You’ve put hours into polishing your slide deck and preparing engaging anecdotes or questions. You’ve read up on our user tips and our presenter’s tips and tricks. Now you’re ready to impress in your online meeting, right?
Almost. You still need to do a few more things to ensure your presentation goes off without a hitch.
For example, did you make sure that a pet won’t jump into your lap or a child won’t burst into your home office as you’re giving your presentation? Not a chance, you say? I bet this now-famous British professor also thought so before a little household havoc played in the background of his live TV interview…
Securing a quiet space (with a reliable lock, perhaps) is just one step to check off your list. Here are some others that you may overlook:
What to Do in Advance
Don’t leave anything for the last hour except essentials like a final mic check. You don’t want to scramble — plus, you’ll want a few minutes free for gathering your thoughts and releasing your nervous tension.
- Practice your presentation in front of the mirror while smiling. People will “hear” your smile even if they can’t see your face. You’re enthusiastic about your material — so share it cheerfully.
- For a video meeting, remove clutter from your background and any items that will divert the attention of your curious audience. No need to embarrass yourself with something inappropriate, or to have people guessing the origin of an unusual piece behind you. Keep the attention on you as you’re working hard to impress. Move your computer screen around if you need to, or use a laptop and try different areas of the room.
- Make sure there’s adequate lighting. After all, you’re not trying to conceal your identity. People need to see you clearly, so add side lighting with a lamp or open shade as needed.
- Check that your mic and camera work as expected, especially if you habitually disable them. If you cover your camera with tape, you may want to clean out the gunk while you’re at it.
- If you plan to share your screen during the meeting, make sure that all other apps, websites, and programs are shut down and notifications are turned off. There’s nothing worse than a rouge message popping up about a personal matter when you are trying to impress your meeting attendees! Or better yet, set your screen sharing preference to just the window you want to share.
- If you work in a chaotic place or home office, make arrangements to eliminate background noise. You may appreciate (and learn to ignore) the white noise of the living room TV or your office neighbor’s music, but your audience won’t.
Got everything checked off? Now you’re ready to leave a great impression. Go ace that meeting!
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