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How to Get Comfortable With Video Presentations

How to get comfortable with video presentations

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 Master of Business Administration (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.

COVID-19 and Videoconferencing

The COVID-19 pandemic largely normalized virtual meetings via videoconferencing platforms. According to Doodle’s 2021 State of Meetings Report, 2020 saw a 1,230% increase in one-to-one virtual meetings and a 613% increase in virtual group meetings. Many professionals returned to in-person work following this peak period of the pandemic. But hybrid and remote work models are here to stay, as is the ubiquity of virtual meetings. Even most in-person meetings and conferences will likely have a substantial amount of participants engaging remotely via videoconferencing platforms.

While many people now participate in virtual meetings regularly, it can still be a struggle to feel comfortable in the videoconferencing environment. Plus, fear of public speaking — also known as glossophobia — ranks highly among common phobias and anxiety triggers. Presenting in front of a group in an uncomfortable environment is a perfect setting for this fear to surface. Add to that the challenges that come with ever-changing technologies, and the prospect of presenting over virtual platforms may seem more daunting than simply addressing a group of strangers.

So, 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.

Use the Right Tools

Thankfully, with the widespread adoption of videoconferencing comes technologies that support it. Beyond the actual virtual meeting and videoconferencing platforms, the market is full of quality, affordable tools like webcams and lighting aids to help you come across as professionally as possible. Finding the right tools and getting completely comfortable with them ahead of time can help you feel more confident and less stressed when presenting, while also polishing the appearance, sound and fluidity of your presentation.

Practice Your Presentation

Give yourself enough time for at least two full run-throughs. The goal is to become thoroughly familiar with the content and technology, 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. Where possible, 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.

That being said, remember that the camera is the window to your audience. When you want to make eye contact with the people you are presenting to, looking directly into the camera is the closest you can get.

Earning an online MBA with a Concentration in Management from Southeastern Oklahoma State University can help you become an expert with the tools, technologies and skills needed to manage remote workforces, including presenting to your team via videoconferencing platforms. The confidence and comfort you gain through virtual workplace studies can prepare for executive success in today’s competitive, tech-savvy business environment.

Learn more about Southeastern Oklahoma State University’s online MBA with a Concentration in Management program.

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