4 virtual presentation mistakes to avoid


Do you remember life before you had to sit through all those cringe-worthy Zoom meetings? (Especially the ones where someone thinks their mic is muted). 

Virtual Reality

The outbreak of Covid-19 turned the world’s fun flirtation with digital into a serious marriage overnight. Virtual plays an integral role in every aspect of contemporary life and presenting is no exception.

Whether you crave more time in front of the camera than an Instagram influencer or you would rather kiss a fish than give a virtual presentation is nowadays a moot point. The fact is that digital is a MUST do. 

I can tell you right now with 100% certainty that if you do not learn how to present to the camera, you will miss out on multiple exciting and potentially lucrative opportunities in the months and years ahead. 

Opportunities like:  

  •       Live masterclasses
  •       Live and automated webinars
  •       Group coaching sessions
  •       Zoom and Team meetings
  •       Virtual and tele-summits
  •       5-/7-day challenges
  •       Video Interviews
  •       Podcasts interviews
  •       Facebook and Instagram livestreams
  •       YouTube videos

Do you really want to stand by on the side-lines watching those amazing chances get snapped up by people who recognized the value of educating themselves in this crucial skill?

Top 4 Fatal Virtual Presentation Mistakes

As a professional speaking coach, I am frequently asked for a list of virtual presentation ‘Dos’ and ‘Don’t even think about its’ by my clients. 

In the interests of making the digital world a less cringe-worthy place, today I’d like to share with you my Top 4 Absolute No-Nos. 

1 – Making your audience uncomfortable  

Your audience will mirror the vibe you put out. If you are obviously uncomfortable or nervous, your audience will feel that way too. Radiate happy and confident energy and they will respond in kind.

Identify which parts make you uncomfortable and practice them until they feel natural. Think of presenting like learning an “on the court sport” – you can stare at a tennis racquet all you like, but you won’t learn how to play unless you pick the thing up and get on with it. 

2 – Talking for too long

The constant distraction of smartphones, email and social media means that most people have the attention span of a gnat. Your job as a presenter is to hold their interest so that they aren’t tempted to switch off their camera feed and start playing Animal Crossing. 

Keep your audience engaged by speaking for no more than 1-2 minutes between interacting with them, for example by asking a question. If you don’t, then you become as easy to ignore as the TV.

Use words such as “you,” “us” and “we” continually so your listeners feel that you are talking directly to them. Another tip is to pique their interest with stories so interesting that they are dying to hear what happens next.

3 – Poor or no eye contact

Imagine that you are watching a speaker talking on stage and they stare at the floor for a full minute instead of making eye contact with the audience. How would you feel?

I have done this hundreds of times in one of my workshops to make a point about the importance of eye contact. When asked about the impact, attendees said it made them feel disconnected, bored, isolated and disempowered. 

Connect with your virtual audience by ignoring the image of yourself on the screen and instead, looking into the camera (i.e. at them). 

4 – Skipping out on practicing and getting feedback

Too many times, a person will write a presentation, develop their slides and then sit at their desk doing a dry run. 

Actors don’t take to the stage on opening night having done no more than read through their lines at the kitchen table. Nor should you. 

There is no substitute for properly rehearsing it as though you were delivering it for real. Leaving your first performance of your presentation for the big day itself is a recipe for disaster.

Back in January, I got together with some other trainers to work through all the nuances of the Zoom platform. Each of us presented in turn and received the secret sauce – FEEDBACK – at the end.

This simple process allowed us to see what worked and what fell flat for those attending.

Ask a Pro

The most important thing to remember is that it’s all about how you can connect with people through a screen and still make them feel acknowledged, appreciated and heard. That is the BIG task at hand.

Now you’ve seen the top 4, but there are far more virtual presentation mistakes that I see being made all the time. Avoid doing numbers 6 to 100 by scheduling a breakthrough call with me.

Let’s #Share #Learn #Grow