- Awards Season
- Big Stories
- Pop Culture
- Video Games
What Is Zoom Fatigue — and How Can You Combat It?
Remember that Skype ringtone that would chime delightfully through your laptop’s speakers when you tried to get someone on the line? A decade ago, that video chat service seemed destined to become the Google of its domain — so synonymous with video conferencing that it became a verb when you wanted to “skype” someone. However, the video conferencing competition has become incredibly fierce.
While Skype seemed to have a horse in both races — professional workplace chat services and social video chatting — other services emerged, carving out specific niches. For example, FaceTime became the go-to social video chat service. It’s more immediate, easy to use, right in the palm of your hand, and, best of all, designed to be quick — like a phone call.
Meanwhile, Zoom, which launched its software in 2013, aimed to become the platform for teleconferencing, telecommuting, and distance learning. In the wake of increased shelter-in-place directives and work-from-home initiatives sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic, Zoom became a way to connect socially too.
If you, your friends, and your family are all using a platform for telecommuting, why not just use that same platform to virtually socialize as well? But even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Zoom’s ease-of-use and reliability resulted in a $1 billion valuation in 2017. The “ unicorn ” company joined the NASDAQ-100 stock index on April 30th, 2020. Perhaps more impressively, Zoom has become the stand-in, brand-name verb that’s synonymous with video conferencing.
Why Is Video Chatting So Draining?
While platforms like Zoom, which offers a free version of its communication service, have proven to be invaluable resources during the novel coronavirus pandemic, there are some downsides to using this type of technology. Of course, the upsides — being able to work and learn remotely and safely from home; hosting events, like happy hours, birthday parties, religious gatherings, and even weddings; and connecting with friends and family face-to-face — outweigh any negatives. Still, it’s becoming more and more apparent that video chatting, even for just a few minutes a day nearly every day of the week, is exhausting .
Now more than ever, we’re all craving connection — simple human interaction and socialization. It seems wrong to dread an upcoming Zoom chat with buddies who live across the country, or thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic live just across town, but after a long week of telecommuting, lethargy sets in nonetheless. Dubbed “Zoom fatigue,” the tiredness that accompanies the end of the day feels like both physical and emotional exhaustion — even if you were just attending regular work meetings throughout the day. So, what gives?
According to Canadian publication CBC , chatting virtually can feel more tiring than an in-person catch-up. “Users can feel like they’re performing for the camera more than they would while meeting colleagues in person — especially when software continuously displays to a user their own live image, adding an element of self-awareness.” When you consider the Hollywood Squares feeling of it all — a.k.a. Zoom’s “gallery mode,” which allows you to see all the chat’s participants — it makes sense.
You never know when someone is looking at you, so looking away, doodling in a notebook, scratching your nose — none of it feels like proper etiquette. In-person, conversations have lulls, flows and ebbs that allow participants to focus their attention on whoever is speaking or on the less static environment around them. With Zoom, it’s all about staring into the camera, desperately trying to make eye contact with every set of pixelated eyes. For folks with social anxiety, trying to be heard or interject over a Zoom call can feel even more daunting due to that looming, silent audience.
To make matters more trying, sometimes staying engaged takes so much energy that a Zoom call becomes two primary speakers going back and forth while everyone else listens on, microphones muted. We’ve all been there, nodding along and wondering if anyone can tell we’re nodding at all. Of course, there’s more to looking like an active listener via a video chat than eye contact and facing forward. Janine Hubbard, a psychologist at St. John’s, told CBC in an interview about another factor that leads to fatigue. “We’re doing exaggerated non-verbal cues, as opposed to much more naturalistic, relaxed ones that we would normally do.”
We can’t really read small gestures or body language over a video chat. If someone is fidgeting nervously, that’s less apparent. You also can’t give the verbal and nonverbal cues you normally would if you want to interject. Think of it like acting on stage — where even the last row of the audience needs to see your emotion — versus acting for a film, when you have all the close-ups you need and distance doesn’t matter as much. According to the Wall Street Journal ‘s findings, even that “millisecond delay” between action and reaction can impact video chatters.
How Can We Combat Zoom Fatigue?
Perhaps one of the greatest challenges of Zoom is all that multitasking. In fact, you might not even perceive it as such, but it’s clear that video conferencing is a balancing act. Andrew Franklin, an assistant professor of cyberpsychology at Virginia’s Norfolk State University, explained to National Geographic why the multitasking factor, or as psychologists call it, “continuous partial attention,” plays such a huge role in Zoom fatigue. “We’re engaged in numerous activities but never fully devoting ourselves to focus on anything in particular,” Franklin notes.
So, how can we combat this fatigue? First, it’s important to limit the number of meetings — and their running time — on a daily basis. Keep that in mind when chatting socially with friends for happy hour or over the weekend. Just because someone is feeling too drained to video chat, that doesn’t mean they don’t want to virtually hang.
Another easy tactic? Try shifting your calls to audio-only. If you’re on Zoom, agree to keep the video off unless visuals are absolutely necessary, or at least ensure your workplace (or friend group) is okay with particularly fatigued individuals opting out of the video portion once in a while. Of course, if none of these Zoom-related tips help sharpen your focus or reduce your fatigue, there’s nothing wrong with picking up the phone and calling your coworkers, friends, and family the old-fashioned way on occasion.
The CDC regularly updates its safety guidelines for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals. If you wish to meet up with your loved ones in person, you’re strongly encouraged to carefully read these guidelines. Virtual vacations are also valid and viable ways to combat Zoom fatigue.
MORE FROM ASK.COM
8 tips on how to present over Zoom like a pro
Today, Zoom is a central part of the remote workplace. It and other video conference platforms are widely used for meetings, job interviews, webinars, and presentations.
In-person presentations can be stressful enough, and having to conduct them virtually can seem even more daunting.
But it doesn't have to be that way. Our eight pro tips for presenting over Zoom may help you feel more prepared, comfortable, and confident. Read on to find out more.
1. Plan out your Zoom background/location ahead of time.
You can use a location in your home or a virtual Zoom background. If you select a place in your house, make sure it is uncluttered and clean. A plain wall or shelves with neatly arranged books provide a professional setting.
Consider lighting. Soft lighting placed in front of you illuminates you evenly; sitting in front of a window can cause glare and shadows.
Make sure your background doesn't distract from you and your presentation. You don't want your audience focusing on a family photo or the dishes in the sink.
2. Test your equipment before your presentation.
Your equipment can make or break your Zoom presentation.
To avoid surprises, check your internet connection, plug in your laptop, and ensure that your camera angle is correct and that the microphone works.
You can confirm your internet connection, audio, and visual with a Zoom test meeting . Using a hard-wired connection rather than wifi is the safer option. And closing any applications you won't need during the presentation can conserve bandwidth.
Taking precautions can avoid or minimize frozen screens, views of the top of your head, dead batteries, and sound problems.
3. Put notes in the right place on your screen(s).
The best webcams for remote-working video calls
The pandemic lockdown will leave a legacy of increased remote working, so it's a good time to upgrade your webcam. Here are ten leading contenders.
You need your notes where you can see them, but you don't want to keep looking down or off to the side during your presentation.
To combat this, you can use dual monitors . Position your presentation on one of them, visible to all, and your presenter's notes — plus the webcam you're using — on the other, visible only to you.
Or you can present your slide show in a window and put a private view of your notes in another window on the same screen. Zoom provides step-by-step instructions for single and dual screens.
4. Practice Zoom presenting as if it were the real thing.
Zoom allows you to practice in the precise environment where you will be presenting. Set up your background, lighting, and screens as you will on presentation day. You can schedule a webinar practice session on Zoom and run through your presentation exactly as you will on the day. You can invite a friend to join you and offer feedback.
Practicing can make the difference between a smooth presentation or an awkward one. Rehearse as often as you can, and visit our page of public speaking tips .
SEE: What tech jobs don't require public speaking?
5. Minimize clutter on your slides.
Slides are a key part of a virtual presentation and can help you and the audience stay on track.
Slides should be easy to read and navigate. Avoid brightly colored backgrounds, complicated fonts, and too many graphics.
Each slide should communicate one concept or idea. Avoid a long list of bullet points on a single slide.
While a slide with few words in readable, bolded font works fine, visuals like charts, maps, and illustrations or photos can be more effective and keep your audience engaged.
6. Use easy-to-understand visuals.
Visuals liven up your Zoom presentation in ways words don't. Instead of a long list of numbers explaining company statistics, try a graph or pie chart. Visuals aid understanding and keep your audience interested.
Explaining technical procedures with videos or illustrations rather than wordy descriptions alone enables you to show and tell. They also accommodate different learning styles within your audience.
Microsoft posts tutorials for incorporating visual elements into PowerPoint slides and inserting videos from the web or your computer .
7. Explain your agenda before you begin presenting.
Most people like to know what to expect when logging onto a meeting. Opening your presentation with a slide outlining your agenda sets the timeline for your meeting and reassures your audience. If you plan to allow audience interaction, make sure to highlight when and how in your agenda.
You can list the points you're going to cover in your presentation on your slide(s) and/or use graphics. You can pose a question on a slide, then show how you plan to answer it. Starting off with a funny (but work-appropriate) photograph or illustration can put you and your audience at ease.
8. If appropriate, encourage your audience to interact.
Unless you have a good reason not to, encourage your audience to interact during or after your presentation.
Some presenters ask participants to use Zoom's chat function for questions and pause the presentation periodically to answer them or wait until the end. Presenters can mute and unmute the audience and allow time for comments and questions that way. Zoom also allows for engagement through participant polls during the presentation
The size of your audience may dictate how you want to handle audience interaction.
Not allowing participant interaction risks losing your audience to their phones and other distractions.
The hardest part of presenting on Zoom may be the technology for some and the public speaking for others. We hope our tips help.
Online public speaking courses can help with anxiety and discomfort. Developing emotional intelligence skills can also benefit your Zoom presentations.
Like what you're reading?
Zoom presentation tips to bring human connection into virtual meetings
Get your team on prezi – watch this on demand video.
Līva Luriņa November 01, 2021
Gartner has acknowledged Zoom as a leader in meeting solutions for the sixth year in a row. That’s well deserved, as it’s pretty challenging to find a person in the digital world who’s never joined a Zoom meeting.
In a sea of countless Zoom presentations , it’s crucial to stand out in order to succeed. But what’s the best way to tell your story, engage your audience, and avoid virtual meeting fatigue ? Through personal connection.
Read on to learn the nine best Zoom presentation tips to help you build a human connection in the era of virtual meetings and discover 11 handy Zoom hacks to advance your Zoom presentation skills.
1. Do your homework
The most important Zoom presentation tip is to think about your audience before thinking about the slides. You need to understand their expectations to bring value and build a real connection.
Consider things about your audience such as:
- What do they need or want from your Zoom presentation?
- Challenges or fears they face
- Tone of voice or vocabulary that is the most appropriate to use
- Examples or stories can they relate to
Once you’ve answered these questions, you can design your presentation accordingly. It’s a good idea to modify your presentation each time you face a new group of people.
2. Tell a story
There’s no better way to create an emotional connection with the audience than telling a story. Including storytelling in presentations will also help them better understand and remember information that’s important both in business and education.
But how do you actually include a story in your presentation? To really unlock all the potential, the storyline has to be connected to your main goal and, following the best Zoom presentation tips, carried throughout the whole presentation.
First, clarify what emotion you want to evoke, whether it’s surprise, joy, desire, anger, or anything else. Think of relatable examples, statistics, jokes, or experiences that will resonate with your audience. When you see people nodding their heads, that’s usually a sign that you’re nailing the presentation, and you’ve made an emotional connection with your audience (or they’re practicing active listening skills :)).
Elena Valentine, CEO of Skillscout, uses Prezi Video to show the importance of storytelling in presentation and shares some tips to help you hone in on using story as the ultimate attention grabber. Learn all about it in here video.
3. Visual vs. textual information
Zoom presentations with visual aids are 43% more persuasive than those without. The human brain loves visuals – they make it easier to quickly process the message compared to slides with text. Also, ideas presented graphically are easier to comprehend and remember than those presented through text alone.
