- Awards Season
- Big Stories
- Pop Culture
- Video Games
How to Share Your Screen on Zoom in Just a Few Simple Steps
Sharing your screen on Zoom is an essential part of any virtual meeting. Whether you’re presenting a PowerPoint, demonstrating a product, or collaborating with your team, it’s important to know how to share your screen quickly and easily. Here’s how to do it in just a few simple steps.
Step 1: Select the Share Screen Button
The first step is to select the “Share Screen” button at the bottom of your Zoom window. This will open up a pop-up window that will allow you to select which screen or application you want to share. You can also choose whether you want to share audio or video from the same window.
Step 2: Choose What You Want to Share
Once you’ve selected the “Share Screen” button, you can choose what you want to share with your audience. You can choose from your entire desktop, a specific application window, or even just a portion of your screen. Once you’ve made your selection, click “Share” and your screen will be shared with everyone in the meeting.
Step 3: Adjust Your Settings
Once you’ve shared your screen, you can adjust the settings for how it is displayed. You can choose whether or not others can annotate on your shared screen and if they can control it. You can also choose whether or not others can see when you move your mouse around the screen and if they can hear any audio coming from it.
Sharing your screen on Zoom is an easy way to present information and collaborate with others during virtual meetings. By following these three simple steps, you can quickly and easily share your screen with everyone in the meeting in just a few minutes.
This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.
MORE FROM ASK.COM
How To Ace Your Virtual Presentation: Our Top 10 Tips
Table of contents, what is a virtual presentation.
A virtual presentation is a demonstration, lecture, informational session or speech meant to inform, persuade, motivate, build goodwill , or present a new concept through a digital medium such as a web video conferencing software where the host, presenter and attendees are convening remotely.
Virtual presentations have gained popularity over the last decade due to the advancement of video web conferencing software such as Zoom and Google Meets as well as the convenience virtual presentations have afforded us. Virtual presentations have also helped break down challenges experienced in different fields of work and study.
How Are Virtual Presentations Different From Regular Presentations?
On the surface, it might seem that the only difference between a virtual, online presentation and an in-person presentation is the method in which it is delivered.
In reality, however, the two require different approaches to keep viewers engaged in the presentation. Here are two major differences between virtual and regular, in-person presentations you should consider when deciding if your next meeting should be held online or in-person:
Audience Members – Is The Audience Engaged?
Participants viewing a virtual presentation are far more easily distracted than a typical meeting participant would be when viewing the content in the same room as the presenter. With in-office presentations, participants are typically in the conference room, which is a controlled environment with fewer distractions competing for attention, making it easier to pay attention to what the speaker is saying.
Self-surveillance is also less prominent in a virtual meeting rather than in a physical meeting. When you’re in a room with other individuals, you subconsciously start to self-regulate your behaviour thinking others are watching you. For example, you will not find yourself looking at your phone and you will maintain eye contact with the speaker.
With virtual presentations, on the other hand, the attendee has the ability to turn off their video and microphone allowing them to easily switch their attention to other distractions like their phone or carry on side conversation without anyone else ever knowing.
Scalability & Flexibility
Unlike an in-person presentation where the host, presenter and attendees are physically present at a singular location in the real world, virtual presentations allow for greater scalability which is not bound by the physical environment they are held in.
An in-person meeting would have you bound to the limitations of the room or venue space and the flexibility of other people to attend the presentation at a singular location. On the other hand, a virtual presentation allows you to present to more people at the same time, aided by group video conferencing services, which allows for hundreds of participants per meeting. With a virtual presentation, you are not restricted to the physical capacity of a venue space or the challenge of traveling distances for people.
Either virtual or in person you need a visual presentation that captures the attention of your audience before you tell your story.
Here's One We Did For SalesForce
When the most dynamic CRM sales tool in the industry reaches out for help, we couldn’t resist joining forces. We worked with their team to develop a concept that aligned with their branding and allowed their “Sales Force” to share their value proposition with potential customers in an engaging way.
Why Are Virtual Presentations Important?
Virtual presentations are important because they help break down barriers when it comes to bridging time zones, connecting remote regions and keeping one another safe as we have recently seen with COVID-19.
Remote teams working in space or up north in remote regions are able to share their research and findings far more quickly and easily by being able to connect with other researchers around the world and discuss in real-time. Although it may seem like this could have been done with phone calls, fax machines or even videos, virtual presentations allow for a consolidated, streamlined process that allows for spur-of-the-moment conversations with multiple people in a live presentation format.
As globalization continues to impact our everyday lives, virtual presentations are another way we are connecting with one another around the world. With remote work on the rise , learning about virtual presentations and the nuances that come with them is an important skill to know as more companies, government agencies and cultures adopt virtual presentations and communication.
How Do You Create A Virtual Presentation?
With any other project you decide to take on, to make it excellent, knowing where to start and setting up a good foundation is key to its success. The same applies to virtual presentations. If you don’t have a solid plan in place or create a solid foundation on which to build your presentation upon, your presentation won’t be as successful as it could be.
We’ve put together our top four virtual presentation tips to bring your virtual presentation to life.
1) Start with your content
First, you need to start with your content and understand what message you want to share with your audience. You need to fully understand the topic and content at hand so you’re confident in your delivery.
Start by asking yourself some questions.
- What are the key takeaways you want everyone to leave with?
- What is the purpose of sharing this content?
- Is this content relevant?
- What questions might the audience have and do I know the answer to those questions
It might help to create a story around your topic with a beginning, middle and end to help guide you and your audience through the content.
2) Think about your slides
You want your slides to be engaging. Without engaging slides, you’ll lose the interest of your audience. Remember to keep slides colorful. Use an image or a graphic to help tell the story of the slide. Don’t go overboard though. Keep it simple and follow a 1:1 ratio. One image per slide.
3) Focus on your audience
Throughout your career, you’ll be presenting material to different audiences. Not every audience is the same. For younger audiences, you’ll want to use more visuals and use more vocal energy to keep the audience’s attention. For an older demographic, you might want to keep things more succinct, to the point and talk at a slower pace. It’s one thing to know the content and create a great presentation but it’s useless if you’re not sympathetic to how your audience gathers information.
4) Be dynamic
Keep the attention of your audience by being dynamic and not static. If you’re able to present with a webcam, then do so. Take advantage of as many tools and features as the video web conferencing software you decide to use will allow. For example, some software allows you to have the audience interact with your screen and slides. Depending on the content you’re delivering, you can even have the attendees break out into smaller groups. This will keep the presentation lively, unique and encourage audience participation. Ultimately, you want to keep it fun.
Get inspired with slide ideas from our portfolio
Our Top 10 Best Virtual Presentation Tips
Before you deliver your next virtual presentation , be sure to review these ten tips to help you prepare.
1) Proper Webcam & Lighting
First, check your webcam and lighting. Before you present, turn on your webcam and make sure you’re visible. Even if you think you have sufficient lighting, it’s always best to double-check as some webcams aren’t calibrated correctly. If you’re using a ring light, it may appear like a harsh, blue light is being used. Use this time to also check your microphone and audio source. You’ll be able to check the sound quality and ensure the audio pick-up levels are correct.
2) Familiarize Yourself With The Technology
If you’re not used to presenting virtually or you’re using new software, try practicing your delivery with the technology you’ll be using. If you run into any technical issues, you’ll be able to resolve them beforehand.
3) Check Internet Connection
This is absolutely critical . A virtual meeting or presentation is only possible with an internet connection. If you don’t have a proper internet connection, you won’t have a presentation. It’s also a good idea to practice presenting with all the technology you’ll be using as more software usage requires more internet bandwidth. If you plan on presenting with your webcam on, test your internet connection with your webcam on so you have an accurate measurement.
4) Talk To The Camera
When you’re delivering your message, make sure you keep eye contact with the camera . This will allow the audience who is watching your presentation to feel more connected and engaged. If you’re simply reading from a screen, it makes the presentation feel inauthentic, unpolished and it makes it seem like you’re not confident in the content you’re presenting.
5) Present As You Would In-Person
If you have the ability to stand up while presenting, you should . Standing is beneficial because it allows your airways to be fully open. While you’re sitting, your core is typically tight and you might find yourself hunched over. This will restrict your diaphragm from moving to its fullest potential. If you stand, you’ll have a much clearer voice when speaking.
6) Use Body Language
Keep your presentation dynamic. Your body is a communication tool. Use hand motions to emphasize key points. Use facial expressions to deliver emotion . The combination of body language with your words will help connect the audience to your message on a much deeper level.
7) Engage Your Audience Members
Keep your audience engaged and allow them to participate. Some ways you can keep your audience engaged is by using polling software to ask the audience questions. You can host a Q&A at the end of your meeting , or you can have them play games like Kahoot! to win prizes.
8) Have A Moderator
Having a moderator helps you stay focused. A moderator can help monitor the chat and gauge audience engagement. If you’re conducting a Q&A session, depending on the software you use, a moderator can help filter questions that might be inappropriate. They will screen questions before they are made public to the rest of your audience.
9) Use Evaluation Tools & Learn
This is a tip not many presenters take advantage of that will help you stand out amongst the rest and will make your next presentation even better. At the end of your presentation, consider sending out a poll. Ask for feedback from your audience to see how well you did . You might want to ask their opinion on the visuals, see what information they retained or see how you presented as a whole. If done correctly, for your next virtual presentation, you’ll know if you need to slow down if you’re a fast talker or if you need to add more visuals.
