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Tips to Improve your Online Presentation Skills

Executive Presentation Tips - Improve your Online Presentation Skills

Tips to Improve Your Online Presentation Skills

I always emphasise to my clients that if they wish to be good presenters, they critically need to take Ernest Hemingway’s advice.

“When writing a book, start by writing down the truest thing you know and then write down the second truest thing you know”.

The same applies to creating a presentation; unless you believe what you are saying, it’s not going to work for you or your audience.

Once you have created the best story about you, your product and your business, attend to the basics in order to deliver a successful presentation

When presenting online, it’s not the same as engaging with a live audience, or nearly as enjoyable. Any professional speaker, comedian or actor will tell you the pleasure and fun are when you feed off the audiences’ reaction and have the flexibility to go with the flow.

The Basics:

Let me tell you some of the basics that you must pay attention to.

Online needs to be shorter than face to face. If it’s a workshop, you need to allow the audience to take breaks (if you are good enough, they will come back)

The critical requirement is to engage your audience and to inspire them throughout the conversation. I say conversation because nobody wants to be lectured to or preached to in a dull, monotone voice.

The basics are apparent, yet I see politicians, experts, world leaders and T.V. presenters making the same mistakes.

The Mechanics:

Raise your laptop so that the camera is at eye level. The audience has no interest in looking up your nose or inspecting your ceiling light fittings. Observe tonight when you watch television how many people make this basic mistake.


If using visuals, my guide would be a slide every five minutes. However, this does not mean that you pack the contents of five to six slides onto one slide by reducing the font size.

Visual images must be stimulating, high-quality, and capable of being read in ten seconds.

The days of 10 bullet points per slide are long gone.


Gone also should be the days of:

Can you hear me?
Can you see me?
Can you see my slides?

The above is not how you want to start an important presentation.

Every online presentation platform has a slightly different way of operating, particularly how you slide share with your audience, so please be sure you are familiar with each platform.

Another issue I have found as a Mac user is that what works on Microsoft and Google does not always work the same on Apple devices.

Presentation tip:

You must get your audience’s attention, I believe, in the first 20 words or 7 seconds. Do this and you’re away in a hack. If not, you are struggling to gain your audience’s attention for the remainder of the session.

Remember, as a speaker, you are continually fighting to retain your online audience as they have lots of distractions, as you well know, Kids, Pets, doorbells, parcel delivery’s etc.
Allow time for your audience to take notes, ensure that they understand that they can ask a question at any time. The feeling you are trying to engender is that of a conversation, not a lecture.

Recap regularly to ensure you are engaging your audience and bringing them along with you.

Ernest Hemingway may never have delivered an online presentation, but you can use his advice on writing books to make your online engagement the best it can be.


Before you speak, check are you doing the following:

Be Yourself

Be Prepared

Be Honest

Have Fun!