Lights, Camera, Zoom!

These days, presentations and virtual backgrounds on Zoom have become mainstream, so the question is how do we continue to engage our audience when we can’t be in the same room with them? 

You may not realize it, but there are numerous ways to engage your virtual audience without them even knowing it. This may include engaging your audience with the lighting, sounds, and the quality of the video presentation. This was the topic of conversation for Social Media Association’s latest webinar, Virtual Presentations Demystified. Experts in the field discussed how you can use uncommon ways to make a lasting impact on your audience.  

Since your audience will only remember a portion of what you discuss during your presentation, Laura Palker, President of Trade Show Solutions Center talked about changing your voice pattern every 5 mins and using bullet points. This will help keep the focus of your audience while boosting their mental and emotional state. Because by now we have all been on that webinar where the presenter puts everyone to sleep with their monotone and unenthused voice. We quickly check out of these presentations losing out on the information and message that it was trying to deliver.

To combat the shortening human attention spans, Dan Held, Vice President of New Business Development and ADM Productions suggests presenters do something so easy like giving the audience a break to allow them to regroup and refocus. Once you can capture the audience’s attention and keep it for longer periods of time, you can start to think about more opportunities to deliver your message or your call to action.

Another way to enhance your presentation doesn’t involve speaking at all. Seth Dean, Founder of Brass Lantern, explained how something like the lighting can grab your audience and add to your presentation. One of the ways to do this is to have your lighting provide some sort of contrast on your video camera. If you present a strong image that resonates with your audience, it helps your believability. The 1960 presidential debate is a perfect example of this as it was the first televised presidential debate. Eventual President John F. Kennedy presented a polished image and talked directly to the camera during these debates which allowed his message to really resonate with the American people. 

These little tweaks can be made to any presentation, and they can go a long way in helping the presenter form lasting relationships with their audience members, even if it has to be done virtually. 

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Anthony Costagliola

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