Presentation Skills Training: How To Connect With A Remote Audience

Curious how to connect, engage, and persuade your remote audience? More and more business presentations are held virtually. Find out how to make a powerful connection–when your audience isn’t in the same room.

Where are virtual presentations rising in popularity? Everywhere! Educational webinars. Sales presentations. Training sessions. More and more meetings and presentations are held with some or all participants participating remotely. With today’s economic pressures to reduce travel and slash costs, those who master virtual presentation skills can achieve tremendous success.

This dramatic trend reduces travel, limits costs and ensures that companies ‘go green.’ However, many professionals struggle with how to make sure that virtual meetings and presentations are truly effective.

Several years ago, virtual presenting was looming on the horizon. Diane, my busy HR client knew the writing was on the wall. “We’ve just had our budget cut for in-person training. I’m afraid that we’ll switch to virtual delivery…and never go back.”

Yes. That’s exactly what happened. The days of weeklong, and two-week long live training are still present in a few companies. But for most organizations, it’s a time long ago and far in the past.

At the time, it seemed almost impossible to imagine all training delivered virtually. We discussed at length. How could you recreate the intimate environment, skills practice and shoulder-to-shoulder coaching? How could you coach individuals and provide relevant examples? How could you structure the experience to be truly transformative?

As time has gone by, it’s clear that virtual training, remote meetings, and online presenting can be extremely powerful. Each question deserves a more in-depth answer, but here is a short version of how you can solve this challenging problem.

1. Shift Your Attitude
With new technology and new trends, embrace what’s possible with enthusiasm. Here are three big personal benefits to inspire a change of heart about virtual presenting.

A. Slash stress. Less insane travel. No airport lines. No jet lag. More time with the people you love and the things you love to do.

B. Increase productivity. You don’t have to waste time commuting across town or around the world. Jump on a virtual meeting and reach important clients in minutes.

C. Make more money. It’s easier to see what’s working-and what needs to change. You can try out new stories, new communication mediums and get better results, faster.

2. Embrace Technology
Make friends with what’s possible. Get comfortable with your virtual presentation tools. Ask a colleague if you’re just getting started. The more you are familiar and confident with the tools, the easier your job will be.

3. Build In Engagement
Encourage remote participants to get involved. Build this into how you structure your event and organize your story. Keep a laser-targeted focus on engaging your remote audience.

Oops. Not sure how to do this? Get easy pointers from an executive coach. Don’t wait. Your success is on the line. The faster you learn how to ace virtual presentations, the faster you’ll move to the top.

4. Ask For Input
Don’t go it alone. Ask peers who are well versed in virtual presenting. Ask your presentation coach. Ask your clients and prospects.

By keeping an open mind, you’ll quickly find out what’s working, and what can be improved.

5. Experiment and Evolve
Using all 5 steps, continue to experiment. Take an online class such as presentation skills training to learn new visual storytelling skills. Experiment with asking facilitative questions. Play with different ways to show your story in pictures and words.

The more you experiment, the more you’ll learn-and evolve.

See, many of the options that are available today just wouldn’t be possible in a face-to-face setting with physical materials. It would take too long and cost too much to be truly open to experimentation.

The virtual revolution has opened up a brand new era of collaboration and innovation. With powerful presentation skills, you’re at the front. Aren’t you glad you’re leading the wave?