Are you boring your listeners? In a virtual presentation, you may not see your audience, but you can tell if they have tuned you out. Do your questions go unanswered? Are there few comments in the chat box? Are you doing all the talking—even when you unmute your participants?
If you answered “yes” to those questions, you may be a “Novocain speaker”. This means, you are knocking out your audience quicker than a dentist numbs your gums before filling a cavity.
If your slides are text-heavy and you rely more on statistics than stories, you are turning off your virtual audience. But, don’t worry. I recommend these quick fixes to pull your next audience into your virtual presentation:
1 – Be an Uber Driver. Steer your presentation in the right direction with your voice, body language and content.
2 – Lose the Novocain. Don’t rely on text-heavy slides and a bunch of mind-numbing statistics. Think of ways to pull your audience in your conversation.
3 – Add a Personal Touch. Bring your personality and your unique perspective to the presentation table.
Here are nine strategies that can help you keep your audience off their phones while you talk. To focus attention on your message (instead of texts, emails, or social media posts) follow my audience engagement roadmap:
Uber Driving Tips
- Use your voice to show your audience how much you care. Nothing is more boring than a speaker with no passion or emotion. It’s not just the words you say. It is how you “say” them that drive home your content. Your message is more appealing when you deliver it with empathy and enthusiasm.
- During a virtual presentation, everyone is looking at your face. Use your face like a billboard. Smile and show your emotions in your facial expressions. Don’t forget to add hand gestures to reinforce your words.
- As an Uber driver, you must deliver relevant content that mirrors the experiences of your listeners. Your key points, examples, stories and analogies should reflect the problems and issues facing your audience.
No Mind-Numbing Allowed
- You’ll bore your audience with slides filled with long sentences and few images. Keep each slide simple (no more than three bullet points), show more visuals (video, pictures, graphics) than words, and use short sentences (less than five words).
- Make it easy for your listeners to interpret and remember powerful numbers. Use examples, analogies and stories to illustrate the impact of your statistics.
- Let your virtual audience join your discussion by answering or asking questions in the chat box, filling out a poll, playing group games, going into breakout rooms, or using the reaction tools. You can also unmute meeting participants so they can share their comments or opinions.
- Talk to your audience like you are having a one-on-one private conversation. Use the word “you” a lot and look directly into the camera.
- Share your personality, sense of humor or your favorites with your audience. Slip in references to your hobbies, favorite food or music you love. Add a slice of “you” to make your message more authentic.
- When you reveal the insight you gained from your experiences, your words carry more weight. Weave your lessons learned, ideas, and opinions into the facts you are presenting. Audiences love getting a glimpse of the real you.
For more tips, tools and strategies to keep your audience off their phones during your virtual (or live) presentation, visit the Better Speaking Skills website, https://betterspeakingskills.us/