10) Be Yourself
The most important tip of them all is to be yourself . When you’re yourself, you’ll have fun. Presenting and everything will appear natural.
Are You In Need Of A Custom Presentation? We Can Help
Now it’s about you! Are you in need of a fresh, engaging presentation that captures your audiences attention? Whether you need a clean up, a re-design or a completely custom build we have you covered. You can find our presentation packages and pricing options here . Want to speak to a geek, click the button below.
FREE PROFESSIONAL RESOURCES DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX.
Subscribe for free tips, resources, templates, ideas and more from our professional team of presentation designers.
Whether you are giving a research talk, lecturing, or giving a workshop, virtual presentations present a new set of challenges, from interacting with an audience that you can’t always see to managing teleconferencing technology. You can keep your audience oriented by presenting a talk with a clear structure . Make sure to practice in this new environment and prepare your technological set-up . Finally, create a plan for engaging your audience .
If you haven’t yet, check out our Slide Presentation article.
Criteria for Success
A successful virtual presentation…
- Has a clear purpose that is tailored to the type of audience.
- Sets expectations at the beginning of the presentation about what you will talk about and what kind of feedback you want from your audience.
- Only includes visual and verbal information that supports the major point of each slide and the overall objective of the presentation.
- Is extremely well-rehearsed, as the energy of your presentation will come from how you deliver key points.
- Uses the available technology to engage the audience.
Identify Your Purpose
How you design and deliver any presentation, virtual or in person, depends on the goal you want your presentation to achieve. However, in a virtual environment with more distractions and less audience feedback, identifying the purpose of your presentation is even more important. This goal will help you decide what you need to emphasize and what you can drop to make sure your message rises above the digital noise.
For this article, we divide presentations into three general categories:
- Purpose: Share work that you have accomplished with a wider audience. You want others to be informed about the progress on and benefits of your research without necessarily teaching them how to perform the work themselves.
- Purpose: Help your audience learn and practice skills or tools that they can apply outside of the workshop, but don’t expect mastery. They can further explore the content later.
- Purpose: Teach students new skills; help them master the material.
Below, we share both general strategies and specific recommendations for the three categories, to help you tailor your talk for success no matter how far away you are.
Analyze your audience
To make sure your presentation is effective, you need to know not only what you want your audience to take away, but also who they are and how they will perceive your work. For any talk, it’s important to remember that your audience can vary widely in their expertise and goals , but virtual presentations create additional challenges for the audience’s experience.
If you keep these audience challenges in mind, you will be able to choose design and delivery strategies that will help your message shine through.
Design your slides to support the overall message of your presentation
Design principles are similar to those for an in-person presentation , but since the audience may be distracted, it’s more important than ever to have a structured, clear, and focused presentation.
In these figures, we illustrate best practices for slide design:
- Clear presentation structure, declared at the beginning in an overview slide.
- Consistent visual format among slides.
- Simple text and figures.
- Each slide introduces one new point, which is stated by the slide title.
Practice is even more important for virtual presentations
In-person presentations allow you to use non-verbal communication to gauge audience understanding, help emphasize key points, and convey energy. In virtual presentations, you and the audience are deprived of these physical cues, and the success of your presentation is often dependent on the quality of your voiceover and your mastery of virtual tools. Therefore, it is critical to practice, practice, practice — with friends, lab mates, family, and, of course, Comm Lab Fellows.
Technological set-up can greatly improve the audience experience
Even if you nail the oral delivery of your presentation, to have a successful presentation, you must mitigate distractions introduced by your technological set-up. A bad internet connection, unmuted audience member, or low-quality audio can make it difficult for the audience to stay focused. The below tips will help you give your audience the IMAX experience (or as close as you can get with virtual meeting platforms):
Make a plan for engaging the audience
If the audience knows where your presentation is going and what their role will be, they are more likely to stick around for the ride. Be upfront with your audience about what you will talk about, what kind of feedback you are seeking, and when you would like to receive that feedback. Engage your audience throughout the presentation, whether that be walking through problems step-by-step or telling a cohesive story to talk about your research.
12 virtual presentation tips to get your audience’s attention
Delivering an effective virtual presentation is no easy task.
Whether it’s for pitching to potential clients or discussing project goals with your team, you’ll have to compete for your audience’s attention and ensure your message gets through.
In this article, we’ll cover the top 12 virtual presentation tips and best practices for your next virtual meeting. We’ll also look at some of the key benefits of virtual presentations.
This article contains:
(Click on the links below to jump to a specific section)
- Research your Audience Well in Advance
- Be Vigilant with Technical Checks
- Embrace the Use of Technology and Visual Aid Tools
- Start with an Agenda in Mind
- Reduce and Eliminate Distractions
- Stick to Short, Punchy Sentences
- Interact with your Audience
- Pace Yourself and Plan for Delays
- Incorporate Back-Up Systems
- Allot some time for Q&A Sessions
- Know When to Stop
- Reach Out for Feedback and Reflect
- 3 Useful Benefits of Virtual Presentations
12 practical tips for your next virtual presentation
Virtual presentations can be intimidating for someone just starting out with them.
But don’t worry.
Here are some practical tips and best practices to ace your next virtual presentation.
1. Research your audience well in advance
With virtual presentations, you need to do a little more research than you’d usually do. It’s best to know your audience and their expectations from the presentation.
For a webinar or similar events, you can create a registration page or an electronic submission form a week in advance.
Collect general information about who’s attending the event; ask questions about what they expect to gain from the meeting, or if they have any pressing questions.
If you’re giving an office presentation, you can set an agenda for the concepts you’ll be covering. For example, think about what your keynote will be.
Seek input from team members about your presentation structure and prioritize the action items that need to be addressed. If possible, send your meeting agenda in advance and have your managers/seniors glance through the key points.
2. Be vigilant with technical checks
You cannot control an unexpected power-cut or internet connectivity issue no matter how much you prepare. So, your best bet is to be super precise with technical checks.
Here are some things you should consider:
- Is your camera working? Can the audience see you clearly?
- Do you have a proper mic and speaker installed?
- Are you well-versed with the tools you’ll be using? For example, can you switch between google slides or enable screen sharing?
These are some questions you should ponder over.
Most importantly, make sure you have solutions for any last-minute technical glitches. Prepare to have a backup or appoint someone who can handle the IT.
3. Embrace the use of technology and visual aid tools
The entire concept of a virtual presentation is based on the premise of technology. So naturally, you want to make good use of as many tools as possible.
You can use Canva, Microsoft Powerpoint, Google slides, etc., to create an interactive presentation .
You can also integrate your virtual meeting software with various tools for better audience engagement during the presentation. For example:
- Tools like Zoom , WebinarNinja, etc, let you conduct virtual polls and quizzes during video conferencing.
- You can also use a tool like Poll Everywhere to create word clouds in real-time.
- Online game tools like Kahoot are great for creating group quizzes.
- Zoom or ClickMeeting can be useful as a whiteboard tool .
Another advantage of being well-equipped with the right tools is having better control over your audience. Virtual presenter tools can help with audience engagement. You can also monitor any distractions and eliminate them.
For example, virtual presenters can mute an audience member due to disturbances or pin an important comment for everyone to see.
4. Start with an agenda in mind
In virtual meetings, if you do not start out with an agenda in mind, you’re setting yourself up for distractions.
A good rule of thumb is to prepare a chronological list of things to be achieved during the presentation. What’s the most important concept you need to cover? Take notes, and make sure that all your other points transition back to your main concept and flow with the structure.
Next, try to simplify your data points. Use visual imagery, gifs, videos, or animations to attract attention to the key points.
Define the outcomes of your presentation, and set a time limit for each goal. For example, if the schedule has four points in total, don’t spend more than 30 minutes on each.
5. Reduce and eliminate distractions
A remote audience is always multitasking between work, so there are bound to be some distractions.
You can brief your audience about these best practices to minimize distractions:
- Everyone stays on mute while the presenter is speaking.
- Instead of directly interrupting the host, people can ‘raise’ their hand on the virtual platform if they wish to speak.
- Request your audience members to limit any distraction on their end. This could be due to background noise, kids, pets, social media, or another family member.
Apart from this, make sure that you run technical checks and prepare for any possible problems. For example, close down all unnecessary tabs if you’ll be using screen sharing features.
On your part, your chats will probably be filled with queries, doubts, or suggestions while you’re interacting with the audience. Instead of getting side-tracked by these chats, it’s a good idea to let a colleague or co-host moderate them for you.
6. Stick to short, punchy sentences
When explaining concepts to a remote audience, you should always stick to shorter, more humorous sentences. That’s because most audiences often tune out after 10 minutes .
Especially in a remote work environment, you have to capture and re-capture your audience’s attention while talking. Shorter sentences are easier to understand. But if it’s your first time being a virtual presenter, you can try these tips:
- Maintain eye contact with the audience (through the webcam).
- Use appropriate hand gestures , facial expressions, and body language.
- If possible, the person presenting should stand up. Set up your webcam accordingly.
- Ensure that your lighting is bright and lively. Make use of natural light for a better virtual background.
Moreover, keep your content prompt and precise. Avoid repetition of points, and do not over-evaluate any concepts. Ideally, do not speak for more than 10 minutes without some form of audience engagement (a story, quiz, or question).
7. Interact with your audience
According to a 2019 Duarte survey , over 68% of people believe that an engaging virtual presentation is more memorable than traditional one-way presentations.
