13 Zoom Presentation Tips to Ace Your Next Online Meeting

Mahnoor Sheikh

Written by:
Mahnoor Sheikh

Jul 24, 2020
zoom presentation - header wide

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.


Preparing Your Zoom Presentation

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 and get a great ROI.

Here are some tips to help you get ready to deliver a powerful Zoom presentation.


1 Design a Great Online 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.

zoom presentation - The-Anatomy-of-a-Killer-Online-Presentation-Infographic_full
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Keep it simple.

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.

Use relevant visuals.

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:

  • Charts and graphs. Visualizing data can bring the most boring numbers and statistics to life. If you’re using research findings to show a trend or back up your point, consider presenting them in the form of a bar graph or pie chart. Not only will it add some color to your slides, it will make it easier for your audience to interpret the data.
  • Maps. If you're presenting geographic data, you can easily visualize it in the form of maps. In Visme, you can add interactive maps for a single country or the world.
  • Icons and illustrations. Adding creative graphics like icons and illustrations can break up walls of text, make your information look more visual and interesting, and help explain your point better.
  • Videos. Adding videos into your slides is a great way to make your presentation more engaging. Videos can help you explain a point more clearly, show a product in action or give some background information on your subject. You can embed YouTube or Vimeo videos into your slides or upload them directly.
  • Stock photos. If used intelligently, stock photos can add value to your slides by helping you set the tone, tell a story or visualize an idea. You can also use relevant stock photos in the background with text overlay to add some color to your slides.
  • GIFs and Memes. Make your online presentations fun and engaging by adding relevant memes and GIFs into slides that would otherwise look quite dry. Be careful not to overdo it, and only use humor if appropriate. You don’t want to risk looking unprofessional.

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.

export powerpoint visme - 40-Work+Biz-Pitch Deck-Presentation Template
Customize this presentation template and make it your own!Edit and Download

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.

Make it interactive.

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:

  • Animation. Add beautiful slide transitions, or animate objects separately. A good tip is to animate bullet points to appear one at a time to draw focus to each one. You can also choose from pre-animated illustrations, icons and characters to make your Zoom presentation more engaging.
  • Links. In Visme, you can link any text or graphic element to a web page, or a slide or object inside your presentation. Get creative with this tool to add interactive quizzes, slides and more to your Zoom presentation. For example, you can link two text boxes together so when you click on the question, the answer appears.
  • Hover effects. If you’re linking one object in your slide to another, you can enable it to show up on either click or hover. If you’re creating a quiz, for example, you can link two text boxes together so when you hover on the question, the answer appears.

A healthy dose of interactivity can make your audience feel more involved with your Zoom presentation.

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2 Tidy Up Your Background

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.


3 Draw Attention to Your Face

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.


4 Check Your Equipment

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:

  • Check internet connection. No one wants to listen to a presenter with laggy audio and video. Use a reliable, high-speed internet connection to ensure a smooth Zoom presentation.
  • Test audio and video. Check if your camera and microphone are working properly by joining a Zoom test meeting. You can also test out your equipment from inside the Zoom app by clicking on Settings → Audio or Settings → Video.
  • Ensure your laptop is plugged in. Imagine if your laptop dies out in the middle of your presentation just because you didn’t plug it in properly. Don’t let that happen.
  • Adjust your camera level. Make sure your audience is looking at your face instead of the top of your head. Decide whether you want to sit or stand during your presentation, and adjust the webcam so it’s at eye level.

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.


5 Minimize Potential Interruptions

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.


6 Stick Your Notes in the Right Place

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.

zoom presentation - Stick-your-notes-in-the-right-place

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.


7 Ditch the Pajamas

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.


8 Rehearse Before the Presentation

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.


Delivering Your Zoom 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.


9 Start With a Bang

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.

zoom presentation - 7-Ways-to-Start-an-Online-Presentation-Infographic_full
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  • Reveal a shocking statistic. A relevant and powerful statistic can set the tone for your presentation and show your audience the importance of your message.
  • Tell a relevant joke. Humor is a great way to break the ice and keep your audience engaged. A boring presentation can quickly cause the listener to zone out.
  • Ask a question. Get your audience involved by asking them a question relevant to your presentation topic. The more you interact with them, the more likely they’ll be to listen to what you’re saying.
  • Quote an influential person. A powerful quote can often motivate or inspire your audience to sit up and listen to what you have to say.
  • Tell a short story. Stories are personal and can evoke emotions. Telling a relatable story that also gets the audience curious to know more is a great way to start your presentation.
  • Use an interesting prop. Using a prop can break the monotony of your presentation. Using motion and a visual object can also help attract your audience’s gaze.
  • Show a captivating visual. Pictures speak louder than words, which is why using a powerful image that tells a story or shows the importance of your topic is an effective way to start your presentation.

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.


10 Make Eye Contact With the Audience

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.


11 Regularly Pause to Engage

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.

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12 Use the Chat Feature to Your Benefit

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:

  • Questions. Ask your audience questions and let them answer through chat, or get them to ask you questions in the chat.
  • Feedback. Let your audience know beforehand that they can leave their feedback and comments related to your presentation or topic in the chat. For example, if someone comments that they can’t hear you properly you can try fixing your mic or raising your voice.

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.


13 Record 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.

zoom presentation - Zoom-Shot-of-Recording-Screen

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.


How to Share Your Visme Presentation on Zoom

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.

Step 1: Publish your presentation.

When you’re finished designing your presentation in Visme, navigate over to the top right corner of your screen, and click on “Share”.

zoom presentation - publish visme screenshot

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”.

Step 2: Click on the Present button.

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.

zoom presentation - presenter notes visme

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.

Step 3: Share your screen on Zoom.

From your Zoom meeting window, click on “Share Screen” and select the window with the Presenter view of your presentation.

zoom presentation - Share-your-Screen-on-Zoom

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.


Ready to Give a Memorable Zoom Presentation?

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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    About the Author

    Mahnoor Sheikh is the content marketing manager at Visme. She has years of experience in content strategy and execution, SEO copywriting and graphic design. She is also the founder of MASH Content and is passionate about tea, kittens and traveling with her husband. Get in touch with her on LinkedIn.

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