Whether long or short, videos have become a big part of our day-to-day lives because it’s been how we’ve connected throughout the pandemic.
How can you level up your presentations, especially in the new year? Prezi’s editorial director and top-rated virtual speaker, Lorraine Lee, has all the tips and advice on how.
During Lorraine’s session at Managing Editor Live, she shared tips on how to build your confidence, be more engaging, and connect better with your audience. She also discusses how to bring your energy to your presentation and boost your LinkedIn presence with video.
Building Your Confidence and Keep Your Audience Engaged
People are bored with screen shares and repeatedly see the same presentations and content. To fix this, Lorraine shares that you need to move away from the status quo by boosting your confidence and learning how to keep them engaged.
Three ways to boost your confidence on camera:
- Great lighting: Lighting is a simple fix, but more often than not, people either overlook this, or it’s an afterthought. “[L]ighting has a psychological effect on you,” she says. “The ideal situation is you actually have a window in front of you, so you're getting natural light, again, coming in from the front, facing your face.”
- Upgrade your visuals: 65% of the population are visual learners, meaning that using your visuals well will cause your audience to be more attentive and retain what you are saying, “which makes you feel more confident about what you are sharing.”
- Curate your video background: This will give you a more professional look and feel to your presentation. “Similar to lighting, if you look more professional, you're going to feel better about how you're coming off.”
Now that you have the tips for building your confidence, it’s essential to every presentation that your audience stays engaged and retains the information that you are presenting. Lorraine has a few ideas on how you can keep your audience engaged.
3 ways to keep your audience engaged:
- Fill out a think, do, feel matrix: developed by author and professor Andrew Abel, this helps you map out how your audience thinks, what they are currently doing, and enables you to decide how you want these things to change after they see your presentation.
- Add movement to your presentation: Adding activity can spike your audience’s attention and boost dopamine in their brain. Lorraine explains that using movement in your presentation not only grabs your audience’s attention but also creates “the added benefit of creating novelty, which our brains love, and it helps us pay even closer attention.”
- Have a call to action: Often, we forget the presentations that we see because there is no follow-up or takeaway. “When someone leaves your meeting or webinar, it's going to be that much harder to capture their attention again,” she says. Great CTAs can strengthen your message and keep the audience engaged even after the presentation.
How to Better Connect Over Video
It’s a common mindset that connecting over video is a bit harder because it’s missing that face-to-face interaction, but you are still getting that reaction—it’s just now through a screen. To connect better, Lorraine explained that there were three elements that we should think about when we are trying to connect better over video.
The first is to focus on your framing by making sure your shoulders, a bit of your torso, and a bit of space above your head are present in the video. It helps the person on the other side of the screen feel like they are having a face-to-face conversation.
The second is making sure you are making eye contact with your audience. Aim to look at the camera or right above, so it shows your audience that you are connected and engaged.
Lastly, put a smile on your face. When you are nervous, you can sometimes forget to smile, but it can significantly impact the audience and make them feel at ease. It makes the audience feel like they are there with you instead of just sitting in front of a screen.
Bringing the Energy to Your Presentation
There is something about being at a live presentation that gives people different energy. When you are in the room with the presenter, you can feel their excitement, joy, passion, etc., but sometimes it’s hard to recreate that same energy through a video.
Videos do add an extra barrier that presenters need to break through, and to do that, there are a few things to keep in mind.
The first is to ensure that you are standing up or sitting with good posture. Next is to project your voice while speaking on video. By projecting, it can help eliminate filler words from your presentation. Lastly, using hand gestures creates a more favorable impression of yourself to your audience and spreads your energy to everyone who is watching.
Get the Most Out of Your LinkedIn Videos
LinkedIn is a great place to build up your thought leadership and get noticed by experts in your field. While years ago, posting on LinkedIn was restricted to a few influencers, but now it is open to everyone on the platform, which gives us the ability to share thoughts, advice, articles, and more.
Lorraine shares that many people wanted to become an influencer to get more engagement during her time as an editor for LinkedIn. However, they didn’t realize that it wasn’t the influencers who were getting the most engagement—it was the people who posted consistently that were obtaining high engagement rates.
Besides being consistent with the content you post, Lorraine had three suggestions to keep in mind to get the most out of your video content on LinkedIn.
- Share your videos: “The feed is saturated with written posts, but fewer videos, so now's the time to take advantage of that to really stand out.”
- Post relevant and timely content: “If you create content around a topic that's trending in the LinkedIn news module, which is what you see here on desktop, your posts may get picked up by one of the editors.”
- Optimize your content: “You'll want to research hashtags and use the ones that make sense for your content, so more people can discover it.”
Lorraine’s session gave us insight into how we can be better through video and show up as the best versions of ourselves. Many of the events, presentations, etc. that we are doing now is shifting into the virtual world, and as Lorraine said, “it's very, very clear, especially from the past year and a half, that video is here to stay.”
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