That’s because virtual users have a very limited attention span. It’s fairly easy for them to get distracted, especially if they have to sit through a presentation without any form of interaction.
Interacting with the audience also makes you more ‘human’ in their eyes; you become more relatable. You can also plan your interaction activities in advance.
For example, you can host a quiz or poll or use a whiteboard session every 10 minutes to encourage virtual participation. You can also encourage the use of breakout rooms for audience discussions.
8. Pace yourself and plan for delays
There are little to no social cues to rely on from your audience in a virtual environment. You’ll need to practice and maintain a good pace to not speed through your presentation.
Ideally, rehearse with someone virtually. Take notes of any delay in response you may experience or points that come across as confusing to the attendees.
A remote audience often takes more time to respond. This could be due to technical issues, network delays, or unfamiliarity with the tool. But on your part, you can pace yourself according to your audience.
For example, you’ll need to incorporate longer pauses after questions or slow down your talking speed for better clarity. These changes can be observed during your practice run so that you’re better prepared for your live presentation.
9. Incorporate back-up systems
It’s important to plan for a worst-case scenario while presenting virtually, i.e., if you lose access to the meeting or content. In this case, it’s handy to share your presentation material with a co-host or a moderator.
If you’re giving a video presentation, your co-host can have access rights to the meeting if you accidentally go offline. They can interact with the audience or present the video slides while you go back online.
It’s also a good idea to be well-versed with your content. If you ever face a delay or glitch in your tools, you can always continue presenting the points with the help of a whiteboard.
10. Allot some time for Q&A sessions
When conducting a virtual presentation, it’s good to allot a specific time slot for all the doubts and queries. You can do this before or during the event.
In addition to having your own set of potential questions, inform your audience that you’ll be solving all the queries towards the end of the session.
This serves two purposes:
- Your attendees can pay full attention to the presentation, knowing that their doubts will be cleared towards the end.
- You do not get distracted by stopping and answering questions after every concept.
A Q&A platform like Tribe or BoostHQ can be useful for noting down everyone’s questions. Participants can even ask anonymous questions. This way, all your queries are stored in a single database, and you can run a more organized, distraction-free Q&A session.
11. Know when to stop
Knowing when and how to close a presentation is one of the most important virtual presentation skills you could pick up.
In a virtual event, you are bound to get distracted or carried away, so much so that you may lose track of your points. In that case, you should be precise with how much time you spend on each topic and when you should stop.
Towards the end of the presentation, it’s more productive to be brief and to-the-point and conclude with an informative synopsis. You should properly summarize the conference proceedings, highlight key points, and create a lasting impression on your virtual audience.
Here’s how you can do that:
- Prepare a clear and concise closing statement.
- Include a summary of your main agenda.
- Include a call to action.
- Include a powerful quote/message.
12. Reach out for feedback and reflect
When you’re done with your presentation, a great practice is to reach out to the participants or attendees for any feedback.
If you’re presenting to your office colleagues, you can ask for feedback on your talk. Note down how you can improve, including your content, speech, engagement, or presentation structure.
You can also provide post-presentation support. This could include:
- Extra materials/data to support the topic you covered.
- A brief recap or summary of your presentation.
- Recordings of the online presentation.
- A link to a survey to note the material you could cover in the next presentations, ways you could improve, etc.
Now, let’s take a look at some of the advantages of virtual presentations.
3 useful benefits of virtual presentations
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual presentations have been the norm for most organizations and companies. They’re more accessible and can accommodate a larger audience.
Here’s how you can benefit from an effective virtual presentation.
1. Higher inclusivity
Virtual presentations offer more room for individuals to collaborate and learn.
In a traditional presentation, most of the audience is limited by their geographical location. Only people who can access the location, and manage the time, can attend.
In contrast, a virtual presentation has no bounds.
People from all over the world can join in at the same time. It’s also highly accessible for people who otherwise wouldn’t attend physically due to health, childcare, or disabilities.
2. More flexibility
Virtual presenters often offer recordings of the event for those who can’t attend. Moreover, you can also choose to keep your camera off while still attending.
This makes it easier to participate in meetings. You also save more time by hosting shorter, more effective presentations.
3. More economical
When you’re virtually connecting with an audience, you use fewer resources than regular presentations. Organizers incur fewer electricity/venue costs, while participants have no travel costs at all.
Virtual presentations also lower the company’s carbon footprint by lowering the number of unnecessary travel trips. They’re a great way to practice sustainable business practices.
Virtual meetings and webinars often test your public speaking and presentation skills.
You need to plan your presentation design and slide structure, manage distractions, and effectively deliver the content to the audience. You can also make good use of online presentation software to engage your audience better.
Use the tips and tools we covered here to understand how you can deliver effective virtual presentations today.
Liam Martin is a co-founder of Time Doctor which is software to improve productivity and help keep track and know what your team is working on, even when working from home.
Hiring flexible staff: Everything you need to know
Top 15 ground rules for your team’s virtual meetings, related posts, navigating the new normal: how executives envision the workplace in 2026, creating a strong remote work culture within your organization: tips and tools, hybrid work strategies: new rules for the future of work, 9 best idle time tracking software for remote/hybrid teams, should you consider productivity analytics for a hybrid team, the ultimate guide to fostering a thriving culture in your distributed team.
- Quarterly Business Review
- Employee Onboarding
- Product Training
- Virtual Team Trivia
- Team Happy Hour
- Virtual Holiday Party
A Deep Dive Into Virtual Presentations
Head of Product at Gloww
- Published on November 1, 2023
Virtual presentations are becoming increasingly common. With more businesses now embracing remote work, they’re an unavoidable adaptation that is essential for onboarding , employee development , and more. However, it’s not as straightforward as transplanting in-person presentation scripts into the virtual world. If you want to host virtual presentations that strike the right note, you need to think carefully about readying your material for online audiences.
What is a virtual presentation? How can you keep online audiences engaged? These are the questions you should be asking yourself if you want to make effective use of the virtual format.
How Are Virtual Presentations Different From Regular Presentations?
While the ultimate goal of virtual presentations is the same as in-person presentations, there are a lot of differences between the two formats . For starters, there’s generally less performance involved. When delivering an in-person presentation, a lot of focus is placed on keeping an audience engaged . A good presenter needs to be comfortable with public speaking and a master when it comes to body language.
When presenting online, there’s far less pressure when it comes to performance. This is despite the fact that a presenter may be broadcasting to dozens, if not hundreds of people. An effective virtual presentation is generally more informal and relaxed.
However, there are some downsides to delivering a presentation online. One of the biggest issues that presenters face is that they’ll have to contend with more distractions than if they were presenting to an in-person audience. These same distractions are what can render a standard conference call a challenge, and presenters often have to work extra hard to maintain audience engagement.
What’s more, while the usual presentation skills aren’t always necessary, different proficiencies come into play. Body language doesn’t read as well when presenting online, but a speaker will still need to project a message virtually. Tone of voice is crucial, and a speaker needs to consider pauses carefully. Additionally, it’s important to constantly engage the audience if you want to maintain their interest levels. Relying too heavily on slides or failing to interact with an audience is a surefire way of dooming a virtual presentation to failure.
Why Are Virtual Presentations Important?
If your business operates in the virtual space and your teams are working remotely, you need to be thinking seriously about virtual presentations . It’s simply not practical to bring remote teams together for in-person training and team-building exercises, especially if employees are dispersed across the globe.
Virtual presentations can be used as a learning tool to develop your workforce and introduce them to new ideas and ways of working. Some businesses utilize digital training documents for this purpose, but there’s little scope for interactivity here. With virtual presentations, you’re giving yourself the chance to connect with remote teams . As well as being a powerful tool for communication and instilling a sense of company culture , a live virtual presentation provides you with the chance to gauge engagement and understanding levels.
How Do You Create a Virtual Presentation?
Is this your first time staging a virtual presentation ? Adapting your in-person approach to the virtual world might seem like a good idea, but you won’t achieve good results this way. To make your next virtual presentation a success , we’ve put together some handy tips.
Start with Your Content
This is the most important thing to consider when readying your presentation material for an online audience . While the bare bones of your in-person presentations can be used, they’ll need to be refined for the virtual space. Are you delivering training content to an online audience? All the key information can be captured here, but make sure it’s accessible and not overbaked. Is your presentation more client-facing? Make sure you’re capturing key selling points and considering what can be shared in other formats.
Think About Your Slides
Cramming too many slides into your presentation is a guaranteed way of sending your audience to sleep. If you want to maintain high engagement levels, keep slides sparse . During an in-person presentation, it’s easy to read the room and elaborate on complex slides if you feel the need to. When presenting online, this isn’t always possible. If your presentation has to be slide-heavy, try and stick to a single slide for every minute of speech. Ensure the slides you are using are concise and capture key information.
Focus On Your Audience
When presenting to an audience, you need to constantly reaffirm the fact that the information you’re discussing is relevant to them. Reading body language and audience responses can be a little tricky when presenting online, but keeping the focus on participants is crucial if you want to achieve good results. Regular interaction is a good way of keeping presentation material focused on your audience. Make a point of underlining how what you’re talking about applies to them and how it can help them achieve their everyday goals.
Even if the material you’re covering in a presentation is pretty dense, you need to remain lively and dynamic to capture audience attention. Avoid leaning on your slides too heavily and make sure you’re not bound to a script. A little deviation can work wonders for audience engagement.
