It is looking a lot more likely that virtual business is here to stay. Thanks to virtual webinars and conferences, we are getting far too used to the idea of communicating via screens. This is not necessarily a bad thing for efficiency and cost savings. But virtual business requires a whole new skill set. It’s a skill set that is quite lacking among today’s virtual business presenters.
Remember when PowerPoint was brand-new? It was the big thing for giving office presentations. But without the proper skills, employees tasked with making presentations were reduced to creating slide decks littered with information obvious enough to be left out of the presentation. Then those slide decks were read through, one at a time, in a prolonged period of sheer monotony.
There are still business professionals who do not know how to use a PowerPoint presentation effectively. Now they are taking that lack of skill to the virtual environment. It’s making for some less-than-captivating webinars and conferences.
Dallas-based BenefitMall encourages its independent brokers to not underestimate the value of virtual events. This is wise advice. Especially now. While the world is still seeking to get back on track from coronavirus, virtual events are absolutely necessary. But for them to work effectively, presenters need a few critical skills. First among them is the ability to speak articulately.
Articulate speech begins with clear pronunciation. It is already hard enough to follow along with a virtual presentation thanks to questionable video and audio quality. Presenters need to speak more slowly and fully pronounce their words. Otherwise, event attendees lose most of what is being talked about. They cannot understand the words.
Another aspect of articulate speech is proper grammar and syntax. This is a skill that goes way beyond virtual business. It affects everything from writing emails to answering client questions. A person who has not mastered grammar and syntax cannot communicate effectively on any platform.
Basic Lighting Techniques
Understanding and employing basic lighting techniques would go a long way toward making webinars and conferences more watchable. For example, too much light behind the presenter causes most cameras to reduce exposure so as to filter out some of that light. Thus, the presenter becomes a dark shadow on the screen. Not enough light makes the entire image too difficult to see.
It has been suggested that videoconferencing is more taxing on the brain because it’s harder to pick up on the visual cues we take for granted when speaking face-to-face. Assuming that this is true, poor lighting can make it impossible to gain anything of value from a virtual webinar or conference.
Even with articulate speech and proper lighting, a virtual event can quickly become worthless if information is poorly presented. Presenters need to be well-versed in how to share their screens. Moreover, the computers they use need to be powerful enough to present whatever they choose to use – be that graphics, videos, etc. – without audio or video hiccups.
Presenters should absolutely avoid the temptation to re-create the PowerPoint tragedy in a virtual event. If all one can do is read the information on every slide in a deck, that person has no business being a presenter in any kind of virtual event.
Virtual events require a two-part skill set. The first part revolves around basic presentation techniques and strategies. The second part is all about technology. It is about using technology to present information. Without the necessary skills, presenters create virtual events that are almost painful to participate in. It’s time for companies to acknowledge that and do something about it.