A Checklist for Better Virtual Presentations


As you put together your presentation, remember there is a difference between presentation and persuasion. Moving people to action, persuasion is your goal. On video calls stakeholders are watching you with a more critical eye than when you are face to face. Do NOT wing it! This checklist for better virtual presentations will prove valuable. You do not know what you do not know.

– Have a strong “opening hook” – get their attention, do not say the normal “hi my name is” – use a startling statement or declaration, a quote, salient statistic, key pain point you discovered, or a story on point to your message > THEN get into introducing yourself.

Less is more as you plan your presentation – focus on having one big idea you want to get across and 3 key sub-points to substantiate your big idea. Have a clear call to action prepared.

Focus on them – start your presentation with them and their pain points NOT all about you and your company.

– If you are using visuals, keep it simple, no elaborate charts or full pages of text – in general do not read your slides, use UnSplash.com for terrific visuals, millions of high-def royalty free pictures that are easily searchable.

– Remember that stories move hearts and hearts move people – have compelling stories to get your points across and create buy in. How are people’s lives different now they are working with you? Highlight the differences before, during and after and what is unique about the experience.

Engage – consider creating a simple handout that people can follow along with and fill in a few blanks/answer a few questions during your session. Finish with a CTA – call to action!

Contrast makes you interesting to listen to and watch – contrast in your voice (volume, inflection, pace) facial expressions, eyes, energy. Remember silence is your friend, pause! I once had someone tell me: “If you pause more the silence would be deafening.”

Practice in advance before you go live! Record it AND review it – focus on what you did well and what must improve. Use this page as a check list.

Get Game Film – Have you seen yourself on video during a real call recently? I thought not. Getting game film AND reviewing it is essential to improve. You need to get quality feedback on your actual performance. You can say – “Because I want to listen better, not have to take such copious notes and also get a video I can review later to improve, is it OK if we record this call?”

Great video here of NFL Greats Ed Reed and Ray Lewis teaching the Baltimore Ravens about the value of and HOW to review game film. “It’s a chess match, it ain’t checkers. Taking notes creates mastery. First time two players NFL Defensive players of the year back to back from the same team. It was because the work we put in.”

Eye Level – Elevate your camera to get it EYE level and frame so you can see your torso and hands. Too often you see people with the camera low shooting up their nose.

Great sound – it is essential, do not use the mic on your computer, get a simple external mic – only $18 and MUCH better sound than your laptop computer.

– Have a simple background behind you and NO bright light behind you like a window, add a light like this one.  If using backdrop light properly, test if using a virtual background and green screen.

Sweat the small stuff – restart computer before, any batteries charged, correct mic/camera selected in conferencing platform, power connections secure, Meeting ID and time zone correct, screen share working properly. Wi-Fi signal good, use ethernet when possible.

Prepare – Review your pre-call plan, your clear opening hook, know your objective and next steps, prepare key questions and order of questions, call to action, be clear on the names, put your notes above and directly behind the camera so you do not have to look down.

PRO TIP – Look at the CAMERA LIGHT not the screen or TOP of the screen if using a camera on your laptop – you will make much better eye contact and connect with the virtual audience.

Leverage Video Communication – I have used BombBomb Video with great success for three years. It is an essential tool in today’s communication environment. Open rate of the video is much higher than a typical email and the tracking feature is a big help. I used it to create this video.

Get Ready – Before you begin, remember that motion creates emotion. It is like getting ready to play a sport or any big presentation – energy is contagious! Get your body ready – do 10 jumping jacks, do some powerful breaths – anything to create energy BEFORE the call. I like the 1, 2, 3…YES with my like this!

Hydrate – Have a cup of tea, room temp or warm water nearby. Never drink cold water it is hard on your throat when presenting.

Do you or your salespeople need to improve their live or virtual presentations? What is it costing you by not being consistently at your best?

Online and virtual is a different animal and it takes practice and guidance to improve. Chip invested 5.5 years with Tony Robbins building his brand and has been hired by over 1000 organizations for clients like Apple, Hyatt, GM, DOW, TD Bank, State Farm and Ameriprise. He has sharpened his axe and cultivated a unique style, set of strategies and a delivery that engages and entertains.

Contact Chip to see how his virtual programs can make an immediate difference. Chip@GetSwitchedOn.com or 865 – 300 – 2742.

Do you want to get better quickly?  – Engaged Persuasion – Small Distinctions, Remarkable Results

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