Involve Your Audience to Avoid the Ringelmann Effect
The Ringelmann Effect is something you might encounter if you’re presenting to a large audience. The bigger an audience gets, the less likely it is that individual participants are going to engage. By constantly involving your audience, you can overcome this. If you need to bring a hypothetical scenario into play , put someone on the spot. This way, everyone’s kept on their toes and constantly braced to interact.
Remove External Distractions
While there’s not much you can do to ensure participants aren’t dealing with their own distractions, you can eliminate distractions from your presenting environment . Make sure your schedule is completely cleared to avoid any unwanted phone calls or interruptions. Are you presenting from an office location? Let anyone who is sharing your space know you need complete quiet so you can concentrate on delivering the best virtual presentation possible.
Even if the content of your presentation is on the dry side, you need to be able to sell it to your audience . If you’re not animated and engaged with the material, you can’t expect your audience to show an interest. Familiarizing yourself with presentation content will go a long way in ensuring you can deliver a lively and passionate event for participants.
Professional Surroundings and Backgrounds
No matter how animated you are during a presentation, you’ll still need to keep things professional . A low-key background will not only eliminate distractions but set the right tone for learning and development. Here’s our list of best backgrounds .
Best Virtual Presentation Tips
Now you’ve created a compelling outline for your virtual presentation , you’ll need to work on your presentation skills and deliver a memorable event. Below are some handy tips to get you started.
Proper Webcam and Lighting
Production values count when it comes to virtual presentations. A standard laptop webcam probably isn’t going to cut it if you want to make the right impression. An external webcam is therefore a must. You’ll also want to play around with lighting to make your presentation as effective as possible.
Check Your Internet Connection
Technical issues are sometimes unavoidable. However, even the slightest lag can render a virtual presentation pointless. Check your internet connection ahead of time to ensure you’re not going to have to contend with this issue.
Talk to the Camera
It’s tempting to check the reactions of your online audience, but this isn’t really practical if you’re delivering a presentation to a large number of people. Rather than work overtime in an attempt to make a personal connection, talk to the camera instead. This gives you the best chance of making a connection with everyone who’s watching.
Use Body Language
Body language is very important when presenting online. While you won’t be able to make eye contact with individual audience members and use the space around you, you can make use of hand gestures and facial expressions to strengthen your message. However, remember to keep things simple.
Engage Your Audience Members
If you’re planning a longer virtual presentation or covering a lot of key topics, you need to make sure your audience is engaged . Constantly reach out to participants to hammer out specifics with examples or use quick-fire quizzes to keep everyone engaged. You can even use one of the 49 icebreakers to spice things up .
Authenticity matters when presenting online. It’s particularly important if you’re an employer presenting to remote teams. Make sure the persona you’re projecting is true to the one you’ve already established. The more authentic you are, the more credible your message will seem.
What is the Optimum Amount of Time You Can Keep People Engaged Online?
Most people will struggle to remain engaged with a single topic beyond five minutes. Your presentation is going to be longer than this, so avoid dwelling on specific topics for too long. For best results, try and keep your overall presentation no within 45 minutes .
How Often Should Your Audience Share Their Thoughts?
Reach out to participants once every five minutes or so. You can ask individual participants to reflect on topics you’ve just covered, or break things up with more interactive elements like quizzes and polls.
How Many Presenters Should There Be in a Virtual Presentation?
With shorter presentations, it makes sense to keep things simple with a single presenter. If you’re planning a longer event and want to keep things as dynamic as possible, consider using two or three speakers.
Host Your Next Virtual Presentation with Gloww
Ready to unlock the potential of virtual presentations? Whether you’re presenting to prospective clients or need to reach out to remote teams, virtual presentations are the way forward . However, you’ll need a reliable video conferencing solution to stage a successful virtual presentation.
With Gloww, you have everything you need to deliver memorable presentations that strike the right note with audiences. You can adapt your existing presentation material for the virtual space or explore brand-new elements to bring interactivity to your sessions. Add existing slide decks to readymade templates, make things more interesting with polls and quizzes, or integrate multimedia assets to take your presentations to a whole new level. You can get started with Gloww today. If you want to learn about Gloww can help you fine-tune your virtual presentations, explore our pricing plans , and discover more about our premium features. Do you still have questions about Gloww? Get in touch with the team.
Want to learn more? Here’s everything you need to record your meeting , a template for your monthly business review meetings , virtual meeting etiquettte , and all about how video conferencing works .
Table of Contents
- Business Meetings
- Team Building Activities
- Learning and Development
- Sales inquiries
- © 2023 Gloww video ltd.
- All rights reserved.
Home Blog Presentation Ideas A Guide to Mastering Virtual Presentations
A Guide to Mastering Virtual Presentations
Virtual presentations are becoming a standard. With over 30+ billion presentations being created every day, traditional in-person presentations, which used to be the commonality, are more and more being adapted to a more frequent online presentation scenario.
Through the recent pandemic, the video conferencing platform, Zoom, had a participant increase of 2900% with a daily meeting participant figure of 350 million people in December 2020 alone. Yet, either triggered by the lack of human interaction or technological barriers, the truth is that online presentations can still and easily feel daunting.
That doesn’t need to be the case, however! With online presentation templates for a solid base and specific tactics to keep remote audiences engaged, presenters can easily connect with people in a virtual setting for great presentation success.
This guide to virtual presentations provides a definition of virtual presentations, common examples, and instructions on how to best present online.
What’s a virtual presentation?
A virtual presentation is an event whereby a presenter or a group of people face an audience online to go over virtual material of common interest. In the best of scenarios, a great rendition of an online presentation is clear, meeting a specific purpose that is of its audience’s interest.
Examples of virtual presentations
At SlideModel, each of our PowerPoint templates sets a valuable example of the kind of virtual presentation that works best for very particular settings. These go over topics in business, strategy, marketing, and SWOT Analysis templates , to name a few. There are also different themes to these on diverse virtual presentation templates; the latest to suit numerous needs.
As further examples of great online presentations, here’s a Notion at Work webinar titled Manage Your Contacts and Sales Funnel. It’s highly recommended by webinar software company LiveWebinar. This presentation’s style and setup might be of special interest to business presenters as it follows regular industry standards.
How virtual presentations happen
Virtual presentations most commonly take place via web and/or video conferencing platforms . Though numerous tools exist to allow a presenter to meet an audience exclusively online, the most famous for this purpose are currently Zoom, as we described above, as much as Google Meet, and Skype. Other virtual presentations can take advantage of video presentations , where the presenter records the presentation, save it as a video, and then stream it to the target audience using a video presentation platform.
In general, these platforms include a screen-sharing ability to let presenters display online presentation decks . And they’ve become a great go-to resource with an augmented work-from-home (WFH) model worldwide.
Internal virtual presentations (between colleagues).
We give these kinds of presentations to people within our organization. Whether it’s for the same department or team as ours or another stakeholder within our company, college, or any sort of official body with which we interact, internal presentations serve people whose interests and needs we can access first-hand via a common ground.
Events (conferences, discussion panels, TED talks)
More public than the first item, virtual presentations can also be part of large events, whether these are public or private. Take all sorts of online conferences or talks into account. We can go online to meet worldwide communities of diverse sorts and be invited to speak at a discussion panel or conference, for example, making our presence visible to multiple computer users or over a single live broadcast on a large screen in an auditorium, for instance.
Sales presentations with prospects
At times, pitches need to happen on-screen with potential prospects who give us a certain allotted timeframe in their schedules for us to touch base on our product or offer. Virtual sales pitch is another method to use.
Other virtual presentations can be delivered for training purposes. Those can happen for internal and even external teams or as part of an educational program at different institutions. When we’re seeking to build talent up with new skills, our presentations require a lot of clarity with specific instructions, workflows, examples, charts, videos, and as many interactive or information-specific tools as possible.
But how do we present online events like the above?
How to Prepare for Virtual Presentations
Here are a few tips on how to best prepare for virtual presentations. We’ve made sure to include these steps as being well-prepared for an online meeting can significantly improve your road to success.
As usual, do your research before putting a single slide together. Reading up on what you will talk about to an audience can set an enormous difference between the knowledge you bring to a presentation and that of anyone else in the same room with you. Chances are that people listening to you as a presenter are very invested in your topic. As such, they can come from diverse backgrounds, and truly have a natural interest in what you have to say. Be valuable to your audience with high-quality content. For that, seek what interests them, how they respond to similar material, and the best ways in which you can engage them.
Putting material together
Then, work at designing great PowerPoint slides . Keep a balance between design and content, tailoring what you present with your branding or voice in competitive, slick design that also clearly exposes your expertise.
Consider your audience’s attention spans here. For that, spread content throughout several slides, if possible. Instead of packing each slide full of text or images, fill them with catchy titles, relevant sub-titles, meaningful text, and attention-grabbing visuals. Doing so will add dynamism and generate a more frequent visual change viewers are bound to appreciate.
Add the above visual flow especially if your audience will need to spend a long time on-screen to follow you. Quicker online presentations can, on the contrary, afford concise and to-the-point material over the shortest amount of slides you can muster.
Preparing your script
You may have all the know-how in the world on a given topic, company, subject of study, a product, or whatever is getting you to a virtual presentation need. Yet, an outline of ideas, a sequence of thoughts, and the most important areas of your presentation are all valuable tools to ensure success as you present.
