5 Tips for Successful Video Remote Presentations (That Actually Work)

5 Tips for Successful Video Remote Presentations (That Actually Work)
Photo by LinkedIn Sales Solutions / Unsplash

There's a good chance that you've been on a video call or two this year. In fact, with the COVID-19 pandemic still raging in many parts of the world, video conferencing has become the new normal for work, school, and socializing.

And while video calls have their advantages (no need to commute! You can be in your PJs!), they also come with their own set of challenges. One of the biggest? Giving a presentation remotely.

Whether you're pitching a new idea to your boss or delivering a lecture to your students, nailing a video presentation is no easy feat. But don't worry, our team at Cake is here to help.

Here are our top five tips for giving a successful video presentation, no matter where you are:

1. Start with the right hardware and software for example Cake, as it runs on any computer and is browser based.

2. Prepare (and practice) your presentation materials in advance.

3. Pay attention to your lighting and camera angle.

4. Make sure your audio is crystal clear.

5. Engage with your audience throughout with compelling storytelling.

Whether you are giving a live presentation or recording an online course, having the right strategy is key to success. With these tips, you'll be able to engage your audience and deliver a video presentation that will wow your audience and drive them to action!

Let's break down each and offer some practical tips to help you deliver an excellent presentation over video.

1. Start with the right hardware and software.

This one might seem obvious, but it's worth repeating: before starting your presentation, ensure you have the right hardware and software set up. When you don't have quality equipment, it shows — and not in a good way. So, what do you need for a great video presentation? Here are some basics:

Not an ideal computer for video remote work...

A quality laptop or desktop computer with audio/video capabilities:

This is a must for any presentation, whether you're giving it in person or over video. If you don't have a laptop with a built-in webcam, we recommend investing in an external webcam.

For the audio, make sure your computer has a built-in microphone or that you have access to a quality external microphone.

A strong internet connection:

Video presentations require a strong and reliable internet connection to avoid choppy video or audio.

If you're worried about your connection, consider doing a test run of your presentation in advance or having a backup plan (like presenting over the phone) in case of technical difficulties.

The right video presentation software:

There are many different software options available for video conferencing, each with its own set of features and capabilities.

When choosing a platform for your presentation, be sure to consider things like ease of use, security, and pricing. If you want to really impress, choose a platform that allows for digital collaboration on-screen and for your audience to interact with your presentation in real time.

An outfit to match:

It should go without saying, but we'll say it anyway: don't forget to dress the part.

Even though your audience will only see you from the waist up, it's important to present a professional image. So, choose an outfit that is both comfortable and speaks to the tone of your presentation.

A salesperson working in an office on a virtual call
Photo by LinkedIn Sales Solutions / Unsplash

Don't overdress. Comfortable, professional look, that reflects yor personality is the best way to go.‍

2. Prepare (and practice) your presentation materials in advance.

Have you ever been part of a video presentation where the person hosting the call seemed to be "winging it" — fumbling through their slides, forgetting what they wanted to say next, or worse? We've all been there, and it's not a good look.

Nervousness on camera is natural, but you can avoid those uncomfortable moments by preparing (and practicing) your presentation materials in advance. Here are some ways you can prepare your presentation and boost your success:

Prepare your materials well before your presentation:

Make sure to prepare your materials well in advance of your presentation. Not only will the help you feel more confident and organized when it's time to deliver your presentation, but it will give you an idea of how long the presentation will be.

Create clear and concise slides:

When it comes to presentations, less is always more. Use short bullet points, including images or videos, to break up the text and keep your audience engaged. Avoid cramming too much information onto each slide — remember, you'll be speaking over your slides, so there's no need to include everything verbatim. Your slide deck should give you just enough information to guide the eyes and ears of your audience.

Cut your content as you practice:

You may have a lot to say on a particular topic, but that doesn't mean you need to include everything in your presentation.

As you practice, take note of which parts of your presentation seem to drag on or lose your audience's attention. Then, cut that content from your final presentation. You may find that you have quite a bit more content than is necessary!

3. Pay attention to your lighting and camera angle.

As computers have advanced, webcams have gotten better and better — but that doesn't mean they're perfect. If you want your audience to see you clearly (and not be distracted by a bad angle), it's essential to pay attention to your lighting and camera angle.

Most laptops have very small front cameras, that need a lof of light. A good portable Webcam and headphones can make huge difference fi you not always can be in a well lit environment.

Some bestselling and capable cameras you can buy on budget:

Choose a well-lit room:

A well-lit room will make you look more clear and professional on camera. If possible, position yourself near a window with natural light or set up a desk lamp to illuminate your face. Avoid backlighting, which can make you appear dark or silhouette-like on camera.

Find the right angle:

The best webcam angles are usually slightly above eye level and centered on your face. If you can, position your laptop or webcam so that it's at the same level as your eyes. And if you're using a desktop computer, consider investing in an external webcam that you can position to get the best angle.

