Now that the bulk of meetings are through video conferencing, how do you simplify your video presentations? The problem is that remotely, we can’t use our emotional intelligence to read the room and gauge understanding or interest. The goal then is to try to eliminate this need as much as possible by keeping your presentations simple, clear, and direct. But what does that look like?  Where do you start?

For me, I try to create a stepwise approach. Let me walk you through it:

First, decide if you are generating a discussion or simply providing an update with this presentation.  In other words, what is the point? Determine your presentation goal. What do you want to achieve at the end of the presentation? Then move forward ensuring your slides achieve that. If they don’t, cut that slide out or change the content. 

Cut your slide count in half relative to what you used to do in person. If you used to use 20 slides, cut it to 10. It’s so much easier to work on other tasks if you are in a remote meeting, right?  If your presentation is exactly the same, month to month, people “know” when they can zone out and will naturally do so.  You won’t be able to pick up on less engagement so control the predictability to keep the group alert.. Cut the content in half to reduce the time commitment and keep engagement high. 

Use images to make your point or tell your story. People can read and no one wants to listen to a person ramble on about a point they could have interpreted on their own. Put some responsibility on the audience to view, digest, and interpret the information in your presentation by using images, graphs, or charts. People want to interact so give them something on the slides to interact with and learn. This will also generate more discussion, which is the point, right? 

Keep the bullet count down. (Notice I said bullets, not sentences.  Definitely no sentences, please.) No more than 4 bullets with no more than 5 words per bullet. Remember, no one is showing up to read the next great novel so don’t make them. If they could read it all, the meeting could have just been an email. Don’t do that to your audience. Also, don’t feel like it’s your job to read everything to prove your value or worth. You are in the room, you are delivering the presentation. Those two facts alone prove your value and authority. You don’t have to prove anything, it’s already been done. 

My challenge for you is to think about your next presentation. Apply the steps above to organize your slides and your personal notes in order to effectively lead the meeting. Once you deliver your presentation, come give me some feedback at Legend Leaders on Facebook (@makinglegendaryleaders) or Instagram (legend.leaders).  Keep being agile and being the role model for change within your team!