Remote Presentations: Before, During, and After

February 23, 2010

Every presentation has three major portions: before, during, and after. Most of focus on during, but taking a little time to plan before and after makes a big difference.


Let’s start with the most crucial question: why should anyone come to your presentation? Will they learn a new skill? Are you giving them information about their project? Are you forcing them because you’re the boss? Answer this question for them before the presentation starts.

When and Where

I wish this went without saying, but you must tell people where and when to attend your presentation. This includes any details about conference call numbers and password, URLs for desktop sharing, or conference room numbers. Don’t forget the full date and time zone: Monday February 23, 2009 at 2:00 PM EST.

Right Before

When someone enters the conference room or logs into the desktop sharing session what will they see? Is there a title slide, a short animation, or will you start your presentation by making every watch you set up for 15 minutes? Every presentation should have at least a title slide and should be active no less than 15 minutes before the presentation is scheduled to start.


Most of your effort in planning a presentation goes into the presentation itself. You plan what you will say, how your slides will look, the points you try to get across. That is all good, but what about your audience? What will they be doing during the presentation? Should they be listening to every word? Will you have some type of activity for them? Will you encourage them to ask questions or just listen quietly?


After is the most critical part of your presentation. If you haven’t planned what the audience should do after then your presentation had no point. When they are done with the presentation should they go try something out? Buy your product? Start using a new procedure?

Never let your audience leave empty handed. Send them links to follow up on, instructions to try, a free CD, something. Make it clear what they should do next and make it easy for them to do it.

If your presentation doesn’t change anything for your audience then it was a failure. What do you do before and after your remote presentations to make them succeed?

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