Better Remote Presentations

In times of disruption, information can be very helpful. But only if it is shared clearly and structured in a memorable way that captures and retains attention. Especially if you are communicating through a computer screen.

You need to put audiences first. 

As many businesses and institutions pivot to remote work including video conference calls, below are some general tips that I give to my clients.  These are especially important for experts engaging non-experts.

When you are engaging with audiences outside of your speciality, that information can be presented more clearly by consciously prioritizing three components of messaging: word choice, narrative structure, and visual / slide design.

1. Use words that your audience finds familiar. 

Swap out technical terms for more immediately clear phrases. This might increase your word count, but that’s better than a short message that’s only clear to a small number of specialists. 

2. Open with the central piece of information. 

Lead with the captivating information first. Especially when you are engaging audiences outside of your specialty:

  • Here’s the take-home;
  • Here’s some background on why;
  • So here’s the take home again;
  • Now here’s what we can do given this take-home message.

This doubly helps your audience: open with what they need to remember, give some context, then repeat the important information, and invite further discussion. Memorable and engaging.**

 3. Design slides that show the audience where to look without telling them where to look.

Clear slides are especially vital if you are presenting through a computer screen: 

  • show only 1-6 words per slide;
  • use arrows and circles to call attention to the important information in graphs or complex images;
  • do not expect that everyone will see your cursor movement.

Tell everyone that you will send a more detailed version afterwards. That way you can inform in the moment, then have productive feedback and discussion moving forward. 

If you and/or your team could use some tips on how to present effectively through remote meetings, I would be happy to discuss how I could be of assistance:

Contact me today!

We are all in this together. Stay safe and healthy out there.

**Note: I followed my own advice with this post. My opening paragraph appeals to “share information clearly.” Then at the beginning of the advice section I say “When you are engaging with audiences outside of your specialty …” then I repeat that exact phrase in sub-section 2 to lead with the take-home message. 

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