To bring the human connection to your Zoom presentation, you need all eyes on you. If your audience is focused on reading lines or bulleted lists on the screen, they are more likely not paying attention to what you’re saying.
That’s why it’s important to include visual information in your slides. Here are some Zoom presentation tips about types of visuals for your slides:
- Data visualizations. Charts and graphs are your best friends if you want to communicate data and numbers. Prezi’s data visualization tools can help you with that – easily create designs to support your story and make your presentation more delicious.
- Maps . Turn geographical data and insights into interactive maps for cities, regions, or even whole continents – our brains love the data associated with reality.
- Images and videos. These visual assets are a must-have in presentations to explain how things work, emphasize the idea, or draw attention to your message. Your choice of images will impact the emotional connection with the audience, so choose them wisely.
- Graphic elements. Flowcharts, diagrams, icon blocks, notes, and other features are excellent ways to communicate processes, plans, or ongoing situations. Combine your story with these elements, and you can be sure your message will be apparent to everyone.
- GIFs and stickers. Sometimes one GIF can express more than words could say. They are super helpful if you want to create an exact image in the audience’s head. For example, imagine a presentation about monthly sales performance and this GIF on the first slide:
This celebratory GIF is a great way to kick things off and get your team excited to hear the rest of your presentation.
4. Let your audience hear and see you
Another Zoom presentation tip regards what your audience can see and hear. It’s best to come off as professional as possible.
Good lighting conditions don’t mean spotlights all around you. Natural light is the best tool to look good in a virtual presentation . Make sure you sit near the window but avoid having it behind your back as it will create a shadow. If the natural lighting isn’t an option, play around with your lamps – even a cheap ring light can make a huge difference. Watch this video to learn how to create the best video lighting and more.
Now, when your audience can see you, make sure they can hear you as well. There’s nothing worse than watching a Zoom presentation when the speaker has disruptive noise in the background or a squeaky mic.
In the video below, we explain the best ways to make a crisp and clear sound when you’re presenting. Even more, Zoom has several ways you can improve your audio – look for more Zoom presentation tips and hacks at the end of this article.
5. Make sure your Zoom presentation flows
This Zoom presentation tip works well with storytelling. Everything you say and show should have a good segue – both your story and your presentation slides.
Rather than transitioning through slides linearly, use Prezi’s presentation templates to have a more conversational presentation. You can create various flows and zoom in on a topic to go deeper. Or, let the conversation guide you and jump straight into the most relevant topics that your audience is interested in.
In his video, Brian Fanzo, Digital Futurist and keynote speaker, covers how to avoid coming off as scripted in an online presentation. Watch his video here for more:
6. Body language is worth a thousand words
Body language has an enormous impact on how your audience perceives your Zoom presentation. Jessica Chen, Founder and CEO of Soulcast Media in her Prezi video explains that body language determines up to 60% of how we receive the information presented, whereas the choice of words makes only 7% and tone of voice only 33%.
There are many ways you can mindfully use your body language during presentations. One of the top Zoom presentation tips is to stick something eye-catching next to your laptop camera so you can hold eye contact with the audience. To look confident and persuasive, move slowly, fluidly, create space between your shoulders and ears, and keep your head straight. And most importantly – use your hands, especially at the start of your video call. It will create a warm and safe place both for you and your audience.
7. Don’t hide behind the slides
It’s hard to make your presentation personal if you’re just a small rectangle in the corner of the Zoom window. All your audience can see on their screen is a giant slide with information and data.
Using your body language is a key Zoom presentation tip, that’s why you should forget about sharing your screen and display your content right next to you. This makes a more memorable experience and impactful presentation. Prezi Video is the right tool for that – easily drag and drop the content you’d like to show or use our templates to build presentations that will amaze your audience.
8. Activate your audience
Another great Zoom presentation tip to keep your audience engaged is through conversational presenting with interactions. Once in a while, stop presenting to talk with your audience and allow them to ask questions or clarify something. Encourage them to use the Zoom chat or respond to a poll .
Zoom breakout rooms are an excellent choice for online workshops or training sessions. Participants can discuss the topics from your presentation in greater detail and express their ideas, enabling collaborative learning and knowledge sharing.
However, not everyone feels comfortable speaking up. Using Prezi Video during online meetings allows your audience to share instant reactions – images, GIFs , text, or stickers. By organizing that kind of interactivity in your Zoom meeting, everyone can participate and raise the level of energy in the meeting.
For more tips on activating your audience on Zoom, watch this Prezi video by Rich Mulholland, founder of the presentation company Missing Link:
9. Create, rehearse, present
You can agree on or not with Malcolm’s Gladwell “ 10,000-hour rule “, but one thing is clear – the more you present, the better you become at it.
Once you’ve created your presentation content, rehearse it. You can use Prezi Video to record yourself before going live to Zoom so that you can see yourself in action. Practice where you’ll add pauses, ask the audience a question, or make a joke. Think about what tone of voice you should use to keep the audience focused and what your body language is saying.
You can even record your presentation and review it later to gauge how you can improve it. Practice makes perfect.
Selling on video expert, Julie Hansen, shares Zoom presentation tips for more effective sales meetings in her video here:
11 Zoom presentation hacks for even better meetings
Add prezi virtual camera.
Download Prezi Video desktop app and connect Prezi Virtual Camera with your Zoom . After that, you can instantly share your content and ideas with you on screen, making everything from internal updates, trainings, and sales pitches more interesting.
Change your Zoom virtual background
To jazz up your Zoom presentation, you can create and upload your own virtual background image . Surprise coworkers with your office’s picture in the background, join a meeting from a sunny beach in Spain, or create a professional-looking background as your business card. Use one of our virtual background templates to get started.
Test the sound
It’s always a good idea to test your mic before joining a Zoom meeting. Go Zoom Settings > Audio and test both your microphone and speakers. This way, you can avoid that awkward “Can you hear me?” moment at the start of your meeting.
Spacebar to mute/unmute
Forget about those awkward moments when you’re trying to find the mic to unmute yourself and say something quickly. One nifty Zoom presentation tip: hit the spacebar and hold it to unmute yourself as you speak.
Turn off video and audio by default
Avoid that “first look tension” when joining a Zoom meeting. Go to Settings > Audio and mute your mic when joining a meeting to control the first sound. Under the Settings > Video settings, check the “ Stop my video when joining the meeting ” so that you can always greet your team with a smile and a wave.
Hide non-video participants
During large team meetings or all-hands, it’s nice to see other coworkers in your Zoom window. To avoid a cluttered screen with static images and videos, you can hide meeting participants without video from the gallery view. Go to Settings > Video and click Hide non-video participants . Now you can enjoy live reactions and people around you all meeting long.
Hide your self-view during Zoom presentations
In Zoom meetings, we tend to pay too much attention to how we look. It can be a real distraction and steal the focus of the presenter. To avoid that, press the three dots button on your video and choose Hide Self View . This will create a more natural feeling, as you most likely wouldn’t look in the mirror during a face-to-face meeting.
Share your screen with confidence
Eliminate notifications like messages or ads popping out when you’re sharing your screen. If you’re using a Mac, we recommend turning on Do Not Disturb mode , and for Windows users, use Focus Assist to avoid unnecessary pop-ups.
Mute all participants
It’s common for someone to have their mic on by accident, which can cause unwelcome distractions like background conversations, traffic sounds, or a barking dog. Skip these moments and mute everyone: hit Command+Control+M on Mac or Alt+M on PC.
Ensure the best visual quality
To ensure the best presentation quality, always go on Fullscreen mode . It’s especially important when presenting data during a meeting or explaining complicated graphs with small text.
Use reactions to interact
Small things matter, especially when you want your virtual presentation to have more human connection. Though Zoom allows you to use reactions like applause, love, thumbs up, and others, you can unlock even more interactivity with Prezi Video. Encourage your audience to share comments, GIFs, or any image during your presentation, allowing them to react and give feedback without unmuting or affecting meeting time.
Put these Zoom presentation tips into action
With more presentations happening online than ever before, it’s important to understand the basics of Zoom and how it affects your presentations. Learn more Zoom presentation tips when you visit the Prezi Video Gallery or get started by creating your first Zoom presentation today.
Give your team the tools they need to engage
Like what you’re reading join the mailing list..
- Prezi for Teams
- Top Presentations
Improve with practice.
Enhance your soft skills with a range of award-winning courses.
Sign up to our newsletter
11 Essential Tips for Presenting on Zoom
Jan 24, 2022 - dom barnard.
A boss unwittingly disguised as a potato during Zoom meetings, cries of "you're on mute!" and guest appearances by kids and pets, are among the hilarious anecdotes attached to this hugely popular app.
However, it becomes serious when you need to make a good impression in a virtual meeting, job interview or presentation.
Zoom became a massively popular communications tool for business, education and social meetings during the Pandemic. In 2020, there were 485 million Zoom downloads , which is 30 times more than the year before!
Of course, some of the top Zoom presentations tips apply equally well to in-person or online delivery. Such as establishing your end goals, preparing a flowing framework and strong content, then practising your speech more than once. However, there are particular advantages and disadvantages to Zoom, to get the right results for presenting online.
These Zoom presentation tips will help grow your competence, confidence and success.
1. Put some trousers on!
One of the great things about Zoom presentations is there is a degree of informality and comfort.
You can dress just your top half smartly, have a hot beverage just off-screen, and do your best public speaking in familiar surroundings.
One of the worst things about Zoom presentations is …there is a degree of informality and comfort!
You can find yourself easily distracted, lacking in focus and slower in your responses.
The best way to present well on Zoom – when the stakes are high - is to create a wholly business-like environment and attitude. Use a space in your home or field location that's as bland and clinical as possible, with no potential noise disturbance. Dress smartly from head to toe to create the best mindset.
Site your technology in front of you and imagine it's a lectern and a set of multi-media tools in a meeting room or lecture theatre.
2. Use the superpower of data
While you're using technology to communicate or collaborate, it's common sense to optimise ways to enhance your presentations.
As part of your extensive preparation for important Zoom meetings, consider what documents, images and graphics to share, to add credibility and professionalism to your pitch. Or, simply to hold the attention of a Zoom audience from start to finish.
Familiarise yourself with the Share Screen option on Zoom, and the best ways of displaying videos during a Zoom call, including advanced share methods for online presentations.
There are good Zoom share screen tips here, including how to add a video to presentations on Zoom.
Zoom presentations with visual content are 43% more persuasive . Also, 90% of the information we process comes from visual input. So your Zoom presentation materials could be what gets you that job, funding or agreement.
3. Non-verbal communications tips for Zoom
Don't assume that online presentations release you from many of the body language pitfalls and best practices. The opposite is true, as you need to focus on non-verbal cues even more.
If you deliver your Zoom presentation in a rigid, static and clinical way, you are missing out on some of the best ways to be successful in communications.
People respond to people. Effective communication requires warmth, authenticity and establishing a strong personal connection with your audience. Being robotic when presenting online won't help you to succeed.
If this is an intense online meeting, then showing empathy can also increase the engagement and openness you achieve.
How do you communicate non-verbally on Zoom?
Without going over the top, be purposeful and slightly exaggerated in your body language. Sit straight and lean subtly towards the screen. Never away from it and certainly no slumping, crossed arms or chin/elbow leaning!
Smile, nod and keep strong eye contact, including showing your attention passing from person to person across a split-screen. Use hand gestures and show subtle movement in your upper body to add emphasis to key points.
4. Verbal communications skills
Zoom presentations also make it too easy to slip into a monotone voice or race through a presentation. You may even find the process of talking to technology – not live people – causes you to ramble, or get lost in your ad-libs or Q&A responses.
Make sure you articulate clearly, add emphasis when needed, and generally modify your tone regularly but logically.
Don't be afraid to leave small pauses to drive a point home, or to take a deep breath while you construct your next point. If you look directly at the screen and hold eye contact, this 'white space' is perfectly acceptable.
Build Career Skills Online
Fast-track your career with award-winning courses and realistic practice.
