10 tips for vibrant virtual presentations

May 29, 2020
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illustrated laptop screen showing participants in a video conferencing call
Delivering a successful virtual presentation, whether live or prerecorded, is not only about the scintillating content, but also how that information is organized and delivered. 
Many studies suggest that when listening to or watching a presentation, adults have an attention span of 5-7 minutes — and that is assuming that the topic is of interest. 

Keeping this in mind, take the following tips into consideration when designing a virtual presentation:

1. Arrange the content into 5-7 minute topic blocks, keeping information succinct and coherent. 

2. Transition topic blocks every 5-7 minutes, and transition speakers, if relevant, with each block.

3. Use interactive tools, such as polling, survey, and chat functions to build in meaningful attendee engagement 

4. Use visuals, animation, and video rather than text. Attendees can not read heavy text and listen at the same time.  

5. Keep your slide deck short. Aim for no more than 20 slides for a 60-minute presentation.

6. Prepare and practice. Rehearse aloud — not just in your head. If possible, do a dress rehearsal.

7. Engage your audience. Know your audience and why your material matters to them.

8. Professionalize your space. Make sure you have good lighting, no distractions (such as pets), and turn off phones and other notifications. 

9. Have questions prepared, so you’re ready if attendees are slow to participate in Q-and-A. 

10. Have fun. Be energetic, smile, and use body language as you would in a face-to-face meeting. Don’t stress about being perfect. 

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