A Forbes article cites a survey done by Prezi, the cloud-based presentation platform company, that 70% of employed Americans, who give presentations, agree that presentation skills are critical to their success at work. Even though employees acknowledge the career boost great speaking skills afford, few love to present. In fact, the Book of Lists cites fear of public speaking as the #1 fear people have, ahead of snakes, heights, and death! Perhaps you have developed some skills around speaking but now with department meetings, quarterly meetings and conferences going virtual, you have not translated those skills on to Zoom, Microsoft Teams and other platforms.
As many of you know, in my career, I have given over 3,000 presentations and spoken to over 100,000 women. I know what it takes to create pizzazz in a presentation and how to impact your listeners. You must learn how to morph those same skills online to create the same pizzazz. One of the bizarre behaviors I have observed in watching virtual presentations over the last six months is the belief that because they are online, the standards of excellence have changed. Yes, working from home can give you the illusion that everything is casual. Smart women know that is NOT TRUE! In fact, smart career women know that they must fight that perspective. Preparation, practice, and pizzazz are even more important now. It is so easy to disappear from the forefront of your career when working remotely. You must seek every opportunity to make an impact on your career trajectory.
Clean up your act! Looking like you just rolled out of bed for a presentation is a career killer. Even though your commute is from your bedroom to your basement doesn’t mean you can have the luxury of rolling out of bed 5 minutes before a meeting. You still need to do the same readying for your day that you did before the pandemic. Plus, you often do not have the other trappings of success when you are presenting online. You are not speaking from the front of the room, on stage or standing. All three of those behaviors give you some instant credibility. However, if you can give your virtual presentation standing, do it. You will have more tools to seem forceful, credible, and confident. Pay attention to what your viewers will see of you on a screen. Whether it is the jacket you wear, the necklace that frames your face, or the hairstyle that looks kept, this attention to detail will make an impact. Even if you have ratty jeans on your bottom half, the part of you the world sees will send a message of confidence, credibility, and command.
Make your voice an asset. Online presenting demands that your voice convey seriousness, lightness, and variety of other tones. It has been obvious lately, that many people have forgotten their voice is key in conveying their message. Practice ahead of time by recording yourself. If you could not be seen, would your voice send your intent? This is even more critical when you are screen sharing. Slides can get old fast if your voice does not keep things lively.
We know that your listeners have more distractions to their attention span at home than they ever did in a conference room. Your “audience” members have kids, barking dogs, crazed cats, partners, dishwashers, doorbells from delivery drivers, chirping birds, just to name a few. You must be different, interesting and attention getting. Make sure you check out Kay’s Consulting Corner for some specific steps you can take to put some pizzazz in your delivery. Whether you will be presenting from home for the duration or just until we kick the pandemic to the curb, remember, presenting online can be your asset or your albatross.
If you know that your online presentations could be more impactful, but you are just not sure how to get there, remember for September and October you can get presentation coaching at a 10% discount. Call me at (513)561-4188 or email Kay@highheeledsuccess.com to get this process rolling.