Remote Work Presentations: 15 Tips to Be More Confident
Public speaking anxiety is normal – especially if you’re a creative professional who is used to being in the background or working behind the scenes. So, the sudden jolt into the spotlight, when giving remote work presentations, may induce nervous feelings in some. But there is good news! We’ve curated a list of tips to help designers, developers, and other creatives build confidence and self-assurance before speaking to a virtual audience. Just keep reading!
- Create stunning visual presentations that will captivate your audience’s attention. Use a mix of static visual aids, videos, and sound when possible.
- Rehearse your presentation in a calm environment.
- Observe how others give presentations and keep seeking out opportunities to practice giving your own.
15 Tips to Be More Confident
Want to be prepared for your next remote work presentation or public speaking opportunity? Below are a few tips to help build your self-confidence and keep your audience’s attention during your next presentation.
Prepare a professional slide deck with eye-catching visuals.
In today’s image-based world, most audiences expect to engage with visual content of some sort. So, include eye-catching images, charts, gifs, or videos in your presentation to keep the viewer’s attention. Don’t be afraid to be creative and design an entire slide deck from scratch. After all, a presentation is a great opportunity to flex your creative skills.
Rehearse your presentation multiple times.
This may sound like common advice. But practice can make the difference between an okay presentation and a good presentation. To make sure you have your bullet points committed to memory, don’t be afraid to go over your slide deck a few times. Practice in the mirror and take note of your facial expressions and body language. You may need to make a few adjustments if you notice that your body language is off-putting or your facial expressions don’t align with the information that you’re speaking about. And that’s okay! Practice sessions help you iron out all of the nuances and put your best foot forward.
Wear professional clothes that you feel comfortable in.
Presentations can be daunting enough – so it’s important that you feel relaxed and comfortable in your clothing. Always dress professionally, of course! But make sure your clothing fits properly. And as a general rule of thumb, avoid clothing items that are too tight, scratchy or inappropriate for a work setting.
Listen to your favorite music to remain calm.
If you’re the type of person who gets nervous before speaking in public, consider doing some calming activities ahead of presentation time. For instance, you could play your favorite music, listen to an upbeat podcast, or find a guide meditation video to engage in – whatever suits your interests and lifestyle. The choice of media is up to you. Just try to find something to soothe your worries and take your mind off of your presentation for a few moments.
Take notes for additional support throughout the presentation.
When you’re preparing your visual presentation, it might be a good idea to take a few notes on index cards or use the notes section built into most presentation apps such as Google Slides or Microsoft PowerPoint. Use those notes to keep track of your bullet points without reading each slide verbatim. Notes can also be used to remember related topics that might come up during a Q&A discussion with your audience members.
Be concise. Exclude extraneous details when possible.
Sure, it’s important to engage your audience but you don’t want to overwhelm them. So, be considerate of that when curating visuals for your presentation or deciding how much text to include on each slide. Remember, your bullet points don’t have to include every possible bit of information. Instead, you can rely on your voice and visual aids to fill in gaps of knowledge, when needed.
Try to create a quiet space with minimal distractions.
We all know the it is hard to achieve maximum productivity from the home office when things are a bit nosy. However, it is absolutely imperative that you create a quiet space during remote work presentations. External dialogue with loved ones or roommates should be avoided and if possible, all other background noise should be muted as well. During your presentation, you want your audience members to focus on the information you are disseminating, instead of being distracted by noisy objects or people in your home.
Pay attention to your volume while speaking in public or giving a virtual presentation.
When trying to connect to your audience, pay attention to the volume of your voice. While you certainly don’t want to scream to get your points across, it is important to maintain a loud enough volume for everyone to hear you. When speaking in public (in an in-person scenario), scan the room to get a sense of how many people are present and what voice amplifying devices are available. Then adjust your voice accordingly. For virtual presentations, however, it may be a good idea to turn your mic up to a decent volume, project your voice to be a bit louder than your normal speaking voice and enunciate! To ensure all of your audience members can hear you, it might be a good idea to prompt them to raise their hand at the start of your presentation.
Maintain eye contact as much as possible.
One very simple way to engage with your audience members is to look at them. While people won’t be physically present for a virtual presentation or remote work meeting, you can simulate eye contact by looking at your webcam when you speak and using gestures or head nods to emphasize your point. While it is certainly not the same as making eye contact in-person, connecting with the camera will help you connect to your audience by extension.
Practice maintaining confident body language.
Want to reduce your overall nervousness around remote meetings and virtual presentations? Try working on your body language. Maintaining good posture may just help quell some anxious feelings you’re having.
“A good stance and posture reflect a proper state of mind.”
– Morihei Ueshiba, Japanese Martial Artist and Founder of Aikido
Be professional but don’t forget to show off your personality.
When presenting information to a crowd, professionalism is extremely important. However, it is also important to show off your personality! So, keep that in mind when going over slides. If you’re a naturally funny person, try throwing in a work-appropriate joke or two to break the ice. Or, find other ways to let your personality shine through.
Emphasize certain points, especially if you want the audience members to remember them.
Want to make a good impression on your audience and keep their attention? Emphasize the bullet points that you want them to remember. If you’re uncertain of what those are, ask yourself the following questions while organizing your presentation.
- What are the main takeaways that the audience will learn from my presentation?
- If someone only remembers one thing today, what should that be?
- What information is absolutely paramount? What details are extraneous?
Ask the audience members questions to keep them engaged.
You don’t have to wait for a Q&A session to start asking questions. In fact, asking questions is one way you can keep the audience’s attention and stir up some friendly competition. So, use question throughout your presentation. Ask folks for feedback on graphs, charts, and figures presented. Or, gauge everyone’s knowledge before introducing a new concept.
Attend other presentations whenever possible.
Want to get better at giving presentations? Attend them! Seeing how others give presentations can inspire you. So, whenever possible, sit in on a presentation. Observe the speaker’s posture and use of varying sounds, visuals, and resources. Then see what things you can adopt (or avoid) in your future presentations.
Seek out more opportunities to practice public speaking in the future.
Practice may not make perfect but it certainly makes progress. So, seek out opportunities to practice public speaking! The more you do it, the more comfortable and confidence you will become. And, who knows? You may even grow to love giving presentations one day!
“Confidence is directness and courage in meeting the facts of life.”
– John Dewey