Write your thoughts out. Think of the sentences you’re verbalizing, how you’re phrasing your communications, and the order in which these will be presented. Slides don’t make up for your verbal communication. That vocal area needs preparation, too.
Write an outline, jot down pointers, and even prepare an essay, if you must. However you feel most comfortable, a script in any form is necessary for a clear rendition of your ideas in front of an audience, whether that happens virtually or in person.
While you’re at it, include attention-grabbers as you prepare what you’ll say. These can be as easy as saying: “Look over to our graph at the bottom right”, for example, inviting people to actually connect to what you’re presenting. These tricks are especially needed during a virtual presentation given the potential audiences have to be distracted via so many other means that are available on their computer, tablet, or cellphone.
Practicing in front of an audience
Quite succinctly, peer feedback can do wonders for your virtual presentations. Gather whoever will connect with you to get their valuable insight on what’s coming through from your efforts.
Sit back without judgment to listen to what business partners, friends, and even family have to say about your work.
Recording a demo
Tied to above, record that session. You can use it as your demo.
Pushing you to be fully ready for a practice run will ensure you have thought about everything that matters for your final presentation. It will also add a level of security that can give you a more successful edge in the end.
This practice might sound tedious, but it can also help your team, for example, if you bring people on board to your demo before you launch a product, face a client, present before a different department, face your teacher, and so much more!
Checking your online tools
Because online presentations essentially depend on technological tools, much more so than in any other kind of presentation setting, take the time to check everything works before you get started.
Check your invitation links, log in to your meeting platform, open up relevant files, click on the presentation sharing icon, and make sure you’ve got all the privileges you need to perform any action you intend on making. Test your audio, try your mic and speakers, and hit the record button as a trial…do it all!
A demo, practice, and even setting 30 minutes ahead of your presentation can be golden for you to troubleshoot any unexpected technological failures. Go through your required steps one by one to make sure everything works!
Presenters are muted quite commonly and cannot get their volume to function, their cameras have stopped working, or they simply can’t share their screen. While no one will generally count that against anyone if the delays aren’t meaningful, this kind of setback can easily signal a lack of preparation. Because many issues can get in the way of a successful and timely virtual meeting, prepare for those challenges ahead of time.
Once your checklist up to here is done, remember to take some time for yourself. Seek your focus. However you concentrate best, find that mental spot where you can truly be attuned to your thoughts and the way you speak. Release any heavy emotions, such as anger, fear, anxiety, or stress. And seek to be balanced within your own self. Even three deep breaths can do the trick if time is pressing, but never forget to start presenting until you’re at your best concentration level.
Putting yourself out there
Then go for it! Hit that record or live button, let people in your waiting room into your meeting area, say hi to anyone present, or let people know if you’re expecting anyone or waiting for someone for a few minutes. Become the host and take over as a leader, which is ultimately what presentations are about; for a specific period, all attention will be on you. Take your space, put yourself out there, and do your best.
Virtual presentations don’t end when you’re done presenting your slides. Whenever possible, open up the space for the audience to give you feedback, ask questions, and engage in conversation with you. You can include a question and answer (Q&A) session or display frequently asked questions as a means of addressing commonly unclear areas. Also, leave room to address whatever comments come up via chat.
By the way, just as a pointer to get your next presentation rolling, set the stage at the beginning of your online presentation in terms of when and how you’d like your audience to ask questions. Will everyone be able to stop you as you’re presenting to clear any items that come up? Or would you rather leave all questions for last?
Commonly, addressing questions via chat or at the end of the session keeps your attendees’ focus under better control. Remember you’re directing people’s attention every time you present. This works just like a maestro would command an orchestra. Make the best of your expertise and knowledge to wow your audience with a unique presentation that gets people talking.
Virtual meetings aren’t going anywhere. If anything, the use of online tools to group on a given topic is more and more common. As work-from-home leniency becomes widespread after COVID-19, especially, we can heavily rely on virtual presentations being here to stay.
Consider using templates to help your slide quality. Templates are a great base for design as much as content. With industry or topic-specific material, templates are a great guide that can also accelerate how you create and share content in a high-paced environment.
Like this article? Please share
Business PowerPoint Templates, Business Presentations, Communication Skills, Presentation Skills, Presentations, Verbal Communication, Virtual Presentations Filed under Presentation Ideas
Filed under Business • October 19th, 2023
How to Create a Winning Business Pitch
A business pitch bridges innovative ideas and reality. Learn how to create a winning pitch that investors and customers can’t resist.
Filed under PowerPoint Tutorials • October 7th, 2023
How to Make a Venn Diagram in PowerPoint
Discover how easy is to make a Venn Diagram in PowerPoint with three different methods: SmartArt, PowerPoint shapes, and Venn Diagram PowerPoint Templates.
Filed under Google Slides Tutorials • October 7th, 2023
How to Make a Venn Diagram in Google Slides
Learn how to represent Venn Diagrams in Google Slides using three different methods to create them. A step-by-step guide for Google Slides users.
Leave a Reply
Improve with practice.
Enhance your soft skills with a range of award-winning courses.
Sign up to our newsletter
Tips for Virtual Presenting, with Video Examples
Updated november 08, 2022 - dom barnard.
There has been an unprecedented rise in flexible working practices , with remote working becoming the norm for millions of people around the world. Businesses have adopted this approach to cater for not only the global workforce, but also staff who wish to maintain social distancing recommendations.
As online presentations become part of everyday working life, Zoom has established itself as the leading software, but other platforms have also seen massive growth , such as Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, and Webex.
Presenting virtually is a very different experience to presenting in-person. This article explores tips to ensure you communicate effectively through these virtual presentations.
1. Dial-in before the meeting starts
Dial into your call ahead of time. You should have enough time to set everything up and be able to greet everyone in a relaxed manner as they dial-in. Beware that you may need a few extra minutes to set up your microphone or camera correctly.
If you are hosting the meeting, consider having the first slide of your presentation up on the screen with the topic visible, to reassure people that they have dialed into the correct meeting.
2. Prepare your technology
Ensure your laptop or computer is plugged in or fully charged - the last thing you want is to run out of power mid-way through your presentation (you wouldn't be the first person this has happened to).
Test out your microphone and camera before you start to make sure they are working:
- Test your webcam and position
- Test your microphone
Raise your computer so that you are looking slightly up at your screen (you may have to put your computer on some books to get the right height). This is much more flattering than having the camera below you looking up at you.
3. Dress appropriately
This is one that people often overlook - just because you are home doesn't mean you are not at work. Dress as you would in the office, not only will this create a good impression, but you'll feel more confident as well. If in doubt, err on the side of the professional - you want people to focus on your message, not your clothes.
For additional information, visit these links:
- What to wear for video conferences
- What to wear for a presentation: 10 tips
- What to wear (and avoid) when presenting on camera
Build Career Skills Online
Fast-track your career with award-winning courses and realistic practice.
4. Professional surroundings and background
Eliminate any distractions - turn off any devices that could interpret you, such as alarms on your phone, and tell anyone else in the house that you are about to start a video meeting.
Examples of good and bad setups for video-based presentations. Compare the lighting, audio quality, video quality, what people are wearing, and surroundings across the clips.
Which setups look the most professional to you? Do they have anything in common?
Good lighting will make a huge difference to your appearance and make you look much more professional:
"Shadows, dark patches, and uneven lighting obscure facial expression. In the absence of body language, people on video calls rely on facial expressions for complete meaning. Lighting can make or mar your message." - How to look good with better lighting .
Check what is in the background of your camera shot, ideally keep things pain and neutral. Another option is to use a virtual background. These can usually be set up using your video conferencing software.
- How to use Zoom backgrounds
- Custom backgrounds in Microsoft Teams
- Virtual background for Google Meet / Hangouts
- 4 tips for choosing the best virtual backgrounds
Practice Online Presentations
Perfect your virtual presentation skills by practicing them in a realistic online exercise that mimics Zoom, Webex, and Microsoft Teams.
5. Manage your audience
If it's your presentation, decide how you would like to manage the participants / audience. For example, are you happy to take questions as you go along, or would you rather wait and have a Q&A session at the end? How will you field questions? Via a chat feature or verbally?
Practice muting and unmuting participant microphones. Set out the ground rules at the beginning so that everyone is clear.
6. Eye contact with the camera
This is a simple tip that can make all the difference to how you are perceived by the audience. Make sure that throughout your presentation you periodically look at the camera. Try to relax your face and smile. This gives the impression that you are looking into the eyes of the participants and helps to keep them engaged during the virtual presentation.
It can be difficult to actually maintain eye contact this way - this article discusses why it can feel uncomfortable: I Feel So Uncomfortable Making Eye Contact in Work Video Calls
This video demonstrates how important eye contact is during a virtual or video based presentation. Watch the different executives (including CEO Reed Hastings) talk and think about which one comes across the best on camera and why.
7. Know your slides
Most presentations include some visuals to complement what you are talking about. Traditionally Microsoft PowerPoint, Google Slides and Apple Keynote have been the go-to tools. Whatever software you decide to use, make sure you know how to use the features on it.
Software to help you create presentation visuals:
- Envato Elements
Prepare yourself, so you know how to navigate through your slides and share your screen. Generally, try to keep your slides light on text, as you don't want to overload people with information. It's usually better to expand and elaborate on the slides verbally.
8. Practice your virtual presentation
Practice your presentation with a virtual presentation simulator, so that you're better prepared.
The VirtualSpeech virtual presentation simulator .