5. Is everyone listening?
One of the most important presentation skills, in general, is reading the room. Is your potential boss or buyer looking bored? Are the panel of decision-makers getting confused? In contentious presentations, being able to spot your biggest dissenter from their non-verbal communication can help you shift your focus to winning them over.
It's challenging to gain that sort of body language intel from online meetings. So, the best Zoom presentations compensate for that.
It can be as simple as adding more direct questions to your content and literally pausing regularly to ask your audience about queries or concerns. Make your questions open-ended, not a yes or no response.
"Let's take a minute. What else do you need to know about that part of my presentation?"
Also, keep Zoom presentations succinct, flowing and animated. Your audience will drift away subconsciously if your delivery is pedestrian or you talk for too long without involving them.
Remember, attention spans are even shorter on technology!
6. Opening Zoom presentations with pizazz
No, this doesn't refer to grabbing your audience's attention with a juggling trick or wearing your most colourful or glamourous finery.
How you start a Zoom presentation sets the tone. If you instantly engage their interest with a compelling opening, the attention and engagement last.
This should primarily be 100% clarity on the purpose of your presentation and the desired outcome. As well as establishing your credibility and methods to achieve the end goal.
Vague introductions and slowly revealing your key points drains your time and your audience's attention.
What makes a good opening for Zoom presentations?
You can't shake their hand, but you can issue a quick, warm greeting and a short, relevant fact about yourself that helps them to warm to you.
8. Storytelling techniques
These work for a myriad of business communication tasks. Give a short (that word again) anecdote or illustration, to give context to your Zoom presentation. That could be about you, your product or the outcome you are requesting, for example.
9. Meaningful quotes in presentations
"The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place." - George Bernard Shaw.
Good quotes can work!
10. High impact fact
Another great opening for Zoom presentations is a little known fact or 'behind the scenes' secret that grabs attention. Did you know, one-third of adults still sleep with a 'comforter' like a soft toy or blanket? (Not relevant to many presentations but it's a memorable statistic that caught OUR attention.)
Wake your audience up with something they want to remember – and share with others – and they will be alert and ready to listen.
11. End Zoom presentations correctly
One last piece of advice on Zoom presentations. Don't get so relieved when you get to the end, that you forget your call to action.
All communication should include an invitation of some kind, in clear language. What would you like your audience to do, now your Zoom time is over? Tell them that and thank them for your attention, with one last warm smile.
- Piktochart Visual
- Video Editor
- Infographic Maker
- Poster Maker
- Brochure Maker
- Flyer Maker
- Flowchart Maker
- Graph Maker
- Invitation Maker
- Pitch Deck Creator
- Presentation Maker
- Report Maker
- Resume Maker
- Social Media Graphic Maker
- Screen Recorder
- Social Media Video Maker
- Video Cropper
- Video to Text Converter
- Video Views Calculator
- For Communications
- For Education
- For eLearning
- For Financial Services
- For Healthcare
- For Human Resources
- For Marketing
- For Nonprofits
- Brochure Templates
- Flyer Templates
- Infographic Templates
- Newsletter Templates
- Presentation Templates
- Resume Templates
- Business Infographics
- Business Proposals
- Education Templates
- Health Posters
- HR Templates
- Sales Presentations
- Explore all free templates on Piktochart
- Video Tutorials
- Piktosquad Community
- The Business Storyteller Podcast
- User Stories
- Need help? Check out our Help Center
- Earn money as a Piktochart Affiliate Partner
- Compare prices and features across Free, Pro, and Enterprise plans.
- For professionals and small teams looking for better brand management.
- For organizations seeking enterprise-grade onboarding, support, and SSO.
- Discounted plan for students, teachers, and education staff.
- Great causes deserve great pricing. Registered nonprofits pay less.
15 Tips for Engaging, Stress-Free Zoom Presentations + Checklist
Your next Zoom presentation is just around the corner — a week away to be exact!
Preparing and planning for the presentation can be a daunting task.
What presentation software to use?
What if the other attendees can hear your neighbor’s loud music in the background?
What if they’ll find your presentation boring?
Don’t even mention the pre-presentation jitters as the day of your presentation draws near.
Relax and take a deep breath.
You don’t have to figure out the answers to these questions by yourself.
This guide will cover everything you need to know about planning and delivering engaging Zoom presentations without the stress and anxiety!
After reading this article, you’ll be brimming with confidence and competence on your next Zoom presentation.
Let’s dive in!
Table of contents :
The science behind your Zoom presentation anxiety
- Downloadable Zoom presentation checklist
Part 1: Tips on how to plan and prepare for your Zoom presentation
Part 2: tips during your zoom presentation.
- How to share your Piktochart slide deck on Zoom
- Present with ease on Zoom using Piktochart presentations
First off, you’re not alone. Anxiety over Zoom presentations is more common than you think .
For example, a 2021 paper on why students have difficulties learning during synchronous presentations over Zoom found that 80 percent of the students polled experienced anxiety and trouble focusing during their virtual classes.
The first step in dealing with your Zoom presentation anxiety is to understand why you’re experiencing the jitters in the first place. The team at the Department of Communications at Stanford University also wanted to find out. In a peer-reviewed article, Professor Jeremy Bailenson, founding director of the Stanford Virtual Human Interaction Lab , highlighted the results of their research and cited four primary reasons behind Zoom fatigue, stress, and anxiety:
- Your brain interprets excessive amounts of close-up eye contact during video chats as an “intense situation”.
- Like looking at the mirror, you become more critical of yourself as you see yourself on camera.
- Limited movements while you’re chained in your chair and table.
- Video chats require a higher cognitive load than face-to-face presentations.
“You’ve got to make sure that your head is framed within the center of the video. If you want to show someone that you agree with them, you have to do an exaggerated nod or put your thumbs up. That adds cognitive load as you’re using mental calories in order to communicate,” shares Bailenson.
Finally, you have to consider tech troubles and presentation software fiascos as well.
15 Zoom presentation tips and tricks to help you own the room like a pro
Now that you understand why you’re likely to feel nervous before and during a Zoom presentation, here are 15 actionable steps that you can do to calm your online presentation nerves and keep your participants engaged at the same time. You can also watch the YouTube link below if you’re in the mood for video learning.
Before we start, get your Zoom presentation checklist
Whether you’re presenting a report to your coworkers or pitching to a group of investors online, presentation anxiety stems from fear of the uncertain and unknowns. The good news is you can address this with a checklist!
The Zoom presentation checklist below is divided into two parts:
- Planning and preparing for your presentation
- During the presentation
The success of your Zoom presentation is the result of thoughtful planning and preparation.
Get ready for your online class, product webinar, or job interview on Zoom with the following pre-presentation tips:
1. Decide on the scope of your Zoom presentation
Before presenting on Zoom, ask yourself — what one particular idea or insight would you want your audience to learn from you?
“Defining the scope is the most critical step. What are the boundaries, what are the deliverables, what is the topic that you are covering?”, recommends Linda Parry Murphy , CEO of Product Launchers, Inc.
Talking about a lot of subjects and trying to cover everything will only make you too nervous.
Remember the Stanford study earlier about too much cognitive load as one of the reasons behind Zoom presentation anxiety?
Limiting the scope of your presentation can significantly reduce your cognitive load.
2. Plan for the structure of your presentation
It’s important to master the structure and the sequence of your presentation as part of your preparation.
When you plan for your presentation with a structure, it’s easier to go back to what you’re planning to say because you already have a framework as your guide.
As a result, you will feel less anxious because you know you can glance at your outline if you lose your train of thought while speaking in Zoom.
Matt Abrahams, a lecturer in Organizational Behavior and author of Speaking Up Without Freaking Out , recommends the following examples of presentation structures that you can use:
- Past-Present-Future – review a process or share a timeline
- Comparison-Contrast – show the benefits of a certain idea, insight, product, or service
- Cause-Effect – explain the rationale behind a decision
- Problem-Solution-Benefit – motivate or convince your audience
- What?-So What?-Now What? – convince people to do a specific action after your presentation
Another simple presentation structure you can work on is to start with an introduction, the meat of your presentation where you can highlight 3 points, and wrap up with the summary and call-to-action.
3. Prepare your presentation visuals
There is plenty of research and evidence to support the idea that using visuals in communication is more effective in getting your message across than written text or oral communications alone.
For instance, an image is three times more effective in conveying information than words alone. Moreover, people gain 75 percent of what they know visually, in contrast to only 13 percent through hearing and only 12 percent through smell.
If your goal is to convince your audience during your Zoom presentation, you’ll also be delighted to know that using visuals can help you become more persuasive.
A Wharton School of Business research found out that around a third of the audiences they polled felt that presenters who used visuals with their presentations were more persuasive.
When making visuals for your presentation, use these questions as your guide:
- Is there an icon, illustration, or image that could represent your point in a more meaningful way?
- Will a timeline, flowchart, arrows, graphs, or diagrams help get your point across to your audience?
- Who are my target audiences? When choosing visuals for my presentation, are there certain cultural taboos or inappropriate humor that I should be aware of?
Present with ease (and minus the stress!) with Piktochart.
You don’t have to worry about how your Zoom presentation will look like. Piktochart’s easy-to-edit templates will take care of the visual aspect for you.
4. Eliminate clutter in your surroundings
As mentioned earlier, staying in the same spot and restricting physical movements during a Zoom presentation is one of the reasons behind presentation anxiety.
For this reason, make an effort to eliminate clutter in your desk and the space behind you. Get rid of extra keyboards, unused notebooks, pens, food boxes, and books. In short, KonMari your way to a stress-free presentation!
Eliminating clutter gives your brain the impression that there’s more room for you to move around during your Zoom event.
5. Do a tech prep
Presenting in Zoom while you’re at home or traveling is a technological wonder in itself. But technology can be frustrating at times too.
Days before your presentation, double-check (or triple check!) the following:
- Make sure that your laptop, computer, lighting, headset, webcam, microphone, and internet connection are working. Have backup equipment if possible.
- Familiarize yourself with the Zoom app and other relevant software you’re going to use during the presentation.
- Close unnecessary browsers, applications, or software before the presentation. Turn off your laptop or desktop notifications.
- Prepare a PDF version of your presentation and have an extra copy of your presenter notes in case of technical mishaps with your slides. It also makes sense to have a short link to your presentation that you can share with the audience.
- Do a quick soundcheck and video check.
6. Rehearse your presentation
After taking care of your surroundings and equipment, the next step is to prepare yourself.
Practicing your Zoom presentation in advance can help boost your confidence. Here are some tips to help you rehearse well for your presentation:
- Screen record yourself. Afterward, check your recorded video for technical issues, your body language, and whether or not your voice is audible or not.
- Practice with a family member or friend who can give feedback.
- Rehearse in the same room where you’ll be presenting. Use the same lighting, computer setup, and everything.
- Practice speaking to the camera, not your computer screen.
It’s the day of your presentation! You already know the ins and outs of your presentation, and you’ve practiced a couple of times.
Take note of the following tips and hacks to make your Zoom presentation engaging and anxiety-free during your webinar or talk:
7. Dress the part
Wear clothes that are appropriate for your presentation and audience. It also helps to be more mindful of your accessories and hairstyle. The outfits and accessories you wear during your Zoom meeting will speak volumes about you as a person.
For example, if you’re presenting to your coworkers, wear work clothes. If you’re pitching to a group of angel investors, wearing a tie can help convey that you’re serious and trustworthy. However, this may not be a good idea if you’re presenting to a group that is more open to change and tends to be more relaxed when it comes to conventional standards.
Another benefit of dressing the part is what you wear actually impacts how you think. Wearing formal clothes can improve abstract thinking and give you a broader sense of perspective, which is influential in helping you make better decisions.
8. Ditch the chair
Standing up when presenting in Zoom rather than sitting down helps you become more confident because you’re not hunched down on your chair.
Standing straight with your shoulders back also enables you to breathe easily, making your voice sound more powerful and confident. Finally, it allows you to move more and make explanatory gestures which is a charisma boost.
The more confident you appear in your presentation, the more confident you’re likely to feel.
