Deliver a Knock-Out Presentation from the Comfort of Your Home

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Photo courtesy Neil Godding, Unsplash

Virtual events like webinars, teleconferences and online classes are a great way to connect with new audiences and build your list. One of the biggest advantages of virtual events is that you can reach an unlimited number of people because you are not restricted by location or seat capacity.

The downside to virtual events is that you cannot see how the audience is reacting.

Have you ever wondered if your audience is sleeping, watching cat videos, or folding laundry while listening to your virtual program?

It’s difficult to know how your message is being received when you can’t see the audience.

There are several ways to make your virtual event a success:

Prepare as if it is an in-person presentation

Virtual event has many moving parts including conference call technology, slides, fielding questions and, of course, the presentation. By learning and rehearing the material, you firm up one piece of the puzzle so you can be focused on delivering an amazing talk.

Prepare an outline

Prepare notes or an outline of  talking points to use as a guide during the presentation. Avoid writing a script. Your audience is smart and can tell when you’re reading word for word.
Bonus tip – print out your notes and/or slides. Technology is great when it’s working, but it can, and often does fail. Have a back up copy so you don’t have to rely on your computer screen.

Change up the format

If you’re concerned about losing your audience during your presentation, invite guest speakers to join the conversation. The guests can include a former of current client to share their experience or a colleague who is an expert in the topic you’re discussing. Mixing up the format and making it a dialogue will keep the conversation lively.

Stand Up

When you sit at a desk or in front of a computer you tend to slouch forward, reducing your energy and inhibiting your breath. Standing instantly opens your breathing capacity and raise your energy which will be reflected in the tone of your voice. If you are enthusiastic and energetic, your audience can’t help but be engaged.


In my early career I worked as a reporter for a local radio station. A co-worker recommended “smiling” while on-air because the audience can hear the energy in your voice. I felt silly at first, but I quickly realized how the energy increased in my voice. Many retail companies train their employees to smile when speaking with customers over the phone and resolving customer service issues.

Want support with delivering your next virtual presentation? I’d love to help! Begin by scheduling your complimentary consultation.

How to Craft a Talk That Sells

Do you remember that classic scene from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off in which Ben Stein gives a dry lecture to a group of high school students? With a monotone voice and information that doesn’t interest his students, it’s easy to see why the students check out.

But what happens when you have an engaging delivery, interesting content and your message still misses the mark?

You get great feedback, but you don’t walk away with any leads or sales.

Or you get lots of smiles and nods, but little engagement from the audience.

Or worse…You hear crickets.

If you’ve experienced any of the above, it’s time to revisit your content. Here are three ways you can craft a talk that will make an impact:

Begin with the end in mind

If you’re having trouble deciding what information to include in your talk, ask yourself these questions: What would you like the audience to walk away with? What are the key points or lessons you’d like them to remember?

What information does the audience need most to solve their biggest challenge? If you’re not sure, ask a few of your current clients to get their perspective.

Once you’ve boiled the information down to a few bullet points, use those to build your talk.

Get clear on your target audience

If the audience isn’t connecting with your materials, perhaps you are speaking to the wrong group. For example, if you are trying to engage women in their 50s about their retirement needs, but the women attending your talk are young professionals, your message is going to miss the mark. It’s important to get clear on who it is you are trying to reach and make sure you speak at events that are geared towards that target audience.

Share a personal story

If you’re like most business owners, you started your business because of a passion or a need. Think back to why you began your business and share a story about what inspired you to get started or a challenge you faced and the solution you created as a result. Stories create authenticity and connection, and will make you memorable.

Ready to hone-in on your message and craft a powerful talk? Sign up for a complimentary 30-minute strategy session.

10 Ways to Share Your Story and Wow Crowds

“When you have a memorable story about who you are and what your mission is, your success no longer depends on how experienced you are or how many degrees you have or who you know. A good story transcends boundaries, breaks barriers and opens doors.” – Blake Mycoskie, founder, TOMS Shoes

Recently I heard Blake Mycoskie give a Keynote speech at a conference for corporate executives. I had read his book, Start Something That Matters, so I was familiar with how he created TOMS Shoes and the One for One campaign. Despite this, I was moved by his passion, honesty and sense of humor. Hearing him share his story in person was engaging and an inspiration.

Even if you have no aspirations of being a Keynote speaker, there are a few sure-fire ways to leave an impression on your audience. In the spirit of the New Year, I’ve created a list of “top 10” ways to share your story and engage the crowd.

1. Walk in the shoes of your audience
Whether you are speaking at a conference or your weekly team meeting, it’s important to know the needs of your audience. Some quick research can reveal their challenges, what they hope to get out of the meeting or event; and what solutions they need most. Addressing these points in your presentation is sure to leave a great impression.

2. Prepare for game day
Professional athletes have curfew the night before a game and so should you. Instead of staying up all night tweaking your slides and rehearsing your content, get a good night’s sleep. If you feel great, you will be at the top of your game.

3. Channel your inner rock star
I’ve talked about strutting like Beyonce before, but there’s one thing that can be learned from rock stars: confidence. Have some swagger. (or moves like Jagger). When fear creeps up take a few deep breaths, remember that you are the expert and then command the stage like your favorite artist.

4. Share examples
When writing your talk, try to include examples that apply to every day life. If you are giving a talk on time management, share an example of kids being late to school or missing a deadline at work. Using examples that are applicable to everyone will wow the crowd.

5. Keep it interactive
Keep the audience engaged by getting them involved in your presentation. Take a poll or ask the audience questions to break up the content and keep them from getting restless.

6. Stand up
Standing raises your energy level, which is automatically reflected in your voice. If you are presenting over the phone, get a headset so you can stand while delivering your presentation. Hearing your energy keeps an audience engaged and awake.

7. Surprise and delight the audience by creating a memorable experience. Give away a gift card to someone who asks a question; incorporate music into your presentation or move through the audience. Find ways to be unique and keep the presentation fresh.

8. Keep it simple
When writing your presentation stick to 3-5 key points you want to address. Begin by thinking about what you want the audience to walk away with and reverse engineer the content from there.

9. Be transparent

You are the expert on your subject. But you didn’t become an expert without failing along the way. Sharing an example of a customer service issue gone wrong, a failed product launch or other missed opportunity builds trust and credibility.

10. Let go of perfection

Delivering your speech may not go as smooth as you planned it. You may not hit every talking point the way you rehearsed and tech issues happen more often than we’d like them to.

Now it’s your turn. What’s your best tip for delivering a presentation with impact? Share your thoughts in the comments below.