How to turn remote presenting from a phobia into a pleasure

December 21, 2021

Dry mouth, sweaty palms, increased heart rate – do you ever experience any of these whilst delivering a speech or presentation to a room full of colleagues or clients?

If the answer is yes, it may be that you suffer from glossophobia; a fear of public speaking or social engagement.

And you are not alone; figures suggest that around 77 per cent of the population have some degree of feeling anxious when it comes to public speaking.

But while being nervous in front of a ‘live’ audience can be an issue for many, more and more presentations are now being delivered virtually – when there is no immediate reaction from the crowd and more importantly, no place to hide if things go wrong.

More and more client meetings, new business or prospect presentations, networking and interviews now being done virtually – so is 2022 the year of nailing your remote presenting skills?

Nel Woolcott, Managing Director at Peterborough-based Anne Corder Recruitment, said: “At one time or another, many of us have had an uncomfortable experience when it comes to presenting – particularly over the past 18 months when we were all thrown into the world of speaking or presenting remotely; with people telling presenters ‘You’re on mute’, others trying to keep the barking dog quiet or even suffering the embarrassment of sharing an entire meeting calendar with the group!

“However, presenting is still something that many people aren’t entirely comfortable with, but while remote working looks set to stay, being prepared is absolutely key and we have some advice to make presenting a pleasure rather than a phobia for both presenter and audience.”

  1. Think about timings – how long have you got for your presentation, will you be inviting questions? and focus on keeping the audience engaged.
  2. Plan and practise and have someone else read over your slides.
  3. Think about the number of slides you are using, which goes back to keeping people engaged. Too few and you may not be able to get your point across adequately, too many and you risk losing your listeners’ attention.
  4. Ensure your equipment doesn’t let you down. You may have the most engagement presentation prepared, so don’t leave laptop life, lighting, and sound to chance.
  5. Make sure you introduce yourself and the give a clear introduction of the presentation you are about to deliver.
  6. Grab the attention from the start – make the first 30 seconds of your presentation count.
  7. Try not to read your slides or script word for word. If the subject or occasion allows, try and make the presentation light and flowing. If you forget something, don’t let it show – come back to it.
  8. Speak clearly and try not to pause or mumble.
  9. Depending on the size of the group, make people feel a part of your presentation. Refer to them by name if relevant and ask them questions along the way to give an inclusive delivery.
  10. At the end of the presentation, thank people for their attention and give them the opportunity to ask questions or invite them to contact you afterwards – this way you can keep the lines of communication open.