“When your mind starts to feel more confident and powerful — it starts to see those challenging situations not as threats but as opportunities,” shares Harvard psychologist professor Amy Cuddy.
If you can’t stand up during your presentation, make an effort to sit straight in your chair and back up your camera a little to show your body and not just your face.
9. Have a memorable introduction
National best-selling author and founder at Science of People Vanessa Van Edwards specifically recommends opening your presentation with IISSAAQQ to make it more memorable. IISSAAQQ stands for:
- I cebreaker
- I llustration
- S hort story
- S tatistic or surprising fact
- A nalogy or metaphor
10. Look your audience in the eye (or rather your webcam)
Looking your audience in the eye is easier during face-to presentations than Zoom presentations. It can be a little tricky during online meetings because we tend to look at people’s faces on the computer screen. Maintain eye contact by looking into your webcam.
“A good idea is to lower the monitor camera a little so that you don’t have to tilt your head back to gaze up at it. If you can’t help looking at someone’s face on the screen instead of their camera, it helps to move the Zoom window to the part of the screen nearest to the camera so at least you’re looking at approximately the right place when you’re looking at their face,” shares Carol Kinsey Goman , Ph.D., executive coach and international keynote speaker.
11. Think happy thoughts
Find ways to boost your mood before your presentation. Aside from helping you feel good (which in turn can boost your confidence), you’re also likely to smile often with happy thoughts.
When you smile at your audience, they will also likely “mirror” your action and think happy thoughts.
“Mirroring is relevant to our tendency to be empathetic. When I see you smiling, my mirror neurons for smiling fire up, and I get your state of mind right away. I feel it as you feel it. We need that mirroring in order to create a full empathic response to other people,” describes Marco Iacoboni , author of Mirroring People and UCLA professor.
12. Delegate the chatbox
Have someone else take care of chat or Zoom waiting room to keep you from being distracted. This person could be the meeting host, a colleague, or someone you trust who has your back during your presentation.
13. Engage with your audience
Make your presentation a two-way street. Here are some ways to encourage interaction and participation amongst your audience:
- Ask questions. For example, if you’re presenting a team productivity software in Zoom, ask your audience about their top productivity problems at work. You can also use this time as an opportunity to transition to your next presentation slide.
- If you have a small audience, remember each person’s name and address them using their first names.
- Use visuals like illustrations, infographics, or a short video clip in your slide show. Tool recommendation : Use Piktochart Video to transform a long video into short clips.
14. Talk like a human and avoid too much jargon
Alright, what does being a human mean in Zoom presentations?
For a start, avoid talking too much jargon and corporate speak. It makes you more relatable, and it also helps you stand out from other presenters.
Next, improve your visual storytelling skills . Your presentation will be more memorable if you briefly share a story and pair it with visuals. Sign up for our free visual storytelling course . Check out the teaser video below.
15. Slow down
When you’re anxious and not too confident about your Zoom presentation, you’ll tend to speak fast, which in turn will make you more nervous. It’s a vicious cycle.
When presenting in Zoom, be mindful of your pace. Slowing down will not only take the edge off your nerves but also make you appear more confident.
How to share your Piktochart slide deck on Zoom
Step 1 : On the Piktochart editor, click Share to get the link of your presentation.
By default, your presentation is not publicly visible.
Step 2 : Copy the link and paste it into the browser bar. From here, click the Show Presentation button. This will launch fullscreen presentation mode and now you’re ready to shine!.
Step 3: Click Share Screen on your Zoom account and choose the browser with the Piktochart link.
Watch the short tutorial below for detailed instructions.
Ready to deliver your presentation and own the Zoom?
You have a brilliant idea or insight to present, and you need to share them with your audience on your next Zoom presentation. It’s high time you nail it and own the Zoom with the virtual presentation tips we outlined in this guide.
Take Piktochart for a test drive today and create your next presentation slide minus the stress.
Kyjean Tomboc is an experienced content marketer for healthcare, design, and SaaS brands. She also manages content (like a digital librarian of sorts). She lives for mountain trips, lap swimming, books, and cats.
11 Remote Work Tools Every Virtual Team Needs to Work Effectively
How to Get More Recruitment Leads with Visual Storytelling (Plus Templates)
How to Create a Learning and Development Plan [Templates Inside]
Do you want to be part of these success stories, join more than 11 million who already use piktochart to craft visual stories that stick..
- Content Types
Presentations Keep your audience engaged.
Documents Formalize your branding.
Videos Add movement to your brand.
Infographics Share information visually.
Printables Create content for printing.
Charts and Graphs Bring life to your data.
Social Media Graphics Create scroll-stopping content.
Mockups Create high-quality mockups in seconds.
Branded Templates new Get a bundle of templates that match your brand.
- Features & Assets
Free Educational Resources See All
Visme Video Tutorials Watch videos on how to use Visme.
Ebooks Read in-depth knowledge for your industry.
Graphic Design Videos Learn design principles & best practices.
Live Webinars Interact with the experts live.
Free Online Courses Get certified with free online courses.
Our Blog See All
Video & Animations
- Digital Marketing
- Design for Business
- Design Inspiration
For Teams All Teams
Agencies & Consulting Manage multiple brands.
Education Use Visme in the classroom.
Nonprofit Bring life to your cause.
Enterprises Create visual content at scale.
- Perfect For These Roles
Marketers Creative content that shines.
Human Resources Improve internal communication.
Sales Teams Close more deals with your content.
Training Development Create interactive training content.
Templates See All
Presentations 1000+ layouts and themes.
Chart & Maps Get data visualization ideas.
Social Media Graphics Browse templates for every platform.
Infographics Find the right format for your information.
Documents Templates for every business document.
Videos & GIFs Find the perfect preanimated template.
Branded Templates Get a bundle of templates that match your brand.
- Other Templates
- Case Studies
- Sign Up Free
- Free Educational Resources
- Most Recent
- Data Visualizations
- Video & Animation
- Visual Thinking
- Product Updates
- Visme Webinars
13 Zoom Presentation Tips to Ace Your Next Online Meeting
Written by: Mahnoor Sheikh
Now that more people are working from home, online presentations using tools like Zoom have started to become the norm.
But giving a Zoom presentation is very different from presenting in person. The lack of physical presence and body language can make it difficult to engage and inspire your audience.
If you’re still getting used to presenting on Zoom, this article has some great tips to help you succeed and make an impact in your next meeting.
Preparing Your Zoom Presentation
Getting ready for your Zoom presentation is just as important as giving the actual presentation. There are tons of potential issues you can face, like a faulty microphone or your dog walking in right in the middle of an important slide.
By preparing well, you ensure your presentation is as smooth and error-free as possible. After all, you only get one chance to make a great first impression and get a great ROI .
Here are some tips to help you get ready to deliver a powerful Zoom presentation.
1 Design a Great Online Presentation
The first thing you need to do is make sure your presentation is designed to look its best on your audiences’ tiny computer screens.
Follow these three rules to create an effective Zoom presentation.
Keep it simple.
The best online presentations are simple and straightforward.
You don’t want your audience to be squinting at their screens trying to navigate through a tangled web of text, colors, graphs and other content.
You need them to look at a slide and get the point at a single glance.
Use a plain background for your slides, preferably white, and focus each slide on only one point or idea. Don’t stuff too many bullet points or text into your slides.
Also, make sure you center your text in case the edges of the slides are cut off for some of the participants.
Lastly, use a large and bold font that doesn’t require participants to strain their eyes, even if they’re viewing your slides on their phone.
Use relevant visuals.
Visuals make information much easier to digest and retain than plain text. And let’s face it—they keep things entertaining.
Here are some types of visuals you can use to make your Zoom presentation more engaging:
- Charts and graphs. Visualizing data can bring the most boring numbers and statistics to life. If you’re using research findings to show a trend or back up your point, consider presenting them in the form of a bar graph or pie chart. Not only will it add some color to your slides, it will make it easier for your audience to interpret the data.
- Maps. If you're presenting geographic data, you can easily visualize it in the form of maps. In Visme, you can add interactive maps for a single country or the world.
- Icons and illustrations. Adding creative graphics like icons and illustrations can break up walls of text, make your information look more visual and interesting, and help explain your point better.
- Videos. Adding videos into your slides is a great way to make your presentation more engaging. Videos can help you explain a point more clearly, show a product in action or give some background information on your subject. You can embed YouTube or Vimeo videos into your slides or upload them directly.
- Stock photos. If used intelligently, stock photos can add value to your slides by helping you set the tone, tell a story or visualize an idea. You can also use relevant stock photos in the background with text overlay to add some color to your slides.
- GIFs and Memes. Make your online presentations fun and engaging by adding relevant memes and GIFs into slides that would otherwise look quite dry. Be careful not to overdo it, and only use humor if appropriate. You don’t want to risk looking unprofessional.
Here's a presentation template from Visme with just the right balance of visuals and text to help you get started. Simply customize it to use for your next Zoom presentation.
Using visuals in your online presentation is great, but this doesn’t mean you should stuff all your slides with images. Make sure the visuals you’re using add value to your content and emphasize your point instead of taking attention away from it.
Make it interactive.
It can be tough to keep your audience engaged when you’re not interacting with them face-to-face.
So, why not do the next best thing? Make your slides interactive!
If you’re creating your presentation in Visme, you can access a bunch of interactivity tools to spice up your slides:
- Animation. Add beautiful slide transitions, or animate objects separately. A good tip is to animate bullet points to appear one at a time to draw focus to each one. You can also choose from pre-animated illustrations, icons and characters to make your Zoom presentation more engaging.
- Links. In Visme, you can link any text or graphic element to a web page, or a slide or object inside your presentation. Get creative with this tool to add interactive quizzes, slides and more to your Zoom presentation. For example, you can link two text boxes together so when you click on the question, the answer appears.
- Hover effects. If you’re linking one object in your slide to another, you can enable it to show up on either click or hover. If you’re creating a quiz, for example, you can link two text boxes together so when you hover on the question, the answer appears.
A healthy dose of interactivity can make your audience feel more involved with your Zoom presentation.
2 Tidy Up Your Background
If you want your audience to take you seriously, clean up any clutter behind you.
A messy background can make you look unprofessional and distract people from focusing on your presentation. Ideally, your background should be a plain wall.
If you can’t manage to find a clean, empty background, consider using a virtual Zoom background. There are tons of different styles out there, so make sure to pick one that looks realistic and professional.
3 Draw Attention to Your Face
An online presentation can quickly start to feel distant and impersonal, like watching a pre-recorded video.
To remind your audience that they’re interacting with a real human, you need to draw focus to your face and expressions as you present.
Make sure you’re presenting in a well-lit room, where the source of light is in front of you. If the light source is directly behind you, you might end up looking like a dark blob.
4 Check Your Equipment
Make sure you check all your technical equipment to see if everything is working properly. This will help minimize issues like awkward camera angles or a malfunctioning microphone.
Here are a few things you should take care of before your presentation:
- Check internet connection. No one wants to listen to a presenter with laggy audio and video. Use a reliable, high-speed internet connection to ensure a smooth Zoom presentation.
- Test audio and video. Check if your camera and microphone are working properly by joining a Zoom test meeting . You can also test out your equipment from inside the Zoom app by clicking on Settings → Audio or Settings → Video .
- Ensure your laptop is plugged in. Imagine if your laptop dies out in the middle of your presentation just because you didn’t plug it in properly. Don’t let that happen.
- Adjust your camera level. Make sure your audience is looking at your face instead of the top of your head. Decide whether you want to sit or stand during your presentation, and adjust the webcam so it’s at eye level.
Keep in mind that technical issues can arise unexpectedly, even if you do everything right. Doing tech prep beforehand, though, keeps the chances at a minimum.
5 Minimize Potential Interruptions
Whether you’re giving your Zoom presentation at home or in a nearby cafe, there are tons of potential interruptions that can disrupt your flow and make you look unprofessional.
During your prep, your goal should be to minimize these interruptions as much as possible.
Find a quiet area to begin with, and lock the door so no one comes in unexpectedly. It’s a good idea to inform your family members or roommates that you’re going to be busy prior to the presentation.
