Whether it’s because our calendars are now chronically overbooked, or because the audience we need to reach is sitting behind a desk two time zones away, or any of a myriad of other reasons, it’s not always possible to make even important presentations live and in-person anymore. So it’s no surprise that many presentations are made virtually online.
Even though we’re still sharing the same slide deck we’d present in person, we’re not delivering the same presentation over Zoom, WebEx, GoToMeeting, or any other video conferencing solution when we’re remote.
The fact is, online presentations pose new challenges for presenters. We all know them when we see them — the presenter who, without an audience in the room, falls into bad habits. Reading slides verbatim. Forgetting to launch a slide show. Turning away from their microphone. Never looking into the camera.
To truly get your message across when presenting online, you have to do more than simply deliver your presentation clearly and concisely. You also have to be strategic when it comes to engagement. When every one of your viewers will have the urge to check their email or look at something else they were working on in another tab during your presentation, it’s imperative you do everything you can to connect meaningfully.
5 Tips For Creating Engaging Online Presentations
Most of us approach making an online presentation the same way: we write a narrative, put that narrative into simple, well-designed slides (using presentation tools like Prezi, PowerPoint, or Google Slides), then practice our talking points. But that tends to be where we stop.
We rarely think about how we can create the best possible viewing experience for our video presentation, or how we could continue to engage our audience after the presentation ends. From optimizing engagement during your presentation to connecting afterward, here are five tips to help you not only create and deliver better online video presentations that will optimize the experience for your viewers, but also ensure every bit of your message is heard and not forgotten.
1. Record Yourself Practicing
The best presenters — the ones that look and feel like naturals — have one secret: they practice their presentations over and over again until their delivery is indeed natural. Some practice in front of mirrors, while others enlist friends and colleagues to listen and provide feedback. And that feedback, whether it’s earned from simply watching yourself, hearing thoughts from others, or both, is one of the most valuable tools available for improving your final performance.
If you really want to see what your audience will be seeing when you present, try recording yourself giving the video presentation. These days that’s as easy as firing up a video conference on your laptop and pressing record. Watch the recording yourself or share with a few peers to identify parts of your presentation that seem clunky or that drag and make improvements before you give the final presentation.
2. Don’t Hide Behind Your Slides — Turn On Your Webcam!
Eye contact is just as important when presenting online as it is in person — it can make your words more memorable and improve how well the audience retains the information you’re presenting.
Simply sharing your webcam video helps humanize the delivery of your information by adding non-verbal signals like body language and facial expressions. That can make an enormous difference when it comes to how your audience remembers your presentation.
Most video conferencing solutions will allow you to share both your screen and a video of yourself at the same time. Be sure to take advantage when you’re presenting live.
3. Flip Your Online Presentation
When it comes to presenting information you want your audience to absorb, no one has more experience than today’s teachers. So take a page from their playbook, and try flipping your presentations to make the most of the time you have with your audience. With the right online presentation software you can record and securely share a video of you giving your presentation before the scheduled call, allowing extended time for open discussions and productive conversations during the live call.
Panopto’s online presentation tools are designed to help you optimize viewer engagement with a content-rich multimedia presentation that shows your webcam video, your slides, and even a demonstration on your screen. It’s as easy as selecting the automatically-detected media sources you want to capture and pressing record. And instead of picture-in-picture, Panopto displays video streams side-by-side in a unique interactive video player that gives your audience more control over how they view your multimedia presentation and where they focus their attention.
Sharing online presentations is also easy with Panopto. Just like you’d share a private YouTube video, you set the viewing permissions for your video in Panopto and send a link that automatically plays a streaming on-demand video of your presentation that can be paused, rewound, and even sped up or slowed down.
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4. Get Interactive
You want to engage your audience online. You want them leaning in, asking questions, and interacting with you, not leaning back in their chairs passively listening.
Planning an interactive presentation not only engages your viewers in the meeting but also enables you to adjust the content of your presentation to connect with what they see as important. By asking questions in your presentation that steer you towards what’s most interesting to them, you can personalize your presentation to your viewers’ responses and hold their attention throughout the entire meeting.
5. Share A Recording Of Your Presentation Afterwards
When the presentation ends, most of us send our slides with an email summary and next steps. But your slides only communicate a portion of your message, and emails often get lost in the shuffle.
Just imagine how much more useful SlideShare would be as a knowledge resource if people could upload videos of their full presentations!
Recording your live online presentation gives your audience the ability to re-watch part or all of your presentation exactly as it was delivered, which is especially useful in the event that something more important (if it’s possible to imagine something more important) came up during the meeting for any of your viewers. It’s also a smart strategy for getting your deck in front of busy decision-makers and stakeholders who may not have been able to attend the live meeting.
Best of all, creating those recordings is as easy as pressing record at the start of your presentation in your video conferencing software. You can share the large downloadable video file it produces with your prospect, or better yet, integrate Panopto with your video conferencing software to simplify sharing meeting recordings — Panopto automatically uploads your meeting recording to a secure video library and processes it so your audience can watch it on-demand, on any device, with the click of a link.
Essential Tools For Sharing Online Video Presentations
Panopto is the all-in-one video platform that includes all of the tools you need to record, edit, and share online video presentations. Record an engaging on-demand multimedia presentation with just a few clicks, or simply record your live presentation with your video conferencing solution. After it’s uploaded to Panopto, you can edit it before sharing, add automatically generated captions, and enable viewers to download your presentation slides right from the video itself. Video presentations can be shared publicly or privately with Panopto, just like you’d share a video on YouTube but without the risk of someone accessing any confidential videos.
Presenting live to more than a small group of people? You can also use Panopto to live stream an online presentation to large audiences. Why wouldn’t you just use your video conferencing solution? A few reasons, including:
- More control over your presentation. You have more control over your online presentation in an asynchronous setting that doesn’t allow for “accidental interruptions” such as background noise from un-muted participants or hold music drowning you out. With user authentication, Panopto is a more secure option for live streaming, particularly if you’re concerned about Zoombombing or who might be watching your online presentation.
- A better audience experience. Panopto records as it’s live streaming, so your viewers can start from the beginning if they join late, pause, and even rewind with live DVR controls. They’ll also see more than your screen share and a tiny video of you talking in the corner with Panopto’s side-by-side HD video stream display.
Learn more about what you can do with Panopto’s live streaming platform >
Enhance remote presentations and simplify video sharing for your entire organization.
Panopto offers a flexible and easy-to-use video solution that integrates with core business systems like video conferencing, in-room AV systems, content management systems (CMSs), and learning management systems (LMSs) to broadly support workplace communication and productivity. Record, live stream, edit, securely share, and search all of your organization’s videos with one easy-to-use technology.