As if giving a presentation isn’t hard enough - trying to capture your audience's attention through a screen can be even more challenging. As hybrid and virtual events take center stage this year, it’s time to sharpen your virtual presentation skills and understand that we’re not just trying to engage the people in front of us anymore. At a virtual event or conference, we could be speaking to thousands of people signing in from their laptops or phones. Hence, designing an organized and engaging virtual presentation is key to success.
Engagement is the magic word here. While you might be able to conveniently log on to a virtual event, keeping the audience engaged is the tricky part. There are so many more distractions for the virtual attendee. As the presenter, it's your job to create a talk that can really capture your audience while keeping in mind that they are not physically in front of you.
With shorter attention spans and distractions everywhere, your content needs to be interesting and tailored to your audience to make them want to stay engaged throughout the presentation. Here are 7 important tips for you to keep in mind to give a successful virtual presentation.
You need to be prepared for your talk. This means taking the time to rehearse out loud. When you practice your talk beforehand, you can keep track of the pace and allow you to make improvements. Once you have incorporated changes and seen where you fumble, you will feel extremely ready right before you go live. Rehearsing your content will allow for fewer mistakes will help you gather your thoughts. A great idea could be to record yourself on camera and see what you can improve on. You may come across things like your tone that might need to be improved for your presentation.
Just like you need to be prepared with your presentation, it’s imperative that you test all your visuals, audio and any other tools you will be using. Do a sound check and also check to see that your video is working and that you can share your screen with others. Practice everything you need to do prior to your presentation you know where all the tools and buttons are. Get comfortable with the platform you are using to avoid any confusion and delays. You can ask a friend or family member to help you with this. Have them log on to make sure everything is working properly as you present. This also includes lighting, clarity and helping you get used to performing in front of a camera.
People have short attention spans. It's especially hard to pay attention if the topic feels like it’s getting drawn out. Make sure you are to the point and deliver your speech with animated expressions and a confident tone. Your content should be straight to the point without tangents and try to include more visuals if possible. Overall, try to keep your presentation around 20 minutes or under before you start loosing people in the audience.
In order to keep your audience listening, get them involved! Besides letting your audience know about the Q&A session after the presentation, have interactive tools such as live polls and quizzes during your presentation. You can even get some members to participate during the presentation. Another helpful tip would be to offer small prizes for participants who get the questions right - this will definitely wake up any members who are starting to nod off.
Try to stand up when you give your presentation. Not only will this get you in the mood but you will be at the camera’s level which will help you keep eye contact with the audience. When you’re standing up your energy will be passed on to your audience and they will want to be as engaged as you are during the presentation. If you do have to sit down, make sure you maintain a good posture and avoid slouching - which will immediately disengage your audience.
If you’re opting not to use a branded background, make sure your area is free of clutter and distraction. You are trying to draw your audience to your content, not to your friend making coffee in the background. This is extremely important to avoid your audience from getting distracted! Clean up your desk from any clutter and have a neat and clean background with simple images or backdrops if possible.
7. Have fun!
And finally....enjoy yourself. One of the most important piece of advice is to be yourself and have fun! This presentation is for you as much as it is for the audience. You should feel proud that you are being seen as a leader. Make sure you keep it real when you are speaking to your audience and just be you.
You are going to kill it at your presentation! Remember, your audience is here to listen to your content. They have signed up because of the value you bring to them, so make sure you honor their time and do your due diligence to give them the insights they are looking for. This is your opportunity to continue to establish yourself as an industry leader. Keep this in mind to engage your attendees and keep your confidence when you deliver.
The rise of technology has opened so many doors. The biggest door it has opened for us is the door to the virtual world. With the pandemic affecting live meetings and events, moving online to virtual events has been the solution to continue training, daily meetings and even hosting employee morale-building workshops. It's no doubt virtual events have taken center stage lately. Which brings us to the big question, “How do we host a successful virtual event?” Our answer? We have the ultimate virtual event guide ready for you.