Another tip is to close all other open applications and windows on your computer. Notifications and sounds can interrupt your meeting and distract you. You can also use the “Do Not Disturb” mode on MacOS or “Focus Assist” on Windows 10 to mute notifications.
6 Stick Your Notes in the Right Place
Just like when you’re presenting in person, you’d likely want to keep notes or pointers nearby in case you forget something important.
During a Zoom presentation, though, you need to be careful about where you place your notes. It can look very unprofessional and awkward if your eyes keep moving away from the camera when everyone is staring at your face.
Avoid keeping a notepad next to you or pasting them on the side of your monitor. A better alternative is to stick a post-it right below or next to your webcam. So, even if you take a peek, you will still be looking somewhat directly at your audience.
If you’re using Visme to create your Zoom presentation, you can simply use the presenter notes feature and skip all the hassle of keeping physical notes.
While you’re presenting, your presenter notes will open up in another window, so you can look at them while presenting without even letting your audience know.
7 Ditch the Pajamas
We get it. Nobody wants to get dressed when they’re at home.
But really, if you’re giving a professional presentation, it’s a good idea to ditch your PJs and wear something presentable .
Even if everyone knows you’re at home, you don’t want to look sloppy while sharing important information. This can prevent your audience from taking you seriously.
Plus, dressing up can help you feel more confident and motivated. Wear something that not only looks smart, but also makes you feel good about yourself.
8 Rehearse Before the Presentation
Never walk into a presentation unprepared. This is especially important for Zoom presentations, as it can be even more difficult to wing it when you’re not interacting in person.
Plus, rehearsing is a good idea if you want to overcome the fear of being on camera. Do a demo Zoom meeting with a friend or family member, or just practice alone before the presentation.
Delivering Your Zoom Presentation
Now that you’re all prepped up to give your Zoom presentation, here are some tips to help you make the most of your time while you’re presenting.
9 Start With a Bang
Did you know that people take as little as five seconds to judge how charismatic a speaker is?
Figuring out how to start your presentation is one of the most important parts of your Zoom presentation. It can either get your audience to sit up in their seats or prepare to doze off.
Here's an infographic on some tried-and-true ways to start a presentation that keeps your audience hooked . Keep reading for an explanation of all seven points below.
- Reveal a shocking statistic. A relevant and powerful statistic can set the tone for your presentation and show your audience the importance of your message.
- Tell a relevant joke. Humor is a great way to break the ice and keep your audience engaged. A boring presentation can quickly cause the listener to zone out.
- Ask a question. Get your audience involved by asking them a question relevant to your presentation topic. The more you interact with them, the more likely they’ll be to listen to what you’re saying.
- Quote an influential person. A powerful quote can often motivate or inspire your audience to sit up and listen to what you have to say.
- Tell a short story. Stories are personal and can evoke emotions. Telling a relatable story that also gets the audience curious to know more is a great way to start your presentation.
- Use an interesting prop. Using a prop can break the monotony of your presentation. Using motion and a visual object can also help attract your audience’s gaze.
- Show a captivating visual. Pictures speak louder than words, which is why using a powerful image that tells a story or shows the importance of your topic is an effective way to start your presentation.
Along with starting impressively, you should also try to end your presentation in a way that it drives your audience to take action or think about your message. A good idea is to end with a powerful statement or a thought-provoking question.
10 Make Eye Contact With the Audience
While you’re speaking, it’s just as important to make eye contact with your audience as it is during a face-to-face presentation.
The problem with Zoom presentations, though, is that you often end up looking at your own video or at the video of your audience.
To make eye contact online, however, you need to look directly at your camera. To make things easier, you can place the video boxes of your audience at the top of your screen, directly under your webcam.
11 Regularly Pause to Engage
Online presentations can get monotonous really quickly, and it’s common for people to zone out in the middle of it.
If you want to ensure your message hits home, take regular breaks throughout your Zoom presentation and engage your audience in conversation.
You could pause to ask them questions, or simply ask what they think about a certain topic. You could also try switching up the pace of your presentation, show a short video clip or tell an interesting or humorous story that helps bring wandering minds back.
12 Use the Chat Feature to Your Benefit
Zoom’s chat feature is a great way to get your audience involved without disrupting the flow of your presentation.
You can use Zoom chat to your advantage in several different ways:
- Questions. Ask your audience questions and let them answer through chat, or get them to ask you questions in the chat.
- Feedback. Let your audience know beforehand that they can leave their feedback and comments related to your presentation or topic in the chat. For example, if someone comments that they can’t hear you properly you can try fixing your mic or raising your voice.
Get creative with your use of the chat feature to keep your audience engaged. Ask them to send a hand emoji if they can relate to something, or ask what they want to see first in your presentation.
13 Record Your Presentation
The best way to improve your Zoom presentation skills is to learn from your past mistakes. Thankfully, Zoom lets you record your presentations so you can revisit them later and analyze your performance.
Are you using too many hand gestures? Are you walking around too much? Are you speaking at a reasonable pace? Understanding how you did can help you do even better in the future.
You can also send your Zoom presentation recordings to a friend or family member so they can review it for you. It always helps to get the opinion of someone you trust.
How to Share Your Visme Presentation on Zoom
Thinking of creating your Zoom presentation in Visme? Great choice!
The best part is that you can easily share your Visme slides with your audience without needing to download the presentation on your computer.
Of course, you can still download your presentation in PowerPoint or PDF format if you need to.
Follow the steps below to share your Visme presentation on Zoom without downloading anything.
Step 1: Publish your presentation.
When you’re finished designing your presentation in Visme, navigate over to the top right corner of your screen, and click on “Share”.
Next, click on “Publish for Web” on your left, type in a title and description for your presentation, and click on “Publish and get my link”.
Step 2: Click on the Present button.
Once you’ve published your presentation, you can go back and click on the “Present” button at the top right of your screen. This will open up the Presenter view.
If you want to access your presenter notes, click on the video camera icon at the bottom right corner of your screen, and your notes will appear in a new window.
Step 3: Share your screen on Zoom.
From your Zoom meeting window, click on “Share Screen” and select the window with the Presenter view of your presentation.
That’s it! You’ll now be able to look at the presenter notes on your screen while your audience views the slide open in your Presenter view window.
Alternatively, you can also download your presentation as a PowerPoint or PDF file, and share your screen in Zoom to present your slides.
Ready to Give a Memorable Zoom Presentation?
If you’re still getting used to the idea of presenting on Zoom, this article will help you prepare well and deliver an impactful presentation that people won’t be able to forget any time soon.
Remember, while Zoom presentations are different from presenting in person, you still need to be just as confident, dress to impress and make eye contact.
The only difference is that you need to put more effort into engaging your audience and keep them from dozing off in front of their computers.
Design a beautiful Zoom presentation and present online using Visme’s presentation maker. Sign up now for free and take it for a test drive!
Create beautiful presentations faster with Visme.
Recommended content for you:
Speak Loudly. Speak Visually.
Receive weekly practical tips on how to communicate visually, right in your inbox.
Please leave this field empty.
Create Stunning Content!
Design visual brand experiences for your business whether you are a seasoned designer or a total novice.
About the Author
Mahnoor Sheikh is the content marketing manager at Visme. She has years of experience in content strategy and execution, SEO copywriting and graphic design. She is also the founder of MASH Content and is passionate about tea, kittens and traveling with her husband. Get in touch with her on LinkedIn .
How to turn boring Zoom presentations into engaging virtual meetings
On this page
How to present on Zoom and keep your audience engaged in virtual meetings
Repurpose your zoom meetings, add webcam recorder footage, deliver a virtual meeting that will have an impact.
Do words like boring, slow and repetitive come to mind when thinking about your upcoming Zoom meetings?
Love them or not, Zoom presentations are here to stay. It’s a new form of communication in our virtual world. But if virtual meetings aren’t executed correctly, they can be extremely unproductive and painful to sit through.
If you’re delivering a virtual meeting and worried that your audience is yawning behind their turned off cameras, there’s a better way.
Explore how to improve your Zoom presentation abilities to suit a virtual audience below.
Fight the temptation to multitask during Zoom, Google hangouts and Microsoft teams presentations and keep your virtual meeting audience entertained and engaged by using the below tips.
1. Plan your presentation content in advance
The biggest part of running a successful virtual meeting is to prepare the presentation ahead of time. Why exactly are you hosting the Zoom meeting? What do your meeting participants need to know or do before the meeting starts? Are there any spreadsheets or documents that can be shared? Pre-asked questions?
Without proper planning , your virtual meeting might not be so effective. Make sure you keep your target audience in mind and develop a presentation that is directed to them. Plan your content to appeal to your audience and demographic. Do they enjoy the use of storytelling, GIFs or short videos?
2. Deliver a strong introduction about yourself, the topic of discussion and why it matters
Forget about holding “ice-breaker” sessions at the beginning of a Zoom presentation. They’re time consuming and overused. Instead, briefly introduce yourself and any important people who will be speaking or making an appearance during the meeting. This is especially important to external virtual meeting audiences as they may not have ever met you before.
Next, outline what you’ll be talking about to give participants a clear picture of what is going to be discussed. Keep your introduction short and sweet, but direct and to the point.
3. Make “eye contact” through your Zoom webcam
When hosting a Zoom virtual meeting, don’t let your attention wander elsewhere. Avoid looking at yourself on the screen or spotting something outside your window. Direct eye contact into the camera gives your participants the feeling that you’re engaged in the conversation. Make sure your video and audio are clear.
Webcam positioning is also a key element to consider when hosting a Zoom virtual meeting. Your camera and computer should be at eye level so you can simulate the eye-to-eye connection with participants. Avoid having your camera too high or too low. No one wants to see up your nose!
4. Add interactive Zoom polls to vote on topics
Adding in polls midway through your Zoom presentation is a great way to gauge topics of interest and add an element of engagement. Zoom’s poll feature allows you to create single or multiple-choice poll questions displayed during the virtual meeting and gather responses from your attendees. A downloadable report is also available, as well as the option for anonymous polls.
Polls are a great way to find insights and valuable information about your audience that will inform the rest of the presentation. They don’t require verbal participation, and they’re accessible on all devices.
5. Use branded or fun Zoom backgrounds
Add character to your virtual meeting by adding a customizable Zoom background. From themed videos to company branding, the options are endless.
Changing up your Zoom backgrounds can really enhance your Zoom presentation by keeping your audience engaged and focused on the call, rather than clicking onto another tab.
You can also play some fun online icebreaker games together like “guess that destination”. Replace your original virtual meeting background with a holiday destination of your choice.
Zoom offers a couple of virtual background options to get you started, but here at Clipchamp, we’ve gone one step further. Choose from thousands of different royalty-free Zoom presentation backgrounds and presentation templates . From under the sea to Christmas , sandy beaches, Halloween or professional offices, we have a Zoom background for every occasion.
6. Ask for participation in Q&As
Encourage virtual meeting participants to use the “Raise Hand” function on Zoom. Team members can ask questions or make a comment on the virtual meeting topic. Make sure your meeting is as interactive as possible so your audience understands the agender and raises any questions they might have.
Taking advantage of this interactive feature may even stop participants from zoning out when they don’t understand something.
7. Embed entertaining video content
Video can make your Zoom presentation go from boring to fun. It’s a key attention-grabbing element that can help keep your audience engaged and attentive throughout the meeting. Your attendees may even generate their own personal discussion after watching the clip.
Visuals are a great way to break up your speech and give you a moment to check your notes. Just like in Google Slides , embedding video within Zoom is easy and effective.
It’s always beneficial for team members to be able to re-watch past virtual meetings and Zoom presentations.
At Clipchamp, we’ve made it easy to elevate your video presentations and repurpose them for internal company calls or even sales. Zoom Pro, Business and United Business users can import Zoom cloud recordings for use in their Clipchamp video projects.
Upload, edit and export. It’s that easy. Cut out all the unnecessary chatter using our online video editor.
If you’ve completed your virtual meeting and forgot to share some important information with your team, don’t stress. Our webcam recorder tool allows you to webcam record a new clip while you’re editing your virtual meeting and add it to your video. All repurposed Zoom presentations will have the added webcam recorder footage included.
