How to Polish Your Presentation Skills
For Zoom Calls, Facebook Live, and Public Speaking
Whether you are new entrepreneurship or you’ve been a business owner for some years, it’s important to keep your presentation skills polished and professional. While in-person presentations are happening less at the moment, Facebook lives and Zoom calls are becoming increasingly popular.
Having valuable content is important, but delivery is key in a presentation. According to surveys, up to 70 percent of people agree that presentation skills are critical to career success. Without it, you’re limiting yourself and your business. If you can’t properly communicate to your audience or make your point clearly, your presentation will be a failure.
5 Tips to Polish Your Presentation Skills
1. Know Your Platform and Programs
Whether you’re giving a presentation on a stage or hosting a Facebook live, knowing where you’re giving your presentation and how is critical so you can avoid needless errors. This could mean asking in advance about the room layout where you’ll be delivering the presentation, or making sure you understand how Zoom works and how to record your presentation if you need to.
Feel free to walk around the room where you’ll be giving your presentation if you can. Feel free to take a practice Zoom call before your scheduled presentation, or a practice Facebook live if you can manage it. Just make sure you understand your platform and get as comfortable as possible beforehand so you can eliminate whatever technical errors you can.
2. Be Yourself and Show Your Face
Human beings connect well with other human faces as well as with authenticity, so don’t be afraid to show your face and personality. Your customers want to know you. This is especially important in virtual presentations when human connection becomes much harder. You want to do as much as you can to connect with your audience and build relationships virtually.
3. Practice Using Your Voice
This doesn’t just mean talk for the sake of talking, but rather to pay attention to how your voice comes across. Whenever you’re in front of an audience, especially if you take away the physical aspect of in-person presentations and give a virtual one, it’s important to keep your tone from being unclear, monotone, or difficult to hear.
Practice by recording yourself talking, then analyzing how it sounds. The way you talk might sound different inside your head then it does out loud, so just like vocal artists have to practice to hit the right notes so their song sounds pleasing, a presenter ought to practice their presentation to be sure it sounds right.
4. Bring Visuals
People like having something to look at and you can keep them interested for much longer if you have ways of keeping their attention. Offering charts, data, pictures, or bullet-pointed summary slides to accompany your presentation will help your audience remain interested and follow along with what you’re saying, especially during a virtual presentation where it’s much harder to gauge your audience’s comprehension levels.
5. Embrace the Silence
Embracing the silence is one of the most difficult things to master in a presentation. You want your audience to be engaged and interested, so silence is often thought of as a bad thing… but this doesn’t have to be the case. Online audiences can be incredibly passive just by nature, leading many presenters to “fill the silence” with more words and monologues. Unfortunately, this only serves to discourage the participation even more since not all the information is valuable or it’s an information overload.
Make space for pauses. Use it as a tool to give your audience a chance to process what you’ve said. Use it as an opportunity to refocus on your point or check your notes. Use it as a strategy to be purposeful. Don’t fear the silence, but rather use them to build anticipation and reveal something valuable.
When giving a presentation, especially now with practically everything going virtual, it’s important to check your WiFi connection, log in early, and keep a glass of water nearby to sip on when you need. If you have any more questions or need help with your virtual presentations, don’t hesitate to reach out for help!