Presenting online? Engage Your Audience!

March 2020: From one day to the next millions of employees, managers and company owners have been progressively thrown into the world of virtual communication: online meetings, online presentations, webinars, virtual breakfasts and happy hours. There are a wide variety to choose from.

Applications allowing online video interaction such as Zoom.us, Webex and Livestorm have suddenly been flooded with registration requests while their stock value has soared to new records. As an example, Zoom.us stock value has practically doubled in the last 3 months.

The issue is that most people have been forced to present from home or from the office without any kind of training or practical advice on how to set up an appropriate environment, use adequate equipment and engage an audience in order to create impact.

As public speaking frequently pops up as one of people’s worst fears, presenting online, in front of your camera and having to manage your presentation, your audience and the technical logistics of digital broadcasting, all by yourself, only adds to the challenge.

Indeed, presenting online is not just “business as usual” in front of a camera.

Firstly, there is the importance of setting up an appropriate environment and using adequate equipment. Which room is best suited, what lighting do you require and which background should you choose? Do your internet connection, web browser and network security settings allow you to set up an online meeting or webinar? What kind of computer, camera, microphone and headphones will you use?

Secondly, you will need to adapt your verbal and non-verbal communication to online broadcasting. What characteristics of your voice can you play with and which figures of speech do you master? How can you adjust your body language, posture and gestures to the limited image frame your audience will have at their disposal? How will you dress, so that you look as professional on screen as you are in real life?

Thirdly, you must not forget to engage your audience and keep them listening and interacting with you. How long will your presentation last and how many people will be allowed to join? Can you plan polls and/or quizzes? What visual aids will you design?  Is the audience allowed to chat online or interact through their microphones and cameras?

Last but not least, test your technology and rehearse your online presentation! Do not go live without having tried your tools and walked through your presentation to  make sure you will not be faced with any  unforeseen surprises.

If you need advice in presenting online, watch this webinar (insert webinar link) and request your presenting online checklist via  www.verbalius.com

About the author: Pedro Castilho is the founder of Verbalius Sàrl, a company dedicated to executive coaching in public speaking, debating and public relations skills. As a tireless connector, Pedro has been involved at board level in the International Junior Chamber  and Indian Business Chamber Luxembourg and is currently a board member of the International School of Luxembourg and a mentor with the Incubator of the University of Luxembourg. After a career spanning two  decades in banking and with 25 years experience in public speaking, Pedro Castilho now aims to help people to become successful public speakers.

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