“You can never run out of keys.”

DJ Khaled

The art of giving great presentations requires a lot of skill and practice. Presenting is nerve-wracking, especially if it’s not a skill you are most comfortable with. Whether it’s for school or work when you have an important presentation to give, you want to make sure to ace it. Today, virtual presentations are our new reality and there’s some adapting to do.

Got a virtual presentation coming up that you wanna ace? You’ve come to the right place! Here are seven keys to success for your next virtual presentation:

Key #1: Know your stuff

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Practice makes perfect. Prepare in advance as much as you can. Know your content and be ready for any questions that might come your way. Make sure to not overdo it and over plan the way you want things to go, always make sure to leave some wiggle room for unexpected changes. If you need some extra help, check out the Humber and Guelph-Humber writing services; they’ll review and edit your work.

Key #2: Engage with your audience

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Just like in-person presentations, it’s important to work discussion into your presentation and engage with your audience. It can be hard to maintain the attention of your audience, especially when they might be in bed watching your presentation through their screen. Try not to speak for more than ten minutes without some sort of audience engagement. Incorporate questions, chats, polls, and the like to have people participate.

Key #3: Have great visuals

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Visuals are another great way to get your audience’s attention. Having slides prepared with a variety of images, videos and more will ensure your audience doesn’t have to just listen to you lecture or read their screens for the entirety of your presentation. If a slides presentation is not available to you but you still want to share some extra multimedia, be prepared to screen share without any malfunctions.

Key #4: Upgrade your camera and microphone quality

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When doing a presentation virtually, it’s important that your audience is able to hear and see you clearly. Bad audio and camera can be very distracting and could lead your audience to tune out. Test your sound and camera quality in advance and consider investing in an external attachment if you think you need it. Purchasing a 2 in 1 camera and mic extension is also an option. No more excuses for saying, “sorry my camera isn’t working.”

Key #5: Dress to impress

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They might not be able to see it through the camera but when you look your best, you feel your best. Wear a great outfit that makes you feel extra confident and show them just how great you are!

Key #6: Lighting is key

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While natural light is often the best choice, if your workspace doesn’t have natural light and you have a lot of virtual presentations to do, consider purchasing a ring light. If that’s not in your budget, adjust your chair to ensure you have good front lighting and that you aren’t backlit so your audience can clearly see you.

Key #7: Choosing the right background

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Your background can either add to your image or detract from it. Avoid a cluttered background *cough cough* your messy room or anything that can be distracting. If that’s not possible, learn whether your presentation platform can let you use virtual backgrounds (like on Zoom) or if you can blur your background (like on Microsoft Teams).

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You’ve got this! Whatever happens, remember your audience is human too, and with so many of us trying to adapt to this new presentation style, we’re all in the same boat.


Looking to also master being an amazing virtual student? Check out our seven steps to mastering online lecture etiquette here!

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