Tips on how to look good in a virtual meeting
1. DECLUTTER DON’T LET YOUR BACKGROUND BE DISTRACTING
You might think you’re adding interest and quirkiness, but having a messy background is distracting. The most distracting are items with text – your viewers will be reading those. Sure, you might want to show off your bookshelf, but if those spines are readable, well, just know some audience members will indeed be reading instead of listening to you. So if your meeting is an important one – declutter your background. Pick up stray items, plan what’s visible.
You can often change the angle of your screen to find a better view without rearranging furniture, so try different angles. A friend had her drying laundry out one time – we agreed the best place for that was behind her chair. Blocked from view, but her clothes were still drying!
2. CAMERA TEST YOUR ANGLES RAISE YOUR CAMERA TO YOUR EYE LEVEL
You don’t want to be looking down your nose in a virtual prseentation, i.e. at people. Neither do you want them to be looking up your nostrils!
Likewise if the camera is too high it may mean your eyebrows are constantly raised… surprise isn’t always the right look to have on your face 🙂
A great tip is to set up a dummy meeting and record it. Position your camera in various places and heights and when you play back the recording you can objectively see what works best for you.
3. DROP THE MIC
You don’t just need to look good, you need to sound good in a virtual presentation. Using in-built microphones generally gives you below par voice quality. If presenting is an important part of your job then invest in a mic so that you sound beautiful! Vocal clarity and power will help you to convince and connect with your audience. There are many brands out there – and many recommendations for different price points.
4. LIGHT UP!
Whilst natural light is often going to give the best results, we can’t always control where windows, power sources, desks and other obstacles might be. So for good lighting, use a lamp at 45 degrees. Again, record your set up and see what works best for you. And what works at different times of day. A lot of pros use a halo light. Avoid “arty” lighting where half of your face is in shadow. It might look “cool”, but you shouldn’t be going for that look. You should be connecting with your audience and showing you are open, honest, transparent (not literally transparent we hasten to add). Shadows look arty, but don’t display openness in a virtual set up.
5. KEEP EXPERIMENTING – GET IT CHECKED
Ask a friend or colleague. You can’t always be objective about your own appearence. If you have recordings get some votes on what works. And keep working on improving this. Once you have your set up sorted – it’s going to boost your confidence knowing that you look good.
And it might help you to look at your own camera feed less when in that virtual presentation. We all have a glance to check we look good right?
6. NOW YOU LOOK GOOD, MAKE SURE YOUR SLIDES DO TOO…
You didn’t think we wouldn’t mention that your slides need to look good in a virtual presentation too right?
Don’t waste hours of your time sorting and formatting your slides – outsource that stress and time drain to the professionals. We’ll help you to look good.
Interactive Presentations have many benefits
Have you seen interactive presentations in action? Please check out this screen recording of one of our portfolios. We’ve collated a number of cool features in PowerPoint that we think not everyone will know about. Press play and see which are familiar to you.
There’s no secret behind these interactive presentation skills. We use a mixture of hyperlinks and animation triggers. It’s all in native PowerPoint, so if you have Office 365 installed (and updated) then you’ll have the ability to use all these interactive PowerPoint features. Easy!
Interactivity boosts engagement
Having a non-linear presentation gives a more personal feel when you are delivering any kind of pitch or presentation.
Clicking through a PowerPoint menu can for many reasons: driven by your own curiosity, your prospect’s questions, or the bespoke relevance to your audience for example. This non-linear exploration improves attention as viewers believe the option choices are more relevant to them. And they’re right! (or they should be!) Relevance is a big deal when it comes to engagement.
Interactive features can keep your screen uncluttered
By using space “off the screen” we can make the most of the viewing space on each slide. Cluttered slides are BAD for audiences. They pose a risk of cognitive overload, and hierarchy of information can be lost: viewers don’t know which bit of content is the most important so eyes jump around and so does focus.
Having content “enter” draws attention to it – and the “exit” feature (like for a video) is ideal to lighten their load too.
Interactive presentations impress your prospects / leads / clients / audience
Interactivity is such a good way to present case studies to your clients.
A full page of logos is perfect for every eventuality. Then only click on the ones that are relevant to that meeting: so you deep dive into that story alone. You may click on ones that your prospect asks about, or ones that you feel are the best to demonstrate your value. Either way the benefit of having a full page or menu list of all the case studies gives more credibility about your experience and expertise. Nice bonus!
If you think interactive presentations would give you more of an edge – get in touch. We’d love to help you.
The benefits of a non-linear presentation:
A non-linear presentation is a great way to present. It’s way more engaging for your audience, as you can be led by the direction of their questions or interest areas. The presentation then stays more relevant for the individual: keeping their attention. Definitely a result that you want!
Of course, it’s more effective with an appropriate audience size – for smaller meetings, or one-to-one, it’s a brilliant presentation option.
What is a non-linear presentation?
A non-linear presentation simply means that you won’t necessarily start at slide 1 and then proceed to slide 2, 3, 4 etc. The slides will be structured in a similar way to a website – allowing the presenter to respond to their audience’s area of interest by clicking on a topic which is hyperlinked. This allows the presenter to jump to any chosen slide within the deck. And back again, perhaps. Or to drill down into more detail if required. A presenter is also likely to have a more natural delivery and feel less rehearsed when they have the freedom to present a non-linear presentation.
For example, this video showing interactive case studies allows the presenter to select the best and most relevant case studies to share with that particular audience. Equally, the audience member could choose which they see – either through self-navigation if they had the presentation themselves via email, or of course by talking with the presenter during the presentation experience.
Non-linear presentations can increase presentation engagement
Using a hyperlinked presentation also means the presenter can practice active listening, and can intuitively respond to the audience. This encourages the presentation to be more of a dialogue and less of a monologue. Such techniques help to boost audience engagement and encourages participation.
We see trends occur in the presentation industry through the requests of our clients. And more and more are asking for navigation in their presentation decks.
Watch this short video to see simple examples of interactive presentation techniques:
Using Animation triggers to further reduce cognitive load
Another smart technique in use here is the animation trigger. A “trigger animation” has been set to hide a menu: this keeps the screen uncluttered and clean looking. When we click the menu icon, the full menu list appears and we can jump to a new section. Not having the menu there all the time will encourage the audience to focus on the actual visible content, whilst also giving the content space to “breathe”. This method can also reduce cognitive overload for the audience. We’re always keen to use presentation science!
If you’d like to transform your company presentations into a non-linear format, please give the team a call or drop us an email!