When work events and a local conference moved online, I had the opportunity to speak in the comfort of my own home. However, communicating through a video call isn’t necessarily easier than speaking in person. Here are some tips for successful video calls and presentations:
- Take advantage of new opportunities. With events moving online, we’re no longer bound by physical location. At work, I’ve spoken at an event in a different state that I might not have presented at if the event took place in person. Even if you’re stuck at home, see if you can expand your network. Of course, although location might not matter, time zones still do, so remember to double check the clocks before you accept an invitation to meet or present in another time zone.
- Find a friendly face. If you give a presentation through a video call, you might find it’s more difficult to read your audience. You might see them only from the shoulders up, you might only see a few members at a time, or you might not see some of them at all. As you start to speak, try to catch a friendly face in one of those little camera displays. If you’re an audience member, consider offering a smile as a presenter begins to share. You might be the boost of encouragement who helps them get off to a good start. 🙂
- Recruit a monitor for incoming comments. When presenting in person, audience members generally don’t shout out in the middle of your talk. However, your online meeting software might have a chat area where people can comment and ask questions throughout your presentation. Recruit a helper to moderate these incoming comments so you can focus on your talk.
- Be yourself. I enjoy seeing quirky video call backgrounds, whether home décor or a cartoony virtual background. Fun elements like these can start conversations and help folks get to know each other better. Of course, if your situation requires you to be more formal, use good judgment in this area and save the fun stuff for time with friends.
Even though video calls and presentations might take some getting used to, I’m thankful that I can connect with others through technology. How have you been handling video calls? Please feel free to share other tips and tricks in the comments!