Delivering effective presentations is a key skill in virtually every business environment and across many different roles. Whether you are highlighting key aspects of quarterly reports for your board of directors, selling a potential customer on enterprise software or ensuring that your team understands the workflow, you will need communication skills.
Online MBA programs couple proven teaching methods with the latest developments in technology. Even though you may not share an actual classroom with your remote peers, you will still have to deliver effective presentations. Doing so means getting comfortable not only with the various streaming video and audio applications at your disposal but also with public speaking.
Fear of public speaking is common — 75 percent of the population suffers varying degrees of public speaking anxiety. Add to that the challenges that come with mastering a new tool, and the prospect of presenting over the internet may seem more daunting than simply addressing a group of strangers.
What does it take to give strong video presentations?
Know in Advance That Things May Go Wrong
Technology can be unpredictable. Moreover, you’ll be relying on technology that is not always under your direct control. You can suggest changes to the settings on your audience’s computers. But if a network server fails, the solution lies in hands other than yours. Be as unflappable and positive as you can. Becoming flustered or angry over a technical malfunction undermines your credibility.
Practice Your Presentation
Give yourself enough time for at least two full run-throughs. The goal is to become thoroughly familiar with the content, ensure you stay within the time limit, and identify any potential software or hardware issues. If possible, find a partner or partners to rehearse with. Even better, getting help with the technical aspects can free you up to fully concentrate on the public speaking aspects of your presentation.
Don’t Overdo the Bells and Whistles
Quality data and strong argumentation will always trump the so-called “wow” factor. Don’t let style dominate substance. Will that cool filter or desktop image further the points you are trying to make or distract from them? The longer load times of music and moving image files can slow down your presentation and tax your audience’s attention span. Ask yourself if such content is truly relevant to your presentation and if there is no better way to convey your message.
Add Value to Your Content
If you’re using slides, don’t simply parrot the text. This wastes time for you and your audience. Think of your slides as a sketch. Through your verbal comments, you add volume, shading and color to the few initial lines you’ve drawn to form the full picture. Amplify slide content with anecdotes, real-life examples and even opportunities for audience interaction.
Stay Ahead of Schedule
You may have 15 minutes to make a presentation. However, that doesn’t mean you should talk for 15 minutes straight. Finishing with time to spare is itself a form or argumentation and offers these advantages:
- It cements your reputation as a focused individual.
- It shows your efficient use of limited resources.
- It provides you with instant feedback through audience questions.
- It allows you to end your presentation exactly as you plan.
Pretend It’s a Face-to-Face Presentation
The elements of a good presentation transcend any technology. Don’t let the technological medium of a video presentation keep you from engaging with your audience. Adopt the posture, tone and inviting gestures you would use if you were speaking to a packed conference room. Command your audience’s attention, and let your outward bearing reflect your inner confidence.
Learn more about the MBA curricula at Southeastern Oklahoma State University, and how you can prepare for executive success in today’s competitive, tech-savvy business environment.
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