Do you have an important report or pitch to present? A big job interview in sight? Now that we live in a world of virtual meetings, you’ll want to present online in a way that exudes confidence and vibrancy. Since you cannot own the coin, own the Zoom.
Your content should be neat, but your delivery should be relaxed.
Speaking confidently online requires preparation: your content should be polished, but your delivery should be relaxed. The key to this paradox? Find a way to be who you are while looking your best.
Zoom Tips: 5 Ways to Customize Your Presentations
Follow these five guidelines for facilitating your online presentations:
1. Unleash your chair
The first rule of a good Zoom presentation or pitch is to stand up straight. Standing instantly gives you more confidence as it allows you to breathe easily and use relaxed gestures. It also gives a huge boost to your energy and the power of your voice.
Using your hands when speaking has been shown to increase vocal variety. He’s a game changer. Not convinced? Give it a try: Get a laptop stand and practice your presentation from a variety of locations around your home. Take Maya Angelou’s advice: “Stand up, know who you are… dominate your situation,” even though these circumstances may seem daunting.
[ Want more advice on how to communicate effectively? Read also: Zoom tips: 6 ways to make meetings better. ]
2. Control your message
The second rule: avoid death by PowerPoint. Most Zoom presentations put the audience to sleep because the presenters are simply reading from their platform in a flat voice. Don’t be that person. Slides are there when you need a visual to bring content to life; they shouldn’t take the place of a script.
It is important to create a plan. Condense your presentation into five elements: an introduction, three points and a conclusion. Trace it on paper, then speak it out loud. Feel how it flows. Record it over voice notes on your phone, then listen to see where you can smooth out trips or boost your energy.
Reduce your post to keywords, with a memorable signpost for each section. Then write those keywords down and see if you can make your presentation just using your signboards as prompts. Add slides only to give your information a visual touch. You take the center screen – not your deck. When you order your performance, you send your audience a powerful message: you are an expert.
3. Practice makes perfectt
Once you’ve got your message out, think about how to make your voice and body work in perfect harmony. Think of yourself as a cohesive unit with no rough edges or grainy obstacles to ruin the effect.
Zoom is a perfect tool to help you practice because you can book a “meeting” with yourself, record it and play it back.
Few of us take the time to practice our presentations. While it may seem awkward to practice on Zoom, it can make all the difference in the impact of your presentation. After all, no artist takes the stage without rehearsing, and no athlete walks onto a pitch without training.
Zoom is a perfect tool to help you practice as you can book a “meeting” with yourself, record it and play it back. Once you’ve looked at yourself, you’ll know exactly what you need to do.
4. Open before going to screen
When you are stressed, you see a very narrow field of vision. Screens make the situation worse. To release the tension before a conference call, it’s a good practice to physically open yourself up – consider opening the windows on a cool new day. Here’s how to do it:
Stand up straight and stretch your arms well. Take up space. Open your peripheral vision and take a look around you. Open your voice by imagining that you are sending it towards the back wall, or even outside the street. Think of a song you like and sing it, letting your voice fill the room. Feel your voice and your energy open up.
5. Find your extra energy
The extra energy is exactly what gives you charisma in Zoom meetings. For an infusion of energy for your presentation, use what the actors call “memory of emotions”: Use the memory of something you love. It could be a place where you feel relaxed, an event that made you smile, or even a compliment or words of encouragement that boosted your self-confidence.
If you feel your face freeze in a frozen expression, imagine smiling at a friend. It helps release tension and also encourages your audience to relax.
These five tips can add a much needed boost to your next presentation.
[ Is your team tired of Zoom? Mix it up. Read also: 10 ways to fight Zoom fatigue. ]