Five Tips for Giving Effective Virtual Presentations

Virtual meeting has become all the rage. With quarantine, and social distancing upon us, companies, schools, organizations, families, and friends have found new ways to connect with others. The answer: Zoom, Google Meet, WebEx, and a myriad of virtual platforms have shown up to keep us connected and learning.

Little did we know how much virtual platforms would become a presence, and need in our lives. We all had to jump in, and learn the ways of these platforms without much notice or guidance.

As a result, virtual talks and presentations are leaving participants with speaking over one another, cutting each other off, or words being missed.

As a Speech- Language Pathologist, I have observed this firsthand. Your voice can stand out, and be just as powerful in a virtual setting.

Setting yourself up is the first part. Begin with a background noise- free environment. Allow for natural light to brighten your room. Bright lights may create a glare on your screen. Now, put on your headphones to enhance your audio connection. You are now ready to have a successful virtual presentation.

Here are five tips for using your voice effectively in a virtual presentation:

1.Project your voice, but do not scream: Start by getting the participants’ attention. Introduce yourself, clearly state sate your name, and make a concise statement to welcome your participants. Project your voice, but do not scream. Screaming or raising your voice does not make it easier for the listener to hear from you. . In fact, it may cause them to tune you out. So, just be clear, concise, and brief.

2. Modulate your voice as needed: Presenting via a screen can get boring, or easily distract the participant. A monotone voice is not what the participant signed up for. Control the volume of your voice throughout your presentation. Intonation allows for emotion and connecting with your virtual audience. Lower your voice when you want to say something dramatic or mysterious. Increase your volume, when when making a point. Allow excitement, compassion, positivity, joy, surprise, or whatever message you want to convey. Your audience will be drawn in and want to be active listeners and participants.

3. Pause and wait your turn: this is the time to scale back on your voice. During a virtual presentation, participants may be wanting to get their points across or ask questions, and more than one speaker may be chiming in at the same time. Take the time to pause. Let the participant finish his/her thoughts and then resume speaking again. You may even choose to assign a speaking order. If this works for your presentation or meeting, you can plan for this ahead of time.

4. Watch your rate: take your time to speak. Speaking too fast or too slow distracts from your message. This can be very challenging during an online presentation. Participants will not be able to keep up and will gladly turn their camera and sound off! Take your time to deliver a smooth message.

5. Solidify your message: End your presentation by summarizing and emphasizing the main points. A short, memorable sentence can make an impressive and authentic statement. You can also use a captivating quote. This will allow for impact and a takeaway for the participants to remember.

Your voice is a beautiful instrument, and you now have the capability to use it in on a virtual platform. Make the most of your voice, and know it can serve you well in any setting. With some minor tweaks, your voice can resonate beyond turning the camera and volume off.

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