Thursday, August 11 2022

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If you feel like you’re spending your days presenting virtually, whether to your team or management partners, this handy list (which includes online tools), compiled by Saana Azzam, Founder of MENA Speakers, will help you will help reinvent your presentation style.

As most live speaking events have gone virtual, professional speakers as well as HR and business managers have had to reinvent their presentation style to engage audiences and avoid Zoom fatigue. The new presentation environment has given rise to a new set of rules for effective public speaking.

Here are the five key learnings we’ve learned along the way

1. Involve the audience

Take advantage of technology that allows you to survey your audience quickly and wirelessly. Figure out where their heads are collectively and adjust the depth or tone of your presentation accordingly. They’ll appreciate the interaction, and you’ll appreciate the ability to know what kind of audience you’re targeting. It’s also a great way to create a catalog of informal statistics.

2. Use video more

Short, punchy video clips that drive home the point you’re making, leaving a much more impactful impression on the audience than a slide chart.

Just make sure the video content is appropriate and short. Use it to illustrate your point, but don’t rely on it as a crutch to simply fill out your presentation. Audiences will see through this, so choose your clips carefully and use them wisely.

3. Let your backdrop reinforce your overall message

Rather than using a bookshelf with a strategically placed vase and natural lighting as a background, consider using an image or video clip that helps reinforce your message. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy – a popular YouTuber uses footage of the sea passing his balcony for his cruise news vlog – just something that subtly connects your audience to the theme of your presentation.

4. Work on hybrid presentation skills

Increasingly, presenters are both lecturing to a live conference audience while simultaneously broadcasting over Zoom to virtual attendees. Be aware of the needs of both audiences and practice ways to balance your presentation to effectively reach both.

Jokes that serve as icebreakers with a live audience often come across as real moans to virtual ones.

Review your presentation and see which elements speak to which audiences and make sure there is a balance.

5. Capitalize on new tools for presenters

Keep up to date with new tools that will help make your presentation more effective. Check out Loom.com, the video recording app that captures your presentation for instant sharing with audiences on the internet via a special link. Other apps to explore are Krisp.ai which lets you cancel background noise as well as Fireflies.ai which lets you record, transcribe and search your Zoom calls. Prezi.com is also a great all-rounder for audiences when sharing slides.

Photo / Supplied (author: Saana Azzam, founder of MENA Speakers)

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