When you work in the global business environment, you work with colleagues and clients from all over the world. It is not always simple to bring everyone together, and sometimes you have to use videoconference tools to communicate with people in different countries and time zones. It can seem strange at first to present to an audience via Skype or other videoconference tool. When presenting via a videoconference, it is much harder to feed off the reaction of your audience members. Another pitfall is that people on the other end of your presentation might not be paying any attention to you and you would have no idea that they are distracted. Try to avoid presenting lengthy presentations via Skype and limiting Skype conference presentations to essential points that need to be addressed. With practice and a couple tips, you will be able to present via videoconferences like a seasoned pro.
Using a PowerPoint
When you plan to present with the aid of a PowerPoint during a videoconference it is important to make sure your audience can see the PowerPoint while you are talking. There are different ways to share the PowerPoint with your audience. You could send the PowerPoint slides via email or instant message before you plan to give your presentation and then, you would ask your audience to download it and follow along with your speech. If you use an application such as Skype, there is a button to share the presenter’s screen with the other members of the video call. In the free version of Skype, the screen sharing option triggers the webcam to turn off. By sharing your screen, the audience members can focus on the content being described on their screen and can listen to your words in the background. There are various other screen sharing applications and websites available to use and many include the functionality of audio. With videoconferencing, sometimes you have to sacrifice functionality, such as visually seeing the speaker, in place of seeing the PowerPoint slides.
Keeping the audience engaged
For many people, it is much easier to get distracted during a videoconference than a typical conference presented “in-person.” Conference participants could be working in a busy office, at home, or from a café depending on the time of day and seriousness of the meeting. Depending on the size of your audience, it might be helpful to encourage users to ask frequent questions by typing in the chat window. Feel free to “call out” certain people to ask for comments, concerns, and feedback as you would do in any other meeting to keep the participants engaged.
Reminders and Follow-up
Sending out reminders and following up after a presentation are two important parts of all types of meetings and presentations. Make sure to send a meeting reminder to all participants to remind everyone about the meeting and send any relevant URLs or logistic information that participants will need. It is up to you to determine how many hours before the event you should send a reminder. Utilize the chat feature or send out an email after the presentation to thank meeting participants for their participation. You can also ask for feedback and remind all participants of any key dates, deadlines, or facts you mentioned in the presentation. It can’t hurt to hear the important parts a second or third time!
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
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