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Now that more people are working from home, online presentations using tools like Zoom have started to become the norm.
But giving a Zoom presentation is very different from presenting in person. The lack of physical presence and body language can make it difficult to engage and inspire your audience.
If you’re still getting used to presenting on Zoom, this article has some great tips to help you succeed and make an impact in your next meeting.
Getting ready for your Zoom presentation is just as important as giving the actual presentation. There are tons of potential issues you can face, like a faulty microphone or your dog walking in right in the middle of an important slide.
By preparing well, you ensure your presentation is as smooth and error-free as possible. After all, you only get one chance to make a great first impression.
Here are some tips to help you get ready to deliver a powerful Zoom presentation.
The first thing you need to do is make sure your presentation is designed to look its best on your audiences’ tiny computer screens.
Follow these three rules to create an effective Zoom presentation.
The best online presentations are simple and straightforward.
You don’t want your audience to be squinting at their screens trying to navigate through a tangled web of text, colors, graphs and other content.
You need them to look at a slide and get the point at a single glance.
Use a plain background for your slides, preferably white, and focus each slide on only one point or idea. Don’t stuff too many bullet points or text into your slides.
Also, make sure you center your text in case the edges of the slides are cut off for some of the participants.
Lastly, use a large and bold font that doesn’t require participants to strain their eyes, even if they’re viewing your slides on their phone.
Visuals make information much easier to digest and retain than plain text. And let’s face it—they keep things entertaining.
Here are some types of visuals you can use to make your Zoom presentation more engaging:
Here's a presentation template from Visme with just the right balance of visuals and text to help you get started. Simply customize it to use for your next Zoom presentation.
Using visuals in your online presentation is great, but this doesn’t mean you should stuff all your slides with images. Make sure the visuals you’re using add value to your content and emphasize your point instead of taking attention away from it.
It can be tough to keep your audience engaged when you’re not interacting with them face-to-face.
So, why not do the next best thing? Make your slides interactive!
If you’re creating your presentation in Visme, you can access a bunch of interactivity tools to spice up your slides:
A healthy dose of interactivity can make your audience feel more involved with your Zoom presentation.
If you want your audience to take you seriously, clean up any clutter behind you.
A messy background can make you look unprofessional and distract people from focusing on your presentation. Ideally, your background should be a plain wall.
If you can’t manage to find a clean, empty background, consider using a virtual Zoom background. There are tons of different styles out there, so make sure to pick one that looks realistic and professional.
An online presentation can quickly start to feel distant and impersonal, like watching a pre-recorded video.
To remind your audience that they’re interacting with a real human, you need to draw focus to your face and expressions as you present.
Make sure you’re presenting in a well-lit room, where the source of light is in front of you. If the light source is directly behind you, you might end up looking like a dark blob.
Make sure you check all your technical equipment to see if everything is working properly. This will help minimize issues like awkward camera angles or a malfunctioning microphone.
Here are a few things you should take care of before your presentation:
Keep in mind that technical issues can arise unexpectedly, even if you do everything right. Doing tech prep beforehand, though, keeps the chances at a minimum.
Whether you’re giving your Zoom presentation at home or in a nearby cafe, there are tons of potential interruptions that can disrupt your flow and make you look unprofessional.
During your prep, your goal should be to minimize these interruptions as much as possible.
Find a quiet area to begin with, and lock the door so no one comes in unexpectedly. It’s a good idea to inform your family members or roommates that you’re going to be busy prior to the presentation.
Another tip is to close all other open applications and windows on your computer. Notifications and sounds can interrupt your meeting and distract you. You can also use the “Do Not Disturb” mode on MacOS or “Focus Assist” on Windows 10 to mute notifications.
Just like when you’re presenting in person, you’d likely want to keep notes or pointers nearby in case you forget something important.
During a Zoom presentation, though, you need to be careful about where you place your notes. It can look very unprofessional and awkward if your eyes keep moving away from the camera when everyone is staring at your face.
Avoid keeping a notepad next to you or pasting them on the side of your monitor. A better alternative is to stick a post-it right below or next to your webcam. So, even if you take a peek, you will still be looking somewhat directly at your audience.
If you’re using Visme to create your Zoom presentation, you can simply use the presenter notes feature and skip all the hassle of keeping physical notes.
