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How To Prepare For Online Presentations That Keep Your Audience Engaged


A large part of working from home or hybrid is communicating through online tools. When you have a presentation lined up, you’re already pretty nervous, but with the addition of having to present through video conferencing systems makes things a bit more stressful because you don’t know what will happen during the presentation. Video calls are notorious for unstable internet connection, technical difficulties, and miscommunication. Anything can happen and it can add to the stress that probably already exists before a presentation. But with proper preparation, online presentations are a breeze and you’ll be able to confidently walk through them with your eyes closed.

To prepare for online presentations you have to treat them as what they are–online presentations. Consider them separate from in-person presentations because they are. You need to begin thinking about the ways in which you can successfully tackle your online presentations because you’ll be communicating through a virtual format. Successfully communicating what you want to be communicated over a video conferencing call requires that you pay attention to multiple different things such as the technology that you use, how you sound, and how clearly you annunciate. Preparing for online presentations isn’t anything new, it just requires a few extra things to think about, and here are a few things to get you started.

1. Keep your presentations clear and concise

This first point is something that you should already be doing. Keep your presentations clear and concise. You don’t want to overwhelm your audience with so much ancillary information. Communicate what you want short and meaningful by sticking to the core details of your project. You’re most likely using slides to present so make sure you don’t use too many slides and load them up with too much information. Only write key concepts that act like reminders of what you actually want to say. Your slides should supplement and prompt what you’re going to say in your presentation. You should never read off your slides and make sure you put enough on your slides to act as a guide for the presentation but not too much that your audience is paying more attention to them than you.

2. Go through the content and know what you need to say

To prepare for online presentations you have to come ready with all the information you want to say. Don’t ever read off your slides. As mentioned, your slides and notes should be promoters so you should mainly know what you’re going to say from memory. Go through your slides and notes well in advance of your presentation and get ready for possible questions that may be asked. Come up with questions that might be asked and ready strong answers or arguments to them. When you present, you want to be seen as the expert on your content so always go through the content of your presentation and get a general sense of what you want to say during your presentation.

3. Engage your audience by incorporating interesting formats

Nothing is worse than a border audience. It makes you feel insecure and could also throw you off. Ensure your audience stays interested in your presentation by incorporating interesting formats like videos or live reviews. You can also use video conferencing tools during your presentation. Custom video conferencing tools specifically provides you with useful tools to elevate your presentation, ensuring that you consistently have your audience’s attention. For example, ProVideoMeeting provides you with YouTube Group View which allows you to watch and control YouTube videos during your call. Implementing videos in your presentations is an interesting supplement that supports your presentations by bringing in different media.

Photo of man presenting online for tip to prepare for online presentations

4. Eliminate distractions

There are so many distractions when working at home so eliminate them. Create a place where you can focus and establish boundaries for work within the household. You want to also silence any outside noise by turning off any tv sets, and radios, and closing windows just in case your video call will pick up on the noise. Additionally, leave your cell phone on silent and mute any notifications that may come through your laptop. It’s a technological distraction that can throw your presentation off.

5. Concentrate on your expressions and body language

You’re presenting through a video so the way you hold yourself is limited. Appearance is part of a successful presentation so dress up accordingly and organize your background. Make sure you are also concentrating on your expressions and body language. Your audience will see your face and upper body so sit straight and keep your hand movements limited. Hand motions can be distracting and your might actually hit your screen. Since you’re presenting through a video call, make sure your voice is loud and clear by annunciating well.

Online presentations are a part of the remote experience. You always want to be prepared because it’s difficult at times to make a good impression through a conference call. Take advantage of the tools that you have to build powerful and persuasive presentations and give yourself and your team enough time to practice. With thorough preparation, your presentations will be a breeze.


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