Surely it's something you've realized in the current work from home environment. Logging into meetings doesn't mean you're paying attention. In fact, I bet you've figured how out to multi-task even when you're required to turn your camera on.
Don't take your audience for granted and assume they're paying attention just because they're in attendance. Even when your audience (i.e. your team, manager, or clients) is motivated to listen it's easy to get distracted in a virtual environment. Make it easier to focus by delivering in your message in a compelling way.
Intentional pauses. Stop yourself from talking too much by adding pacing mechanisms to your presentations. That includes intentional pauses, full stops for audience engagement and varying the tempo at which you deliver the content. Pacing mechanisms allow your audience to catch up and process what you’re saying. Not being able to predict what comes next (like more of your voice reading another slide) keeps them engaged.
Physical Energy. Being on camera and talking to a remote audience is like carrying on a one-sided conversation. Exaggerate your energy level and bring enough energy to carry both sides of a conversation. It might feel awkward at first, but without it you run the risk of coming across as disinterested or unenthusiastic. You should be able to feel the muscles in your face when you smile and feel your voice projecting from the back of your throat.
Strategic storytelling in the first 30-seconds. The first 30-seconds is critical for capturing the attention of your audience and setting the stage for your presentation. (That equals approximately six sentences based on TV broadcast principles.) If it starts like every other presentation they’ve heard you can’t expect them to respond with a greater level of enthusiasm or engagement even when you have great information to share.
Your audience is not as intrigued by what you have to say as you are. Don’t make them wait for interesting or compelling information.
Focused questions. Conventional wisdom says open-ended questions are the best way to show interest in someone, initiate a conversation and get good answers. The truth is, open-ended questions that are too broad won’t lead to helpful or revealing answers. Be as strategic with your questions as you are with all the other details of your presentation. Instead of “How can we work together?” it could be “Where do you want to make the greatest impact?” or “How can I help you make a bigger impact?”
Expectation, timeline and action item (E.T.A.) Set clear expectations at the beginning and the end of your presentation to remove doubt as to what comes next. Doing this at the beginning of your presentation helps ensure everyone is on the same page with timing and the agenda. Including E.T.A at the end of a presentation sets your follow up strategy in motion. Confusion reduces the chance of getting buy-in. Verbalizing your expectations, timelines and action items, or next steps, reduces confusion and increases buy-in.
©Talk Sporty to Me 2020
If this seems like a lot to incorporate on your own. I can help with that. Take part in the Camera Ready semi-private coaching group January 25, 27 and 29 or inquire about private coaching for improving your camera presence and crafting and delivering a compelling message: [email protected]