9. Keep everyone engaged
Before you start, try to find out who will be on the call. During your virtual presentation you can then ask them specific questions, addressing individuals by name .
There are also other tools that you can use, such as giving control of the screen to a participant, so that they can share a document with the group, if necessary. Beyond this, you can use videos, infographics and even host quizzes, polls or surveys.
- 18 Ways to Make Your Presentation More Interactive
- How to run a Zoom quiz: Tips for quizzing success
- Start a Poll in Cisco Webex Meetings
- Create a poll in Microsoft Teams
10. Be enthusiastic
Remember that sounding confident and happy to be there is the key to success. Your participants will note your mood from your voice, so get into the right frame of mind before you start. As you speak, try to alter the speed and tone of your voice so that you avoid sounding monotonous.
Here are some more ideas to add enthusiasm to your presentation .
This short video shows two examples of enthusiastic speakers. Notice how they use their eye contact, hand gestures and vocal range to appear enthusiastic over video.
11. Body language
Body language helps keep participants engaged. Move your camera away from you a little so that everyone can see your hand gestures.
Many regular tips about body language can be applied to the virtual environment. For example, eye contact can be achieved by looking into the camera (see tip 5). Try pausing and adding a small, subtle nod after you finish making a point. This will add emphasis to what you are saying. This article covers more on how to project leadership presence .
If you are standing up, do not lock your knees as this can look very rigid. You can lightly clasp your hands when you are not making hand gestures, this will help to not distract your audience.
Time your presentation beforehand, so you know roughly how long it will take you. Make sure you have just the right amount of content for your time slot and factor in time for any questions. You don't want to run out of things to say or stay on the call too long either.
Less is more - try not to include too much information, as it is better to stick to a few key messages. The beginning and end of your presentation need to be strong as that is what people will remember the most. You should be clear on your aims at the start and recap everything at the end.
Leadership & Management Soft Skills
9 minute read
7 Ways to Crush Your Next Virtual Presentation
Twitter LinkedIn WhatsApp Pocket Email
It's hard enough retaining the attention of your audience when delivering a presentation face-to-face. How can you do so when the people you're addressing aren't even in the same room?
Virtual presentations, or presentations delivered over videoconferencing software, appear to have skyrocketed in popularity since COVID-19 and the remote-working boom. But you might be surprised to learn that this meeting format has been a favorite for nearly a decade.
Way back in 2013, the Harvard Business Review reported that as many as 80% of presentations were delivered remotely. In a virtual setting, presenters have instant access to all of their colleagues, no matter where they are in the world and at any time. It's an opportunity for increased collaboration, improving efficiency and saving time and money that would otherwise be spent on business travel.
Taking the time to hone your virtual presentation skills is well worth it during the coronavirus crisis and beyond. Here are seven tips for delivering a killer presentation that will keep your attendees focused, engaged, and alert.
Get your free soft skills ebook
Soft skills make a big difference to how you come across in the workplace. Brush up on your soft skills with our free ebook to give yourself an edge in your next presentation.
Want to learn more?
Take your soft skills to the next level with our comprehensive (and free) ebook!
1. Communicate your passion
When you present virtually, rather than in a meeting room, it's harder to convey your humanness. To avoid slipping into a robotic mode and sending your attendees to sleep, a concerted effort is needed.
Imagine that your webcam is a person you're eager to engage with. An enormous part of how we communicate is through body language , and that doesn't change in a virtual setting. You wouldn't dream of spending a 30-minute face-to-face conversation reading notes from a sheet of paper or failing to make eye contact.
Consider ways to communicate your enthusiasm and passion for your presentation, whether it's standing up when speaking, using hand motions and gestures to illustrate your points or varying your speaking tone, pitch, speed, and volume.
Ahead of the presentation, record a snippet of yourself speaking. If you sound bored and disengaged, you can guarantee your audience will feel that way when they listen to you.
Remember, you might be discussing a subject about which you are passionate and knowledgeable, but be cautious not to bombard people with masses of information in one go. Be patient with your audience, divide your presentation into bite-size portions, and don't ramble unnecessarily.
2. Create an engaging slideshow
Around 30 million PowerPoint presentations are created every single day. Not only does this mean your audience has learned to recognize an excellent presentation when they see it, but they'll quickly switch off when it doesn't quite meet the mark.
The most important thing to bear in mind when developing slides for your virtual presentation is that readers should be able to take in the meaning of each slide within three seconds – this is known as the glance test .
To ensure your presentation passes the glance test try the following techniques:
- Include one idea or concept per slide.
- Carefully consider your use of slides – if you don't need them, don't use them. Slides are often more of a distraction than an aid in a virtual setting.
- Use images (particularly of people) and color to break up the text. Visuals applied in the right context can clearly illustrate your point and evoke emotional reactions from your audience.
- Don't use too many slides, and don't linger on any one slide for too long. The former could see your audience struggling to keep up, while the latter will bore your audience into switching off.
3. Involve your audience to avoid the Ringelmann effect
The Ringelmann effect refers to the theory that the less someone feels needed in a situation (i.e., a virtual meeting), the more distracted they become, and the less effort they will make. The bigger the audience gets, the less responsibility attendees will feel to make it a success. This impact is magnified in a virtual meeting.
Breakout sessions can happen virtually. Lots of video conferencing software includes a tool that divides attendees into breakout groups. This is a particularly useful feature when presenting to a broader audience – it mixes up the flow of the presentation and encourages everyone to participate in some form. Once you've split your audience into small groups, you might want to assign them with different discussion topics or challenge them to solve a business problem. Once everyone reconvenes, ask a spokesperson from each group to provide an overview of their discussion.
Some other ways to add variety to your presentation include:
- Asking one or two people to step in as guest speakers.
- Incorporating some form of interaction every few minutes, such as asking questions to the group.
- Calling out specific people within the group to ask for their input.
- Allowing time for Q & As at regular intervals during presentation or scheduling time at the end.
- Polling your audience or including survey questions at the end of each section. Again, there are plenty of software options available for polling and surveys.
4. Rehearse with someone in advance
Many people experience nerves before delivering a presentation, whether in person or virtually. If presenting doesn't seem to come naturally to you, ask your manager to help fine-tune your delivery style, the slideshow, or the content itself.
5. Remove external distractions
It doesn't take much to disrupt a virtual presentation. Annoying background noise, faulty technology, or a messy background are enough to distract your audience from the valuable information you're sharing. Identify potential distractions and solutions ahead of your presentation. That means testing all technology in advance, arriving for your presentation ahead of time, finding a quiet place to deliver it, making sure you have poured yourself a glass of water, and rehearsing to avoid mistakes.
Your audience will also be distracted if their purpose for attending your presentation is unclear. Be sure to communicate effectively with your attendees ahead of the presentation, outlining the agenda and providing any necessary supporting information you'd like them to review in advance. Share attendees' contact details so they can reach out to one another for help should there be any technical glitches.
6. Have some fun
There is no need for your virtual presentation to be overly formal or stilted in tone. You're far more likely to capture the attention and earn your audience's affections if you adopt a laid-back, conversational style and incorporate some fun activities. Consider using props to illustrate your points, telling jokes, holding a competition to test the audience's concentration, or conducting an ice-breaker.
Finally, never underestimate the power of storytelling. As many as 90% of people believe that a strong narrative in a presentation is critical for audience engagement. It improves focus, interest, and helps the audience to resonate with what you're saying. Check out this video lesson from the GoSkills Public Speaking course to brush up on your skills:
7. Follow up
The nature of your presentation will determine how you follow-up with your audience afterward. If its primary purpose was to educate and inform, you might simply choose to share some additional resources such as reading lists or websites. Consider offering your time to anyone eager to learn more.
However, if your presentation is business-results-driven, you'll need to clearly outline the next steps and assign roles to your audience. Did you make decisions or come to any conclusions throughout the presentation? What needs to be achieved in the coming weeks, and who needs to make that happen? To help people fulfill their roles, consider sending them the transcript (or recording) of your presentation.
Over to you
Presenting isn't an easy skill to master, but practice really does make perfect. As you fine-tune your presenting technique, remember that your enthusiasm and dedication in the virtual meeting room will go a long way to keeping your audience engaged.
If you're interested in becoming a better presenter, take our Public Speaking , Body Language , Keynote , and PowerPoint courses for a spin with a 7 day free trial today.
Become a better leader
Start learning for free with GoSkills courses
Loved this? Subscribe, and join 428,168 others.
Get our latest content before everyone else. Unsubscribe whenever.
Hugo Britt is a freelance content writer who believes that every topic is fascinating if you dig deeply enough. Hugo is the co-founder of content marketing agency Discontent.
Project Management in 4 Steps for New Leaders on Your Team
Do you need to get new managers up to speed on project management concepts quickly? It starts with them understanding these 4 concepts.
Self-Employment vs. Freelancing: What’s the Difference?
Self-employment and freelancing have a lot in common, but there are also important differences. Do you know what they are?
GoSkills Success Stories: How Online Learning Can Help You Grow Professionally (and Personally)
To grow professionally doesn’t just mean climbing the corporate ladder. Explore four ways online learning fosters professional growth.
© 2023 GoSkills Ltd. Skills for career advancement
Virtual Presentations: How to Be a Success!
Virtual presentations are fast becoming a staple, for many reasons: international business cooperation, faster processes or circumstances such as the global Covid-19 pandemic. Today’s globalized business world operates internationally and in real-time.
