For now, face to face meetings and presentations are off the agenda. And who knows, there’s every chance that when social distancing restrictions are lifted remote presentations will remain commonplace.
The efficiency of organising presentations without everyone needing to be in the same place is something many clients will want to hang on to. So we’d better all become skilled at presenting online if we want to win new business.
For presenters and bid teams, this brings a whole new set of challenges. While many of us are getting used to Zoom and other remote communication tools we maybe have a bit of leeway. This won’t last. Expectations will increase rapidly as more people experience how online meetings and presentations can be handled with professionalism.
Is it the Technology, or is it You?
Even just the mechanics of getting everyone on the presentation team to make their contribution in a slick and professional way takes some planning and practice. Don’t do your learning in front of your client or your most important audience.
Thankfully, we’ve largely got past the stage when presenters routinely apologised for the technology (or their mastery of it) in face-to-face presentations, we don’t want to replicate that painful experience remotely.
Help Your Voice to Help You
Probably the most important change to grasp is that you are even more reliant on your voice. In my coaching sessions I have always emphasised how important it is to modulate your tone and pace, to use strategic pauses and repetition, to add colour and changes of pitch.
Online presentations don’t allow you to move around. Gestures have less impact. Eye contact isn’t possible (but do make sure you look directly into the camera). Your voice is pretty much all you have at your disposal to bring energy to your presentation.
Supercharging your vocal delivery probably won’t come naturally. It almost certainly won’t feel natural at first. But work at it. Maybe record your script and play it back without images, just to see what sort of impact your voice has.
See What Others See
The next thing I would urge you to do is think carefully about what other participants will see. Position your camera so that it is more or less at eye level. If you are using the camera built into your laptop you will probably need to place your computer on something to bring it to the right level. The ‘up the nose’ shot probably isn’t your best angle.
Make sure you are well lit and that the background is uncluttered with nothing to distract the audience.
These few basic tips will help you be more engaging and persuasive in your online presentations and meetings. I’ll be sharing others over the coming weeks. If you’d like to get into all of this in more detail and have the opportunity to ask questions, I’m also hosting some free webinars on online presentations.
I'll be releasing the details of the next webinar soon - drop me an email if you'd like an invitation: [email protected]
I have many years of senior sales and account management positions.
This experience taught me how to interpret exactly what clients are seeking, and what they need and expect to see and hear from the successful bidder. We draw on this experience to give your team an additional competitive advantage by building on their existing strengths while improving their team-working and self-awareness.