It's a phrase we've all got rather tired of, but the ‘new normal’ is most definitely here to stay. After the initial panic, many of us have adjusted to working from home, surrounded by our family, pets and the constant allure of the refrigerator. Our working days are full of Team meetings and Zoom exchanges.
When the lockdown first hit, organisations like Eyeful ran around issuing best practise guidelines in an attempt to safeguard presentation quality in this ‘new world’. The good news is that a lot of these best practises were taken on board and over time, people became more confident and comfortable with presenting remotely.
Now for the bad news…
We’re now entering the most dangerous time for remote presentation quality within organisations.
Six months into any new way of working is when the best practises and intentions of presenters tend to fray at the edges. We’re already hearing some unnerving news about how virtual communication is starting to fall back into bad habits - the BBC recently published an article about one of the UKs biggest retailers suffering due to a culture of poor communication within the organisation.
Bullet point strewn slides were never a good idea when you were presenting face to face. They are the death knell to communication when delivering virtually.
Hit the reset button (again)
To ensure your organisation doesn’t fall back into bad habits, we’re here to not only remind you of the fundamentals of remote presenting, but also highlight recent lessons learned to keep you on the cutting edge of presentation best practice in a virtual world.
Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll be highlighting a series of remote presenting hot topics, aimed at prompting to stop, think and start rethinking your next virtual presentation.
Sealed with a virtual KISS
Most presentations are too long. There is a peculiar notion that it is acceptable to ask your audience to invest an hour of their time in return for 20 minutes of valuable content. It is assumed that the 40 minutes of information they had to sit through that was irrelevant to them, added no value to them and delivered no value was an acceptable payoff for the good information that they were receiving.
For ‘in person’ presentations, overstaying your welcome can be spotted as audience members shuffle in their seats or unsubtly reach for their smartphones. These nuances are lost on the virtual presenter – their audience has switched off completely, yet the presenter ploughs on without a care in the world.
A simple way to address this all-too-common pitfall is to keep it short. We would implore you to not only look at the amount of time you're asking your audience to invest, but also consider the value of that specific content to the audience.
Even better, if you’re able to take the original hour long webinar and split it into three 20-minute mega-targeted sessions that deliver great value in a shorter time to a carefully chosen audience, the return on investment, both for you and your audience, grows exponentially.
Stick to the basics - focus on your audience, keep sessions short and ensure that you are delivering value. If you feel that this is simply too much hassle for a webinar, consider the flipside – when you fail to deliver value, your reputation suffers and ultimately the engagement and goodwill of your audience erodes to the point where the opportunity to present your message disappears completely.
- The ‘Connect’ Phase of Virtual Presentation Planning – click here
- Interactive Virtual Presentation planning tool – click here
- Remote Presenting Best Practice Infographic – click here
To keep people on the straight and narrow, we’ll continue to shine a light on some of the Remote Presenting myths that have circulated across the web over the last six months. Next up – lessons from weather presenters (and why less is more for remote presentations everytime).
In the meantime, please share this information across your teams – between us, as a community of presenters, we can ensure that businesses do not fall back into the bad habits of old.