It’s a new, fresh way of presenting, and one with endless possibilities. Once you’ve mastered the initial technical hurdles (and we’re here to help you with that), you can use it to great advantage. Read on for pointers on how to make the most of it and learn how PowerPoint can really help.
So, what’s the difference between a virtual and an in-person presentation?
Whatever you’re wanting to communicate, presentations (both online and in person) have three important components: the presenter, the audience, and the venue. How these components interact, however, changes depending on whether everyone involved is physically present in the same location, or all connecting from home. We set out below what you need to think about:
Online vs. in-person: Facilities during the presentation
In a classic presentation situation, you as the speaker usually know in advance exactly where your presentation will take place. Ideally, you already know the size of the premises, the number of seats and what technology will be available on site. This allows you to prepare yourself and your presentation for the situation.
A virtual presentation, whether from your home or the office, is somewhat different. You, as the speaker, will often be alone in the room. So, the size of that room is almost irrelevant – as is the number of seats. It’s more about a stable internet connection and whether or not you can see your audience.
You also need to know in advance how you can share your presentation slides with your audience via their screens . Whereas headsets offer freedom of movement at face-to-face events, they are usually not needed when giving a virtual presentation. What is new, however, is the camera: make sure you position yourself close to the center of the camera frame. In addition, you need make sure you have proper lighting. We’ll give you more tips on the technology below.
Online vs. in-person: Interacting with the audience
The audience also takes on a new role in the virtual presentation. Simply raising a hand to ask a question often doesn’t work online. It’s also difficult for the presenter to gauge audience reactions or integrate feedback. This makes it all the more important for a virtual presentation to run as smoothly as possible.
The goal should be catching the audience’s attention with well-presented topics within a coherent storyline.
Speech breaks, which are usually an opportunity for questions, applause or criticism, have to be replaced by clever transitions on your part during a virtual presentation. This means even more thorough preparation than usual.
The focus on the speaker is also greater in a digital presentation than in conventional presentations: the audience is forced to pay more attention to body language and voice.
Online vs. in-person: The presenter
The way a virtual presentation works resembles a video on your viewers’ screens . This means that there are clear visual boundarie s: everything within these boundaries is visible to the audience and everything outside is not only irrelevant to the presentation, but deliberately impossible to see.
This can be an advantage: in a classic in-person presentation situation, with a large venue and a big audience, people can be distracted from what you’re saying due to outside factors. In a virtual presentation, there are no such external influences – the focus is solely on you and the content you present.
You need to decide in advance where exactly you are going to give your presentation, taking into account your surroundings and how you look in front of them. In terms of your background, the golden rule here is “less is more”. While you don’t need a bare white wall behind you, cluttered backgrounds really distract your audience from what you’re trying to say.
You are the focus of the presentation, so try to avoid distractions such as crowded shelves, documents lying around or others walking past. You can help by choosing the right clothing; if the background is light, you should dress in dark clothes, and vice versa . Try to keep it as classic as possible: loud patterns or colors will distract from what you’re saying. First and foremost, however, dress to make yourself feel professional: if you feel uncomfortable, it always comes across to the audience.
The biggest differences between in-person and virtual presentations:
- Content in virtual presentations is more in focus
- Interaction with the audience is significantly reduced
- Body language, and especially the voice, are more important
- The preparation required is very different
Preparing your virtual presentation
This section provides a number of tips for preparing your virtual presentation, in the form of a checklist. This is not about creating the actual PowerPoint presentation, but a guide to maximizing the other factors that influence your audience . (Our step-by-step guide to how to create an excellent online PowerPoint presentation can be found here .
Minimize possible external interference
Have you turned your cell phone to silent? Always the first point in the rule book! You risk coming across as unprofessional if your own phone rings during your presentation. With a simple click, you can mute your phone and avoid this.
If you’re not alone in the room you’ll be presenting from, let your colleagues or roommates know beforehand that you need quiet during your virtual presentation .
To present well online, you’re going to need a microphone and a camera or webcam . You need to test these thoroughly before the event. Technical problems can lose you your audience and throw you off track unnecessarily. You can avoid this by following our detailed tips below.
The PowerPoint presentation
When giving a virtual presentation, it’s even more important than usual to make sure your slides are easy to read and sensibly structured . It’s often enough to put down just the key points – you can elaborate on them verbally. Less is more. You can always provide background information as a digital handout.
We covered how your choice of clothing should be considered above, and how it should relate to your background. In terms of the latter, a current trend is to use digitally generated backgrounds that show the speaker on Caribbean beaches or in outer space. These really have no place in serious business presentations.
If you use a digital background, the golden rule of high contrast applies: make sure you stand out as distinctly as possible from your actual background, so the software can differentiate you from your background. Otherwise, odd bits of you may flicker in and out of view – needlessly distracting.
Where you present from
Make sure that the room where you will be giving your talk is as quiet as possible . Close the windows if there is a lot of traffic, turn down devices that are not needed before the presentation, and give any other people in the room plenty of notice.
As noted above, your background should be as uncluttered as possible . You also need to always feel comfortable during the presentation – a decent seat and optimum room temperature help .
On your desk
Keep the desk where you sit during your presentation as clear as possible . Unnecessary objects can be distracting. You only need the documents relevant to your presentation in front of you. You might also consider a glass of water and tissues, to help with dry mouth or a runny nose, but these can be put out of view until needed.
Presenting virtually: our pointers
Basic tips for the virtual presentation itself.
A structured presentation follows a well-thought-out arc. This serves as a common thread which links the core messages and values of your presentation. It pays to consider the following in advance:
What are you aiming to achieve with your presentation? Who is your target audience? What information is absolutely necessary, and what isn’t? How do you fit all the information into a meaningful sequence, and how do you fit it into the given time frame?
All the content of the presentation should serve your core message and intention. Anything that doesn’t support your message should be left out (you can put it in your digital handout if needs be). Always keep your audience in mind. Who is listening to you and what do you want your virtual presentation to accomplish for them? The focus of your presentation should always be on what your audience will get out of it.
Formulating a clear core message is particularly important in virtual presentations. As many participants are alone at home and often unseen, their attention can wander more quickly than at face-to-face events . This makes it all the more important to formulate a clear call-to-action and to emphasize it repeatedly . At the end of your presentation, the audience should know what they have to do now.
The right body language
Compared to a face-to-face presentation, virtual presentations paradoxically bring you much closer to the audience . The facial expressions and gestures of the presenter are much more up front and personal on a home screen than seen from the back row of a packed auditorium. Being aware of your face and general body language is very important.
A calm, relaxed posture and appearing friendly and attentive are essential. You may find it helps to stand; an upright posture conveys a feeling of confidence, even to yourself. Unsettled body language not only makes your audience nervous but can also create real inner turmoil in a presenter.
This transmits very quickly to the audience. Also, depending on the quality of the camera and your internet connection, fast movements or gestures can lead to jerky transmissions .
Calm movements also help with nerves and ensure a smooth speaking voice. Another important aspect for presentations in general is eye contact ; this not only helps you build connections with your audience but holds their attention. Establishing on-camera eye contact without visual feedback can seem strange at first.
Practice looking into the lens of your webcam every now and then , creating a sense of connection online. We really recommend filming your presentation on a trial basis and checking how you come across .
We’ve put together some great tips on body language during presentations here .
Virtual presentations: Your voice is your most important asset
To keep your audience’s attention, you need to tell an interesting story with your presentation . This works so much better when you get your voice pitch and intonation right. Monotonous presentations quickly send your audience to sleep and fail to do justice to their content.
So, learn to use your voice to help rather than hinder: a lively voice, with a well-adjusted speaking tempo , using pauses deliberately for effect, help your audience to warm to you and pay attention to your message . Slow, clear speech is of the utmost importance, especially for virtual presentations. We’ve collected loads more useful tips for you here .
Involve the audience
It’s particularly difficult to maintain and sustain an audience’s attention when presenting online. Distractions on the home computer are many and most are only a mouse click away. So, try to involve your audience in the presentation right from the start . Lively dialogue keeps people attentive and produces great results.
Encourage your audience to ask questions in the chat or participate in quick online polls. As your virtual presentation progresses, you can address this new input or answer queries. Active audience participation increases attention and generates a sense of inclusion , making your audience more likely to buy in to your message.
If you want to be able to address any questions that come up without interrupting your flow of speech and thought, it’s best to get help from moderators . Someone else in your team can keep an eye on the live chat during the virtual presentation, for example, or screen questions from the audience and include them in the presentation at the appropriate point .
If you don’t have anyone who can do this, you could work through all the questions with the audience at the end of the presentation, so you don’t run the risk of being thrown off track whilst giving the presentation. Whichever way, you should try to actively interact with your audience, and give them clear instructions so they know what to expect.
Extra tip: Use interactive tools
There are now many online tools you can use to make the interaction with your audience more varied during virtual presentations . here are a few of the best, with short summaries of their most useful applications.
Presenting virtually: Keep it interesting!
Nowadays, it’s common practice to communicate in pictures: emojis and GIFs in texts, traffic signs, or cartoons in newspapers. These are often more immediate than a long-winded description. Even in business presentations, using visual media in a sensible way can not only help to dynamically present content, it also grabs the attention of your audience . Mixing up different forms of media within your presentation can keep your audience on their toes. It’s definitely not something to overdo, though: using too many visuals can obscure your serious content. Keep it simple: any use of visual media needs to serve a specific purpose. They should underpin your content and not distract from it.
