November 15, 2022

It’s time to get better at presenting virtually


It’s time to get better at presenting virtually.

Over the last few years, we have been forced to conduct business virtually. And although we have all experienced the online fatigue, we have also realised that there are many benefits to presenting virtually.

It can work if done correctly… and that is a very big if.

The Difficulties of Presenting Virtually

Unfortunately, presenting in a virtual world is much harder. Why is that?

  • It’s difficult to read the room when you can only see a small image of someone’s face. If in fact, they have their video on at all.
  • It’s also harder to form a connection and generate engagement.
  • You are also dealing with significantly more distractions than when you are all in the same room together.

Virtual settings provide enough difficulties as it is but there can be even more concerns that arise when presenting in a hybrid situation. For example, when your audience is located in the same room and you are presenting virtually the previously mentioned challenges are intensified.

Another difficult scenario is when you are presenting to a group of people in the same room, but others are dialling in virtually.

The Negative Consequences

The consequences to not getting this right can be critical. Take for example a situation where you need to pitch to a client. You have been asked to come in and present to the five key stakeholders in person. However, when you arrive at their offices, two of the key stakeholders, including the CEO are dialling in remotely.

If you do not engage and connect with these remote participants as much as you do with the people physically sitting around the table, then it could be the difference between a sale or not.

Even if this situation is applied to your team meetings, how do you ensure that the people dialling in do not feel disconnected, disengaged or ignored?

What to Do

From my experience, there are a few things you can do to minimise this.

Firstly, when asking for questions, comments or feedback make sure you specifically ask the people dialling in. And don’t make this an afterthought when everyone else in the room has spoken. Mix it up and ask for their contribution first.

Secondly, when you are addressing them make sure you look at the camera and not look at them on the screen. This is perhaps one of the hardest disciplines to master, as it is not natural. The normal thing is to look them in the eye which we think we are doing by looking at their face on the screen. Unfortunately, when you are not looking at the camera, you are not looking them in the eye at all.

Finally, get better at telling stories. With all those extra distractions, you need to be able to retain people’s attention. A well told story will do just that.

Invest in your Virtual Technique

Not being able to rise to the challenges of presenting virtually can have some unintended but significant impacts.

It is well worth investing in your techniques for virtual and hybrid presentations. Virtual settings are here to stay and improving your skills will ensure you achieve better outcomes with your presentations.

If getting better at presenting both in person and virtually is important to you, as well as taking your storytelling skills to the next level, then check out my only public workshops for 2022. When you register for one workshop, we are currently offering a 50% discount on the second workshop.

Strategic Storytelling – Wednesday 14th December, 9:30am-1pm AEDT

Powerful Presentations – Thursday 15th December, 9:30am-1pm AEDT