Imagine a video conference quarterly leadership meeting where the presenter is about to share a chart with the team to display crucial statistical trends detailing the organizations productivity over the last quarter. Everyone is eagerly waiting to see the visual representation of the data.
The presenter confidently states, “Alright, folks, get ready for some mind-blowing statistics!” With a mischievous grin, the presenter holds up a small piece of paper with a hand-drawn graph on it and struggles to align it perfectly in front of the camera.
The team members exchange bewildered glances, trying to stifle their laughter. One team member can’t help but ask, “Um, is this our highly anticipated chart? Should we all get our magnifying glasses?” The room erupts in laughter, and even the presenter can’t help but chuckle at their own mischievous antics.
Amid the laughter, the presenter puts down the paper and uses the video conferencing feature to share screen, revealing the prepared digital charts and graphs. This light-hearted moment served as an icebreaker, creating a positive and enjoyable atmosphere for the rest of the meeting.
While humorous, this scenario is all too real. Some remote workers and leaders may not understand the need to create and display professional visual aids when delivering presentations in a remote setting. This includes using the visual aids to display specific information and sharing one’s screen to reveal professional looking graphics instead of holding up a piece of paper or other device to the camera.
Purpose of Using Visual Aids
Using visual aids in virtual presentations can be a powerful tool for enhancing remote workplace communication, engagement, message retention, and may directly affect your perceived credibility (positively or negatively).
Presenting with professional looking visual aids offer numerous benefits, including enhanced audience engagement, increased comprehension, and the ability to create emotional connections. Visual aids provide valuable support to the spoken content, making information more digestible, memorable, and impactful
They can provide structure, organization, and visual appeal to presentations, making it easier for the audience to follow along and understand key points. Visual aids also can be adapted to different learning styles and can cater to diverse audiences.
5 Tips for Presenting with Visual Aids
When presenting virtually over a video conference call, presenters should consider some applicable public speaking guidelines when utilizing visual aids. This includes being mindful of your audience, purpose of the presentation, and the degree of formality expected in the virtual environment.
Following are some foundational strategies for professional presentation delivery. Apply what works for you in our specific remote environment.
Tip 1: Practice your presentation with visuals
Practicing your presentation with visuals involves rehearsing the delivery of your presentation while incorporating the visual aids that will be used during the actual presentation.
- Set up a practice session using the same video conferencing platform you will be using for the actual presentation.
- Pay attention to camera positioning and ensure that your visuals are clearly visible on the screen.
- Practice screen sharing and navigating through the visual aids smoothly to familiarize yourself with the virtual presentation environment.
- Consider recording your practice session to review and identify areas for improvement in both your delivery and the integration of visuals.
- If you’re using slides, practice navigating through the slides smoothly while aligning your spoken content with the visuals.
- Pay attention to the pace of your delivery and ensure a seamless transition between slides and your spoken explanations.
Practicing with visuals helps you become familiar with the flow of the presentation, timing of transitions, and effective integration of visual aids.
Tip 2: Use visual aids as prompts, not scripts
Visual aids should serve as prompts or visual cues to guide your presentation, rather than acting as a script that you read from verbatim.
- Ensure that your visual aids are easily shareable and accessible through the screen sharing feature of the video conferencing platform.
- Use your visual aids as visual prompts to guide your presentation, but avoid relying solely on them as the main content of your presentation.
- Maintain eye contact with the camera as much as possible, rather than constantly referring to the visual aids on your screen.
- Use verbal cues and transitions to smoothly navigate through the visuals and elaborate on the key points.
- Instead of reading the text directly from your slides, use them as visual cues to elaborate on key points, share relevant examples, or engage in interactive discussions with the audience.
By using visual aids as prompts, you maintain a natural and engaging delivery, allowing for flexibility in adapting to the audience’s reactions and questions.
Tip 3: Consider Timing and pacing
Timing and pacing refer to the appropriate speed and rhythm at which you deliver your presentation while effectively synchronizing with the visuals.
- Take into account potential delays in communication due to internet connectivity and audio/video transmission.
- Allow for slightly longer pauses after presenting each visual aid to ensure that participants have enough time to process the information.
- Practice your timing and pacing to ensure that you’re not rushing through the content, while also being mindful of keeping the presentation within the allocated time frame.
- Use visual cues or hand gestures to signal transitions between visuals and maintain a smooth flow throughout the virtual presentation.
- When presenting charts or graphs, allocate sufficient time for the audience to process the data before moving on to the next visual. Pause and emphasize key insights or trends to allow for comprehension and reflection.
Proper timing and pacing ensure that the audience can follow the presentation comfortably and absorb the information without feeling rushed or overwhelmed.
Tip 4: Interact with visual aids during the presentation
Interacting with visual aids involves actively engaging with the visuals during the presentation to enhance the audience’s understanding and connection with the content.
- Ensure visuals are clear and visually appealing, considering factors such as font size, color contrast, and readability on participants’ screens.
- Use the screen sharing feature strategically, ensuring that the participants can clearly see the visuals and actively involve them in discussions or activities based on the visuals.
- Use gestures or pointers to draw attention to specific areas on a slide or chart.
- Use annotations or callouts to highlight important details or trends.
- Use storytelling techniques with visuals to create an emotional connection.
Interacting with visual aids helps reinforce key messages, clarify information, and maintain audience interest throughout the presentation.
Tip 5: Engage the audience
Visual engagement techniques are methods used to actively involve the audience and make the presentation more interactive and memorable.
- Make sure your video conferencing platform allows for interactive features, such as annotation tools or virtual whiteboards, to engage with the visual aids.
- Utilize storytelling techniques that involve visual aids to create a connection and evoke emotions within the virtual audience.
- Encourage participants to share their thoughts or reactions to the visual aids through verbal or written communication within the video conference platform.
- Use breakout rooms or small group discussions to allow participants to interact with visual aids collaboratively and share their insights or interpretations.
- Incorporate polls or interactive quizzes using visual aids to encourage audience participation.
- Incorporate interactive elements, such as clickable links or live demonstrations, to actively involve the audience and make the presentation more dynamic.
Involving the virtual audience through visual engagement techniques enhances their attention, participation, and overall retention of the presentation’s key messages.
Incorporating visual aids in business presentations enables presenters to communicate their messages effectively, leave a lasting impression on the audience, and achieve their presentation goals. By harnessing the power of visuals, presenters can transform their presentations into engaging, informative, and memorable experiences that captivate their remote audience and convey information with impact.
We can help train your remote workers and leaders on strategies to help them go remote and work on! Contact us for more information.