Today’s modern, virtual world relies on the ability to deliver content remotely. Whether it’s a simple standup call, an executive presentation, or an elaborate customer training, engaging your audience during online deliveries is crucial to business success.
Follow along below for tips on how to use your voice, captivate attention, and design content to maximize engagement during online deliveries.
Use Your Voice
In online deliveries, you don’t have the advantages of eye contact or body language, so effective use of your voice is key to capturing your audience’s attention and having a successful delivery. Of course, before you use your voice, you need to ensure great audio quality. Buy a headset that ideally has USB connection, avoid weak Wi-Fi connections, and position your microphone correctly. Placing your headset microphone in line with your jaw line with works well for most people.
Once all of these logistics are set, you can effectively use your voice! Keep a conversational tone that is light and bright. You can do this by remembering to smile during your online presentation. Avoid monotony by varying inflections and stressing different words. Minimize vocal tics such as “um,” “er,” and “okay.” Finally, be aware of your pacing – speak slowly enough for the audience to hear and process your words, and don’t be afraid to repeat things.
According to Roger Courville’s The Virtual Presenter, 92% of people multi-task during webinars. So, providing opportunities to construct knowledge instead of promote multitasking will help you maintain and maximize engagement.
Some methods to engage participants include the following.
- Pose questions and ask for chat/IM or vocal responses
- Get the audience to participate at least once every 3-5 minutes!
- Call on individuals
- Use tools like Polls, Whiteboards, Quizzes, and Annotation Slides
- Encourage emoticon usage for quick answers like agree/disagree or yes/no
- Turn on your webcam
- Share your screen and include demos
Polls and whiteboards can be included in Skype for Business content and are a great way to engage your audience and test their knowledge.
Create a Poll in Skype for Business to engage your audience
Design Your Content Well
Most online deliveries use PowerPoint slides as the main (and sometimes only) form of visual content, so designing this content well is crucial. Some of these tips may seem obvious but are easily overlooked.
Slides are there to support the presentation not act like the script; they should include images, screenshots, videos, diagrams, and smart art to make your message easier to understand and remember.
Regarding the actual text on slides, less is definitely more. Keep text to a minimum and font size to at least 28pt. Remove unnecessary words and use pictures instead of text whenever possible. If you find you can’t reduce the text on a slide, try separating that slide into 3 or 4 slides, which will clarify the content and simplify the presentation.
Slides can be distracting and bothersome. Make them clean and easy to read.
If you use your voice, captivate the audience’s attention, and design content well, you will be on your way to a successful online delivery.
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