Are your virtual presentations matching your audience? Here’s a 12-point checklist that makes virtual presenting a breeze.

If you are marketing and selling to a remote audience, your comfort, confidence and use of technology makes a world of difference.

I talk with clients from all different industries, across the United States and around the world. I still find many senior level leaders reluctant to embrace all the technology options available to them.

Truly, it doesn’t make a lot of sense. If you have experience that your organization and new hires could benefit from, why wouldn’t you find every possible way to share it?

At the same time, there are a lot of new hires, relatively new employees who are extremely tech savvy. They embrace virtual solutions often to the elimination of non-technical ones.

The best solution? Find that special sweet spot in the middle. Use this 12-point checklist to determine how to best use remote technology to get your message across. This checklist is extremely popular in my presentation skills trainings.

1. Match. Is your technology matching audience familiarity?
A great practice is to start with what your audience is familiar using. Then, introduce the new medium. With a calm attitude and a steady hand, help them experience the value of a new way of communicating.

2. Ease. Is your technology easy to use?
Rather than relying on a ‘Sure, I use it all the time’ response, test out ease with someone who has never used it before.

3. Orient. Are you providing extra information for first-time users?
If you’re already using your virtual solution, you may have forgotten how confusing and overwhelming this can be on the first time. Take a step backwards to recall what helps a first-time user.

4. At-A Glance. Is your information for first-time users easy to understand at a glance?
A picture or infographic helps people orient instantly. Provide this to your audience in advance of your virtual presentation.

5. Model. Are you providing introductions to each tool before you use them?
If your audience is unfamiliar with emoticons, chat or another feature, introduce these before you ask them to participate. Model how the tool works so everyone is starting on equal footing.

6. Mix. Are you using a blend of virtual tools in one event?
Some presenters lean towards one tool exclusively. This creates a boring and monotone event. Are you guilty of this?

7. Expand. Are you relying on certain tools because these are the ones you are most familiar with?
Why are you relying on certain tools? Explore your reasons and expand your usage.

8. Visual. Are you expanding your visual vocabulary to improve your slides?
Do your slides look like they survived from the ‘80’s? If you’re not sure…ask a presentation coach to review your slides. The more current, fresh and visual your slides, the faster your audience will relate to your message.

9. Balance. Are you relying on technical features to explain a technical solution?
If you’re selling complex software or highly technical solutions…look for a balance. Emphasis low-tech explanations to make the topic more approachable.

10. Discuss. Are you ready to ‘ditch the deck’ in favor of on the spot discussion?
You are not chained to your slides. Jump on the opportunity to have a conversation that forwards true connection with virtual participants.

11. Show. Are you prepared to sketch a simple solution at the whiteboard—whether dry erase, or virtual?
Visuals are even more important in remote meetings. Sketching on the spot unlocks tremendous creativity and opens doors for collaborating. Hint: get help with whiteboard presenting so you can seize this opportunity.

12. Engage. Are you engaging your virtual audience with questions, interaction and real time conversation?
Plan, prepare and deliver highly interactive virtual sessions. Think of virtual collaborations as opportunities to discuss, problem-solve and trouble shoot together.

If your organization has invested in new technology…but not in interactive virtual skills, you have a huge opportunity. Take this time to get targeted presentation skills training so you and your global partners communicate effectively in our virtual world.

Author's Bio: 

Milly Sonneman is a recognized expert in visual language. She is the co-director of Presentation Storyboarding, a leading presentation training firm, and author of the popular guides: Beyond Words and Rainmaker Stories available on Amazon. Milly helps business professionals give winning presentations, through Email Marketing skills trainings at Presentation Storyboarding. You can find out more about our courses or contact Milly through our website at: