PRESENT BETTER ON ZOOM!

If you have 6 minutes, I will give you 6 easy tips to get better at presenting virtually and 3 of those minutes are watching a video!


Trust me, I get it. I have been on 3-5 zooms a day for the better part of a year and I know that zoom fatigue is real people! However, that doesn't mean that we can let ourselves treat every zoom equal, and that we can forget that even though we are not in the same room as our peers, colleagues and potential business opportunities that we are not still presenting.


When you have an important meeting over zoom, teams, webex, etc here are 6 tips that I believe will help you be a much better video presenter, and the good news is that they are all easy and something you can work on TODAY!


  1. Posture

  2. Head Position (height)

  3. Background

  4. lighting

  5. Facing Camera

  6. Ice-Breaker

Watch the quick video for a brief description of each one and then a more thorough diagnosis below : )

Posture - This is very important because if you are hunched over, leaning back, or in some weird right or left lean position it makes it impossible to be a great presenting because there is no passion to your look. You need to be sitting up straight, hands out in front of you and actually presenting as if you were standing. This allows you to emphasize words and use hand gestures to make your point.


Height - It is really distracting when someone is totally out of frame, too high, too low, left or right. Please make it easy for your audience to hear your content by not focusing or thinking about when you are not centered. You want to be far enough away from the camera to see your upper body which allows you to use your hands and keep you face centered in the screen. The easiest way to do this is adjust your webcam or change the height of your laptop by using books, etc to get the perfect height.


Background - OMG please at least make your bed if you are going to shoot an important meeting in your room! Better yet, use the virtual background function on zoom where you can be sitting on a beach or in "The Office" anywhere would be better than a messy bedroom. (heres how to do it if you don't know how: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/210707503-Virtual-Background ) We are all dealing with tough situations right now with covid so sometimes you have to present from places less than desirable, however you control what the background looks like and so make sure you do everything possible to not let it interrupt the great content you are preaching. Generally, if you are not using a virtual background then you want a clean, well-organized backdrop that will not call unwanted distractions during the call.


Lighting - This one is HUGE, and honestly probably the one that comes up the most that I see, where it is really difficult to see somebody because the poor lighting. There are so many solutions, turn a small light around, face a window, or buy a little ring light off Amazon for $10, yes, $10 dollars that will clip right to your laptop, tablet or phone. Just remember that we want to hear your presentation, but that is easily muffled if we can't see you.


View Point - This is 100% in your control, please start to understand how important eye contact is virtually. It is just as important online as in person. If you are not looking at the camera your message will fall flat as you won't be connecting with your audience. Make sure you put the little part of the virtual meeting where you have the videos of the other participants placed in the upper portion of your screen near the webcam, this will force you to look there more often. Also, we know you have multiple monitors, but while you are on a call looking at them comes off as rude or disinterested because we don't know if you are paying attention or checking your fantasy football ball waiver wires!


Ice-Breaker - Finally my favorite! Do yourself a favor, make sure you are warming up the audience virtually just as you would in person. This can be done through virtual ice-breakers https://www.lbbop.com/ice-breakers found at that link, or done by simply talking with the audience about non-business topics and loosening everyone up. It is very hard to walk into a presentations and just go cold right into a pitch or speech, why do we then do that when online??? I make it a point to do this as much as possible and am hard pressed to see where this doesn't help your presentation in person or online.


Hopefully these help you out, and remind you of the most important thing, YOU are in control of how well you come across on camera. Posture, lighting, background, where you look and how you are sitting are 100% within your control to own and excel at which will set you up for success!

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© 2016 by BRETT STEWART THORNTON