Watch out for your background:

Your background matters! We’ve all had those meetings where the person talking was overshadowed by their wild and crazy background. Whether a giant plant or a randomly-appearing child, make sure your background is clear of distractions.

Avoid busy patterns or bright colors that can be distracting on camera. And if you can, position yourself in front of a blank wall or a bookshelf — anything that looks professional and won't take away from your presentation.

4. Make sure your audio is crystal clear.

If your lighting and camera are important, your audio is even more critical. After all, what's the point of having a great video presentation

Bad sound quylity can ruine even the best presenation.

if your audience can't hear you? When your audio is poor or choppy, you are likely to lose your audience's attention — or even worse, lose the connection entirely. So, it's important to ensure your audio is clear and consistent before starting your presentation.

Some choices for good sound quality:

Don’t kick off your presentation without considering the following:

Test your audio in advance:

The last thing you want is to start your presentation only to realize that your microphone isn't working. So, be sure to test your audio before you start — whether you're using your computer's built-in microphone or an external one.

Never use a brand-new microphone without testing it first - you may need to connect the device and download the proper software before it will fully connect.

Use a headset to help reduce outside noise:

If you can, use a headset instead of your computer's built-in microphone. This will help reduce background noise and ensure your audience can hear you clearly. Most modern headsets are plug-and-play, so you shouldn't have any trouble getting them to work with your computer. (Just remember the tip above!)

Speak slowly and clearly:

You may be surprised to learn that you talk faster than you think!

One of the best ways to ensure your audience understands you is to speak slowly and clearly. This will give them time to process what you're saying and follow along with your presentation.

You may feel that your speaking speed is slow, but it's better to err on the side of caution. If you aren’t sure how fast you should speak, record a bit of your presentation and watch it back.

5. Use engaging visuals and tell a story with your content.

Simply spewing data and information is not an effective way to engage your audience. Instead, focus on using visuals and stories to help bring your content to life.

When you can draw your viewers into your presentation through your media choices, you're more likely to keep their attention focused on your message.

Bring your content to life with these tips:

Choose visuals that complement your message:

Going back to your preparation phase, consider the visual elements that you have created or collected to support your presentation.

Make sure that they are high-quality and relevant to your topic. Avoid using visuals for the sake of using them — they should always serve a purpose.

Use storytelling to drive your points:

Stories are a powerful way to engage your audience and make your content more memorable.

If you can, find ways to weave stories into your presentation. This will help your audience to connect with your content on a personal level and make it more memorable for them.

Plus, stories are a great way to hook your listener's attention at the beginning of your presentation and make sure the content is memorable.

Make sure of "mile markers" throughout your presentation:

Always let your viewers come up for air!

Breaking your content into smaller, manageable chunks will help keep your audience's attention focused. Plus, it will give them a chance to process the information you're presenting and ask questions along the way.

Use graphical breaks, white space, and font or color changes to create "mile markers" throughout your presentation. Don't be afraid to recap key points periodically as well.

Don't forget the call to action:

Always end your presentation with a solid call to action. This is your opportunity to tell your audience what you want them to do next.

This could range from having them follow up with a Q&A session based on your presentation or taking the next step to interact with the content.

Be clear and concise with your call to action, and make it easy for your audience to take the next step. What do you want them to do with the information you've given them? If you're not sure, your presentation probably isn't finished yet.

BONUS: 6. Practice, practice, practice!

This may seem like a no-brainer, but it's worth mentioning. The more you practice your presentation, the more confident you will be when it comes time to deliver it.

So, set aside some time to go through your presentation from start to finish — out loud. This will help you to catch any errors or areas that need clarification.

Find someone to listen to your practice run and give you feedback if you can. This could be a friend, family member, or coworker. They will be able to offer valuable insights that you may not have considered.

Finally, don't forget to factor in some time for "unexpected" events. You never know when a slide might freeze, or your computer might crash. By leaving some extra time in your presentation, you can quickly recover from these types of mishaps without throwing off the entire flow of your presentation.

Supercharge Your Presentations with Cake

By following these tips, you'll be on your way to delivering successful video remote presentations that engage and inform your audience, no matter where they're tuning in from. So go ahead and go live - you've got this!

If you are looking for ways to take your presentations to the next level, consider using Cake.

Cake is a virtual space for remote collaboration, webinars & e-learning that feels like being there. With tools that allow you to seamlessly share your screen, co-annotate in real-time, and even take private notes, Cake makes it easy to keep everyone on the same page - no matter where they are.

When you give your viewers tools to engage in your presentation, you have a greater chance of holding their attention and delivering a successful presentation. So why not give Cake a try? It's free to sign up, and you can start using all of the features right away.

What are you waiting for? Go live with Cake today!