Issue #104 March 7, 2006

PowerPoint Tip – Remote Presentation Delivery tips

I define a remote presentation as one where you send your slide file to your audience in advance of your presentation and they view and control your slides on their own computer as they listen to you on the telephone. This is different than a webinar where the audience sees your slides in their browser and you are controlling the slides while you are speaking. If you do remote presentations, here are some tips to keep in mind. When you are sending your file, remember that many e-mail systems will not accept an attachment larger than 4 MB, so if you have large photos that have not been resampled or large emedded audio files, your e-mail attachment may be stripped off before the recipient gets it. Also, if you are e-mailing a large file to many people in an organization, you run the risk of overloading their e-mail server with the size of the attachments. A better approach is to put the file on your web site or a shared corporate drive and provide people with a link to the file so they can download it. To keep everyone on the same slide when you are presenting, you need to have slide numbers on every slide and refer to them as you present – ie. “Now as you can see in the graph on slide 7 …” Because each participant is controlling the slides themselves, you will also not be able to build the points on a slide one-by-one since that would require too much instruction on your part during the presentation and too much work on the participant’s part. Since you can’t point to items on a slide, you need to make sure that you have included callouts, circles and explanatory text on any diagrams or graphics to make each slide meaningful as you discuss it. Finally, don’t expect your audience to be paying full attention while you are presenting. They will be looking at reports or checking e-mail while you present. Increase audience participation by asking them questions on how they would apply the teaching and having group discussions of topics to get everyone refocused on the topic. By keeping the audience first in your mind, you can make remote presentations work for you.