5 Tips to Crush Your Next Video Conference
with Outstanding Presentation Skills
The Covid-19 pandemic has entirely changed the scenario of presentations, replacing face-to-face and in-person meetings, events, and conferences with online video interactions.
Nowadays, presenting to people over a webcam (without their physical presence) is a whole new ball game that, as yet, has only been mastered by a few. If you are someone whose heart pounds, whose mind goes blank and palms get sweaty merely at the thought of addressing a large audience over Zoom, Skype, or other virtual presentation platforms, you are doomed to virtual presentation panic.
According to experts, by 2025, the relationship between people and technology will deepen as we will rely more on digital connections for social interactions, commercial transactions, healthcare, education, and work.
In this era of ‘tele-everything,’ most activities from job interviews to team meetings to business collaborations are happening through video conferencing. Amidst this, if you fail to master the art of presenting effectively over video, you may lose many lucrative opportunities.
Here, we bring you a few tips to calm your nerves, overcome the debilitating nervousness, and enthrall an audience with your impeccable video presentation skills. Read on!
1. Practice, Refine, and Improve
Lack of preparedness is one of the reasons that contribute to the overwhelming feeling of stress. Stumbling a bit while delivering a presentation over video is quite normal, even for skilled presenters who have always presented on the stage in a room full of the audience. Well, getting rid of the fear of presenting over video conferencing is not a hard nut to crack! By practicing more often in front of your family members, friends, and closest colleagues, you can look calm and confident on camera. With continuous rehearsals, you can convert the nightmare of presenting virtually into a beautiful reality.
Below are a few more benefits of practicing extensively for your talk ahead of time:
You learn to manage your time efficiently.
You become more familiar with your presentation.
You get to know the areas where you need to work - gestures, voice pace, pronunciation, or any other.
You get plenty of time to work on feedback, re-organize your thoughts, and polish your speech with the right words.
2. Be Authentic
“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." - Maya Angelou
When you present over a webcam, all eyes are on you. Being in the limelight not at all means that you will have to act. Be true to who you are and let your personality shine through for communicating authentically and making a lasting on the audience’s mind.
Consider the fact that the audience doesn’t remember the facts and figures once the presentation is over; however, they remember how you presented the information and how those stats impacted them. Thus, while presenting, speak with your heart, head, and core.
Watch this video to learn how to make your communication authentic: Authenticity: Leading and Speaking with Your Head, Heart and Core | Erin Weed.
3. Channel Your Nervousness into Positive Energy
According to research by Boston University, in an attempt to conceal (or suppress) your feelings of anxiety from viewers, you actually end up increasing your nervousness and making things worse.
Instead of suppressing your anxiety, transform it into excitement. Leverage the power of the mind-body connection and innovative thoughts to positively influence the physical responses of your body. Instead of seeing video conferencing as a challenge, take it as an opportunity to make your own unique identity.
Pro Tip: Deep inhalations, a brisk walk, and light stretching before the presentation will increase the adrenaline in your body, filling you with enthusiasm and energy - the much-needed elements for a great performance.
4. Pay Heed to Your Gestures and Facial Expressions
One of the best strategies to build meaningful connections with your audience is to scan their expressions as they listen to your talk and respond to them with the appropriate gesture.
"Smiling actually relaxes the body. Physiologically, smiling emits endorphins in the brain that calms the nerves, creates a pleasant attitude, and promotes a sense of well being," says Darlene Price, the author of Well Said! Presentations and Conversations That Get Results.
Further, make sure your facial expressions are in accord with other aspects, such as the story you are narrating and your tone of voice. With the right gestures and sincere emotions, you can convey your passion and make a huge difference, compelling your audience to believe in your ideas.
Increase Your Vocal Power
“Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with a deeper meaning.” - Maya Angelou
An audience may refuse to accept your idea merely because the tone of voice in which it has been presented or expressed is not empathetic to them. No matter how well-researched information you have included in your slides, and how beautiful the words you have chosen, if you don’t utter them with the right emotions, your entire efforts will be in vain.
The quality of your vocal tone matters a lot, specifically when you present virtually. If you want to speak at your vocal peak, perform the following vocal warm-ups a few hours before the presentation:
- Tongue Twisters
- Breathing Exercises
- Body Stretches
The Final Takeaway
In comparison to audio-only presentations, video presentations provide better opportunities to create a stronger sense of engagement with your intended audience. But at the same time, keeping the viewers hooked till the end of the slideshow when delivering speech through video conferencing is the biggest challenge as they are not physically present. So, if you don’t want your audience to check their social media, type text messages on their mobiles, and read emails when you talk, then you should not delay in learning and honing the skills of presenting online.
I hope the above-mentioned presentation tips will help you in acing your next video conferencing session! If you find this article insightful, do share it on your social media handles.
About the Author
Ashish Arora is Co-Founder of SketchBubble, a leading provider of result-driven, professionally built PowerPoint templates.
Travelling the world to gather new creative ideas, he has been working in the digital marketing space since 2007 and has a passion for designing presentations.