When you plan and deliver your next Zoom presentation, remember to refer to Clipchamp's top 7 tips to have a real impact on your audience. Stand out from all the other boring Zoom presentations and make yours memorable. Interact with your audience and ask questions to keep them engaged.
When you're ready, just drag, drop and edit your Zoom video in Clipchamp .
More from the Clipchamp blog
10 Easter video ideas perfect for social media
10 audio editing hacks to level up your videos
New! Speaker coach in Clipchamp
Start creating free videos with clipchamp.
AI -Powered Meeting Recorder
Zoom Presentation Tips to Make Your Audience Go ‘WOW’
- November 15, 2022
Whether you’re an experienced specialist with pre-presentation jitters, or a student with a head full of anxiety – or anyone else in between, let me start by telling you: you got this . There ain’t nothing that a well-crafted list of Zoom presentation tips can’t solve!
It’s possible you’ve already scrolled through some tips for presenting on Zoom and still have that fidgety feeling of anxiety. So let’s get the first one out in the open straight away. Nerves are normal – but not neccessary. In fact, that’s maybe the most important thing to remember – so let’s make that our first tip.
1. Embrace the Fear
A lot of people seem to think that nerves are a sign of weakness: “ if I’m nervous before presenting, maybe I don’t know the subject well enough.”
Everybody gets nervous, especially when they have to navigate the technical factors of presenting on Zoom, or lack public speaking experience. Throw in someone asking ‘ can we record this presentation? ‘ and you’re surely bound to get nervous.
Even those with tons of experience feel a little tense every now and then. Maybe the audience is larger than normal, the topic more complex, or the people listening need to make some critical decision based on your presentation.
Feeling fear is normal. Feeling anxious is normal. Feeling tense is normal. These emotions are your body’s way of telling you that you are in a new situation that it doesn’t quite know how to deal with, so it places you on red alert. You become more aware. The tension you feel in your muscles is your body’s primitive instinct kicking in and preparing you for action.
Your body reacts the same way with excitement. In fact, there is very little difference between excitement and fear – which means you can choose to turn fear into excitement. The only difference between the two emotions is what you choose to associate them with. If it’s something you’re scared to do, it becomes a negative feeling. If it’s something you’re delighted to do, it becomes a positive feeling.
By recognizing your instincts, you are able to overcome them. Embrace the fear.
Not only that – but who is your audience to judge you? We’re all human. Taking a few deep breaths is scientifically proven to help calm nerves . Speak slowly – don’t try to rush through. If you make a small blunder, don’t sweat it. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Chances are, when the meeting starts, your audience is wondering what to have for dinner tonight, not analyzing your every move. Which is why it’s important to grab their attention early …
2. Grab Your Audience’s Attention and Don’t Let Go
Want to know how to do a presentation on Zoom that your audience will remember? Get their attention early and don’t let go until it’s time to end the call.
Most people who have to attend a presentation are probably bored before it’s even begun. This is why you need to set your tone from the very beginning, and maintain it throughout. If you take too long to get started, or waste time fumbling with your presentation mode settings, your audience will lose interest. Fast. As you’re not going to let that happen, you need to start as you mean to go on. First impressions are important – and preperation is key.
Enter with 100% clarity on your presentation’s purpose. What’s the goal? What do you want the audience to do with the information you’re about to give them? How will you convey the key information? When will your audience get to ask questions?
Establish your credibility early. Why are you the right person to be speaking about this topic? There may be gaps in your knowldge with regards to certain aeras – and that’s OK too. Acknoweldge what you don’t know.
Consider starting with an icebreaker. I’d recommend avoiding dad jokes (unless your audience is full of Dads, of course). A good idea is to start with a warm welcome and a relevant fact about yourself that helps make a connection with the audience.
3. Configure Your Zoom Settings in Advance
Another thing for making your presentation start on the right foot: make sure you’ve got everything configured in advance. This includes:
- Screenshare settings
- Recording permissions
If you want to add some professionalism to your presentation, you can blur your background on Zoom and thereby declutter your camera view. On the other hand, if you’d like to get some laughs out of your audience, you could choose a funny Zoom background that’s relevant to the topics of the presentation. Either way, get your background sorted before you begin.
Same goes for your camera and mic. Since you’ll probably be sharing your screen, make sure you have closed all non-relevant tabs, have all the presentation material to hand – and your speaker notes readily available.
Get ready before the meeting begins by running a test or two before you join. It’ll make you more confident straight off the bat when you know that you won’t need to fiddle with your settings under pressure.
Tip for Recording Presentations on Zoom
Typically, an important Zoom presentation will be recorded. If that is the case, you’ll want to ensure beforehand that you have the neccessary Admin permission. If you want to record the Zoom meeting without host permission , you can do so easily with a free meeting recorder like tl;dv .
The benefit of tl;dv is that you’ll also be able to edit the Zoom presentation afterwards (cutting out any small talk, or technical blips) and lift take-aways directly from the free transcript . You can also add timestamps to your recorded presentation before you share it with anyone – so viewers can jump directly to the moment in the presentation where you tackle different agenda items.
4. Use Good Visuals
A critical aspect of most presentations is the visual side of them. Will it just be you talking, or will you have a slideshow to share? If so, follow the point above and make sure you know how to present a ppt on Zoom via the Screen Share option before you start presenting.
It’s also a good idea to include relevant:
- Data and Statistics
- Images and Videos
- GIFs and Stickers
Don’t hide behind the slides though. The last thing people want to see is a non-stop slideshow with your face in a tiny box in the corner. Be sure to only show what’s necessary, and cover the rest yourself.
5. Put Your Notes in the Right Place
If you’re wondering how to present on Zoom without showing notes, you have a few options. One way to make sure you keep eye contact with your audience – or your camera – without forgetting your notes, is to have them on sticky notes stuck to your screen. Even better if you have a dual screen set up, you can have notes on your other monitor and not have to look down every ten seconds.
There are also apps you can get for notes that you can leave open over the top of your Zoom presentation. It’s more engaging and professional when you at least appear to know what you’re talking about without having to look down to read what you wrote.
Legend has it that every time you look down at your notes, the mind of at least one audience member wanders away, never to return…
6. Dress to Impress
We know it can be tempting to go with the good old fashioned shirt and underwear combo, but if you’re presenting, it helps to get in the zone and dress for the occasion. If you’re feeling smart, chances are you’ll be more engaging and more powerful in your speech.
Having said that, if you’re still feeling nervous, you can also just imagine that everyone in your audience is naked – half of them probably are from the waist down anyway. 🤷
7. Practice, Practice, Practice
Everyone’s heard the saying, practice makes perfect, but 21% of people don’t practice their presentations at all . On the other hand, the same survey showed that 22% of the ones that did practice spent more than 5 hours rehearsing! We believe there is probably a healthy midground.
With tl;dv, your practice time just became a whole lot more productive. You can record unlimited Zoom calls , so you can literally do your presentation to yourself and then rewatch it to see how it went.
Looking down at your notes too much? Stick them somewhere you can see. Lighting not as good as you’d hoped? Switch it up. Gone are the days where practicing meant just repeating the presentation to yourself and arbitrarily judging whether it was good or not. Now you have the proof.
The Zoom extension is free to download and you can learn a lot from revisiting your presentations to identify strengths and areas for improvement. You can also timestamp certain areas that you’d like feedback on, so your colleagues can jump straight to the relevant part. Know your introduction is spot on but need to add a little more oomph to end CTA? Just timestamp it, and get someone else’s eyes on it! It’s a great way to collect input and feedback.
8. Non-verbal Communication
Just because you’re presenting online doesn’t mean you can skimp on the body language. One of the little-utilized Zoom presentation tips is to make use of non-verbal communication.
We don’t want to advocate for you to start throwing your arms all over the place in a frenzied rush, but one of the ways to engage your audience and express empathy from behind a screen is by slightly exaggerating your body language . As this is an online presentation, you need to emphasize each movement just a little more so that it can be felt the same way it would in a face-to-face presentation.
It’s also important to be purposeful with your actions. Sit up straight to display confidence. Use hand gestures for emphasis. Avoid slumping, slouching or leaning as these subtle actions tend to disengage the audience.
It sounds obvious, but smiling, nodding and other forms of positive feedback are great ways to warm an audience. It makes them feel welcome and ready to interact.
9. Verbal Communication
Talking to a screen can often be more intimidating than talking to actual people. With less feedback from your audience, you can often go off on tangents and ramble a little more than necessary.
Remember not to talk too fast. Articulate yourself clearly and speak with purpose, emphasizing tone and pitch where necessary. Use well-placed notes to stay on topic.
Silence can be your best friend . If you want to make a hard-hitting statistic really hit home, deliver it and let it sit for a beat. A pause in the right place can do way more than words.
Remember to hold eye contact while you’re speaking too, and complement your voice with some non-verbal gestures outlined above. Filler-words like ‘uhm’ can distract from your message and make you sound less confident. Though totally normal in everyday speech, you can make a presentation even more amazing by avoiding some of the classic ‘uuuhs’ and ‘like’. When you’re tempted to use a filler word, practise being silent instead. As mentioned, a simple pause can be a lot more effective than rambling the entire time!
10. Give a Call to Action
Even if you give the most mind-blowing presentation known to man, it can still fall flat if there is no call to action (CTA). This is one of the most important, yet often overlooked, Zoom presentation tips.
What do you want your audience to do after your presentation? What’s their next move? What was the crucial core of your talk and how does it influence them to act? Always give a clear call to action to your audience so that they know what to do with the new information you’ve presented to them.
Let’s say you’re giving a presentation on why tl;dv is the best online meeting software . End the presentation by telling your audience to install the tool for free , accompanying this CTA with a clear, concise message about why it’s beneficial to do so: it’s a free extension that lets you catch up on meetings in minutes.
11. Master the Agenda
By showing your audience a clear and agenda at the beginning of the presentation, you’ll help them feel prepared. An agenda shows the progression of the presentation, so your audience knows when to expect specific aspects to be covered, and roughly how much time will be spent touching upon each agenda item.
If you have guest speakers, an agenda will let them mentally prepare for the moment it will be their turn to contribute. For longer presentations, you’ll want to factor in a ‘short break’ into the agenda, so everyone knows when they can expect that much-needed toilet break.
12. End With Impact
Just like with storytelling, you want to hook your audience from the start, keep them thoroughly engaged throughout, then end with a BANG! There are many ways you can do this, but one that we love is with a quote.
Choose a quote relevant to your Zoom presentation topic, preferably something that will make your audience stop and think. A good quote can still be ringing in their ears days later.
If you can’t think of a quote from the top of your head, Google is your best friend. Just type in your purpose or topic followed by the word “quotes” and you’ll get hundreds to choose from. Obviously, you might have to sift through some crap before you get to the goodies, but it’ll be worth it.
But what if you can’t summarize your topic focus with a succint quote? Albert Einstein has some words of wisdom for you:
“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough." Albert Einsten
tl;dr: How to ace your Zoom presentation
- Prepare well in advance
- Serve up an amazing agenda
- Learn from recordings of past presentations
- Turn your fear into excitement
- Use the power of a simple ‘pause’
- Make your slides engaging with visuals
- Don’t panic!
You got this. Now go WOW your audience.
12 Effective Meeting Tools For Productive Teams
Our 9 Favorite ChatGPT & GPT-3 Chrome Extensions
5 Ways GPT-3 and AI Tools Can Streamline HR
Join our community
7 Zoom Presentation Tips to Bring your Virtual Events to Life
Quynh Anh Vu • 08 Feb 2023 • 7 min read
Here are 7 Zoom presentation tips to help you hold better Zoom events and fight off that fatigue – let’s make your next Zoom presentation the best yet!
Presenting can be extremely difficult, but virtual presentations (via Zoom or any other video meeting platform) offer their challenges.
After a couple of years of remote working, many team leaders and senior business managers are noticing Zoom fatigue amongst staff, so it’s time to reignite our presentations and ensure we’re creating engaging and memorable meetings.
