Factors that make a virtual presentation successful

There is plenty of advice available on public speaking and in-person presentation skills, but how do you go about preparing and executing a high-quality virtual presentation? That is the question addressed by Timothy Koegel in his book The Exceptional Presenter Goes Virtual: Take Command of Your Message, Create an “In-Person” Experience and Captivate Any Remote Audience. It is a short, easy-to-read book filled with guidance for overcoming the particular barriers that exist in virtual communication scenarios.

In order to succeed with a virtual presentation, you need to keep it relevant, keep it engaging and keep it moving. The audience members in a virtual presentation will be tempted to multitask, thereby paying a lower amount of attention to your message, so it is critical that you keep people’s attention. There is much that you can learn from television news presenters in this regard.

Topics covered include how to establish the sequence, timing and flow of the presentation, how to help participants prepare, making sure the right people are attending, involving others in the presentation, how to look relaxed and confident, the use of virtual humour, creating seamless transitions, and the relative advantages and disadvantages of virtual and face-to-face presentations.

The book contains a number of handy preparation sheets that can be used by presenters. It does not contain much new technical information about virtual presentations, but it does provide a very helpful perspective on the factors that make a virtual presentation successful and how you can build towards that success by careful preparation, both for the presenters and for the listeners.