The 4P’s of presenting on-line

By Jackie Black on September 19th, 2016

These days many of us are turning to on-line platforms to share information such as project updates or status reports.
If you are familiar with the technology and happy to use video conference suites, that’s fine but there are still plenty of people who find themselves breaking out in a cold sweat at the thought of giving a presentation to colleagues face to face, let alone on-line.

To ensure your presentation is not a disaster, follow this simple four-step formula: preparation, purpose, process and people.

Preparation
1. Ensure the technology is working 100% before you start e.g. check your microphone is not on mute and your camera is plugged in.
2. Send participants the necessary access codes, web links etc. to join the meeting.
3. Make sure you are familiar with your content. Reading from your slides on video does not look good. You need to make eye contact and speak directly to your audience through the camera. If you are only using audio then reading from slides can sound dull and monotonous, so injecting energy is essential to keep your audience awake.
Purpose
1. State clearly on the invites what people can expect in terms of topic, timing, participation.
Process
1. Kick off the session by outlining when and how people can ask questions, use of chat facilities, polling etc.
2. Keeping a virtual audience engaged is challenging. People often multi task, or put you on mute and begin a conversation with someone else, so monitor your talking time and keep things interactive whenever possible. Use the technology to encourage participation by handing over control and allowing people to add physical comments where appropriate.
3. Keep the pace upbeat and don’t run over time – people will respect you for this.
People
1. Only invite those who really need to hear what you have to say.
2. Consider cultural (and personal) differences in communication styles – direct/indirect, task/people focused and design your slides accordingly.
3. Choose your language carefully. If you have non-native speakers in your audience avoid idioms and jokes which don’t translate well.
4. Speak clearly and be ready to adjust the volume of your voice to compensate for poor quality sound transmission.

Good luck!


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