It was Shakespeare that said, “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players”. Maybe he had the foresight to imagine our new remote meeting world as this is still true! The mindset of performance, the idea that our remote meeting is a stage, and our virtual presentation needs to have narrative is not how most of us approach our daily remote meetings. We turn off our cameras, mute our microphones and passively watch boring presentations as if we were staring at paint drying on the walls.
Watch the full webinar recording below!
Your Presentation is a Performance
Before you can stand up and deliver a great remote meeting or presentation, you must set yourself up properly for success. Everything from configuring your performance space to how your executive presence is delivered is crucial to creating long lasting memories.
If a tree falls and no one was there to hear it, did it make a sound?
If your audience doesn’t remember anything from your meeting, did it happen?
Leaders Have a Problem
We reached out to many business leaders and tried to identify the top three problems, related to communication, that they face routinely. All these problems can be categorized into three categories: time, clarity, and leadership.
Lack of time is a common theme as we all struggle to juggle everything that must be done in a given day. This directly impacts the clarity of our message as we don’t have the time to sit and think and craft a cohesive message. This leads to a confusion and lack of understanding – which causes a leadership deficiency. We must all be seen, heard, and understood! It turns out that 46% of employees leave a meeting without clarity and don’t know what is expected of them.
To effectively communicate, there are three basic principles that must be adhered to. Simplify and structure your message. Transform your presentation by using the art of storytelling. Then bring a mindset of performance to your presentation.
If you can effectively combine these principles your presentation will have impact.
How you look and sound can account for almost 65% of the message your audience receives! This impression is critical. We automatically assume that every single one of our presentations is being judged. We worry about how we are being perceived and that our expertise is being questioned. We need to change this perception and change our attitudes.
We need to act more like a pilot, who knows exactly how to fly the plane and is the expert at the table. We need to approach every meeting as if we are fully in control..
This requires you to have situational awareness of the meeting, the content, and the audience. Otherwise, you cannot be a good meeting pilot. They can be high stress environments, especially when you are responsible for presenting important information. Making sure that you extend your comfort zone by practicing and performing regularly is key to long term success.
Turning on your cameras, both as a presenter and a participant is a key aspect of situational awareness. You need to be able to see expressions and feel like you are talking to people, not screens and decks.
Next, help your audience to focus. Their eyes and brains scan a slide in a couple of milliseconds, and just by reading a few words and fragments, they form a bias. Your audience assumes you know what you are going to talk about and just disconnects from your presentation. But by highlighting, underlining and emphasizing the key information visually, you can pull their attention back and make sure that your message is heard.
Finally, understand the structure of chunking information and connecting them to form a narrative. This can dramatically enhance your audiences’ ability to retain this information for the long term.
Status is the way you are perceived by others. Making sure that we hold ourselves to a high status on camera can dramatically elevate our executive presence. Your deck only counts for 7% of the meeting! Your organization and your marketing department might spend countless hours and effort crafting the perfect deck, but at the end of the day, it is not going to make your presentation! You and your status are much more important.
Your Meetings Without Reactiv SUITE
Cluttered- a mess of disorganized information and video conferencing overlays
What is your audience supposed to focus on?
Your presence is reduced to a tiny thumbnail at the bottom of the screen
Your Meetings With Reactiv SUITE
- Dynamically display any type of content as you present
- Markup, ink and highlight key topics that you would like your audience to focus on
- Elevate your presence by making your camera just as large as the content you are presenting. No more hiding behind a boring slide deck!
People want to talk to people. This doesn’t change in a remote meeting. So why are we training ourselves to shut our cameras off and read from a deck? Today’s video conferencing technology makes us forget that we are still people trying to talk to people. We need to make sure that we bring ourselves back.
When we share our screens and present, the content takes over. You and your audience become a tiny postage stamp on the side. There is so much visual noise and lack of focus that most people look away and get distracted. The message is lost.
Elevating your status means that you create a canvas for your audience and make it easy for them to pay attention. Make sure that you are as important, if not more, than your content and ensure that your audience engages you as a presenter.
What does your performance space say about you? You need to be mindful of your setup. A few simple tips and tricks will enhance your space.
First, make sure that your camera is eye level. Put or textbook or two under your laptop and raise that camera. It will ensure that you are looking into the eyes of your audience, and they see you naturally. Don’t be afraid to make your image large. It should be 30-40% of the screen size so your audience doesn’t have to squint or work hard to see you. Make them feel like you are across the table from them.
A formal presentation space, where you stand up and interact with a large monitor is ideal. This allows you to engage as if you were in a boardroom, in front of your audience. Setup a speaker camera so your audience can watch as you point, gesture, write and move content fluidly on a large interactive whiteboard. This can blur the lines between an in-person meeting and a virtual meeting.
If you are setting up a home office, using a secondary monitor as your audience view would make a huge difference in how you present. Did you know that most video conferencing platforms allow you to enlarge the audience on a second monitor, so you don’t have to squint to see them?
These tricks will dramatically improve engagement and help your audiences feel like they are in the same room with you.