Online Presentation Tips

Online presentations have quickly become the norm. They're incredibly convenient, offering more flexibility for attendees and hosts alike. However, there are still challenges associated with making a presentation effective online. Some challenges, such as minds that tend to wander, are present in-person as well as online. Other elements, though, are unique to an online format.

If you focus on creating an optimized presentation for your goals and your available online features, your audience will appreciate your delivery and walk away better informed. Here are our top tips for making the most of a virtual presentation, using techniques ranging from audience engagement to screen share.

8 tips for better online presentations

1. Use the right software for the presentation

    A robust video conferencing software will offer the features you need most, from the ability to record a session for later viewing by other participants to an excellent user interface that is easy to navigate. Dialpad Meetings is flexible and easy-to-use solution that gets everyone up and running quickly.

    2. Share your screen when appropriate

      Screen sharing, a useful feature in Dialpad's web conferencing platform, is a real value-add compared to in-person presentations.

      With so many teams distributed worldwide now, meetings often involve visuals. You might need to walk through a new design mockup, or a detailed report together. Sharing your screen and walking attendees through a project is ideal—not only can your team ask questions about each specific step, but they also get a view of all the tiny moving pieces in real-time.

      And most importantly, sharing your screen effectively "projects" a slide deck the way you would in an in-person meeting with a presentation component.

      3. Simplify the slides

        While screen sharing is essential for many projects, remember that viewers can only take in so much information when listening and reading along. Once you've designed your slide deck, make sure that each slide contains the minimum amount of crucial information. Don't be afraid to cut out slides that aren't vital. The slides should reinforce what you most want your viewers to remember, and if you can do that with just a few words and perhaps a graphic or presentation logo, that's the way to go.

        4. Spice up the presentation

          While the context and your audience will determine your presentation's level of formality, remember that spicing up the presentation can often make it stick in your viewer's minds.

          For a casual audience, you can use funny images or quick videos to convey a point in a way that wakes everyone up and keeps them engaged.

          There are still plenty of memory devices for more formal presentations, from alliteration to acronyms appropriate to use. If your audience walks away from your meeting with a strong memory of the "Four Rs of Finance" or "How to G.A.I.N. New Business Leads," they're going to remember you well too.

          A great way to add spice to your presentations is to study talks from the most respected leaders in your field. Whose presentations are harder to get through? Who manages to engage you? Dissect the strategies they use to connect with your audience while maintaining the right level of formality.

          5. Plan interaction

            Whether you offer a quick web poll or ask a question that everyone answers in an instant messsaging thread, involving your audience keeps everyone focused on the task and can help you tailor your information to their specific needs.

            Great presenters often use audience engagement to focus their examples on something that will pique the people's interest in the "room."

            You can use this same strategy: if you know that your audience is mostly salespeople but don't know what services or products they sell, an initial interactive conversation can give you a better understanding of your audience to deliver a better presentation.

            6. Make recordings accessible to missing participants

              While it makes sense to emphasize the benefits of in-person attendance when giving a presentation, there is always that one person who can't make it but would benefit from the information.

              If you use your presentation software to save a recording of the presentation, you can catch your missing team members up after the fact.

              Not every presentation will function effectively as a standalone resource — like a webinar, though, some might be useful "required viewing" for new team members who are onboarding at a later date. Recordings could also become a value-add to share with new clients if the topic is relevant to them.

              Don't miss out on the recyclable nature of presentations since there might be a wider audience for them down the line.

              7. Pause for emphasis

                While jitters may prompt us to leap from sentence to sentence, there's some value in embracing the silence during parts of your presentation. Especially if you have a technical background section or a dryer part, pausing to let things sink in can be very helpful.

                Pauses also allow some time for people to voice questions or type up notes. The experience of thinking over a problem can be conducive to retaining the new information — just letting new information wash over you without responding, on the other hand, can result in lower comprehension. Plan out some pauses for effect and understanding.

                8. Provide actionable next steps

                  Presentations are rarely just abstract, informative concepts. Instead, you want your presentation to prompt some action, move people forward, and help them do their work better.

                  Ensure that you conclude your presentation with ways that people can apply what they've learned to their lives or their work. The more concrete your suggestions, the more likely they are to walk away feeling that they've had a valuable experience!

                  Dialpad's impressive array of cloud conference options creates and shares online presentations more accessible and useful than ever. Reach out today, so we can help you find just the right web conferencing software for your business.