3 min read
Getting up and presenting in front of a bunch of people can be tricky. It takes initiative and confidence, both of which can be difficult to muster sometimes. Let us help you out with a few tips and tricks to master getting up “on stage” virtually and speaking in front of a group.
When speaking in front of any group - virtual or in-person -, it all comes down to your ability to keep the audience engaged. And we know that that’s easier said than done. On top of that, you have to keep in mind that speaking in front of a crowd virtually takes a few different skills and strategies than speaking when the audience is physically right in front of you.
Let’s be honest, virtual events have become so popular in the last few years. This is, in large part, because of COVID, but it’s also a trend that we’ve been seeing for a long time. And there are so many opportunities to speak at online events and have your message reach far more people than it would be the event in-person - we’re talking orders of magnitude, here. The problem is, looking at a screen can be so damn boring! But it really definitely doesn’t have to be. And it won’t be if you excite your audience.
It’s so easy to have a boring, cookie-cutter event with a boring, cookie-cutter presentation. Think outside the box! Even the smallest bit of effort put into considering creative alternatives will go a long way, especially with your attendees/audience members.
Icebreakers are activities, games, or questions that help make everyone feel more welcome. A virtual presentation will only be as effective as the level of engagement you can get out of your audience, so make sure that you prioritize making sure everyone feels really comfortable beforehand.
Everyone loves a good story. People bond over stories, they make you more relatable. So when you’re getting up and talking in front of everyone, feel free to toss one in. That’ll help your audience get into the right mindset and make your point resonate more.
Make as much eye contact with your camera as possible. It might feel strange at first, but it will make people feel as if you’re looking at them. If you can, put your camera at eye level.
When you’re presenting, try throwing in some polls and quizzes! People love these because they’re entertaining and hyper-engaging. Some game inspiration: Would You Rather, theme-based yes or no questions, riddles, surveys.
Nobody likes long presentations that are longer than they have to be. People have tons of distractions at their fingertips, so you’re competing to keep their attention. If you’re showing slides during your talk, make sure they’re structured, have as little text as possible, and include infographics.
You need to have a punch line in every sentence, but you should keep in mind that humor is an incredibly powerful tool. People remember the people and the jokes that made them laugh, so it’s a great way to make a real impression. Write jokes beforehand, or play off your audience. And if improv isn’t your strong suit, try using funny gifs or memes! Just make sure to keep your jokes appropriate for your audience.
It can be a dialogue! Take breaks so that people can ask questions. Or try to involve the audience by asking for their opinions and suggestions.
Everyone loves a good surprise. Why not save one (or a few) to your virtual presentation? It can be a surprise guest, a gift, or new information about a product, service, or event; whatever makes sense for the context. Surprising your audience will keep them hooked and wanting more.
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Sara knows some things about marketing, has 3 cats, loves to go for hikes and organize things by color!
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