How To Ace Your Virtual Meetings & Presentations:

5 Ways to Own Your Zoom & Teams Space


It’s no surprise that we’re still doing a lot of our business communicating on virtual platforms.

Jumping on a Zoom or Teams call used to be the exception but since the Pandemic, it’s now the rule and for some of you, your default communication platform.

Here’s the thing about communicating virtually:  It can be impersonal and tediously boring if you’re not careful and people can tune out at the touch of a button.  Literally.  All they have to do is push the mute button or turn off their camera and they’re off making tea or doing the laundry.

So instead of looking at virtual platforms as artificial and flat, it’s more fruitful to recognize how you can use them to your advantage to connect with your audience.

If you want to be successful in your virtual meetings and presentations you have no choice but to take control of your space and information right now.  Grab hold of this chance to upskill in all your virtual communication techniques and you’ll have a much better chance at keeping your audience engaged and listening.

Here are five tips to boost your virtual presenting and be the master of your own virtual space.

#1  Virtual Platforms Are Great Practice Tools

Instant Feedback

When you practice and prepare, use the specific platform you’re going to be using for the real meeting or presentation.  This way you get precise feedback on what you’ll look like, sound like, and come across during the actual meeting.

Know Your Tech

Every virtual platform has its own set of tools and controls.  When you practice and rehearse using that particular platform, you get used to using those specific administrative tools as the host.

#2  Take Control Of Your Space

Let Them See You

Lighting is important.  You may think it’s just a cosmetic concern but it isn’t.  If people can’t see you clearly, they are less likely to pay attention to you.  Good lighting will allow your audience to see you better and as a result, be more apt to listen to you.

Basically You’re On TV on Virtual Platforms

How you frame yourself is important.  You’re basically on TV when it comes to virtual presenting so choose how we see you.  Hunched forward and crowding the camera comes across as looming and being a bit in your audience’s face.  It looks awkward and doesn’t give the audience room to ‘see’ you.

Head and shoulders is a good place to start so place your laptop, tablet, or camera in an appropriate position.  You can adjust this as you gain experience in what looks best.

Hide Your Mess!

What’s behind you is important.  A messy, disorganized room behind you comes across as just that:  Disorganized and unprepared.

I know how difficult it is to find a neutral background when you’re working from home but you don’t have to have a white wall behind you.  Just have whatever is in back of you be tidy and clean.

Yes, you can choose a virtual background or blur out your background, that’s completely fine.  But remember, you’ll get that weird outline around your body that fades in and out when you move at all and it’s distracting for the audience.  Just sayin’.

#3  Physically Take Charge of Your Virtual Space


Make Friends With The Camera

The camera is your audience in virtual presenting.  When you look at the camera lense, you’re making personal eye contact with every single one of your audience members.

As with face to face communications, you need to change up where you put your eye contact on your virtual platforms too.  This is where your preparation and practice comes in.

Practice different spots to place your eye contact.  Where do you look to make direct eye contact with your audience?  How does it look when you glance down at the squares on the screen?  Play with the different variations so you have lots of choices when it comes to eye contact.

Let Your Hands Move When Your Speak

Your hands are key in energizing and shaping your language for the audience.  Even if we can’t always see your hands in the frame, they are still essential for adding colour to your words and story.

The energy you have in your hands translates all the way up through your body to your face.  When you allow your hands to physically reflect the energy in your words, you allow movement to come into your virtual presenting and storytelling.

#4  Pimp Your Vocal Presence on Virtual Meetings

These days in virtual presenting, the audience can literally mute you so your vocal agility is more important than ever.

Now is the perfect time to upskill your vocal techniques and build up that arsenal of vocal delivery skills.

Embrace The Discomfort of Seeing and Hearing Yourself on Screen

No one likes watching themselves on the screen.  But awareness is key in tweaking your vocal delivery.  Video yourself, watch it back, and identify what you’re doing well and what you want to change.

It’s never been a better time to invest in a voice and speech coach to help you reach your vocal delivery goals.  Virtual presenting is the perfect battle ground for sharpening and honing your vocal delivery.

Avoid Monotony in Your Vocal Delivery

A flat, monotone vocal delivery is the death knell for every brilliant virtual presentation.  If your vocal delivery is forgettable and has no life, neither will your content.  And subsequently, you will be forgettable, too.

Upskill and gain tools in how to change up your pace, use the rhythm of language to get movement into your words, and develop the range of your voice.  These are just a few of the vocal tools out there to help you breathe colour, texture, and life into your story.

#5  Be Brief, Be Brilliant, and Be Gone

Brevity is beautiful and crafting your message with precision is a key skill in virtual presenting.  Keeping it simple is more important than every when it comes to making a connection with your audience.

We are spending more hours than ever in front of our screens.  How are you going to hold your audience’s attention?  How are you going to be different from the five other people who have just presented?

Trust me.  Your audience will thank you for being concise and economic with your message and story.  So practice brevity and keep it simple.

Raise The Bar For Yourself and Your Audience

Embrace the present trend for virtual communications and use your virtual meetings and presenting as an opportunity to upskill and sharpen your communication techniques.

Boost your skill set and get clear, precise feedback about where you are in your virtual presenting skills and where you want to go.

All the skills you learn now for virtual presenting will translate right back into your face to face communications, presentations, and meetings.

Remember, it’s all about the audience.  The more skills you have in your virtual presenting arsenal, the more chance your audience will listen.

You’ve got this. See you on the inside!

A presto,

Maria xx

PS. Book your FREE discovery call here with me and become the kick-ass, powerful, inspiring speaker you want to be.


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