While you’re presenting, your presenter notes will open up in another window, so you can look at them while presenting without even letting your audience know.
We get it. Nobody wants to get dressed when they’re at home.
But really, if you’re giving a professional presentation, it’s a good idea to ditch your PJs and wear something presentable.
Even if everyone knows you’re at home, you don’t want to look sloppy while sharing important information. This can prevent your audience from taking you seriously.
Plus, dressing up can help you feel more confident and motivated. Wear something that not only looks smart, but also makes you feel good about yourself.
Never walk into a presentation unprepared. This is especially important for Zoom presentations, as it can be even more difficult to wing it when you’re not interacting in person.
Plus, rehearsing is a good idea if you want to overcome the fear of being on camera. Do a demo Zoom meeting with a friend or family member, or just practice alone before the presentation.
Now that you’re all prepped up to give your Zoom presentation, here are some tips to help you make the most of your time while you’re presenting.
Did you know that people take as little as five seconds to judge how charismatic a speaker is?
Figuring out how to start your presentation is one of the most important parts of your Zoom presentation. It can either get your audience to sit up in their seats or prepare to doze off.
Here's an infographic on some tried-and-true ways to start a presentation that keeps your audience hooked. Keep reading for an explanation of all seven points below.
Along with starting impressively, you should also try to end your presentation in a way that it drives your audience to take action or think about your message. A good idea is to end with a powerful statement or a thought-provoking question.
While you’re speaking, it’s just as important to make eye contact with your audience as it is during a face-to-face presentation.
The problem with Zoom presentations, though, is that you often end up looking at your own video or at the video of your audience.
To make eye contact online, however, you need to look directly at your camera. To make things easier, you can place the video boxes of your audience at the top of your screen, directly under your webcam.
Online presentations can get monotonous really quickly, and it’s common for people to zone out in the middle of it.
If you want to ensure your message hits home, take regular breaks throughout your Zoom presentation and engage your audience in conversation.
You could pause to ask them questions, or simply ask what they think about a certain topic. You could also try switching up the pace of your presentation, show a short video clip or tell an interesting or humorous story that helps bring wandering minds back.
Zoom’s chat feature is a great way to get your audience involved without disrupting the flow of your presentation.
You can use Zoom chat to your advantage in several different ways:
Get creative with your use of the chat feature to keep your audience engaged. Ask them to send a hand emoji if they can relate to something, or ask what they want to see first in your presentation.
The best way to improve your Zoom presentation skills is to learn from your past mistakes. Thankfully, Zoom lets you record your presentations so you can revisit them later and analyze your performance.
Are you using too many hand gestures? Are you walking around too much? Are you speaking at a reasonable pace? Understanding how you did can help you do even better in the future.
You can also send your Zoom presentation recordings to a friend or family member so they can review it for you. It always helps to get the opinion of someone you trust.
Thinking of creating your Zoom presentation in Visme? Great choice!
The best part is that you can easily share your Visme slides with your audience without needing to download the presentation on your computer.
Of course, you can still download your presentation in PowerPoint or PDF format if you need to.
Follow the steps below to share your Visme presentation on Zoom without downloading anything.
When you’re finished designing your presentation in Visme, navigate over to the top right corner of your screen, and click on “Share”.
Next, click on “Publish for Web” on your left, type in a title and description for your presentation, and click on “Publish and get my link”.
Once you’ve published your presentation, you can go back and click on the “Present” button at the top right of your screen. This will open up the Presenter view.
If you want to access your presenter notes, click on the video camera icon at the bottom right corner of your screen, and your notes will appear in a new window.
From your Zoom meeting window, click on “Share Screen” and select the window with the Presenter view of your presentation.
That’s it! You’ll now be able to look at the presenter notes on your screen while your audience views the slide open in your Presenter view window.
Alternatively, you can also download your presentation as a PowerPoint or PDF file, and share your screen in Zoom to present your slides.
If you’re still getting used to the idea of presenting on Zoom, this article will help you prepare well and deliver an impactful presentation that people won’t be able to forget any time soon.
Remember, while Zoom presentations are different from presenting in person, you still need to be just as confident, dress to impress and make eye contact.
The only difference is that you need to put more effort into engaging your audience and keep them from dozing off in front of their computers.
Design a beautiful Zoom presentation and present online using Visme’s presentation maker. Sign up now for free and take it for a test drive!
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