11 tips for presenting online

Everyone has already noticed that presenting online is not the same as giving a face-to-face presentation. Because teleworking will remain the norm for a while, we would like to list some tips for a more professional appearance.

1. prepare yourself.

Choose a tool you use to present (such as Teams or Zoom) and practise. Test this tool, and check how to easily turn your webcam & microphone on and off. If necessary, use a headset if you hear echo.

2. send an invitation.

Email your audience a calendar appointment with the time and a link to the platform where they can log in. In that way, the info is only 1 click away.

3. choose your location.

Find a spot where you can sit quietly, preferably where some natural daylight falls on you, so that you are not a black spot on the screens of your audience. Make sure your background is neat and tidy. A neutral wall is ideal. If this is difficult, you can resort to the ‘blur background’ feature that some tools have. Handy: Do you live with room-mates or do you have children walking around the house? Hang a ‘do not disturb’ sign on the door so that it is clear to everyone that you should not be disturbed for a while.

4. be on time.

Log in 5 minutes in advance and open the documents you want to share with your audience. That will save you some effort later on. Tidy up your desktop. You can easily display this (on a Windows computer) with a right mouse click > image > desktop icons. This hides all the icons and everything looks clean and neat.

5. dress neatly.

Dress as you would if you were physically present. Avoid sweatpants or pyjamas!

6. state how long you plan to present.

And make some basic rules depending on the situation. An example of this: if you have to present online in front of a group, it can be useful for people who do not have to speak to mute their microphone for a while, to avoid disturbing background noise.

7. keep it short.

Video calling is extra tiring, limit yourself more than ever to the essence.

8. less is more.

Keep it simple. Avoid sentences, use keywords. Make sure everything is legible, people usually follow your presentation on a smaller laptop screen.

9. Animations with a purpose.

Animations in an online shared presentation often suffer a slight delay. This is disruptive. Limit your animations, but make them useful. Build a slide into pieces, where you show info with clicks as you talk about it. This way, your audience won’t lose focus.

10. plan interaction.

Make sure it is not a one-way street, but involve your audience in your story. Ask questions or ask their opinion on a particular issue.

11. closing.

Try to avoid the standard ‘are there any questions’, but end by briefly summarising the essence of your story. What was the issue, what solution can you offer, and how does this take place? End with a Call To Action.

do you need help with your online presentation?

We would be pleased to explore what we can do for you at an introductory meeting, virtually of course.

contact us