9 Zoom Presentation Tips in 2022
While offices and other workplaces continue to adapt to the COVID pandemic and the easing of restrictions, there are several different ways that employers are choosing to return. But whether employees remain fully remote, return to the office on a hybrid schedule, or even return to the pre-pandemic schedule, one piece of technology is certain to remain a part of our work lives: Zoom.
Zoom meetings, virtual presentations, interactive meetings, and all other sorts of video conferencing and webinars have proven to be remarkably valuable, and there’s no question that they will continue to be a part of our day no matter which type of work we do.
That’s why we’ve contacted several of our expert panelists, contributors, and partners, and asked them for their top tips when it comes to Zoom presentations and other virtual meeting tools for 2022 and beyond. Their advice, from the basics to the kinds of things you might not have thought of, will help you make the most of video conference tools like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and more.
Engaging Your Audience
One of the more difficult parts of transitioning from in-person meetings and presentations to virtual meetings and video presentations is finding ways to engage your audience. And our panelists had advice related to keeping audience engagement on the top of your mind and making it a key component of your presentation skills.
“Always try to engage your audience. A presentation where someone talks for 30 minutes is nowhere near as interesting as a presentation with an engaging period of Q&A, audience polls, or other ways to keep your audience engaged. And it’s important to keep an eye on your audience. By default, Zoom hides the people in the room, but you can change that and position the view of the people watching close to your camera. If you don’t know how people are responding to your presentation, you are taking a huge step back from in-person presentations where you can ‘read the room.’” – Joaquin Lippincott, CEO at Metal Toad
Before even engaging your audience, though, you need to know who to make a part of your presentation. Knowing your audience is perhaps the first component in being able to offer engaging online presentations, video conferences, or webinars. From LinkedIn and other social media outlets to your internal email list, bringing the right people to your meeting, poster session, tutorial, or other presentation is a big part of aiming for success.
“Many people who are using Zoom for presentations haven’t done the work to know who to invite–their target or ideal customers. Invite those who want what you are offering, clarify the problem, explain how you solve or answer that, and educate your audience on how you will fulfill that bold promise.” – Dave Smith, Business Coach & Marketing Strategist at IMJustice Marketing
Apart from standard advice like eye contact, having a solid wrap-up or conclusion, and so on, these are a couple of great points to keep in mind as you consider how best to foster audience engagement in Zoom rooms and other virtual presentation spaces.
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Make Your Virtual Presentations Pop
Another key element of leading or hosting great presentations on Zoom or Microsoft Teams or anywhere else is making your presentation visually engaging. In the same way, you want your presentation to look great in person, this factor is even more important when you move to the online space. Fortunately, there are some tools available nowadays to help you make your virtual presentation easy on the eyes and enjoyable for everyone in attendance.
“My number one tip is to use free graphic design websites like Canva! Well-designed presentations are clean and visually appealing, and these are important factors because when you have a professional-looking presentation, you will engage your viewers and they will see the value in what you are presenting. Beyond that, there are also sites that allow you to add interactive elements like quizzes, questions, and more. There are so many fun ways to keep the engagement over a Zoom call.” – Lexi Ragano, Digital Marketing Specialist at Symboliq Media
It makes sense to focus some energy and time on making your presentation look its best because your audience is looking at it on screen the whole time. Just like photographers and videographers work on making their products look great, the visual element is key whether you’re developing Powerpoint slides or some other type of presentation.
“Design is everything. Design helps viewers to digest the information on the slide easily and helps them to understand the information due to the concise layout. When developing online presentations and/or proposals, our team loves using Proposify. Proposify allows you to utilize many templates that are professionally designed and look incredible, and they’re also easy to customize and perfectly optimized for Zoom presentations.” – Robb Fahrion, Partner at Flying V Group
These tips go beyond the basics like “turn off your notifications” and “be sure to unmute your microphone.” And that’s because, as you work toward making better virtual meetings and Powerpoint presentations, and as virtual teams become a more consistent part of our work, there are plenty of areas where you can make continual improvements to your presentation style and approach.
Public Speaking Tips for Zoom Meetings
As important as design and audience recommendations are, at the end of the day you are still engaging in public speaking when you give an online presentation, webinar, or meeting. And public speaking skills are something that we can always continue to improve on. This is why a few of our panelists took a back-to-basics approach with their advice, offering tips to help with the biggest component of presentation skills.
“Speak with confidence. After all, you are the expert in this discussion. And to reduce speaking anxiety, remind yourself that the people in your audience are there specifically to hear your expertise on the topic. In a way, the audience is there to support you and your ideas.” – Ocean Hui, Management at Jeff Social Marketing
Speaking of being the expert, knowing your material backward and forwards was another great piece of advice we heard repeatedly. While some people can wing it, your best bet is to be fully knowledgeable about your presentation and the information you are sharing. That knowledge can give you the best confidence boost, making your presentation much better for you and your audience.
“Understand your material and practice your presentation. The most important thing about leading a business presentation is to make sure you know your material and to practice your presentation in advance. Speak naturally and present as if you are telling a story–a beginning, a middle, and an end.” – Sherri Brennen, Partner at Eastpark Consulting
Finally, if you’re giving a presentation while working from home or a private office, there is a great deal of comfort that comes with that. And being comfortable is a key piece of great public speaking as well.
“Google Slides and Adobe have engaging and organized templates, but more important than what tool you choose is reminding yourself that you’re in your comfort zone (your home). This helps take the pressure off.” – Piper Loehrke, Culture Specialist at Online Optimism
Zoom Meeting Powerpoint Pointers
As the most common office presentation tool around, you are very likely to be using Microsoft Powerpoint for your virtual meetings, webinars, and more. Recognizing that, we asked a few of our experts if they had any Powerpoint-specific tips and advice they could give to help you improve your Zoom presentations in 2022 and beyond.
“The best suggestion I can give is to produce everything ahead of time in a tool such as PowerPoint. If you take the time to put it together in advance, you can develop a plan for guiding your audience through the information rather than presenting a jumbled assortment of slides and thoughts. Start with an introduction of who you are, the purpose of the meeting, and an outline of what is going to be presented, ending with what you want viewers to do with the information and providing any calls to action.” – Richard J. DePaso, Managing Director at Aardvark Video & Media Productions, LLC
With the number of design tools that are available nowadays, there is also a lot more potential for Powerpoint presentations than there used to be. And since so many employers already have access to it, keeping some Powerpoint advice in mind is key to making a good presentation no matter what your subject matter.
“While some might perceive it as limiting, PowerPoint has all the necessary tools to create stunning presentations. Even so, there are some important things to remember to do – check your internet connection, test screen sharing before the meeting and only share the presentation tab, and include a roadmap at the bottom of the presentation to guide the viewers so they know which part is being presented (in case they get distracted).” – Director, ZANE Productions
Even More Advice for Giving Great Zoom Presentations
Whether you’re preparing to present online for the first time or you’ve been giving virtual presentations for over two years now, there is always room to learn new things about giving great presentations and hosting engaging, informative, and interesting virtual meetings. Our expert panelists that you heard from here, as well as a long list of UpCity business consulting partners who can provide further guidance. With Zoom and other online meeting tools here to stay, there’s no better time than right now to focus on improving your comfort and ability when it comes to hosting, leading, and developing virtual presentations.