COVID 19 came with so many hardships and struggles for everyone across the world but if we look at some of the positive sides of it, it also gave opportunities to enhance our skills. It made us think about our own strengths and weaknesses and allowed us to work on our improvement areas.
In the IT industry, people are working remotely and hence are expected to present their thoughts and learnings via virtual platforms. However, one of the common challenges in communicating the same is to find the right way to deliver effective virtual presentations. Though, I firmly believe that regular practice is essential to sharpen our skill-set but at the same time we must also know what is to be practiced. So, here are some of the tips which could help you deliver an effective and powerful presentation:
There are 3 phases of every presentation – Preparation, Delivery, and Post presentation analysis.
Most of us keep the focus on how to speak and address the audience and think about the delivery part more than anything else. These are certainly important aspects but unless you are well prepared, it would be difficult for you to make an effective and impactful presentation. So, the following points are very critical:
- Knowledge of the Topic
You must have a thorough knowledge of the topic you are going to present. Prepare well, explore as much as you can to come up with valuable information on the topic.
- Content of the PPT
Many times, you must have noticed that the PPTs are full of content and the presenter just read through the sides. It may not be a good practice. Rather, make sure that your content in the slides is crisp and clear. Use bullet points to describe. Use graphical representations and keep it simple and readable to the audience.
- Use of language as per audience
It’s very important that you must know your audience and then ensure that the language you use is as per their interest. For instance, If you are delivering a presentation to your office colleagues, you must try to present the same in English but there is no harm if you use a few Hindi words in between as the audience here is well versed with the Hindi language. But, what if the audience is from different geography? In this case, you must stick to the English language else your message may not reach the audience correctly.
- Moc practice
For beginners, it’s the best way to ensure an effective presentation. You must do mirror practice, be your own audience, this will help you know your improvement areas, and boost your confidence level.
- Ensure proper set-up
While presenting the session virtually, you must have properly set up before the session starts. Set up your background properly, check the impact of light, and set up your camera in sync with your sitting arrangement. Try to ensure the entire setup is located at a place where there is minimal chance of external noise. If possible, use headphones for proper voice quality. Set your system and desk at least 15 mins in advance.
- Check your internet connectivity
While we are at home, the Internet is one of the biggest challenges. You must check the speed and bandwidth of your internet before you start the session to avoid last-minute hiccups.
Delivery of presentation
This is the most critical part of the presentation and here are few tips to ensure the effectiveness of the same:
- Look at your camera while addressing the audience
We all know that one of the basic principles of delivering a presentation is maintaining eye contact with the audience. But now since you are delivering a session online, you must ensure to look at your camera to make your audience feel connected throughout the session.
Looking at your keyboard or reading through your screen may not give a very good impression.
- Avoid reading through the slides
The content of the slide is important but how you present it is also an important element. It’s recommended that you should not simply read the whole content available in your slides. Keep your points short in the slides and describe it in your own words while you deliver it to your audience. This would help you make proper eye contact as well as engage them better.
- Use filters like chats, polls, questions, etc.
Take a break after every 10 minutes and try to connect with your audience. For an effective presentation, use methods like polls, or chats, etc to have two-way communication so that people do not get bored and take interest in the session.
- Be confident
As mentioned earlier, ensure thorough practice, gather information about the topic, and be prepared to boost your confidence. If you are confident enough, there would be very less chances of getting fumble and the audience would be more engaged.
- Wear a Smile and focus on voice modulation
Your body language speaks a lot, so while you are presenting virtually, your smile would play a very crucial role in showcasing your personality. It would add a charm in your voice and boost your confidence. If you speak without expressions, the audio may lose interest.
You must also work on your voice modulation. Avoid speaking in one flat tone. Give emphasis on words as per importance and try to be interactive with the audience.
- Encourage Q&A
While you are presenting, there could be many points that may not be very clear to your audience, so encourage them to ask questions at the end so that if anyone needs clarity, they can ask before the session is over.
Post presentation analysis
You must always seek feedback from your audience. It would help you improve and present it better for the next time.
You may also self analyze and for that simply record your session and listen to it later. Now when you are listening or watching the same, you will have self-realization and it will help you identify your own strengths and weaknesses.
I personally believe that all 3 stages of a virtual presentation have its own importance and thus if you really want to be an effective presenter, you must practice them.
Hope this information adds some value to your skills. Happy Learning!