Tips to Engage an Audience During Virtual Presentations
You’ve spent a lot of time carefully crafting your PowerPoint presentation. The design is visually engaging, the information is concise and your message is easily digestible.
You’re finally ready for your virtual presentation and to start your well-designed event.
Wait, you have designed your virtual presentation, right?
If you’ve never given much thought to virtual event design, you’re not alone. How many of us have endured a call on Zoom or Teams where the speaker has droned on and on, barely taking a breath?
How much of their beautiful PowerPoint did you actually take in?
If you want your presentation to have power, then you need to give the same design considerations to the way you run an event.
Here are our top design tips for audience engagement, maintaining attention, and making sure your PowerPoint packs a real punch.
Design your time
Zoom calls are more tiring than in-person meetings so it’s essential to plan out the available time to give everyone a mental break.
That way, when you’re delivering your most important information, people will pay attention and take in your message.
Create an agenda divided into smaller chunks of time to refresh everyone’s brain and keep actively engaged.
If your audience is passive, then you may as well be delivering a lecture.
Yet, most Teams or Zoom events are about selling an idea or influencing thought, so you need your attendees to be hooked on your every word. You need interaction.
You can add interactivity to your virtual presentation design by including some of these engaging activities:
Find out more about your attendees or how persuasive your presentation has been by creating straw polls. Design these to make your audience think and be active participants.
- Play I Spy (backgrounds) at the start of a meeting to get everyone energized
- Create a quick quiz using a tool like Kahoot or Quizziz
- Survey your audience using the chat function or ‘Raise Hands’ tool
This feature is perfect for longer presentations because they demand interaction. It allows you to put your audience into smaller groups to meet privately, although as a moderator you can float between the rooms.
Use this feature for related tasks and discussions that each group will report on when you’re all back together.
If you want your audience to be hooked on your every word, create BINGO cards with common and uncommon words related to your presentation message.
Send them out beforehand and offer a funny or exclusive prize to the person who fills out their card first.
Show don’t tell
It’s the old adage that story writers use but it applies to virtual events too. Keep switching things up and use video clips that sum up what you’re trying to say.
Use funny clips that make your point in an exaggerated way and will get your audience laughing.
In the same way, a picture can tell a thousand words so include ones that say everything without you having to say a word.
Show your face
With your presentation always full-screen, it’s easy for people to ‘switch off’ because they can’t see you.
Design your presentation to include times where your face is full-screen and you’re talking to the audience directly.
Whether your PowerPoint is designed for selling or influencing, virtual events need more thought than regular meetings to really get your message across.
Incorporate some of these tips and ideas into your next virtual presentation for maximum audience engagement so they’ll actually hear what you have to say.