Just like planning a regular in-person event, the most important aspect of planning a virtual event is figuring out how to successfully keep your audience engaged. Whether it’s having inspirational speakers or an exciting performance, there are a couple of things to keep in mind when planning and executing a virtual event.
There are a few important tips to keep in mind to ensure the event runs smoothly. Follow along for the ultimate virtual event guide to hosting a successful virtual event - whether it is a conference, trade show, meeting or training.
The first step in planning a virtual event is choosing the right virtual event platform. Your event might need certain features that one platform does better than others. Your audience needs to know how they will log in and any information that will help them sign on easily. They also need to know if they need to download an app or other software to attend the event.
It’s important to choose this platform carefully as not every platform works for every event. For example, you may choose Instagram Live for hosting interviews or briefings, or for larger events, Zoom or Teams. There is also engaging software that provides animations and avatars to make your event more unique and personalized.
Taking a little extra time to research the most appropriate time to host your virtual event is important. You need to keep in mind important holidays and that there are no other big events coinciding with your event. You also need to consider when your audience will be able to log on and enjoy the event.
If you’re hosting a global event, it could be a good idea to go through your analytics to see what is the most popular time is for your community to be online and engaged. You can even conduct a survey to gauge the best time from prospective attendees. This is extremely important to make sure you get the attendance you need for the event.
You need to start putting the word out there, ASAP. Use all the appropriate tools and online channels to market your event and spread the word to your target audience. Let your potential attendees know about the key speakers, performances, networking opportunities and everything else they will gain from attending the event.
There are so many ways to market to your audience but you need to take a strategic approach when doing so. You will need to entice your target audience and show them what value you are providing at the event. Using social media channels, online videos, and other social platforms are a great way to market your event to a large audience at a relatively low cost.
It’s helpful for you to start registering your audience before the virtual event. Not only to collect their information but to keep them updated on speakers and other information leading up to the conference. This is a great way to start engaging attendees and get them excited for the upcoming event.
Additionally, your audience will be able to see information on other members which could facilitate networking opportunities during the virtual event. Allow for attendees to set up profiles to everyone can learn about others before the event.
How you will keep your attendees engaged the most important step in the planning process. This is what will drive success. Make sure you have networking opportunities available such as breakout rooms, engaging speakers with live Q&As and anything else that will provide value to your guests.
Your guests want to feel like they are learning and gaining something enriching from this meeting. With gamification features and other engagement tools provided by a virtual event software like V-Unite, you can keep your feel involved at the event.
People forget. Everyone has a million things going on and might not remember certain events until it’s too late. To combat this issue, schedule a reminder email that attendees can add to their calendar to make sure they know when they need to attend when the virtual event goes live.
Keep your audience engaged and encourage participation and networking opportunities among attendees. You can create dynamic live polls, Q&A sessions or even set up interactive group sessions for participants to share their ideas and chat with one another. The more engaged and social the attendees are, the more they will interact at your event ensuring a successful event overall.
It’s important to keep your virtual event’s and your attendees’ privacy intact and safe as you collect information and data. Make sure you have the proper encryption and safety features setup and that the software is tested and double-checked before going live. Your platform should be extremely secure before you have people sign on. Additionally, only collect data from attendees that you really need for the event.
The keyword here is to be prepared. Tech-related issues can always come up and it’s often hard to predict when glitches might happen. To make sure you are on top of things during the event, it’s imperative to do as many tests as possible and have your whole team do different tests on all their devices including phones, tablets and desktops and laptops.
You should ensure all your attendees have a good internet connection and it's a good idea to have a backup of speaker presentations and other files if possible. Also, always have a tech support booth or live chat available for attendees to reach out with any concerns they may have during the event.
Sending out a survey or poll or any way to collect feedback is important to collect post-event. You will be able to gain valuable insights on how the participants liked the event, what they enjoyed the most and what they would like to see improve in the future. This is a great way for you to learn more about your audience and what you can do next time to run an even smoother event.
