When building slides, less is more.Limit text on your slides to the “5 x5” rule. That means, excluding your slide title or heading, keep text to a maximum of 5 lines or bullet points per slide, with no more than 5 words per line.
Alternatively, think of it this way: you have about 25 words to play with. Knowing this, you could bend the 5x5 rule and use 6 bullet points with a maximum of 4 words per line.
“But,” you protest, “I have more to say!” Consider making additional data and non-essential info available in the appendices of your slide deck. You can refer to it later during Q & A, where helpful or you can send it to your listeners later for reference.
Another way to show only your essential slides, but then easily send the full set of slides later, is to use the “Hide Slide” feature in PowerPoint.
Make virtual presentations as interactive as possible. Ask participants to use the interactive tools included in your virtual presentation software. For example, ask people to do any or all of the following:
- Click the icon to raise their hands.
- Vote in the on-screen poll.
- Type their questions or responses into the chat box.
Ask participants questions. Let them know at the start that you’ll be randomly calling on them throughout the session. A good rule of thumb is to plan some type of engaging activity every two minutes or so.
Finally, consider putting yourself on-screen when possible. Seeing you present live in a thumbnail view makes your presentation more real for participants.
Don’t forget to pause. In everyday, relaxed conversation, people may occasionally use an “um” or filler word. But, at the end of a sentence or thought, people naturally pause. It’s important to do this when giving a presentation, too.
Below are some tips to help you pause more effectively:
- Practice your presentation out loud and consciously pause at the end of every sentence for three seconds. Make sure it’s a full three seconds if you need to. This is an exaggerated pause, of course, but practicing this way will help you become aware of the pause!
- Record yourself practicing or giving a presentation and then play it back. Take note of your pauses and pace of speech. Are you talking too fast? Using too many filler words or sounds? What you hear may surprise you. Most people aren’t aware of how fast they’re talking or if they’re using too many filler words, which can make them appear to lack confidence.
- In addition to listening to yourself, try to get honest feedback from a friend or work colleague who’s heard you present. What do they think?
When it comes to delivering high-stakes presentations, it’s small things like these that can have a big impact on your audience. Now, I hope you’ll take these tips, finish clearing out those cobwebs (if you haven’t already), and make your presentations great in 2016!
With the beginning of the New Year, it’s the perfect time to address the virtual communication mistakes that have become common with so many of us working virtually this past year.
Here are 3 of the most common mistakes when communicating virtually, and what you can do to overcome them.
In every virtual training workshop that Mandel delivers, we dedicate a Virtual Meeting Producer (or moderator or facilitator) to act as the Trainer’s co-pilot.
A Virtual Producer manages the meeting platform functions and mitigates any technical challenges, allowing the Trainer to focus exclusively on the learning and development of the workshop participants.
As someone who wears a virtual producer hat, here are 5 best practices to help you create engaging virtual meetings.
As part of our research into listening intelligence, we’ve detected four distinct styles (or preferences) of how people listen. These four listening styles cover what individuals pay attention to as well as what they are likely to miss in any collaboration.
Learn more about the 4 Listening Habits, and how listening impacts both the well-being and productivity of your virtual teams.
Mandel Communications, known globally for its presentation and conversations skills workshops, fills a major gap in the field of human communications training by announcing its new neuroscience-based, listening skills-building workshop, “The Listening Edge.”
This innovative training is bolstered with a validated, proprietary, science-based personal listening assessment that accelerates this learning and its application on the job.
If your 2020 user conference plans were impacted by the pandemic, you’re not alone. And if, like many, you’ve chosen to move forward by converting to a virtual conference, you’ll be relying more than ever on your speakers’ skills. Share these 8 tips with your virtual conference speakers to help them prepare to impress.
As we continue to work in remote environments, virtual video meetings are keeping us connected and business moving forward. They’re also leaving us exhausted. The extra mental processing required to navigate screen-based interactions means even those accustomed to frequent meetings are experiencing the burnout. To restore and productivity, consider four alternatives for business communication that eliminate the screentime.
As you and your teams navigate working remotely, we’re publishing tips and best practices for leading virtual meetings, presenting virtually and promoting remote team collaboration.
For this week’s tips, here are 3 best practices for encouraging collaboration in your virtual meetings:
As you and your teams navigate working remotely, we’re publishing tips and best practices for leading virtual meetings, presenting virtually and collaborating on virtual teams.
For this week’s tips, here are 3 best practices for improving virtual meeting experiences:
As you and your teams navigate working remotely, we’re publishing tips and best practices for leading virtual meetings, presenting virtually, and collaborating on virtual teams.
For this week’s tips, here are 3 best practices for engaging your teams in virtual meetings:
- Top Virtual Communication Mistakes – and How to Overcome Them in 2021!
- Tell a Story. Close a Deal. Even on Zoom.
- Throwback: Why Appreciation Matters in Life and at Work
- Tips for Communicating Effectively While Wearing a Mask
- Five Tips From a Virtual Meeting Producer
- How to Lead Hybrid Meetings: 5 Tips for Success
- What are the Four Listening Styles?
- How To Develop Listening Intelligence In Your Organization
- Mandel Launches Neuroscience-Based Listening Solution, The Listening Edge™
- Hosting a Virtual User Conference? Prepare Your Speakers to Succeed