Susan Hall, Vice President of Performance Improvement with Strategic Enhancement Group.

Susan Hall 00:14 In our work with sales teams, we're often asked, "Now that so many of our client meetings are virtual, how do I make my virtual presentation compelling and engaging?" We're now several years into this new world of work, where many of us are working virtually and we've had the chance to work with many clients to help them master virtual presentations. We've all made incredible progress. Yet, there are still three common problem areas that we see when it comes to presenting virtually. First, is your virtual office set up working for you or against you? It still surprises me how many virtual meetings we experience where the lighting isn't good or the audio's not clear. Do you have a good camera? And when you want to connect with your audience, are you looking at the camera? This will ensure eye contact or at least as much eye contact as we can have through a computer.

Susan Hall: 01:02 How's your lighting? My desk sits right beside a large window, which is great, but the lighting on the window side is harsh on that side and dark on the other side. So adding a fill light or ring light will help to even out the contrast, you might even consider a light filtering shade. Experiment with your lighting before you get onto calls with your clients. Are your monitors set up for the way you'd like to use them. This is really important. So think about the types of meetings you've been in over the last few years and how you use your technology. Do you want to see your audience's faces while you are showing your slides, or you might want to see your presenter notes? You may want to consider multiple monitors so that you can keep your audience's faces, slideshow and presenter notes all organized and at your fingertips.

Susan Hall: 02:02 Talk with your IT department or Google YouTube videos on different setups and experiment with friends and colleagues, first of course, anytime you try something new so that you're comfortable and confident during your client meetings. Second, as with any presentation, intentionally plan how you will engage your audience. Share your screen if you have slides or a file to present, but remember to stop sharing and bring it back to the grid or "Brady Bunch" view for your discussions. Don't keep it in PowerPoint mode too long, this disconnects you from your audience. Also, engage your customer every five minutes with questions, ask them to put something in the chat. You could do a poll that elicits some good discussion, maybe even have them write on the whiteboard. And third, this is probably most important, prepare and practice. We are all running from back to back virtual meetings these days, and we've become much more casual.

Susan Hall: 03:02 Because of this, we often have less time between meetings and it can be tempting to cut down on the prep and wing it a bit. But this is not the time to slack off on prep. All of the good presentation skills you use for your in person meetings are even more critical when you present virtually. Why? Well, because our attention spans are shorter. Our clients need us to be on point and prepped. We have less time to relate and build rapport, but it's just as important. So in summary, set your virtual office up for success for how you use your presentations, engage your audience by keeping it in "Brady Bunch" mode when you can and involving them at least every five minutes, and prepare and practice above all. With these three practices in mind, you'll be prepped and ready to facilitate a compelling and engaging virtual presentation.

Published: September 7, 2022

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MEET THE AUTHOR

Susan Hall

Vice President - Business Development & Performance Improvement

Susan brings over 20 years of experience working with global markets and organizations, helping them navigate through tough economic challenges while maintaining their margins. Since joining SEG in 1995, she has had the privilege of working with organizations that truly value the development of their employees and recognize the impact their people have on their bottom line results. Susan graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a double major in business management and speech communication. She has also completed course work toward her master's degree at Johns Hopkins University.

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