5 Tips to

Engange Your Audience in Your Next Remote Presentation

5 Tips to Engage Your Audience in Your Next Presentation

  • 26 November 2020
  • 3 minutes to read

During these times of working remotely, what I have done most at SoftwareONE is present our solutions to customers through video conferencing solutions. We use Microsoft Teams, but these tips apply to any tool (Skype, Hangouts, GoToMeeting, WebEx, Zoom, etc.).

As much as technology helps us stay in touch, virtual meetings have their challenges and one of them is that you have to compete with emails, WhatsApp and even parallel conversations within the video conferencing app itself to get your audience's attention. For me, the main disadvantage of not being physically in the same room as the audience is losing nonverbal feedback, making it more difficult to adapt the speech during the meeting.

Preparing for Your Presentation

Although your meeting is remote, you should still prepare as if it is a face-to-face presentation and do your research on the company and the people who will be in attendance. Because you're going to compete for their attention, your presentation needs to be aligned with audience expectations.

Most of the solution presentations I make are scheduled by someone else, typically the customer relationship manager. If this is your case, to ensure that the presentation is aligned with audience expectations, take a few minutes and call the people who are attending the meeting and ask what each of them expects for the presentation. This will help you prepare a presentation much more adherent to the expectations of the audience and prevent them from losing attention.

Make the Customer See Themselves in Your Presentation

Build your presentation based on the expectations you previously collected and combine images and topics. For those who have been making presentations for a long time, you know very well that an image is worth a thousand words, and that a slide full of text does not fit well. But using topics in remote presentations is a good practice and helps the audience pay attention to your screen and not just your voice. But watch out! Use a maximum of 5 topics with 5 short words.

The First Three Minutes are Critical

In the first 30 seconds, people form first impressions of how you present. Take the initiative to activate your camera - it encourages others to activate theirs too and the meeting becomes more dynamic.

In the first three minutes, people decide if you have credibility. Introduce yourself briefly, always remembering that this meeting is to present a solution that will solve a CUSTOMER problem, not to show how good you are. Focus is on the client. Give a brief introduction to what will be presented in order to confirm the expectations you collected during preparation and conclude with the question "Any other expectations?"

If at this point any expectations are raised that will not be covered in the presentation, you should inform the customer and say that you will return with the reply in another forum. Start your presentation because the next 30 minutes is the time you will have to deliver the message to the audience.

Engage Your Audience

In remote meetings, getting audience engagement is a little more complex, but it's not impossible. If the content you've prepared by itself doesn't get people to interact with you, ask questions based on the expectations you've collected. Ask questions like:

  • "So-and-so, now can you see how the xyz problem can be solved?"
  • "Cyclan, does it make sense to solve the xyz point in this way?"

End with the ‘Next Steps’

Validate that all expectations have been met, go back to unanswered questions and arrange a date to answer them, and compile a list of the next steps. Follow these steps and your remote presentations will be much more impactful and objective.

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  • Microsoft 365, Teams, Collaboration

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