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Better Virtual Presentations


How to make better conference calls and virtual presentations

How to make better conference calls and virtual presentations

Published in Business
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  • Imagining you need to make a business presentation. There is one difference.
  • Your audience is going to be standing behind a wall. Imagine trying to tell something important by talking over the wall to someone you cannot see and probably have never met!
  • Both the presenter and the audience will feel uncomfortable…
  • As a presenter you will feel frustrated because you can only hear the words and not see the expression on their face or judge their body language.
  • How do we ensure we do not waste time and communicate effectively? This helps make up for the other issues with this medium of communication
  • We had a trainer from Bangalore who had set up a video conference to train us on her product features. We were in the training room on time. The link was not yet up. After a while we could hear the trainer but not see her. The IT team was called in and some adjustments were made. Now, we could see her but not hear her. After an hour of futile adjustments we left the room. The training was rescheduled and finally cancelled due to lack of attendance.
  • We had a really interesting video presentation made from our office. The attendees on the other side listened politely to the entire presentation. In the end we realized they hadn’t understood a thing because they could not see the slides which the speaker was continuously referring to.
  • Send material for reading or your presentation beforehand to them so that they can read and refer to it. I have seen a really experienced presenter appoint a person in the other location for slides. The other person was responsible for loading the slides on a PC and switching slides as the presenter indicated.
  • I remember a conference call over the telephone where this company was trying to sell us Testing Software. It was very difficult as everyone was trying to interrupt the sales executive. Finally we designated on speaker and messaged him our queries over chat.
  • Allocate time for each person to ask questions and also for interaction with the presenter. This will ensure everyone is paying attention as well has time allocated for making their opinions and queries known.
  • When creating your presentation, look for places to insert interactivity every 3-5 minutes. For example: voice-based discussions; chatting; polling; reading; thinking; Q & A and breaks. This will ensure that you KNOW that your audience is still connected and listening and understanding you. Ask question to specific people or departments by NAME if required to ensure you are getting the relevant response. For example: Mr.Wallace I know you had raised this concern on email. I hope it is resolved or Ms. Khan does your department process work related to what I have said?
  • Have you listened to the radio jockeys? Have you seen the amount of enthusiasm they put into their voice? Since voice is the main thing heard on audio chats, make it enthusiastic.
  • If possible have someone sit in on your presentation. Present to them so that appear more natural. On video, you will appear less stiff and on audio your voice will sound more enthusiastic.
  • Layout in advance what you will discuss so that it does not become a free for all and go in all directions. A company has these long meetings since the half the team is in India and the other half in the U.S. Only a few people keep voicing their views while others leave the room for a long break.
  • Control the meeting time - if it is 30 minutes, stick to 30 minutes. Such conferences are not for long discussions. Take discussion to other modes like emails, one-to-one calls, etc where required
  • I remember trying to convince a client about our workshop over the phone. They had put me on speaker phone and my own voice echoed back to me. When people asked questions, I had no idea if they were really convinced by my answer. At the end of the call it was tough to decide if all had gone well. So I sent across a quick recap of my points and my answers to questions asked. They came back with some more questions that showed me what they had understood and what was still unclear.
  • Support the presentation with minutes quickly covering things activities before and after - otherwise it will fall down like a creeper without support. On chat or on audio conferencing you never know if your audience is listening to you or sending SMS messages to one another. A follow up mail with a recap ensures you and the audience are clear about what was discussed and concluded.


  • 1. VIRTUAL PRESENTATIONS Working with Video / Voice conferencing
  • 2. Imagine making a business presentation…
  • 3. Where your audience is standing behind a wall
  • 4. It is frustrating on both sides!
  • 5. This is exactly what happens when we communicate over video or phone or chat conference
  • 6. The presenter: Cannot see audience reaction
  • 7. For the audience : it is just a boring voice or video
  • 8. This happens as…
  • 9. …parts of our usual communication is missing 2-way Interaction Reactions Body Language Eye Contact
  • 10. Minimal Rule The only way to make a successful virtual presentations is to ENGAGE audiences continuously
  • 11. Engaging audiences includes…
    • Setting up offline
    • Using multiple modes of communication
    • Allocating time for interaction
    • Using voice effectively
    • Sticking to schedule
    Let us see each point in detail…
  • 12. 1. Set up offline Get to the conference early and test all equipment on both sides
  • 13. Time spent adjusting equipment is very boring for the audience
  • 14. Mute cell phone and switch off other distractions
  • 15. 2. Use Multiple Modes of Communication
  • 16. Email the presentation ahead of time A visual slide will add more impact to such a presentation!
  • 17. 4. Allocate time for interaction Presentation Questions Opinions Polls
  • 18. Since people cannot see each other…
  • 19. ...they speak at the same time and the presenter becomes confused
  • 20. Allocate time for each person and pause between points for questions
  • 21. Enforce interaction every 3 minutes. Ask questions, conduct an online poll etc!
  • 22. 5. Use voice effectively Enthusiasm in your voice is the key to a more engaged audience
  • 23. Tip: To appear natural, make someone sit in the room same room and present to them
  • 24. 5. Create schedule Topic 1 Introduction Topic 2 … and stick to the time limit set Questions Call to action
  • 25. Take other discussions to other modes like emails, one-to-one calls, etc
  • 26. Finally, a conference call does not end the presentation…
  • 27. Follow up with minutes of meeting to confirm understanding on both sides
  • 28. The minutes should contain…
    • Presentation highlights
    • Answers to questions
    • Decision taken
  • 29. To recap…
  • 30. Engage your audiences more by…
    • Setting up offline
    • Using multiple modes of communication
    • Giving time for interaction
    • Using voice effectively
    • Sticking to schedule
    • Send Minutes of meeting
  • 31. Make your next virtual presentation a powerful one!
  • 32. This presentation was made with Minimal™ Approach. To know more about this unique approach that helps you create presentations with more IMPACT and in less time… Visit our website or EMAIL [email_address]