• James Palmer

4 Tips for Presenting Your Best

Digital Conferencing Coaching

We are all spending more time in front of a camera than ever before. Video is taking the place of meetings, networking events, presentations, pitches and more. And it seems clear that video conferencing isn’t going away any time soon.  Learning how to present your best self on camera is going to make you feel confident while strengthening existing connections and even landing new business.  

How do you get to Carnegie Hall?  Practice, practice, PRACTICE!

Whether you're recording a video, giving a presentation or participating in a meeting, practice makes perfect.  If this is a written presentation, speak it out loud enough times that you feel comfortable looking away from the text to make eye contact.  If it’s off-the-cuff, make sure you have a clear sense of the beginning, middle, and end.  Then do a test run.  Have some friends or coworkers hop on to a video call with you and do a practice run.  Make sure that they can hear and see you clearly.  Ask them for feedback.  

Pro tip: Record yourself and watch it back. Repeat. A lot.

Active Listening

How you listen is just as important as how you speak.  And because you’re on camera, participants will read your body language.  Do all of the things you normally do during an important conversation: sit up straight, smile, breath, and nod occasionally.  Do not check your email or pull out your phone or stare off into space.  Eliminate distractions like email notifications so you can stay focused. Adjust your display settings if looking at your own image is taking away from looking at the person speaking. The audio software in Zoom doesn’t allow for cross talk. Allow space for others on the call to complete their thought before you respond.  

Pro Tip: This one is for managers and team leaders. Make sure the mic gets passed You may have to work harder to facilitate a conversation if some participants are less confident on video conference. This requires being extra sensitive to the group dynamic

Colorful Language

When it’s your turn, speak clearly and make sure you're facing the mic (which is probably in your computer or camera).  It’s easy to let nerves and adrenaline push you too fast through your presentation.  Remember to slow down.  Figure out your big points and make sure they land using emphasis and silence.  Consider structuring your presentation with room for audience participation. This will keep your audience engaged and help you track their level of interest and comprehension before you get to the end.  If you receive feedback from your test run that you sound monotone remember that you can always play with the dynamics of pitch, volume, and tempo (variety is the spice of life and speech).

Pro Tip: See tip #1. I can’t say it enough. Practice is really the secret weapon when it comes to video.

Look the Part

A successful video meeting is about more than the content and structure of your presentation. Dress like you would if you were meeting in person (this means yes you have to wear pants and shoes too!). Talk to the eye of the camera as if it were the eye of the person you’re speaking to.  A camera isn’t the same as a mirror so make sure you double check your appearance in the camera before you start the meeting (or have a friend let you know in a practice run…noticing a pattern yet?).  Sit in a chair that gives you proper support and alignment.  

Pro Tip: Relax your shoulders.  Relax your jaw. And breath. If you’re anxious or tense, it will definitely show on camera.

While we all miss getting in rooms together, video technology has opened up a world of possibilities for many professionals. It can absolutely be a tool to help land new business, keep in touch and support team members working remotely . If you're struggling with this new medium or if you want your team to look sharper when interfacing with clients, I can help you.  Whether it’s tech questions (believe me, that’s a whole piece unto itself), meeting etiquette, effective communication, or speech coaching, I’m your one stop shop for making a positive impression in a digital environment.  Check out my website for more information and contact me for a consultation. I look forward to learning about your business’ needs.

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