Adapting Your Presentations During COVID19

This year has been a challenge for us all but technology has come to the rescue in so many ways.

I have been honoured to present various workshops on a variety of subjects (see Articles & Hosting page) over quite a number of years. And this year was going to be the same until COVID19 and lock-down. The event organizers for Words in the Park approached me to talk about blogging and of course I accepted. However, COVID19 changed those plans and the event was cancelled. Disappointing, of course, but understandable.

However, a month or so ago, I received good news. The event would go ahead but virtually. So now I will be presenting via a Zoom link! This is a new venture for me (probably for many people) and so I need to restructure how I present the session.

In the past, I have made up printed hand outs – packages full of guideline sheets, exercise pages and general notes. So now to plan a virtual workshop. I have come up with a few tips, which I hope will help you.

  1. Plan – make sure that the information is concise and informative. Create slides to enhance your subject not detract from it. One slide a minute is optimum.
  2. Practice – read through your content. Use inflection and remember to look at the camera. Ensure the camera is at eye level and neither too close or too far away. You should be centre screen.
  3. Attention spans are shorter so engage your audience. Make eye contact, respond to questions at the intervals you set prior to beginning your presentation. Use ‘signpost’ language such as “that’s all I have on xyz, now let’s move on to…” or “Now, I’d like to explain…” Also use ‘you’ rather than I or me – so each attendee feels you are talking to them.
  4. Keep shared screens to a minimum. Request microphones are on mute to avoid distractions. Decide on a signal for someone asking a question.
  5. Make it relatable and fun – tell personal stories.
  6. Relax and smile while being enthusiastic about the subject. Sit up straight.
  7. Dress smart casual – no PJ’s! Look professional.

Good luck and let me know if you have any additional tips.