Working from home? Can’t meet colleagues or customers face to face? Whether your company adopted a policy due to the COVID-19 outbreak, or you’re part of a remote team, you can still deliver an impactful presentation from home, no matter where you host. Here are my top tips for making your remote meeting effective.
Before you even switch on your computer — consider your setup. You might not be in an office boardroom or conference room, but you can still optimize your “meeting” environment.
- Find a quiet room or part of your house to set up your computer — a home office desk, dining table, or kitchen island works well.
- Make sure you don’t have any direct light shining from behind you — i.e. a window on a bright day — as this will make it hard to see you.
- Ensure your webcam is at eye level so the video call feels more natural.
Whilst modern technology is incredible, it can still slip up at unexpected times — so prepare fully to have the best experience possible.
- Choose a video conferencing tool you’re comfortable with — Zoom, Skype, Cisco Webex, or Google Hangouts Meet are popular choices.
- Ensure participants have the correct link to join your meeting in advance, and are informed in case they need to install software to access it.
- Disable all desktop notifications or noises — we’ve all experienced how distracting they can be!
- If you’re the main host, instruct participants to mute their microphones if they’re not speaking.
To make sure your meeting is inclusive and interactive, you’ll need to adapt your content and presentation style accordingly.
- Consider your presentation length and shorten if possible — include 5 minutes “contingency” time for unforeseen technical problems — for example, participants having connectivity issues
- Share a concise agenda with participants beforehand so they know a good time to ask questions or cover any other business
Make time during your presentation for pauses and ask if anyone has questions or comments — this is especially important if you can’t see all participants
- Keep your audience engaged by adding interaction to your presentation — consider cutting back on a traditional slide deck and hosting a kahoot game to wrap up when you’re finished presenting. We find that fewer slides means more engagement, but both approaches work well when you host via video conference.
- Don’t forget to follow up! Share your presentation afterwards to prompt feedback, and keep the conversation going.