Whether it’s because our calendars are now chronically overbooked, or because the audience we need to reach is sitting in an office 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 today, many more presentations are made virtually online. But just because we’re still sharing the same deck, that doesn’t mean we’re making the same presentation once Zoom, GoToMeeting, or some other system is involved.
The fact is, these new online formats pose some 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 in order to connect meaningfully.
5 Tips For Delivering More Engaging Online Video 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 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 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 Just Talk Over Slides — Show Yourself Presenting
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.
By including a view of the presenter in an online video, you help 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 materials.
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.
An online presentation tool like Panopto is designed to optimize viewer engagement, enabling you to easily capture video of you presenting, your slides, and even a demonstration on your screen, then show them all side-by-side, simply by selecting your video sources and pressing record.
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 video presentation software you can record and securely share a video of you giving your presentation before your big call, giving you extra time for open discussions and more productive conversations during the scheduled meeting time.
Sharing video 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.
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. Be Sure You Share The Full Presentation When You’re Done
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.
Recording your live online presentation gives your audience the ability to rewatch 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 easy. Simply press 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 your video conferencing software with a video platform like Panopto that makes sharing a private video or meeting recording as easy as sharing a link.
Add Panopto To Your Online Presentation Toolbox
Panopto is the industry-leading video platform for businesses that includes a range of tools for recording and sharing online video presentations, capturing meetings, live streaming, and more. Capture you and your presentation side-by-side with just a few clicks, whether you’re using Prezi, PowerPoint, Google Slides, or another presentation tool, with Panopto.