We acknowledge the Traditional owners of country throughout Australia. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.
Virtual presentations for events, online summits, or even virtual sales calls has become pretty commonplace these days, but it’s not the same as presenting in person.
In many cases, even more important than what you say in your presentation is how you show up on camera for your presentation. So in this article, I’m going to share with you three things that you can focus on in order to do better virtual and online presentations so that your audience can see you. That’s right! It’s an acronym S.E.E.
I’m here now at my desk in my office, which is pretty much permanently set up for virtual meetings, presentations and sales calls these days. But when I switch into presentation mode, there are really three key things that I’m focused on, to ensure that I’m giving my best in any opportunity when I’m on camera. The acronym to remember is S.E.E, which stands for Stance, Eyes, and Energy. And I’m going to break down each one of these and share my tips for better presentations.
The first one I’m going to talk about is stance, and that comes down to how you’re actually showing up on camera. Ideally, you’re going to be working at a standing desk or standing when you’re doing your presentations for maximum energy. And even if you’re sitting, you need to be thinking about engaging your core and sitting up straight so that you can be engaging with your videos.
When it comes to stance, I want you to think about having your feet, shoulder width apart, keeping your feet grounded on the floor and allowing your upper body to move. What you don’t want to be doing is kind of swaying from left to right or shifting your weight on your feet. Because shifting weight seems like a shifty person. We definitely don’t want that in our presentations. So keep your feet grounded, but activate your upper body.
Even though you’re presenting at a desk, I want you to keep your hands off your desk, because what we don’t want is your camera to be shaking around or distracting noises coming through when you’re doing your presentation. So stand back a little bit and give yourself some room to move. I also recommend that you remove distracting things off your desk, because if you’re anything like me during a presentation, you tend to want to pick things up and fiddle with it. But what we don’t want is to be doing things that are distracting and taking away from our presentation. So clear your desk of anything that’s going to be distracting and then you can focus on what you’re here to do.
The second part of the acronym is eyes. It’s important, particularly in these virtual presentations that your eyes are looking in the right place. So what I mean by that is looking directly at the camera. Find that little green light at the top of your laptop screen or on your webcam and focus on that. If you’re looking at your slides or you’re looking at your computer screen too much, then you’re effectively not looking at your audience and that’s not engaging for anyone. So bring your eyes up and keep your eyes on the audience.
An important tip here is even though you’re going to keep your eyes on the camera, ensure that you have a natural gaze pattern, which means that you’re not just ‘deer in the headlights’ the whole time and unblinking, instead sometimes you’ll look away when it makes sense or you’ll blink or you’ll turn your head, that’s perfectly natural, but then always bringing your eyes back to the camera. My final tip here is to ensure that your camera is placed at eye level. That might mean propping your laptop up a bit higher or raising your standing desk up a bit more. If your camera is at eye level, you’re effectively looking your audience directly in the eyes, not looking down at them and they’re not looking up at you and we don’t have any of those awkward angles to contend with as well.
And the last thing to remember is energy. When I’m talking about energy, it’s about bringing the right level of energy to your presentation so that you are communicating your passion for the content that you’re sharing without being over the top and also without being too flat and boring. A good tip here is to think about bringing yourself plus about 10 or 15%. So what I mean by that is you have different versions of yourself, different levels of energy that you might have in any given situation. But when you’re bringing yourself plus about 10 or 15%, it’s kind of like the version of you that might be presenting to a room full of eight or 10 people in a boardroom environment or a small classroom situation. What you don’t want to be doing is bringing too much energy to a virtual presentation as if you are presenting on a stage in front of hundreds of people, because that is probably going to come across a little bit nuts. So, think about bringing yourself plus about 10 or 15%. Particularly for longer presentations, the real challenge comes in maintaining the appropriate levels of energy throughout the presentation. But remember that naturally you can allow the energy to rise and fall as you move through your presentation. So you don’t need to always be up at full energy. Sometimes it makes sense to slow down, to pause and to bring things down at a slow pace, but maintain those appropriate levels of energy throughout the presentation.
So there you go. That’s the three things that I want you to focus on Stance, Eyes, and Energy so that your audience can SEE you. Don’t you just love acronyms! So in your next virtual presentation or sales call, or even on a zoom call with the team, when you have an opportunity to engage with a group of people in a virtual space, I want you to think about these three things so that you can present your best on camera.
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