Presenting can be extremely difficult, but virtual presentations, (via Zoom or any other video meeting platform,) offer their own challenges.
After a couple of years of remote working, many team leaders and senior business managers are noticing Zoom fatigue amongst staff, so it’s time to reignite our presentations and ensure we’re creating engaging and memorable meetings.
Here are 7 Zoom presentation tips to help you hold better Zoom events and fight off that fatigue – let’s make your next Zoom presentation the best yet!
Zoom Presentation Tips for the Intro
Tip #1 – Take the Mic
One of the most simple, and effective ways to capture your virtual audience is to take control of the conversation and ease anxieties. This doesn’t mean dictating all conversation, it’s more about creating a comfortable environment where your audience can feel focused and contribute to the conversation.
We’ve all been in awkward pre-meeting “waiting rooms” whilst we hold on for the last couple of people to join, and as the person running the session, you have a wonderful opportunity to remove people’s meeting anxieties and instantly get them on your side.
As the presenter and (probably) host of the Zoom meeting, others will look to you to be a confident leader. Make sure you welcome people in as they join your Zoom presentation, use a meeting icebreaker, show them your personality and that they are welcome to engage with your presentation, and you will have their attention from the very start.
Remember, you are presenting for a reason. You are the expert on your topic, and they are looking to you to communicate that information – You’re the pro, and you’ve definitely got this!
Tip #2 – Check your Tech
Mic check 1, 2…
Of course, sometimes tech fails us and we can’t always do anything about it. But, you can help to reduce the chances of that happening by checking in on your presentation software, your camera and your mic before the Zoom presentation starts and people join.
Also be sure to check any videos or links that you’re using to give yourself the best chance of delivering a wonderfully seamless presentation with preparation.
One of the best parts of a Zoom presentation is that 9 times out of 10 there isn’t anyone else in the room. This has a huge benefit for anyone presenting – you can really prepare. Now, this does not mean writing a script and reading it word for word, but it does give you an opportunity to have extra notes with any data and information you need and it can be right on the screen for only your eyes to see – so you can browse your notes for answers to a question without ever looking away.
💡 Extra presentation tip for Zoom: If you’re sending out Zoom invites ahead of time, make sure that the links and passwords you’re sending out all work so that everyone can join the meeting quickly and without added stress.
Zoom Presentation Tips for Punchy Presentations
Tip #3 – Ask The Audience
You can be the most charismatic and engaging person in the world, but if your presentation lacks that spark, then it can still leave your audience feeling a bit disconnected. Luckily, there is an easy solution to this problem – make your presentations interactive.
Tools like AhaSlides provide opportunities to include creative and engaging elements in your presentations to keep your audience switched on and involved. Whether you’re a teacher looking to engage a class or an expert in your business, it’s proven that interactive elements like polls, quizzes and Q&As keep an audience engaged when they can respond to each on their smartphones.
Here are a few examples of slides you can use in an interactive Zoom presentation to pull that audience focus…
- Make a live quiz – Regularly ask audience questions that they can individually answer via a smartphone. This will help you understand their knowledge of a topic in a fun, competitive way!
- Ask open-ended questions and pose scenarios – This provides your audience with an opportunity to engage and show off their own knowledge. For a teacher, this could be as simple as ‘What is the best word you know that means happy?’, but for a marketing presentation in a business, for example, it could be a great way of asking ‘which platforms would you like to see us use more in Q3?”
- Ask for feedback – It’s important that we’re always improving, so at the end of your presentation, you might want to gather some feedback. You can use interactive sliding scales to measure how likely people are to recommend your services, or even gather opinions on certain topics. If you were pitching a planned return to the office to your business, you might ask “how many days would you like to spend in the office” and set a scale from 0 to 5 to gauge the general consensus.
- Play games – Games in a virtual event may seem radical, but it could be the best tip for your Zoom presentation. Some simple trivia games, spinner wheel games and a bunch of other Zoom games can do wonders for teambuilding, learning new concepts and testing existing ones.
These engaging and interactive elements make a huge difference to the focus and attention of your audience, and not only will it make them feel more involved in your Zoom presentation, but it will give you an added confidence that they are absorbing your presentation and enjoying it too.
Make Interactive Zoom Presentations for Free!
Embed polls, brainstorm sessions, quizzes and more into your presentation. Grab a template or import your own from PowerPoint!
Tip #4 – Keep it Short and Sweet
Where you can, you want to try and keep your Zoom presentation digestible. While most meetings or presentations are scheduled for an hour, it’s generally agreed that most viewers can only maintain focus for around 10 minutes. This makes it really important to keep meetings succinct, and where you can’t keep it short, ensuring your audience is engaged is vital.
You can maximise your audience’s focus by not overcomplicating your slides. Text-heavy slides will have your listeners reading rather than listening to you, and they will burn out and lose focus much more quickly. If you need to give a lot of information, break it down into a few slides or use an illustrative graphic or interactive slide to talk people through it instead.
Tip #5 – Tell a Story
Storytelling is powerful. If you are able to build stories or examples into your presentation that illustrate your message, your Zoom presentation will be much more memorable and your audience will feel more emotionally invested in the stories that you tell.
Case studies, direct quotes or real-life examples will be much more engaging to your audience and can help them to relate to, or understand, the information that you’re providing on a deeper level.
This isn’t just a Zoom presentation tip, but also a great way to start your presentation. Read more about it here!
Tip #6 – Don’t Hide Behind your Slides
Although it’s much more difficult to present your body language via Zoom than it is in-person, there are still things you can do to help ensure that your Zoom presentation is getting your message across effectively.
Camera on! It’s tempting to hide behind your slides, but having your camera on will make a huge difference. Not only will your audience be able to see you but it communicates confidence and encourages others to also leave their cameras on and hold the meeting in the open atmosphere of a live setting.
Although many workers continue to be remote, there is still a desire for that face-to-face connection that we once had when working in offices and travelling for meetings and presentations. Sometimes, just seeing a friendly face will put someone at ease, and this can create a positive sentiment that they associate with you and your presentation.
As well as leaving your camera on, some people find that standing up to present is still effective – even on Zoom! If you have a large enough space and can find a way to make it work, you might find standing up gives you added confidence and it’s a really great option if you’re presenting virtually for a conference.
Tip #7 – Take a Break to Answer Questions
If you know you’re going to be presenting for a long time, there’s a lot to be said for making space for a few breaks. Over Zoom, it’s not as easy to send everyone off for a quick coffee break because of how lengthy it can be to get everyone back and focused, so instead, you could end each section with a quick Q&A session.
Doing this has two advantages:
- To keep everyone up to speed by elaborating on points you may have gone over a bit too quickly.
- To give everyone a break from listening and looking.
On some live Q&A software, you can accept Q&A questions from your audience throughout your Zoom presentation, then answer them whenever.
These small breaks in the presentation can bring back the focus of your audience as they will be anticipating that they need to interact.
No time like the present
So, with these tips, you should feel ready and raring to take on the (presentation) world. We know that presentations aren’t always easy, but hopefully these virtual Zoom presentation tips go some way to relieving the anxieties.
Try to use these tips in your next Zoom presentation and if you stay calm, stay enthusiastic and keep your audience engaged with your shiny, new interactive presentation, it will be your best Zoom presentation yet!