5 Top Tips for Online Presentations

July 28, 2021

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Zoom – shake, shake, shake the room? Unlikely. Don’t get me wrong, I know that in these “unprecedented times” we would have been lost without the likes of said video calling service provider.

But here we are, well over a year into the working from home revolution, and to say things have grown a little samesy and boring and predictable would be a massive understatement. The way we work has changed, for good. But if this is the way it’s going to be, surely there’s a better way it can be. Why not use a few of these great tips to add some wow to your presentation.

1) Perfect your performance

2) Nail your narrative

3) Indulge in rich media

4) Multi – Device Friendliness

5) Craft the content, showcase your work

Death-by-PowerPoint was bad enough in a physical room with actual human beings, but to watch somebody going through slide after slide after slide via video, having had 15 video calls prior to this “engaging presentation”, please somebody SHOOT ME NOW! If you’re feeling what I’m feeling, stay put, read on and take heed. Here are 5 killer tips to make a presentation exciting, engaging and memorable without leaving the confines of your home office.

Perfect your performance

As much as the point of a presentation is its content and message, a big part of its success is down to you, the presenter. You might have used the prettiest of colour palettes, the most vivacious of video links and more surprising stats that you can shake a stick at, but if you’re particularly low on charisma, I’m afraid all your efforts may have been in vain.

To make an engaging presentation, you are very much part of the package. The tone, pitch and pace in which you speak at are important factors to be considered and perfected for the seasoned presenter. Additionally, the way which you hold yourself is also significant. Be animated, inject energy and humour where possible, encourage participant interaction every now and then, but most importantly be yourself. People connect and engage with authenticity so relax into it and let your personality shine through.

Nail your narrative

Be prepared! Have your story structure firmly in place, starting strong with a powerful opening to capture their full attention and leave them wanting more. Opening with an icebreaker, interesting statistic, analogy or aphorism, painting a mental picture, question or quote are all good ways to make a presentation exciting, to begin with at least. The middle section is usually more factual but can be zhuzhed up in a number of ways (we’ll cover some of those later on, or for more detail read our blog on how to build a good virtual presentations), but the ending needs to pack a punch just as the beginning did, a climactic finish that will leave them breathless and in awe of your phenomenal presenting skills. This is the ideal goal anyhow! Just always aim high and you shouldn’t fall too short.

Indulge in rich media

You may have the juiciest of topics to present on with staggering statistics, captivating quotations, and delectable data. But words alone are never enough to hook the audience in and keep them on the line. Statistically, if we only read text we are likely to remember just 10% of the information 3 days later, whereas if we add in a relevant image we are likely to remember 65% of the information 3 days later! So to really make an impression that lasts use rich media. Using images, sound clips and videos will engage the audience, make the information more memorable, help to explain something in depth and just generally please the eye. If you choose wisely of course. Make sure the media you use is as relevant and pretty as possible.

Multi-Device Friendliness

Imagine the scene: you’ve worked tirelessly to create the most eye-catching, super structured, informative yet fun and engaging presentation within your abilities. You hit “send” as you smugly sit back in your chair waiting for an abundance of praise to flow in, your audience aghast with the beauty they see before them. Alas! 27% of your spectators are trying to view your masterpiece on their mobile phone, and 5% are working off their Smart TVs at home and neither can get the presentation to work.

With a plethora of browser able devices out there it would be prudent to consider that you audience could be watching off their laptop, or indeed their Smartwatch (of course they shouldn’t, but they might!). So before you start to mould your gem of presentation, make sure that the tools you use are adaptive or responsive to the multitude of devices that your work may be viewed on.

Craft the content, showcase your work

Whether you are presenting stats, facts and figures or something wholly profound, remember that presentations are a visual tool designed to hit the retinas of your audiences’ eyes and make an impact. Yes, the message is the point of its creation, and the structure and storytelling need to be on point to have the desired effect, but do not underestimate how the big a role the aesthetics of your presentation play.

So, if you really want to make a presentation exciting don’t just hit the old PowerPoint icon. Click, click, click, yawn! Slideshows are sooooo 1987 (yes, this is when PowerPoint was released into the world!). There are better ways to attract, entice and feed your audience what they need to know. Find a presentation tool that allows your work to flow from one element into another, and then back again if needs be, without furious overuse of the back-button. Think outside of the box, use an application that delivers the “wow factor”, can be adapted to specifically appeal to your clientele and, last but not least, validates all the effort and hard work that you have put into it. Do yourself and your content some justice and showcase your work in the best possible way you can.

For more on how to how to ensure your presentation packs a punch, read our 27 ways to inspire your creativity.

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