This is a guest post from Dan Fries.
Presenting to an audience is never easy.
The process of preparing a digital presentation and hoping that there aren’t any technical glitches is enough to make anyone sweat. Add the pressures of doing a virtual presentation and it becomes even more stressful. Presenting to an audience that isn’t in front of you until stage time can be nerve-wracking.
The stakes are high, both for your career and for your company. Getting ready for a big pitch or presentation can be really overwhelming. But the good thing is, it doesn’t have to be that way.
If you follow these ten tips, you can prepare and deliver a killer presentation that will make you proud, whether your audience is in a conference room next to you or attending virtually from Beijing.
#1 Tell a story
If you can, try to make your point by telling a story. Storytelling releases neurochemicals that prompt your audience to become more engaged.
These same neurochemicals help people empathize with your thought process and get excited about your ideas. If possible, find a way to address the important points of your work presentation while also telling a story. This can turn a boring work meeting into a thought-provoking presentation that keeps people talking.
#2 Keep it simple
Keep your points as concise as possible, and avoid flashy colors or busy graphics. A brief overview of the subject, whether it is a sales pitch or presentation of data, keeps your audience focused. If you dump too much data on your viewers, you’ll likely see their eyes glaze over really fast.
Make sure that your presentation flows well and gets to the meat of the matter, without focusing unnecessarily on details. This will help you avoid the trap of reading off the slides like a robot.
If your audience is asking for more details, that means you’re doing something right: remember that the goal of any presentation is to make your point and keep people wanting more. If they ask for more information, that means they are probably impressed with your presentation so far. Which brings us to our next point…
#3 Make sure your presentation is shareable
It’s important that your presentation is capable of being shared in multiple ways: via email, on social media, and on your website. Shareable content engages users and helps spread the word about your brand.
One of the most common platform choices to make an online presentation is the webinar. The most popular webinar platforms such as Livestorm or WebinarJam make it easy to spread your presentations through sharing your screen with multiple presenters or by supplying online recordings in downloadable MP4 formats.
There is also always the possibility that an interested attendee arrives late to your presentation or can’t make it to see your presentation. If your presentation is virtual, chances are even higher that someone might not be able to attend due to a technical issue. As a courtesy to your audience, you should always offer to send them a copy of the presentation for their reference after you are done.
FlippingBook is a great program for these types of situations. Don’t use a PDF or a PowerPoint file that takes forever to send, and even longer for the recipient to download. FlippingBook presentations can be sent and opened in seconds and are compatible with all different types of computers and mobile devices.
For instance, check out this engaging online presentation.
The beauty of FlippingBook is that a presentation can be sent as a link, making it much more accessible for everyone. If your presentation is a wild success (we know it will be!) your company can even use the embed code to seamlessly feature it on their website.
#4 Keep in mind that compatibility is key
It’s important to make sure your presentation can be displayed on all types of computers, tablets, mobile phones, and smart TV screens.
For example, because of the coronavirus pandemic, nearly all university professors had to make the quick switch from classrooms to virtual lecture halls. This disruption made it painfully clear which colleges were digitally savvy, and which were not. And student frustration increased when it became obvious that schools were technologically unprepared for this transition.
Finding the best platform for online courses became imperative for universities that wanted to keep their tuition-paying students. Though the “Edtech” sector has seen a serious uptick in investment activity into digital skills platforms and online boot camps, it has a lot of catching up to do.
So, just be mindful of how you prepare and share your presentation, and the wide range of equipment your audience may be working with. Choosing the right platform for presentations as well as online courses or workbooks is absolutely key for compatibility and ease of use. This applies to both those in the academic and the business world.
#5 Make it updateable
Sharing information from your presentation is great, but we all know how quickly a document can become outdated.
Successful companies limit old and inaccurate information about their services to keep their clients well informed, which also helps to preserve their standing and reputation. This is critically important in an era where nine out of every ten people actually research companies and business owners before choosing to work with them.
