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Utilize Virtual Delivery Tools

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:

  • Describe ways to prepare for meeting tool problems.
  • Identify tools to improve interaction in virtual delivery.
  • Explain tools to aid presentations.

Welcome to the Control Booth

You might think that remote presentation is just about overcoming the fact that your audience is somewhere else. With the right tools, you can actually do things in a remote presentation that you can’t do in person. In this section, we look at some of the ways tools improve your presentation.

Get Going with Online Meetings

Before we get into the types of tools you use during a presentation, let’s talk about the most important one: the meeting program. There are quite a few programs out there, and it’s up to you which one you choose, but study up on all of the platform’s tips and tricks if you don’t know them already.

Most meeting programs have built-in tools that let you:

  • Present your screen or a video with sound.
  • Send and view chat messages.
  • Record.

Most online meeting options are reliable, but like anything else, errors can happen. To avoid lost time and a frustrated audience, follow these two simple rules for a remote presentation.

  • Make someone else an organizer. If you are the only organizer and you have technical issues, your whole meeting can shut down. Assign a second organizer to keep your meeting running smoothly.
  • Have a backup plan. Plan an alternate meeting program just in case your primary meeting tool crashes or people are having connection errors.

Take some time to learn and play around with these tools so you’re comfortable with them when you’re presenting.

Good News for Interaction

Have you ever seen a viewer poll on the television news or a crawl at the bottom of the screen with tweets from the audience? That’s the basics of remote interaction. Find an easy way to get the audience involved, and they’ll stay engaged for much longer.

Polls track your audience’s interests and goals, which is a great tip for keeping the presentation relevant and interesting. They create opportunities in webinars with 10 or fewer participants to engage with more attendees. 

There are two steps to using polls.

  1. Preparation
    • Set up an account with a program that allows text message polling. There are many platforms that include this feature, so select the best one for you and get familiar with it before moving forward.
    • Develop poll questions and assign a unique code to each answer. The best questions are engaging and never patronizing or silly.
    • Create a slide for your poll that includes the text-in number and the codes for each answer.
  2. Delivery
    • Use your poll during the opening to frame and tailor your presentation.
    • Ask your audience to join in by texting the code to the text-in number.
    • Open the results page while the audience is texting so they can see the results in real time.
    • Encourage discussion once the results are in. That was the point, after all.

Whiteboarding is up next. There are several platforms to choose from that include whiteboarding, and it really builds remote engagement. By drawing right on the screen, you can:

  • Demonstrate concepts in real time.
  • Improve audience retention by tying ideas to visuals.

Note-taking is a bit different. Throughout the meeting, take notes using a tool like mind-mapping software and make them visible to your audience. These tools help you brainstorm, and they recap the conversation to create opportunities to clarify or inspire deeper conversations. This is great for presentations where there are few visuals.

Even if you don’t have these planned into your presentation, practice using them just in case your customers ask for clarification. 

If they care enough to ask about something on the screen, you’ve got their attention. If you can’t show them what they want to know, you’ll lose their attention.

Share the Screen

Now that you’ve got the tools, it’s up to you to get the most out of them. Here are some ways to make sure your tools work with and not against you.

  • Put your best screen forward. Keep something awesome on-screen if there are long stretches when you aren’t showing anything specific. It can be the dashboards or the account page, just make it something that impresses your customers.
  • Keep it moving. Be aware of how long anything has been up on-screen. If something has been up too long, change it. The longer your audience stares at the same slide, the less attention they pay to their screens.
  • Monitor your mouse. Take your hand off of your mouse when you aren’t using it. Shaking your cursor or dragging a window back and forth takes your audience’s attention away from the presentation.
  • Optimize your resolution. If attendees are gathering in a room with a projector to view your presentation, select a screen resolution that works with the projector.. Your screen may look great in 1680x1050, but that may be too much for a projector. If you’re not sure what resolution your attendees use, try 1280x720.


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