One year ago as we went into lockdown, it was hard to imagine that, a full year later, video calling would continue to be one of the only ways to get ‘face to face’ with our audiences.
However, here we are, and although we long for the days when we can meet in person again, mingle before an event kicks off and enjoy a few refreshments together, we will be waving at our webcams for just a little while longer.
Here are my 10 key ways that presenting on Zoom is different to speaking on stage, and a little on how you can master this ‘new normal’:
Although the commute to your ‘stage’ is undoubtedly shorter for a Zoom presentation, paying close attention to how you set up is key.
It is essential to ensure you have a great wifi connection, your space is quiet and without disruption and you have adequate lighting available.
2. Body Language
Or rather, your facial expression, as that’s really all you have to work with on Zoom.
When you are on stage, you can make use of your body language to engage your audience and support your message, however, in the Zoom room, you only have a small rectangle on the screen, and most people are focused on your slides anyway. This means it’s important to be intentional with your facial expression.
3. No Stage
Perhaps the most obvious thing missing from a Zoom presentation is the stage itself, and what this means for your presence in the room. You won’t have space to move around and you can’t invite guests to join you on stage.
In fact, it’s best if you can find a way to stay as still as possible, as moving or swaying too much may distract your audience.
Whether you are on Zoom or on a real stage, pausing for effect or to pace your content is equally impactful.
Although you may be worried that your audience think you have lost connection, it’s more important that you give meaning to your content through strategic pauses, and that you stop for a breath here and there.
On Zoom, less of you is visible however that doesn’t mean that appearance isn’t important.
You should ensure that you are wearing plain clothes without patterns as these could interfere with your camera, and that your backdrop is tidy and professional.
When you take to the stage, you can use your body language and movement to establish gravitas.
However, when you are on Zoom, it’s important to project your voice and use a tone which enthuses your audience and connects them with your message.
Once again, pay attention to what your audience can see. Sit up straight in your chair with your shoulders back. Focusing on your posture won’t only impact your audience, but it will allow you to feel confident about your presentation as well.
8. Excitement, Enthusiasm & Passion
If you are excited about your message, passionate about your cause and enthusiastic about sharing with your audience, your presentation will be infectious.
This is just as important on Zoom as it allows your audience to gain a real insight into the importance of what you are saying.
Presenting on Zoom is much more accessible than presenting on stage. However, this doesn’t mean that preparation isn’t vital.
Take time to prepare and practice your key messages and call to action before your presentation and make sure to time yourself.
Finally, perhaps the most important difference between presenting on stage and presenting on Zoom is the content.
Rather than talking at length about your topic, it’s important to focus on giving your audience smaller, bite-size chunks as they will have more distractions at home, so this will be more actionable for them.
If you would like to find out more about what you can do as a business leader or owner to keep on top of your game and not let challenges or situations change your direction contact Bernie Allen at bernieallen.com or by emailing Berniespowerhouseacademy@gmail.com Bernie Allen’s book How To Succeed In Business & Life is out now published by Excalibur Press and available from excaliburpress.co.uk and bernieallen.com