Virtual presenting is here to stay, so you need to get better at it

Recently an executive contacted me with a request that I think will become more common. They have a talented professional who is struggling with virtual presentations. While many professionals are meeting in person again, virtual presentations are here to stay. This expert is brought in virtually to share specific analysis during a longer meeting. This is becoming a common approach in many settings.

In March of 2020 professionals scrambled to learn the basics of Zoom and Teams as the business world went virtual. Unfortunately too many professionals haven’t learned more than what they picked up in the first few months of 2020. The platforms have evolved dramatically with new features and experts such as myself have figured out ways to leverage the platforms to effectively present slides and other content.

The executive asked me to coach this staff member and here’s what I recommended. You can use this as a model for evaluating how to improve your virtual presentation skills.

Present state analysis: Start with looking at how current presentations are created and delivered. This observation will identify the areas that need to be focused on.

Choice & Creation of visuals: Choosing the right visuals and creating them clearly will help the viewers understand the message. Some visuals, like the ones in the situation above, are produced from other sources so selection is the only task.

Virtual platform: Each of the major virtual platforms has their own features. Many new features have been added that allow presenters more control of the video and the shared content to deliver a better experience for the viewers.

Delivery of the content: Most of the control is still in the hands of the presenter because sharing PowerPoint and other apps is pretty common across the platforms. Leveraging the features of these apps to present slides, documents, and other content engages the viewers.

Unfortunately the documentation and support provided by the platforms only focuses on the features and not how a professional would use them to deliver a meaningful presentation. That’s where expert coaching can help. Someone who has figured out how to use the platforms and apps to best communicate messages can focus your learning and take your virtual presentation skills to the next level.

If you want to see if my coaching can help you learn the tips and techniques that will help improve your virtual presentations, drop me a line and we can see if my 1-on-1 coaching services might be a good fit.

By Dave Paradi

Dave Paradi has over twenty-two years of experience delivering customized training workshops to help business professionals improve their presentations. He has written ten books and over 600 articles on the topic of effective presentations and his ideas have appeared in publications around the world. His focus is on helping corporate professionals visually communicate the messages in their data so they don't overwhelm and confuse executives. Dave is one of fewer than ten people in North America recognized by Microsoft with the Most Valuable Professional Award for his contributions to the Excel, PowerPoint, and Teams communities. His articles and videos on virtual presenting have been viewed over 4.8 million times and liked over 17,000 times on YouTube.