online presentations

Because of the Corona Virus, lots of people are asking me for urgent help with their online presentations. I’ve put some more detailed thoughts at the bottom of this post.

One of the most popular apps for getting started is Zoom. The free version is pretty powerful and the paid version is fantastic. Most of us are going to be starting out with the free version though, so that’s what I’m demo-ing here, in an impromptu series of videos I’m sharing on LinkedIn.

I’m not making any claim that these videos are slick – just trying to be helpful quickly! πŸ™‚

Scheduling your online presentation using Zoom – a few dirty tricks and Gotchas

Getting started like that is pretty straight-forward. To be honest, using Zoom is relatively easy all ways around, but here’s another scratch video with a couple of dirty tricks to look better when you share you slides on your screen with other people.

Sharing your slides in online presentations

And that’s it! πŸ™‚

Recording your presentations – a couple more gotchas!


One final video? Okay. How do you change the background when you’re making your presentations?

Some thoughts on how online presentations are different from live ones

Live presentations are what we all know and “love”. They’re not the same as online however and the ‘rules’ are a bit different. I’ve copied an article below that I originally posted on Linked In that covers much of the ground. The original is on my LinkedIn feed.

With the Corona virus in the news a lot at the moment, there’s a lot of shifting towards online presentations, so here’s some help… seven things to do differently online. I’m not pretending this is a comprehensive list, it’s just the first seven things that occurred to me when I was asked some advice. It’s based on experience, not research (so treat accordingly – although I have a shed-load of experience, of course πŸ™‚ ). Feel free to pitch in!

Oh, if you prefer, there’s a fun/quick summary video of those thoughts below.

  1. Be bigger. Screens etc on suck the energy out of your delivery (from the audience’s point of view) so to keep people engaged you need to work harder. It might feel weird of course, because there’s no audience to work with, just a camera, but you should absolutely go biiiiiiig
  2. Look at the camera. Yes, I know that sounds obvious, but so many of us (me included) have our attention dragged towards the part of the computer/phone/whatever that is moving – and funnily enough that’s the bit showing us. But from the audiences’ point of view, you’re not looking at them any more!
  3. Have more going on. With no “you and your personality” to keep people engaged, you need more to happen on your slides. It’s perfectly okay to have one slide for as long as you need to when you’re live, but online that can mean that people lose focus and perhaps even try to multi-task. I’m not saying you should put in tons of animation for the sake of it, but when you’ve got an option to ‘have more happen’ take it (within reason! πŸ™‚ )
  4. Find ways to make people pay ACTIVE attention. We all do it – we try and multitask – thinking we can both listen to a presentation and have our emails open in another tab on our browser. We can’t. It doesn’t stop us trying though… So when you present, try things like having key information only available visually on a slide. Don’t repeat it out loud, and make sure you tell people they need to read the screen, so that they’ve got to come back to you and your presentation
  5. Test the tech. Yes, yes, that’s obvious. Right? Right? So why do we not do it?Remember that your audience will associate your technical prowess with the value of your content, so if your technical abilities let you down, they start to wonder if your material is up to scratch too. Test things the day before, using the exact set-up that you’re going to be using for the online presentation itself and check how to do things like shift between screens. Then arrive early and check it on the day! πŸ™‚
  6. Show your face… Yes really. Whenever you don’t need the slides, turn the slides off (and rehearse doing that – see the note above!). If your software allows you to be a small, floating head in the corner of the screen when you are showing slides… do that! Do whatever you can to be seen to be a real person
  7. Go somewhere sensible. Another obvious tip this one in some ways, but make sure you go somewhere with a fast WiFi upload speed (as well as download) and without background noise. Use a headset mic to make your voice clearer in comparison to the background sounds… and find somewhere without people walking past in the background, dogs barking, children rushing in…

There you go. As always, chip in if you have thoughts – there’s a lot more to it, but those should move you along nicely!

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