June 21

How to Start a Virtual Presentation (and how “not” to!)

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How do you start a virtual presentation? 

After introductions and virtual housekeeping, the most common way to start a virtual presentation is to jump right into your first PowerPoint slide and begin clicking away from there. 

There are several problems with this approach. First, you are competing with your slides for your audience’s attention. And second, even if your audience does glance at you, you have been reduced to a near postage-stamp-sized image appearing in the top corner or side of their screen. And,it’s hard to feel much of a connection with a postage stamp!

The Purpose at the Start of Your Virtual Presentation:

The purpose of those first few moments of a presentation or meeting is to grab your audience’s attention, pique their interest, and form a strong connection with them. That initial connection is what will carry your audience through some of the natural ebb and flow of their attention span during the rest of your presentation.  

So what is more attention grabbing and produces the greatest connection?  A logo slide with three to seven words on it?  Or a full view of your face, looking your audience in the eye and speaking directly to them? 

If you’re struggling with the answer, I’ll give you a hint: Scientists have discovered that almost nothing is more compelling to a human being than another human’s face. That’s why video (properly used) can be so effective. 

To truly leverage the power of video you need to make yourself as visible as possible.

As visible as if you were seated across from them in person. That means you have to be full screen. This allows your audience to see your eyes, your expressions, and your body language as you bring your words to life with context and emotion. And it makes your audience feel like they’re meeting with a live person, as opposed to a little SIM character in the corner of their screen.

Relegating yourself to the corner is an extremely poor use of valuable real estate.  In the immortal words of the late great, Patrick Swayze: “Don’t put baby in the corner!”  

The most effective and engaging way to start a virtual presentation is to begin full video. And rethink the rest of your slides as well. Only use slides that provide necessary information or context. Use the power of the human face and go full video often to draw the attention of your audience and greatly improve your connection and impact!

If you are ready to tap into the power of building personal virtual relationships through the screen, I’ve laid the path out for you in my new book that won the 2021 Gold Medal Top Sales Book, Look Me In the Eye: Using Video to Build Relationships with Customers, Partners and Teams. In it you’ll find all the steps and tactics you need to engage your audience.

Get your copy today on Amazon!   


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