Plan to give your attendees the option of viewing content on-demand after the event. This could be a great way for you to see what content was popular and gain any other feedback from attendees on the way the content was presented during the live virtual event. Additionally, you will be able to capture more of your target market who were not able to attend the live event. You can also charge a fee for the audience to view this content to earn more revenue in the process.
Does this virtual event guide help you feel more confident about planning a virtual event? Always remember that the first step in planning a virtual event is to come up with the right game plan and the motive for the event. Make sure to keep the audience in mind. Ask yourself what attendees are going to get out of the event and how you can create more value. Good luck!
2020 has taught us the importance of being able to find alternate solutions to move forward when things don’t go as planned. One of the major changes that businesses have had to deal with is the loss of live and face-to-face meetings. The solution? To host a virtual event. Over the years, virtual events and experiences have slowly started to become the new way of doing business. Now more than ever, companies have been looking toward virtual solutions to continue their training, conferences, trade shows and even onboarding new employees.
As we start heading towards a more digital world, virtual events and virtual conferences can be a great solution to bringing people together cost-effectively and conveniently. While face-to-face meetings will eventually come back, virtual events and experiences will help so many companies, employees and clients to be a part of an important event if they cannot make a flight or have to be mindful of their travel budget that year.
We’ve only just touched on some of the benefits of hosting a virtual event. Let’s do a deep dive into how virtual events and experiences can help your business in the long run.
Hosting a virtual event might help your business to save money due to the reduced cost of putting on the event. When going virtual, you can save money on staff, setup and take down costs, hotels, travel, meals and so much more. Companies have found virtual events to be 75% less expensive overall. The only cost you have is the event platform you choose to go with and any additional features to enhance the over virtual event experience.
Virtual events save the host time by eliminating the process of researching and choosing vendors for meals, hotels and travel logistics. Planners can then focus on booking their speakers as well as creating and designing the virtual experience for the attendees. On the other hand, attendees are also able to save time that they would otherwise spend on travel for the event if it’s held in another country. All that is required is a stable internet connection and attendees can log on from anywhere.
Who wouldn't want the ability to reach an unlimited audience? Say goodbye to worrying about audience capacity at a venue because with virtual events, your reach just got a lot wider. Without this capacity limitation, your event can be attended by anyone who has an internet connection. With a good internet connection, you can reach about 100,000 people. The networking opportunities are endless!
Not only can you reach an audience who is sitting across the country but you might even pique the interest of potential attendees from across the globe with your virtual event. Imagine the possibilities that come with this wide reach! With the added bonus of being able to attend from home, you're about to get a lot more sign-ups for your event.
From attendees having to register online, you can collect information that can help you improve and plan your future events. You can see how many people attended the event, what their engagement and activity was, who they were most interested in listening to and more. Measuring the engagement of your attendees is a great way to ensure success for your future events since you are able to truly understand what your audience is looking for and cater future experiences towards their interests.
Virtual events are still a new phenomenon and companies are still figuring out the best way to host events. You have the opportunity to be the most innovative company out there and wow your clients with your event. Your business can create a special and personalized feel to your event and improve the networking ability of your attendees. With various virtual event platform features, you can theme your events by hosting a wine tasting and sending wine to your attendees, add a cool space theme element to your conference or customize your offices to really make your meeting or event have a unique touch.
There is so much value that comes out of virtual events, especially when it comes to sponsors and exhibitors. Why? Because sponsors and exhibitors are able to collect data on who visited their booths, what attendees were interested in learning about, how many times someone looked into their products and so much more.
You can’t beat the flexibility of logging on from anywhere, even if you’re relaxing at the beach! Your audience will love the fact that they can sign on from the comfort of their couches. Additionally, they are also able to save on costs and time that usually comes with commuting to an event.
With so many advantages to hosting virtual events, giving this innovative solution a shot is a no-brainer. As you come up with strategies on how to incorporate virtual meetings and events, you are taking strides in improving your employees’, clients’ and your target audiences’ experiences. Let's start planning your virtual event today!