Online Meeting and Presentation Tips

Online Meetings or Presentations , whether by webcast, Facetime, videoconference, or other media, provide the presenter and participant(s) many benefits.  Online Meetings and Presentations through any of these formats can create a one-on-one connection between the you and the participant(s). Those involved tend to pay greater attention not only to the message, but to the information on screen and you.  The following tips will assist you in making the most of your virtual meeting.

Get Setup Like a Pro

Find a good quiet location within your office or home that is free for distractions with good lighting and drapes or carpet.. Find a place where you can focus on the meeting for the duration of the meeting. Avoid busy backgrounds or windows which are not only distracting, but can create technical issues. Drape and carpet help absorb sound and minimize the echo a room creates. Technology amplifies when you get distracted and these subtle room attributes that are distracting. 


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Know Your Equipment

Whether you use a PC, Laptop, or mobile device, be sure to know exactly how to adjust the microphone, camera, and speaker along with the software you are using for the meetings and presentations. Zoom, Adobe Connect, Webex, GoTo Meeting, and a number of others all accomplish similar results if you know what your doing. Don't assume the participants know the tool you pick any better than you do.



Get Your Participants Testing

Once you've selected the online tool to host all your meetings and presentations, encourage participants to set themselves up well in advance of the schedule start. Give them a call a day before if possible just to check and see if they had an opportunity to test their system. Nothing is more frustrating than starting a meeting and waiting 5 or more minutes for one of the attendees figuring out they need to turn up their speaker volume. 


Avoid Distractions

Minimize background distractions from a noisy office, people moving in the background, or habits such as clearing your throat, saying "um" or "uh," shuffling papers, rocking, leaning, or clicking a pen, all of which become emphasized on-camera. If standing, you will also need to avoid pacing or wandering outside camera range. For these reasons, it is a good practice to rehearse—and watch—at least part of your on-camera presentation.


Get Good Audio and Vary the Volume and Rate of Your Speech

Consider setting up good external microphone. A good podcast microphone can assist and help enhance your professional image by creating a deeper and richer sound for the participants. Adjusting your voice will help draw the participants’ attention to key points and enhance the conversation further. At the same time, be careful not to over-project, which will be amplified further and distorted.


Dress for Success

Wear clothing and jewelry that will not distract the audience. Solid color outfits that are gray or blue without patterns or shinny buttons work best while pinstripes, plaids, bold prints, solid black, or solid white white may create distracting patterns on the video image, such as moving lines, mosaic patterns or create a ghostly or blurred image that is distracting.


Lights, Camera, Action---Remember the Audience is Watching

Keep in mind the camera is always on even if the software causes screens to change—and is most likely close up on you. Frame yourself like the news anchors you've seen on TV, just below the shoulders and a little space above your head over a simple background free of distractions. Being attentive and enthusiastic throughout will help enhance the overall group dynamic during the session.


Connect with Your Audience

Once you have everyone online and the meeting started. Maintain "eye contact" with your local and remote audiences. Look into the camera occasionally, in the same way as you look at participants in the room. Set your camera at eye level or slightly higher for the most flattering shot. This might require you to prop up your laptop or mobile device if you are using the screen to run the meeting.


Engage the Participants

Engage all the participants routinely. Consider to poll them periodically or give them an opportunity to ask questions or make comments, by name, at various times. Remember it may take the participants a moment to un-mute a microphone before speaking. Additionally many online meeting tools have chat features which can come in handy with larger groups.