Make sure that you regularly check up on your content to avoid having outdated information floating around the internet. By using a platform for your presentation that is updateable, you can change prices, update statistics, and present new data continually with the same document. However, if you choose to create your presentation as a living document, make sure you protect your company’s versatility and adaptability.
This is one of the areas FlippingBook has a huge advantage over such formats as PDF or PowerPoint, which can only offer stagnant files. Presentations created with FlippingBook can be updated in a click, and the new information remains available under the same link.
#6 Practice, practice, practice
If you are doing an in-person presentation, make sure all your materials are prepared beforehand. A true pro trick? If possible, practice your presentation in the exact space where it will occur, wearing the outfit that you plan on having that day! By limiting the number of variables that will occur on your big presentation day, you can mitigate a lot of unforeseen circumstances that can throw a wrench in your plans.
Ever wonder how so many speakers make their speeches seem flawless yet effortless? Loads of practice.
Counterintuitively, the most important thing to practice when making a presentation is your pauses. These bring meaning and pace to your words, and most importantly, they give you the opportunity to breathe. Running through a presentation quickly, without coming up for air, may leave you feeling light-headed and anxious.
#7 Cut down on loading time and awkward silences
Slow loading times test audience patience now more than ever. Set up your laptop prior to the beginning of the presentation and check your Internet speed.
If you have decided to use FlippingBook as a platform for your presentation, make sure to enable Slide Mode for the most comfortable viewing experience.
However, it’s essential that you are set up with a solid internet connection to make the presentation as seamless as possible—check this before you check anything else!
#8 Consider ways to make the presentation interactive
Many presenters offer a question and answer session after the slides are finished. Why not welcome your audience to ask questions whenever they want throughout the presentation? Try to overcome your fear about this uncertainty, and understand that being transparent and candid can help build trust in your brand. It can open up a useful dialog and make your presentation super engaging and thought-provoking.
On the flip side, you can ask your audience questions in order to engage them. Try not to ask questions with only one right answer—this will just bring up memories of listening to a school teacher from the back of a classroom. Try asking in-depth, open-ended questions, and see how your viewers respond.
If you include a variety of different media—videos, links, images, and audio—this will make your presentation even more compelling. And if you are too shy to ask questions during the presentation, consider giving your viewers a link to your blog or company website. That way, they can leave comments if they have questions or feedback later.
#9 If you are doing a virtual presentation, make sure it is secure
Although you may be eager to share your amazing presentation, always be careful about privacy. There are some security risks with virtual presentations. Your ideas, research, or insight are valuable, and they should never fall in the hands of your competition.
Recent news is rife with both humorous and sinister instances of what has become known as “Zoom-bombing.” This term evolved to describe the notorious hackers that have been able to take advantage of technologically unprepared companies and schools. Strangers were frequently able to “walk-in” on business and academic meetings worldwide, either to play a harmless prank or to steal information to sell on the dark web.
This is why it is essential to choose a reliable platform for your presentation, and consider password protecting the document. You should also use a Virtual Private Network when creating, sharing, and presenting the slides because this can greatly cut down on the chances of your material being accessed by unauthorized people. If necessary, additionally set your slides up with a password to keep them protected and prevent your hard work from being stolen.
#10 Remember the 10-20-30 rule
Guy Kawasaki of Apple is a famous marketing specialist, author, and Silicon Valley venture capitalist. He claims that he has discovered the perfect formula for a flawless presentation. Specifically, he recommends that slideshows should contain no more than 10 slides and last no more than 20 minutes. To enhance visibility, he suggests that the font should be no smaller than font size 30.
If you’ve gotten this far in the article, you are well prepared with some important tips and tricks for a flawless presentation. Keep your presentation concise, practice your delivery, and make sure you choose the right platform for your presentation.
As long as you follow these simple rules, you can add “well-versed in high-stakes digital presentations and virtual meetings” on your resume in no time.