Practical tools to nail your 2020 online presentations

Thanks to Covid-19, video conferencing has gone viral. Now we are all jumping on Zoom, Microsoft Teams, WebEx and other online platforms and many of us are, in addition, delivering online presentations.

When so much of your success in business hangs on your ability to present effectively, knowing how to deliver a great online presentation is key in the ‘new norm’.

Jeremy Cassell Coaching has recently partnered with Emperor Presentation. The reason is simple, to combine a first class design team to imprint your story with blow your hair back visuals, with expert presentation coaching to cover off all your performance challenges & equip you with the skills to present with maximum engagement and impact.

Together our Design & Deliver service offers a complete package to clients who want to deliver inspiring and persuasive presentations, especially during this time when meetings are happening virtually rather than face to face. 

We will be contributing 4 articles, to be published on our websites and LinkedIn. These will focus on identifying practical tools and ideas to guarantee that you nail your online presentations during lockdown and in the future, in which remote presenting, influencing and selling will be a permanent feature of the business landscape.

The articles are co-written by Jeremy Cassell and Emma Lewis.

Jeremy is co-author of the best-selling The Leader’s Guide to Presenting, which was voted 2018 Business Book of the year (personal development). He is currently working with many top business leaders on how to communicate in a crisis and present effectively online.

Emma Lewis is the Senior Account manager for Emperor, an award-wining creative consultancy which specialises in creating stunning high-impact presentations that are unrecognisable as PowerPoint.

Here are some of the questions our Jeremy Cassell Coaching and Emperor clients are asking of us:

  • What are the key similarities and differences between presenting face to face and presenting online?
  • What is the best way to use PowerPoint slides and other visual aids online?
  • What are some practical tips I can apply immediately so that I can do an even better job?

If you are having to present remotely, formally or informally, we are confident this series of articles will become an indispensable guide for people like you, a leader or manager, if you want to become an exceptional online presenter.

Think of these articles as a ‘how to’ blueprint of the fundamentals of presenting online, and an ideas vault that will give you a wealth of practical suggestions to take your online presenting performance to the next level.

Rather than face to face, we are now having to adjust to a new style of presenting and influencing. How many presentations have you seen already during the lockdown? What works and what you have you found boring or frustrating? We suspect, just like us, that you have attended numerous webinars, seen corporate video updates from your business leaders, heard from your team managers during remote meetings and been glued to updates delivered by national government officials on the latest lockdown news. And you may have had to deliver presentations yourself.

Before Covid-19, only around 7% of us worked from home globally. Now, if you are a business professional and are fortunate enough to still have a job and you are not furloughed, you are likely to be working from home and you may well be called on to present. Your current role may involve selling, leading, managing, or securing commitment to an idea or a project.

What is presenting?

Let’s get really clear first about what we mean by presenting. A presentation can be defined as ‘a speech or talk in which a new product, idea, or piece of work is shown and explained to an audience’. It is when the spotlight is on you for a short period of time and typically the purpose of an online presentation will fall into 5 categories – you are attempting to:

Persuade – pitching and getting buy in to an internal idea

Inform – sharing updates or briefings on projects

Instruct – teaching, demonstrating, training

Arouse – problem / solution to gain approval and motivational presentations to get people onside or change mind-set

Decide – to decide on promotions or recruitment and agree budgets.

Sometimes you will be required to present information in order to inform, in a straightforward way. Other presentation scenarios can be characterised as high-stakes presentations when it is critical for you to engage, motivate or gain commitment. Inevitably you will have fallen into some good habits and some that are holding you back. As you have probably noticed during the last few weeks, some people present very effectively, while others do not. What is the difference that makes the difference?

For online presentations to be successful there are 3 core criteria. For every one of your presentations the audience:

  1. needs to understand the value (so they turn up!)
  2. must be engaged during the session (so they don’t mentally or physically ‘check out’)
  3. must see the ROI for their, and the business’s time (if you want them to return)

The focus in the additional 3 articles

Many years ago now, Jeremy studied English and American Literature at university and then taught English for 3 years. He particularly loved 19th. Century novels. At that time, serialization was an immensely popular form of publishing because it gave authors a chance to create cliff-hangers as well as appeal to a much wider readership. Even poorer readers could afford short volumes. Later, many authors revised their work before publication as a complete novel.

Some novels are serialised even now – for example Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson was published in 1971 in serial form.

We are going to do the same here. There will be three additional articles published during May and then we will create a white paper that will be available as a download on both our websites.

As you read this, perhaps even on edge as to what we reveal next (!), I can tell you we will cover:

Article 2. The Fundamentals – The key habits that must be in place in order to be able to present effectively in any situation.

Article 3. The differences between online and face to face presenting – Exploring the 4 core differences and 10 top practical tips that you can use immediately.

Article 4. The power of great PowerPoint slides – A great presenter’s impact can be severely reduced if they accompany an inspiring talk with a set of dreary, over complicated slides. We’ll focus on the picture superiority effect and much much more…

If you have some trepidation about presenting online, then you’re in safe hands. Our aim is to replace Fear and Loathing with Confidence and Goodwill!

If you have online presentation challenges or questions you would like answered please contact us. We will be happy to address your questions privately or include them in one of the 3 articles:

Jeremy Cassell | | Take me to Jeremy Cassell Coaching Website

Emma Lewis | | Take me to Emperor website

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