By Guest Contributor Nicole Soames
Author Nicole Soames, explains the basics of how present in a virtual environment, based on her newest book The Presenting Book.
All too often, people go the extra mile when they are presenting in person or at an external event to an audience they don’t know well, but fail to do the same due diligence when they are presenting virtually at a more informal situation to a better-known audience. So, whenever you present virtually, such as on a video call to a member of your team, make sure you focus on your circles of control and influence, and take steps to always appear professional – for instance, don’t just wear your gym gear because you are working from home.
THINK ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR SURROUNDINGS
Think about what can be seen behind you on your video call – is it consistent with the personal brand you are trying to communicate? Clear any empty plates and cups from your desk and check the lighting and angle of the camera – you want the other person to be able to see your face and read your body language properly so you can create a great impression.It is undoubtedly more challenging to build chemistry when you are presenting in a virtual environment than it is when you present in person. Therefore, you need to dial up your energy so you can amplify your body language and communicate with confidence. You need to set yourself up for success by showing your face as much as you can when you are online.
THINK ABOUT YOUR PERSONALITY TYPE
If you are a more introverted personality type, it can be tempting to hide behind your screen and share your slides instead. I’m sure all of us have been on webinars where all we saw was the presentation deck. So, be brave and make eye contact with your audience. Use your knowledge of their personality types to help you build a meaningful connection. As a rule of thumbless really is more when it comes to presenting online. Keep your slides simple and try to avoid speaking for more than six minutes without asking your audience a question to keep them engaged in what you have to say. This is particularly important if you are talking to ‘I’ style personality types. Make sure you carefully walk your audience through your slides to help keep them on board. ‘C’style personalities will appreciate your attention to detail in this respect. However, don’t be tempted to rote-learn a script – your aim is to appear human and authentic
FAMILIARIZE YOURSELF WITH THE TECHNOLOGY
Finally, make sure you are comfortable with the technology you are using to present online. It’s important to take practical steps to familiarize yourself with different virtual platforms, whether it’s Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype or Google Hangout to name but a few, so you can optimize the experience for your audience. For example, if you are presenting to your team, you may want the option to use virtual breakout rooms, or, if you are presenting to a large audience, you could use a poll to ask questions.
It can sometimes be difficult to manage the technical aspects of virtual presenting while delivering a presentation, so consider asking a colleague or friend to support you. For example, they could help to answer any questions that appear in the chat box. This can reduce any emotional interference, giving you more headspace to focus on how to deliver your presentation in a way that keeps your audience fully engaged.
I hope this part has highlighted the importance of preparing for each and every presenting situation, not just those formal high-pressure ones. By identifying the purpose of the situation, understanding the needs of your audience, aligning these needs with your personal goals and managing your environments in the physical and virtual worlds, you will put yourself on the front foot when it comes to delivering your presentation
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
NICOLE SOAMES is a highly qualified coach and emotional intelligence practitioner. She gained extensive commercial experience during her 12 years managing large sales teams at Unilever andUnited Biscuits, followed by over 15 years developing and deliver-ing training programmes around the world. In 2009, Nicole founded Diadem Performance, a leading commercial skills training and coach-ing company. With over 100 clients across the globe, Diadem has helped many thousands of people become ‘commercial athletes’ in influencing, selling, negotiation, account management, marketing, presenting, strategy, coaching, leadership and management. Nicole is also the author of the bestselling The CoachingBook, The Influence Book and The Negotiation Book, all in the Concise Advice series from LID Business Media.
We often hear the phrase you only get one chance to make a great first impression when, in fact, it s the impressions we make on a daily basis that make a compelling personal brand. In today s increasingly competitive world, the ability to present the best version of yourself in both formal and informal situations is critical to your success.
The Presenting Book is an inspiring and engaging handbook packed with Nicole Soames expert advice, practical tools and exercises. This book will teach you how to become a highly skilled presenter in all areas of your life whether you re presenting a sales report to the board, promoting your personal brand online, networking at an event or being the keynote speaker at a conference. You ll learn how to develop your emotional intelligence, capture and hold peoples attention and deliver your performance with confidence.
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