Welcome to our modern world where everything seems to be changing all the time! Back in the old days, we used to be able to show up at an event that consisted of a room filled with an audience. We’d take the stage, deliver a speech, interact with our audience, and then go home and feel as though we’d been able to deliver on the importance of public speaking. Well, things have changed. In our modern age there is a very good chance that the next speech that you are going to be asked to give will be a remote presentation that consists of you sitting in front of a computer or a video camera and your audience sitting far, far away in front of their computers. What will you have to do to prepare for this new type of presentation?
Simplify The Design Of Your Slides
One of the most important things that we need to realize about delivering remote presentations is that we really have no idea how our audience members are going to be viewing us. They are going to be using many different devices from desktop computers, to laptops, to tablets, to perhaps even their mobile phones. What this means for you as a speaker is that if you plan on using slides as a part of your presentation, then you are going to have to make some adjustments.
What you are going to have to do is to simplify the design of your slides. When you create your slides you are going to want to use strong contrasting colors so that any audience members who are viewing your slides on a small screen will be able to make out the different parts. Additionally you are going to want to use large text and graphics that will be easy for your audience to comprehend. It hopefully goes without saying that animation could be your downfall. Animation can come across as being jerky when your audience sees it. Instead, you are going to want to only do appears and disappears or use quick fades.
Carefully Use Audience Interaction
When we are standing in front of an audience, we can tell when they have become distracted by their mobile phones or talking with each other. What this means for us as speakers is that it is our responsibility to find ways to keep them engaged in what we are talking about. When our audience is located remotely, we don’t have the ability to detect when they have allowed themselves to become distracted. What this means is that we are going to have to come up with new ways to keep them engaged in our speech.
One of the great things about the tools that we use to deliver remote presentations is that they often come with tools that allow the presenter to perform instantaneous audience polls. We can use tools like this to cause our audience to start to pay attention to us once again. Additionally, since most of these tools identify our viewers by name, we can speak to them directly if they happen to ask us a question while we are giving our speech. We need to make sure that we have a plan when we give a speech and know when during our speech we want to interact with our audience.
Realize The Power Of Your Voice
Even in this day and age, it can be tough to deliver video of a speaker to everyone who is watching your next remote presentation. What this is going to mean for you is that your voice is going to become even more critical that it normally is. As the speaker it is going to be up to you to go to the effort to work all of the expressiveness that you want to communicate to your audience into your voice.
When you are speaking to your audience, you are going to want to take the time to make sure that you’ve worked the proper amount of energy into your voice. This will also be an excellent time for you to make sure that you are using variation in your voice to keep your audience’s attention. Because your voice is such an important part of your presentation, you are going to have to spend the time needed to think about how you want to use it differently. You are going to have to get rid of your conversational tone so that you don’t come across as sounding flat. This might be a time for you to break out of your comfort zone!
What All Of This Means For You
Times are changing and how we deliver speeches is also changing. We used to show up and directly address an audience and now, more often than not, we are trying to deliver the benefits of public speaking by delivering remote presentations. This new style of speaking requires us to make changes to how we deliver our information. If you want your next remote presentation to be a success, you will need to alter how you present your information.
We need to understand that we don’t know how our audience will be viewing our speech. They may be watching it on a tiny mobile phone screen and so we have to change our slides to work for every environment. This means that we have to use bold colors, big text, and we have to stay away from using animations. Since we can no longer see our audience when we are giving a remote presentation, we need to take other steps to make sure that they are staying involved. We can use the polling tools built into the presentation software that we are using to wake our audience up. We can also address them by name when they have questions. We need to understand that often our audience can’t see us during a remote presentation and so our voice becomes that much more important. We have to speak with energy and make sure to vary our vocal variety.
Remote presentations are becoming more and more popular. As speakers we need to understand that things are changing and this means that we need to change also. If we can put ourselves into the position of our audience and understand how they will be experiencing our speeches, then we can create better speeches for them. Make the changes to your speech that we’ve discussed and your next remote presentation will be your best one yet!
– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Public Speaking Skills™
Question For You: If you are giving a remote presentation, how many times do you think you should poll your audience?
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Note: What we talked about are advanced speaking skills. If you are just starting out I highly recommend joining Toastmasters in order to get the benefits of public speaking. Look for a Toastmasters club to join in your home town by visiting the web site www.Toastmasters.org. Toastmasters is dedicated to helping their members to understand the importance of public speaking by developing listening skills and getting presentation tips. Toastmasters is how I got started speaking and it can help you also!
What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time
If you thought that creating and delivering a speech was tough, then you haven’t tried to deliver a speech to an international audience. It can be tough trying to use the importance of public speaking to connect with people who think like you do, trying to connect with people who may think differently is even harder to do. The good news is that this can be done. However, as a speaker you need to know what you are up against and then adjust your speaking style to make sure that you can connect with your audience.