For more tips on using and designing visual media, check out our blog:
Optimize Images in Your Presentations
Insert Videos into PowerPoint: Tutorial & 4 Creative Tips
PowerPoint Animations: Create Accents in Your Presentation
Technical Tips for your virtual presentation
When presenting online, you have to pay more attention to how your presentation is delivered technically than when speaking in person. Your audience needs to be able to concentrate solely on your content and not be distracted by avoidable technical problems. Solid, basic equipment is essential for this.
A good microphone is essential in order to be clearly heard and understood. But what sort? You’re really best off avoiding any kind of laptop, tablet or smartphone internal microphones. They tend to sound either too quiet or too boomy, and ambient noise can lead to interference.
You’ll need a headset or, even better, an external microphone. External microphones can be free-standing table microphones normally used for podcasts or on the radio, or small clip-on microphones that give you unrestricted mobility during your presentation. The shorter the distance between the microphone and your mouth, the lower the risk of distracting ambient noise.
While giving your virtual presentation, try to maintain a constant distance to avoid too many fluctuations in volume . The easiest way to do this is with a lapel microphone. Always test the sound quality before your presentation by making a test call to a colleague.
To make sure that your audience can see you clearly, you need to pay attention to the camera you use and how you position it . Nowadays, there are many inexpensive, high-quality webcams around. There are also exciting apps that can turn your smartphone into a webcam if needed. Audiences now expect virtual presentations to be in HD resolution .
Even more important than the resolution of the camera, though, is how you position yourself within the image frame. You want to be the focus of the presentation but face your audience at eye level. So, position the camera lens at your eye level . You should be as close to the center of the frame as possible , while also making sure the camera is vertical. If the camera (and therefore your audience) is looking down on you, you may appear smaller or “lost” – if looking up at you, you can appear overbearing.
Another thing to consider is appropriate lighting. Avoid rooms with dim lighting and low contrast . Your face needs to be fully illuminated. Pay attention to the intensity and warmth of the light source. Ordinary lamps can give off light that is too warm, appearing yellowish, while office buildings often have only harsh halogen lights. Simple photo and ring lights are now widely available.
Dimmable lights help you to properly regulate the intensity of your light source, meaning you avoid being over or under lit. Point your light at approximately eye level, similar to the camera . This avoids casting any unwanted shadows on your face. For an even more professional impression, we recommend a second light source directed slightly from the side. This minimizes any residual risk of unflattering shadows on your face.
Tip for those who wear glasses: Take care to avoid glaring reflections in your glasses. It helps to use large-area indirect lighting, rather than directly lighting your face. Try finding a bright room with large reflective surfaces – for instance, white walls.
Stand out with the best virtual presentation!
The points we’ve covered above offer a detailed introduction to the topic of digital presenting. We’ve looked at the differences between virtual presentations and traditional, in-person events , dividing them into three key factors: the location of the presentation, the speaker, and the way in which the speaker interacts with the audience.
When presenting today, it is essential to be flexible. Presentations have to be moved from a large conference room to your home at the drop of a hat . If you follow our tried-and-tested advice, you’ll never break a sweat. We’ve covered technical advice on setting up your space , your backdrop, your equipment, and yourself. With the right lighting, the right microphone, and a motivating, multimedia interaction with your audience, nothing will stand in the way of the success of your next virtual presentation.
If you would like advice tailored to you personally, please don’t hesitate to contact us! We are happy to help you with anything regarding PowerPoint. Contact us at [email protected] . We look forward to hearing from you!
Share this post
Design Thinking: Problem Solving with a Difference
Why Corporate Mission Statements Are So Important
7 Tips & Learnings from the Apple Keynote
Deliver Captivating Presentations with the Hollywood Storytelling Method!
PowerPoint Portrait Format – How to Set Your Presentations on Edge!
16 Ways to Kick-Start Your Presentation!
How To Create An Effective Virtual Presentation
Virtual presentations aren’t groundbreaking. In fact, they’ve been around for a while. However, with the way 2020 unfolded, and the undeniable shift to remote work, virtual presentations are having a moment. Virtual presentations are far more popular (dare we say it: they’re the new norm) than they were three years ago. But what is a virtual presentation?
Virtual presentations are presentations that are given, or received, remotely and from behind a computer screen. Hence: virtual. Virtual presentations allow you to present to more people at the same time without the limitations of capacity in an auditorium, scheduling conflicts, and travel. They’re simply more accessible, and convenient. However, on the same coin, some may argue that virtual presentations are less effective because they lack that face-to-face connection that many humans crave. Either way, they’re here to stay.
Before we get into the nitty gritty of virtual presentations, it’s important to understand where they came from and why they’re beneficial to businesses.
The rise of virtual presentations
The work presentation has evolved since the days of carvings on cave walls. In the Don Draper days of 1960s Manhattan, the concept of a "presentation" was very different than it is today. At that time, presentations consisted of a series of hand-rendered drawings (or storyboards) that were first glued to a piece of foam core and then proudly displayed on metal easels for the audience’s viewing pleasure (or frustration, if they happened to be nearsighted). Or, in less sexy industries, paper memos were typed up on typewriters and distributed for people to read during meetings — usually accompanied verbally by an equally lackluster presenter.
Today, it’s a totally different world.
We went from storyboards, to clunky projector slides, to death by PowerPoint. Looking back, none of those were totally great options if you didn’t have the design skills to back your presentation, but they all got the job done. Since then, presentation software has stepped up to the plate and changed the presentation game (and rightfully so). Now the best presentation software works in the cloud, so it’s much more efficient to create and collaborate alongside colleagues or peers. Naturally, it’s easier to share presentations, too.
With presentation software more readily available, anyone without 5+ years of experience in digital design can create something wow-worthy. And with presentation software evolving and adopting the most up-to-date technologies, it’s easier than ever to present to anyone, anytime, from anywhere. Insert: virtual presentations. Sure, virtual presentations have been around for years, but they didn’t see their inadvertent rise to fame until the 2020 pandemic forced companies to rethink their work culture. For the last 18 months, virtual presentations have been the norm. In fact, one could go so far as to say they saved businesses and company culture in the face of COVID-19. Without the ability to present remotely, at any given time, businesses worldwide would have suffered from the lack of both client-facing and internal communications.
Virtual presentation tips
Now that we know a little more about virtual presentations, and their rise to fame, let’s talk about how to actually give one. Here are five simple tips for a winning virtual presentation.
Get the proper virtual presentation software
The first step in setting yourself up for success is equipping yourself with the right tools. When preparing a virtual presentation, you want to make sure that you have a great presentation software to carry you through.
Beautiful.ai makes it easy to present virtually , without compromising the impact of your message. We allow you to create something brilliant in half the time it would take to build a presentation in outdated software, like PowerPoint. With less time fidgeting with text boxes and graphs in your virtual presentation, you can focus on the things that really matter like engaging your remote audience and telling your story. And with everything right there in the cloud, it’s easy to edit and present on a whim— you’re always working on, or presenting, the most updated version of the deck.
Distractions come in all shapes and sizes. It can be the 7 open tabs on your web browser, or the lawn mower in the background of your colleagues' video. Whatever it is, it’s important to keep distractions to a minimum when giving a virtual presentation. If you’re presenting, make sure your space is clean and decluttered, and don’t be afraid to ask your audience to mute while they tune in.
Engage the audience through photos, animations, and audio
When you can’t be there live to redirect your audiences’ attention back to your screen, you have to rely on other assets to rein in their focus. Visual storytelling is a great solution to combating potential work-from-home apathy. Things like photos, videos, dynamic animations and audio all help to keep the audience engaged and interested in what you’re presenting.
To take it a step further, adding recorded audio to each slide allows you to narrate what’s on the screen when you can’t be there in person. It helps you tell the audience exactly what you want them to know so that there’s little room for misinterpretation.
Practice makes perfect
Of course, even with an air-tight pitch, your virtual presentation can still get derailed by things outside of your control. It’s important to be proactive and practice your presentation so that you are familiar with the software and technology beforehand. While you can’t control everyone’s WiFi connection, you can make sure that everything is running smoothly on your end prior to going live. Plus, practice makes perfect— at the very least get familiar with your deck and the flow of your story.
Send a follow up
The beauty of virtual presentations is that it gives you the opportunity to follow up quickly and frequently. You may choose to open up your email inbox for questions, concerns, or feedback following the presentation to save time. Similarly, you’ll likely want to follow up with the final call-to-action so that the audience isn’t confused on what you’re asking them to do. But most importantly, you should definitely, without-a-doubt, follow up with the presentation deck.
Beautiful.ai’s shareable link capabilities makes it easy to follow up with a link to your presentation after the meeting. And because everything is saved to the cloud, you know that you’re sending the most up-to-date version, all the time. By sending a follow up, you’re encouraging your peers, clients, or colleagues to revisit the presentation on their own time whether they were there for the virtual presentation or not. It acts as a tangible takeaway, and might be the difference between them remembering what you presented and forgetting your pitch as soon as they leave the meeting.
Jordan is a Bay Area writer, social media manager, and successful blogger. Check out TheOceanMinded.com or find her on Instagram @theoceanminded.
Nailing the first impression: how to start a presentation no matter the topic, effective communication for founders/entrepreneurs when presenting to teams, tedxtalker bobby umar's 5 popular public speaking mistakes to learn from, nail your year end reviews with these 5 tips.