How to make your next presentation a success
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How to make your next presentation a success

30th April 2021
By Tom Ladle

Presentations can be nerve racking, the limelight is on you, everyone has tuned in to hear what you have to say and there’s pressure to present something worthwhile that doesn’t end up wasting everyone’s time. This can be amplified when giving a presentation over a video call because you’re not physically in the same room as anyone you’re presenting to.

Now we know why presentations are nerve racking, what can you do to make your next presentation a success? We’re going to offer some simple tips and tricks to ensure your next video call presentation is as engaging as ever.

Check your lighting and set up

To make your next presentation a success your audience need to be able to see you. It’s hard to engage with a presentation when you can’t see the person delivering it.

So, before you hop on the video call check your lighting and camera set up. Make sure that you are clearly visible, too much light can blur your face whereas not enough can make you appear as a shadow. We’d recommend having a set up where the light shines in front of your face. This will soften your features, whilst also ensuring you’re clearly visible.

Here are some more tips on proper video call lighting.

Understand the format

This tip is crucial, and it refers to understanding the tech that you’re using. You’ve already tripped at the first hurdle if for the life of you, you can’t figure out how to turn your video on or share your screen. This will make you look unprepared before the presentation has even gotten underway, so before showtime just play around with the product you’re using.

We’d recommend even doing a dry run with your friends or family. After all, practise makes perfect. However, be wary not to over rehearse, you still want your presentation to come across as natural, compared to robotic. Luckily our video conferencing is super simple to use, you can join and start meetings in seconds. Just ensure that you’ve allowed access to your webcam and mic and are familiar with how screen share works.

Want to know more? Here’s how to prepare for a video call.

Dress appropriately

The same as not knowing the tool your using can make you fall at the first hurdle so can turning up in a dressing gown. Now, we hope you wouldn’t be silly enough to do this but it’s still worth mentioning. Not only does dressing appropriately send of the right message to the people you’re presenting to, but it will also help with your own confidence.

Depending on your audience the way you dress may differ, it may be a suit and tie, or it may be hoodies and jeans, leading us nicely onto our next tip.

Know your audience

To clarify, we’re not talking about doing a deep dive into everyone who you will be presenting to, finding out their hobbies, interests, relationship status. No, what we mean is simply know who your presenting to in terms of what department they work in or their seniority. Every presentation is different but presenting to your team who you work, day-in, day-out with is going to be different to presenting to heads of business.

It’s hard to please everyone but try to take a step back and understand why you’re presenting in the first place. Clearly everyone there has some interest in what you have to say or the topic you’re presenting on, so use this to structure and plan out your presentation. An example would be, if you’re presenting to a group of developers who want to know more about the technical side of things compared to a group of marketers who want to know more about the results you aim to achieve.

Know your topic

Obvious but nevertheless vital. Failure to prepare equals failure to succeed. Ever heard someone say I’ll just wing it. Don’t, don’t just wing it. The person who wings it and ends up delivering a brilliant fantastic presentation most likely didn’t wing it and spent hours preparing. If you don’t bother to prepare for your presentation, then don’t be surprised when it falls flat.

Know the topic your presenting, do your research and try to enjoy learning about the topic you’re presenting on. Your enthusiasm and hard work will be conveyed through your presentation, trust us. If the presentation is still not a success, which is highly unlikely, then try and understand what went wrong and come back better next time.

Show, don’t tell

This tip is all about content and PowerPoint design ideas. When uploading a PowerPoint presentation using document share on your video call, then really think carefully about the content you feature on your slides. Ever heard of the saying less is more? Well this is particularly relevant to your slides. If you’ve ever sat through a presentation reading slides, then chances are it wasn’t an engaging presentation.

Try to tell a story

Humans are hardwired to engage with a story. There is something comforting in a beginning, middle and end, after all humans have been telling stories for millennia. If you can structure your PowerPoint presentation design in this way people will be much more engaged in what you have to say.

Ask for questions

Don’t just ask, encourage questions! Depending on what you’re comfortable with you can either ask for questions on each slide or finish your presentation and ask for questions at the end.  There’s no better way to test if you’re audience are engaged than by asking or questions, so make sure you incorporate this into your slideshow design.

Finally, follow up

Remember to follow up with a thank you email, letting everyone know that you appreciate them taking the time to listen to what you have to say. This also presents a good opportunity to share the meeting recording or provide a short recap of what was discussed.

And with that, we conclude our simple tips and tricks on how to make your next presentation a success, you’ve got this!

 

 

 

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