- Take the Mic
- Check your Tech
- Ask the Audience
- Keep it Short and Sweet
- Tell a Story
- Don’t Hide Behind your Slides
- Take a Break to Answer Questions
More tips with AhaSlides
How to make a zoom presentation? Check out more zoom presentation tips with AhaSlides!
- Pictionary on Zoom
- Zoom Word Cloud
- Complete Guide to Interactive presentation
- Bad presentation at work
- Easy Topic for Presentation
Start in seconds.
Get free templates for your next interactive presentation. Sign up for free and take what you want from the template library!
Zoom Presentation Tips for the Intro
Tip #1 – take the mic.
One of the most simple and effective ways to capture your virtual audience is to take control of the conversation and ease anxieties. This doesn’t mean dictating all conversation, it’s more about creating a comfortable environment where your audience can feel focused and contribute to the discussion.
We’ve all been in awkward pre-meeting “waiting rooms” while holding on for the last couple of people to join. As the person running the session, you can remove people’s meeting anxieties and instantly get them on your side.
As the presenter and (probably) host of the Zoom meeting, others will consider you a confident leader. Make sure you welcome people in as they join your Zoom presentation, use a meeting icebreaker , and show them your personality and that they are welcome to engage with your presentation. You will have their attention from the very start.
Remember, you are presenting for a reason. You are the expert on your topic, and they are looking to you to communicate that information – You’re the pro, and you’ve got this!
Tip #2 – Check your Tech
Mic check 1, 2…
Of course, sometimes tech fails us, and we can’t always do anything about it. But, you can help to reduce the chances of that happening by checking in on your presentation software , your camera and your mic before the Zoom presentation starts and people join.
Also, check any videos or links you’re using to give yourself the best chance of delivering a wonderfully seamless presentation with preparation.
One of the best parts of a Zoom presentation is that nine times out of 10, there isn’t anyone else in the room. This has a massive benefit for anyone presenting – you can prepare. This does not mean writing a script and reading it word for word. Still, it does allow you to have extra notes with any data and information you need, and it can be right on the screen for only your eyes to see – so you can browse your messages for answers to a question without ever looking away.
💡 Extra presentation tip for Zoom : If you’re sending out Zoom invites ahead of time, make sure that the links and passwords you’re sending out all work so that everyone can join the meeting quickly and without added stress.
Zoom Presentation Tips for Punchy Presentations
Tip #3 – ask the audience.
You can be the most charismatic and engaging person in the world, but if your presentation lacks that spark, it can leave your audience feeling disconnected. Luckily, an easy solution to this problem is to make your presentations interactive.
Tools like AhaSlides provide opportunities to include creative and engaging elements in your presentations to keep your audience switched on and involved. Whether you’re a teacher looking to engage a class or an expert in your business, it’s proven that interactive elements like polls, quizzes and Q&As keep an audience engaged when they can respond to each on their smartphones.
Here are a few slides you can use in an interactive Zoom presentation to pull that audience focus…
- Make a live quiz – Regularly ask audience questions they can individually answer via a smartphone. This will help you understand their topic knowledge in a fun, competitive way!
- Ask open-ended questions and pose scenarios – This allows your audience to engage and show off their knowledge. For a teacher, this could be as simple as ‘What is the best word you know that means happy?’, but for a marketing presentation in a business, for example, it could be a great way of asking ‘which platforms would you like to see us use more in Q3?”
- Ask for feedback – It’s vital that we’re constantly improving, so you might want to gather some feedback at the end of your presentation. You can use interactive sliding scales to measure how likely people are to recommend your services or even gather opinions on specific topics. If you were pitching a planned return to the office to your business, you might ask, “how many days would you like to spend in the office” and set a scale from 0 to 5 to gauge the consensus.
- Play games – Games in a virtual event may seem radical, but it could be the best tip for your Zoom presentation. Some simple trivia games, spinner wheel games and a bunch of other Zoom games can do wonders for team building, learning new concepts and testing existing ones.
These engaging and interactive elements make a huge difference to the focus and attention of your audience. Not only will it make them feel more involved in your Zoom presentation, but it will give you added confidence that they are absorbing your presentation and enjoying it too.
Make Interactive Zoom Presentations for Free!
Embed polls, brainstorm sessions, quizzes and more into your presentation. Grab a template or import your own from PowerPoint!
Tip #4 – Keep it Short and Sweet
Where you can, you want to try and keep your Zoom presentation digestible. While most meetings or presentations are scheduled for an hour, it’s generally agreed that most viewers can only maintain focus for around 10 minutes . This makes it important to keep meetings brief, and where you can’t keep them short, ensuring your audience is engaged is vital.
You can maximise your audience’s focus by not overcomplicating your slides. Text-heavy slides will have your listeners reading rather than listening to you, and they will burn out and lose stress much more quickly. If you need to give a lot of information, break it down into a few slides or use an illustrative graphic or interactive drop to talk people through it instead.
Tip #5 – Tell a Story
Storytelling is powerful. Suppose you can build stories or examples into your presentation that illustrate your message. In that case, your Zoom presentation will be much more memorable and your audience will feel more emotionally invested in the stories that you tell.
Case studies, direct quotes or real-life examples will be much more engaging to your audience and can help them relate to or understand the information you’re providing on a deeper level.
This isn’t just a Zoom presentation tip but also a great way to start your presentation. Read more about it here !
Tip #6 – Don’t Hide Behind your Slides
Although it’s much more difficult to present your body language via Zoom than in person, there are still things you can do to help ensure that your Zoom presentation gets your message across effectively.
Camera on! It’s tempting to hide behind your slides, but having your camera on will make a huge difference. Not only will your audience be able to see you, but it will communicate confidence and encourages others to leave their cameras on and hold the meeting in the open atmosphere of a live setting.
Although many workers remain remote, there is still a desire for that face-to-face connection we once had when working in offices and travelling for meetings and presentations. Sometimes, just seeing a friendly face will put someone at ease, creating a positive sentiment that they associate with you and your presentation.
As well as leaving your camera on, some people find that standing up to present is still effective – even on Zoom! If you have a large enough space and can find a way to make it work, standing up gives you added confidence, and it’s a great option if you’re presenting virtually for a conference.
Tip #7 – Take a Break to Answer Questions
If you know, you’ll be presenting for a long time; there’s a lot to be said for making space for a few breaks. Over Zoom, it’s not as easy to send everyone off for a quick coffee break because of how lengthy it can be to get everyone back and focused, so instead, you could end each section with a quick Q&A session.
Doing this has two advantages:
- To keep everyone up to speed by elaborating on points you may have gone over a bit too quickly.
- To give everyone a break from listening and looking.
On some live Q&A software , you can accept Q&A questions from your audience throughout your Zoom presentation and then answer them whenever.
These tiny breaks in the presentation can bring back your audience’s focus as they anticipate that they need to interact.
No time like the present
So, with these tips, you should feel ready and raring to take on the (presentation) world. We know that presentations aren’t always accessible, but hopefully, these virtual Zoom presentation tips go some way to relieving the anxieties. Try to use these tips in your next Zoom presentation. If you stay calm, stay enthusiastic and keep your audience engaged with your shiny, new interactive presentation, it will be your best Zoom presentation yet!
Quynh Anh Vu
More from AhaSlides
Use this reference code when you checkout: AHAXMAS21
📢 AhaSlides Interactive Webinar 📹 Get the most out of AhaSlides!
10 Secret Zoom Tips for Masterful and Stress-Free Online Presenting
Zoom tips that will save your online meeting (and your sanity).
Unless you were lucky enough to live in a remote tropical cave for the first half of 2020, there’s a high probability that your work environment was somewhat impacted by the Coronavirus lockdown extravaganza.
As a work-from-home employee and entrepreneur with over 10 years of presenting online under my belt, this transition didn’t really affect me (other than taking me off the road for exotic speaking engagements ).
But based on the rapidly growing subculture of epic Zoom fails , it’s clear that this drastic change in our meeting environment has resulted in more than a few series of unfortunate events.
It’s a challenging — and hilarious — new landscape, from employees being forced to dial in from bathrooms and basements, to extricating flung spaghetti from your hair by tiny bored humans, to partners walking up to your desk in their skivvies.
Not to mention my personal favorite: a boss irreversibly transforming herself into a potato for the duration of her online team meeting.
Luckily, Zoom has risen to the occasion with a slew of new features to help alleviate the brewing frustration across the remote corporate landscape. And, these features are not all immediately obvious.
So in addition to my 3 tips for surviving online presenting from home podcast episode, I’ve gone deep with this list of the most helpful Zoom tips, tricks, and settings that will help you keep your online meeting (and your sanity) on track. We’re gonna do this countdown style:
My Top 10 Most Useful Zoom Tips for Sane Online Presentations
The settings you’ll see listed here are located in either your Zoom desktop app preferences , found here:
…or in your Zoom.us web account settings , where you’ll need to access your account in a browser here:
#10: Present your slide deck using a second monitor
Ok, so this first tip isn’t a Zoom tip, per se. But presenting my slide decks using dual monitors was a game-changing move in my virtual meetings because it enabled me to use my favorite PowerPoint feature: Presenter View.
Presenter View (available in PowerPoint and Google Slides) allows you to privately display your current slide, your next slide, your Speaker Notes, and a storyboard of future slides. You also get a prominent clock and timer to stay on point.
This is an incredibly valuable feature while presenting in an online environment because it prevents you from getting distracted with remembering your next slide, or having really awkward transitions when you didn’t see the next slide coming.
Presenter View allows you to stay present with the content on your current slide and smoothly transition to the next one…and even build some anticipation along the way!
But if you only have one monitor for your online meetings, the audience will see all of that too, which completely defeats the purpose.
If you use dual monitors, you can set Zoom to share your full-screen presentation deck to the audience while your second monitor displays Presenter View only to you :
To do this, you would plug in a second monitor, activate Presenter View in PowerPoint (or Google Slides), and then select the presentation application window that shows your deck full-screen . Here you can see the full-screen version of my slide deck to the right of Presenter View:
So, dig up that gaming monitor your teenager abandoned after upgrading his Fortnite battlestation or find a super cheap unit online. Your online presentation ante will be forever upped, trust me.
#9: Turn off audio, video, and the notification chime when you and your attendees join the meeting
When I’m presenting online during a meeting, I like to dial in a few minutes early to get everything set up. But because I live in a busy home, sometimes my background environment isn’t completely settled.
Keeping audio and video off upon entry allows you to get your home presentation environment under control while prepping your slides.
To mute your audio and video when joining an online meeting:
- Open your Zoom desktop application and go to Preferences >> Video.
- Under Meetings, check the box labeled “Turn off my video when joining a meeting” .
- While you’re there, check the box next to “Touch up my appearance” under My Video, which provides a subtle and delightful airbrush effect to your skin. I was shocked to see how many search engine searches there are for “how to look good on Zoom”. There you go, insta-smooth!
- Next, go to the Audio menu.
- Make sure the setting that says “ Mute microphone when joining a meeting ” is checked.
How to turn off everyone else’s video and audio upon entry:
- Go to Zoom.us in a browser >> Your Account >> Settings (you won’t find this in your desktop application).
- Under In Meeting (Basic), look for the Scheduling section.
- Toggle both the Host Video and Participant Video setting to OFF.
- Scroll further down the menu to Mute Participants upon Entry and toggle this to OFF as well.
Now you can rest assured that if you or your attendees dial in with a rogue child screaming and running naked behind your chair, you have time to shuttle them out of the room without causing an online scene. (True story, not mine.)
I also suggest disabling that cheery “Ding dong!” entry notification for attendees, especially for larger meetings with a formal presentation.
Hearing when someone joins is useful for small or 1:1 meetings, and absolutely exasperating for quarterly business readouts and department-wide town halls.
To do this, go to your Zoom web account settings and toggle the “Sound notification when someone joins or leaves” setting to OFF.
#8: Appoint someone else to monitor the Waiting Room and take notes
The sudden explosion in quarantine Zoom meetings gave rise to an unintended consequence: Zoom bombings. Suddenly, meetings around the globe were unintentionally — and unfortunately, intentionally — interrupted by people who do not belong in those meetings.
