As the virtual business environment appears to be here to stay, at least at a significant capacity, it is more important than ever to uphold quality, value and a Seek to Serve™ mindset when it comes to your presentations — be that internal, external and anything in-between.
So we invited our friends at Eyeful Presentations to share their insights about what is at stake, what is trending as lockdowns drag on — and how to stand out and above with virtual presentation best practices.
Virtual Presentation Efforts Are on a Downward Spiral
When lockdowns first hit, organizations like Eyeful ran around issuing best practice guidelines in an attempt to safeguard presentation quality in a virtual business world. Many best practices were heeded and, over time, professionals grew more confident and comfortable with virtual presenting.
But we are now entering the most dangerous time within organizations for remote presentation quality. Six months into any new way of working is when the best practices and intentions of presenters tend to fray at the edges. We are already hearing some unnerving news about how virtual communication is starting to fall back into bad habits. Professionals are facing virtual fatigue. Prospects and buyers are losing interest in what they have to say. And even some large organizations are suffering due to a culture of poor internal communications.
Bullet point strewn slides were never a good idea when you were presenting face-to-face. They are the death knell to communication when delivering virtually.
Reset Your Presentation Quality Standards (Again)
Refuse to let your organization fall back into bad habits. Too much is at stake within your own business, and with the buyers and clients you are committed to serve.
Let us revisit the fundamentals of remote presenting but also highlight recent lessons learned — to keep you on the cutting-edge of virtual presentation best practices. Stick with us over the coming weeks for remote presentation hot topics to prompt you to rethink, reset and restart your virtual presentation practices.
TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE
You know it, and guess what? Your audiences agree. Most presentations are too long.
There is a peculiar notion that it is acceptable to ask your audience to invest an hour of their time in return for 20 minutes of valuable content. It is assumed that the 40 minutes of information they had to sit through that was irrelevant and delivered no value was an acceptable payoff for the good information they were receiving.
For in-person presentations, overstaying your welcome can be spotted as audience members shuffle in their seats or unsubtly reach for their smartphones. These nuances are lost on the virtual presenter — their audience has switched off completely, yet the presenter ploughs on gabbing to a screen without a care in the world.
The solution sounds easy but it is often difficult in practice: keep it short.
We would implore you to not only look at the amount of time you are asking your audience to invest, but also consider the value of that specific content to the audience.
Even better, make your presentation easily digestible for a virtual delivery. If you are able to take the original hour-long webinar and split it into three 20-minute mega-targeted sessions that deliver great value, the return on investment, both for you and your audience, grows exponentially.
When you are paring down your presentations, stick to the basics:
- Focus on your audience’s needs first and foremost
- Keep only the vital and valuable information
- Captivate rather than over-inundate
If you feel that this is simply too much hassle for a webinar or buyer pitch, consider the flipside — when you fail to deliver value, your reputation suffers and ultimately the engagement and goodwill of your audience erodes to the point where the opportunity to present your message disappears completely.
DISCOVER MORE EYEFUL PRESENTATIONS RESOURCES
- The ‘Connect’ Phase of Virtual Presentation Planning
- Interactive Virtual Presentation Planning Tool
- Remote Presenting Best Practice Infographic
In the meantime, please share this information across your teams — between us, as a community of presenters, we can ensure that businesses do not fall back into the bad habits of old.
MEET THE THOUGHT LEADER: SIMON MORTON
Founder and managing director of Eyeful Presentations not enough for you? Well, Simon Morton has been revolutionizing and elevating professional presentation standards and best practices for decades. This means presentations that are more than jazzed up PowerPoint decks — and rather translates to presentations that have more meaning, more value and more impact for your audiences and your organization.