Making Your Virtual Presentations Real

August 2, 2011

Chapter 11 – Remote Presentations

Face time with your team, even virtual face time, is important. Being remote means you need to step up and take credit for your work. Giving presentations and software demos is a way to help your team, your boss, and your customers recognize your work.

A good presentation will be a good remote presentation. A mediocre presentation will become bad and a bad one will be abysmal. When you aren’t in the room your material stands on its own. People won’t remember what a good speaker you are. They will hopefully your arguments and what you had to tell them.

Always remember your audience. They aren’t in front of you, but they are listening and watching you. Nancy Duarte uses visual aids to help her see her audience. She describes, “I draped off the windows of my office (because I felt silly), posted pictures of employees (so it felt like a real audience), stood up, clicker-in-hand, and delivered the presentation.”

Do whatever you need to make the audience real for you. Stand up so you can speak with a loud clear voice. Walk around so they can all see you. Use physical movement and visual cues to help yourself engage emotionally. And smile. Nobody will see you smile, but they will all hear it. When you smile your voice becomes lighter and more engaging.

Giving a good presentation is almost always more work than you think it will be. You need to decide what you are going to say, prepare your presentation materials, and practice your performance. The work you do planning ahead will make a big difference to the quality of the end result.

Giving good presentations is important to your career and you can give a good presentation remotely. It just takes a little more planning and an understanding of some presentation basics. Take every opportunity you can to give presentations. Being in front of people is the difference between getting noticed and being forgotten.

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