So, Zoom implemented the “ Waiting Room ” by default to prevent would-be bombers from wreaking online meeting havoc. When someone attempts to join your meeting, they show up at the top of the Participant window with a blue button labeled “Admit”.
The downside of this feature, however, is that if you’re not watching the Participant window while you’re presenting online, people will get stuck in virtual limbo.
This happens a lot because attendees frequently lose their internet connections and try to rejoin. Trying to monitor the Waiting Room while staying focused on your slides is a recipe for distraction disaster.
That’s why my Zoom tip is to appoint an attending colleague to stay vigilant on the Waiting Room and admit attendees so you can stay laser-focused on your presentation.
You can appoint the same person to take detailed notes during your meeting, a strategy I recommend in my Data Presentation + Storytelling Boot Camp course. This way you can feel confident that no important questions, concerns, or follow-ups are missed while you’re dropping your brilliance on your online audience.
#7: Spotlight your video when you’re sharing your screen
If you’re presenting online with a slide deck, it’s helpful to keep everyone’s screen locked onto your screen.
This will ensure that attendees stay focused on your slides or videos and aren’t getting distracted with spying on the hottie from Email Marketing.
During the meeting, roll over your own video window to show three dots and click Spotlight Video.
Note: You must be either the Host or a Co-Host in order to Spotlight screens. This is a powerful feature, so wield it wisely.
#6: Automatically save the Chat Log
When the Host ends a Zoom meeting, the Chat history is completely lost unless you take measures to save it. It’s vital for follow-up that important questions and comments don’t get lost.
Zoom can automatically save your meeting chat logs in your web account settings under In Meeting (Basic):
- Go to the Chat section >> Auto saving chats
- Toggle the very concise “Automatically save all in-meeting chats so that hosts do not need to manually save the text of the chat after the meeting starts” setting to ON.
NOTE: This Zoom tip also saves all messages sent privately, so make sure your audience knows that before they make secret virtual dinner date plans during your meeting.
#5 Know whom you’re messaging in Chat
Many people don’t seem to know yet that when you message someone privately or they message you privately, your next message will be sent directly to that person . I can’t tell you how many times people have sent me private messages intended for other attendees or the whole group.
Depending on the message’s subject matter, this can get embarrassing quickly.
Be mindful of whom you’re about to message by keeping your eye on the prompt above your Chat message window. If the word (privately) is in red, you’re about to send a private message to whomever is in the dropdown.
#4: Use Zoom keyboard shortcuts outside of Zoom
There is an smorgasbord of Zoom keyboard shortcuts to make presenting online go more smoothly. I highly recommend getting acquainted with the ones you may find most useful.
But none of them are available if you are actively presenting from PowerPoint, Google Slides, a dashboard tool or a website.
Zoom gives you the option to enable “Global Shortcuts”, which are tremendously helpful for controlling audio while you’re in other windows.
You’ll find this Zoom setting in your desktop application preferences and the Keyboard Shortcuts menu. Click to enable all of the shortcuts available:
This feature is especially important if you’re going to use the three most killer Zoom keyboard shortcuts in the world, starting with…
#3: Quickly mute your audio and video
Often meeting hosts neglect to mute the whole meeting and struggle with relaxing ambient noise from the participants like construction, potato chip munching, or in my case, bored kids buzzing around our property on ATV’s like giant mutant bumblebees.
So I’m mindful to go on mute anytime I’m not speaking, and the fastest way to do this is with the following keyboard shortcut:
To mute your audio:
- For Windows / PC: ALT – A
- For Mac: CMD – CTRL – A
And if you want to pause your video:
- For Windows / PC: ALT – V
- For Mac: CMD – CTRL – V
Even faster than those, however, is the ability to…
#2: Temporarily unmute yourself
If I could marry a Zoom keyboard shortcut, this one would be The One. As an attendee, I can’t count how many times I’ve been randomly called upon to chime in while on mute like everyone else.
Cue snapping to attention, scrambling for my mouse, trying to aim and click accurately on the Unmute button, and fumble through my response. No more, I say!
All you need to do to temporarily unmute yourself is press and hold the SPACE key. Then release to go back on mute. That’s it. Seriously.
Make sure this shortcut is activated in your Zoom desktop settings:
The only downside of this killer Zoom trick is that now, someone who wasn’t really paying attention won’t be able to rely on ye olde “Uh, sorry I was on mute” delaying excuse.
And last but not in the least of least of Zoom tips…
#1: Mute everyone at once (except the Host)
Bar none, this Zoom keyboard shortcut is the MOST useful and MOST underrated of Zoom tips.
When you’re presenting online to an audience of 10, 20, or 70, the last thing you want to have to do is individually mute every participant while making everyone wait.
Nor do you want to keep reminding everyone with, “Guys, I’m hearing some background noise / possessed children / circus music right, can y’all please mute?”
No, no, no. Very disruptive and distracting, which is the kiss of death during virtual presentations.
Here are the keyboard shortcuts for muting all attendees in one fell swoop:
For Windows / PC: ALT – M
For Mac: CMD – SHIFT – M
Note that this does NOT put you, or the host, on mute.
I guarantee that these final three Zoom tips will help you shave minutes of frustration and awkwardness off of your online meetings.
Keep Your Audience on Point with these Zoom Tips
To make these Zoom tricks easier to remember for everyone, you can paste all of this information into the Zoom chat window at the beginning of the online meeting like so:
Hey everyone! Thanks for joining today. Here are a few quick tips to make participating as smooth as possible:
- Open the Participants and Chat windows to see important instructions and information.
- If you have a question or comment, please use the Raise Hand feature by hovering over your name in the Participants window.
- If you message someone privately or they message you, remember that unless you change it, you will message them back directly.
- Note that we are recording this meeting and all messages sent through Chat for reference later.
Throw in an emoji or two to gain their attention and add some personality. Giving this information to your attendees in an organized manner like this will do wonders for your reputation as a virtual virtuoso.
Here is a list of a zillion more helpful Zoom keyboard shortcuts by OS if you wish to attain Zoom Black Belt status.
Download a Free Zoom Tip Cheat Sheet and Meeting Kickoff Script
Now, I realize this is a lot to remember, so I’ve created a few resources for you to keep handy at your desk for every meeting.
To download a keyboard shortcut cheat sheet with all of these ultra-useful Zoom tips — plus my invaluable Meeting Kickoff Superhero Script for how to engage your audience during an online presentation — click below to request your free copy:
And if you’re a team leader who’s ready to watch their team absolutely nail presenting online, book a call with me to create a customized training solution for successful and seamless online presentations and meetings.
Final Thoughts on Zoom Tips to Make Online Presenting Sane Again
I hope you’ll find these tips for presenting remotely with Zoom helpful in these unique circumstances. In the dubious words of some ancient Persian dude, this too shall pass…sort of. While we will go back to work in full force one day, it will probably never look quite like the way it did before.
That’s because this extraordinary period in human history has set a precedent for companies to reevaluate their resistance to telecommuting. As a result, they will likely offer hybrid arrangements to their increasingly global workforce.
So, remote working is here to stay, and the most impactful thing you can do as a virtual presenter is empower yourself with Zoom tips like these to knock your next online meeting out of the park.
Or the broom closet, if that’s your thing.
PS – Since remote work is the way of the future, you can look for your next role over at Jooble .
Ready to make big, impactful improvements to your data presentations FAST?
Tired of spending time trying to figure out how to quickly create powerful data presentations that don't turn your audience into raving zombies?
Check out my Effective Data Presentation Quick Start Guide.
In this mini-course, you'll receive 12 video modules of my most effective data presentation techniques, resources, and quizzes to make big changes in light speed.
All from the convenience of your own desk. No airport security lines, no expense reports, no stress.
You may also enjoy...
Lea is a digital analyst and marketer turned Data Storytelling Advocate. She trains thousands of digital practitioners and consultants in the art and science of impactful data presentation through live workshops, speaking engagements, online courses, her blog and five-star rated podcast, The Present Beyond Measure Show. Lea is also the creator of The PICA Protocol™, her practical prescription for healthy, actionable data stories that inform decisions, spark ideas, inspire action, and make YOU indispensable.
Presenting Via Zoom
What’s the same.
Many of the principles of good presentations will carry over to the online format. For example, excellent presentations should still:
- Provide relevant information
- Be well organized
- Keep your audience engaged
- Use visual aids that rely more on images than text
- Use visual aids that are a supplement, not a replacement for the verbal presentation.
Even with a mediated presentation, the way you present information is important along with the content you are presenting. Your verbal and nonverbal delivery matter.
What is Different?
Audiences can engage with speakers differently.
You can use chat windows and discussion spaces to get more instantaneous feedback from audiences. You can also more easily provide supplemental resources by giving links.
Organization becomes even more important
Because the audience is not physically present and they clearly have an electronic device in front of them, it’s easier than ever for them to get lost. Be extra deliberate in providing a roadmap for your organization and then referring back to that road map can help keep people on track.
Your environment is more adjustable
You have more control over the environment than you would in a classroom. Be sure your background is as professional and simple as possible to avoid distractions. Use adequate lighting. While the ideal is to have lighting from three sides (one above, two that are more to the front and side), being sure you can be seen and that there is not a light source (window or lamp) directly behind you will be sufficient. Light sources directly behind you tend to put you in shadows.
You also have more flexibility about how you are seen. Ideally, you will position your camera and yourself so that you are visible from approximately the waist up and take up the majority of the screen. If possible, stand up for the presentation as you would in class. If you cannot stand up for some reason, be sure you are in a stable chair that doesn’t roll or spin to reduce the chances you will make distracting movements.
Technology is vital
Even more so than a presentation that requires you to use PowerPoint, presenting via Zoom has the potential to expose problems with technology. Be sure to test all of your equipment before your presentation begins. (Here is more information on support and technology tips from LITS.)
More Zoom Resources
- Zoom Tool Videos
- Adding Virtual Backgrounds
- Teaching Via Zoom
- Zoom for Students
Office / Department Name
Oral Communication Center
Oral Communication Center Director
The $400 million campaign to provide students with a life-altering education.
To zoom in or out the computer screen on a Windows computer, open the Magnifier tool. Press the Plus button to zoom in and the Minus button to zoom out. Click the Start button. Choose All Programs, and open the Accessories folder. Pick the ...
In a March 2020 conversation with GeekWire, Zoom’s Chief Executive Officer Eric Yuan described what he believed would be a permanent and fundamental shift in the ways we work: using video for remote worker collaboration.
While Skype seemed to have a horse in both races — professional workplace chat services and social video chatting — other services emerged, carving out specific niches. For example, FaceTime became the go-to social video chat service.
1. Plan out your Zoom background/location ahead of time. · 2. Test your equipment before your presentation. · 3. Put notes in the right place on
11 Zoom presentation hacks for even better meetings · Add Prezi Virtual camera · Change your Zoom virtual background · Test the sound · Spacebar to
The best way to present well on Zoom – when the stakes are high - is to create a wholly business-like environment and attitude. Use a space in
Take your Zoom meetings and calls to the next level! One of the things we love about Zoom is that the platform is always growing and adding
Standing up when presenting in Zoom rather than sitting down helps you become more confident because you're not hunched down on your chair.
GIFs and Memes. Make your online presentations fun and engaging by adding relevant memes and GIFs into slides that would otherwise look quite
Encourage virtual meeting participants to use the “Raise Hand” function on Zoom. Team members can ask questions or make a comment on the virtual
1. Embrace the Fear · 2. Grab Your Audience's Attention and Don't Let Go · 3. Configure Your Zoom Settings in Advance · 4. Use Good Visuals · 5. Put
Take the Mic · Check your Tech · Ask the Audience · Keep it Short and Sweet · Tell a Story · Don't Hide Behind your Slides · Take a Break to Answer
Bar none, this Zoom keyboard shortcut is the MOST useful and MOST underrated of Zoom tips. When you're presenting online to an audience of 10, 20, or 70, the
What's the same? · Provide relevant information · Be well organized · Keep your audience engaged · Use visual aids that rely more on images than text · Use visual