10 Tips For Virtual Presentations And Public Speaking

To a business professional, speaking in public can be nerve-racking. If you find public speaking intimidating, you’re not alone. Surveys show that almost half of individuals fear public speaking more than death.

This presentation will demonstrate how to approach and conquer your fear the right way, using tips and guidance to help get you through those dreaded speeches or virtual presentations.

By the end of this talk, you’ll have a better understanding of how to keep your audience captivated and interested while delivering a presentation.

Make eye contact.

In a virtual presentation, you need to pay more attention to your eye contact than you would in person.

When we’re face-to-face, it’s so easy to make eye contact naturally. But when we’re on video, it can feel unnatural and stilted.

So how do you make sure that you’re making good eye contact? We recommend having the other person’s video feed take up most of your screen.

That way, when they are speaking, they will be “looking at you” while you are looking at them (this is what the participants see).

This creates an illusion of eye contact and makes it easier for both parties to have a natural conversation.

If you’re looking at a screen, consciously look into the eyes of a person on the screen who is speaking to you.

If you’re looking at a screen and there are multiple people on the screen who are speaking to you, consciously look into the eyes of a person on the screen who is speaking to you.

To be more clear: Don’t look at the video camera or at yourself, don’t look at the other people on the call, don’t look at the screen, and definitely do not stare down your fingers! This will feel odd at first but it will help your brain recreate that intimate in-person feeling.

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Find opportunities not just to speak but to listen.

When you find an opportunity to present, make sure it is not just a one-way conversation. A great presenter is also a great listener.

If the question-and-answer session at the end of your presentation is the only time you listen and respond, then you are missing out on a valuable connection opportunity.

The key to being a good listener is asking questions, not just waiting for your turn to speak. During your presentation, allow for breaks where people can ask questions and engage with what you’re saying. This shows that you are attentive, interested in others’ opinions, and willing to be interrupted if someone has something valuable to add before you finish speaking.

Listening means showing that you care about someone else’s perspective or thoughts on a topic. (if it’s relevant add the below sentence) For example: Whether I am presenting for clients or to my team about the importance of marketing automation software like Pardot at work or virtually with my Toastmasters club, I know that listening is important because everyone has something unique and valuable to contribute.

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Use eye contact in your presentation by finding people who are interested and engaging with them.

One of the hardest things about doing a presentation over Zoom is that it’s sometimes difficult to tell if people are even paying attention.

But one way to address this issue is by looking for visual cues that indicate whether or not your audience is interested in what you’re saying.

If you look at someone and they look back, chances are good that you’ve got their attention. And when you make eye contact with an audience member, it helps focus your attention on them as well (which will also help ensure your message comes across clearly).

Think about how you respond when you’re talking to someone in person, and mirror that in virtual conversations.

When you’re communicating with someone in person, you make eye contact, ask people questions, and pay attention to their responses. You also vary your tone of voice, modulate your volume and respond in real-time.

By contrast, when we’re on a video call or virtual meeting, we sometimes forget that these are still conversations. Instead of talking for the sake of speaking and waiting for others to finish before we start speaking again, it’s important that we use the technology as if it were an in-person interaction.

The next time you host a virtual presentation or meeting, think about how you respond when you’re talking to someone face-to-face. Mirror that behavior in your virtual conversations by focusing on what’s being said instead of trying to think about what you will say next.

Acknowledge that it’s different and harder than it used to be.

The first thing you should do is state the obvious.

The reason for stating the obvious might be that what’s obvious to you isn’t quite as clear to someone else. Let them know, however, that you realize that virtual meetings are different from in-person meetings and that they require different skills.

It may be useful to tell your audience how long you have been doing remote presentations and what it was like before things went virtual.

This will help them understand that while this format is new to them, it is not new to you, which could make your presentation seem more trustworthy.

You can also acknowledge how difficult it is to speak in front of a group of people whose faces are hidden on screens, or worse yet, who are multitasking with their email open or texting under the table.

Acknowledging the problem is often the first step toward fixing it!

Ask for more participation to create more interaction.

  • Ask for more participation to create more interaction. To boost engagement and make the audience feel like they have a chance to contribute, you can ask for input or ideas on a particular topic.
  • Use polls to gather feedback from participants. If you want to check in on the progress of your presentation and see if your attendees are getting what they need from it, you can use polls at various points in the program. You could also use a poll as a call-and-response activity, where people answer by raising their hand virtually or clicking on an option.
  • Ask for questions throughout the session – don’t wait until the end! Asking questions makes your attendees think about what you’re saying, but it also gives them an opportunity to interact with you and each other during the presentation.

Get More Public Speaking Tips from Ibrahim Mustapha

Virtual interaction can still be quite productive and engaging if we use our skills.

Virtual interaction can still be quite productive and engaging if we use our skills.

  • Acknowledge that the medium is different, but it is still possible to create an environment conducive to learning.
  • You can still make eye contact, listen, use body language and take advantage of pauses.
  • Try to engage with the audience by asking for their participation.



Virtual presentations are an awesome way to connect and collaborate with colleagues, share expertise, and generally save time and money.

They’re especially handy when coordinating a global team or holding a virtual meeting with clients.

They’re not perfect, though. There are a few things you can do before your next virtual presentation or public speaking engagement to make it even better.

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