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"Be a voice not an echo." - Albert Einstein

Virtual Meetings: Why You Need To Improve Your Presentation Skills

Dr. Gary Genard's book on succeeding in virtual meetings, Speaking Virtually.

How successful are you in online meetings and video conferences? Here's why you need to improve your presentation skills in virtual meetings, right away!

As we all know, virtual meetings have become a way of life. So, we all have a mission-critical task: to get better at them, and now rather than later!

Granted, there has certainly been a learning curve regarding this speaking platform. Nevertheless, online meetings and conferences have become the lifeblood of many of our businesses. And that has resulted in scrambling, hits-and-misses for individuals and teams, and generally having to adjust our thinking and expectations.

It's time to boost your virtual presence! Learn how in the Online Meetings Handbook, Speaking VirtuallyGain confidence and virtual presence! Find it here on Amazon.

Dr. Gary Genard's book on how to speak in virtual meetings, Speaking Virtually.

But aside from technology, what about the performance aspects of giving your presentations virtually? That need should be front and center in all of our minds in our efforts to become more effective online communicators.

Why Your Video Skills Matter Now

If the lockdowns imposed on us by our government and international institutions starting in 2020 had been short-lived (remember "two weeks to flatten the curve"?), our skills in online meetings wouldn't be as important as they've become. We would have experienced a brief awkwardness in adapting on the fly, then returned to our normal way of doing business. 

But that's not what happened. Today, it isn't only internal team meetings and brainstorming sessions that have been affected. It's sales pitches and business presentations, webinars, gaining buy-in for our plans within our organization, and disseminating ideas across companies and industries. It's international panels and conferences.

It is, in fact, ongoing communication among a myriad of small or large groups. The virtual stage is now a more essential space than ever. And we'd better learn how to use it to our advantage and that of our audience.

Learn how to shine in the spotlight with my Free ebookHigh-Impact Speaking: The Leader's Guide to Presenting With Integrity and InfluenceDownload it now!

A Surprising Advantage of Virtual Speech Training

Actually, an unexpected advantage has shown itself concerning improving our skills in front of a webcam. And it's one that I don't think has been recognized sufficiently. It's this: when we rehearse now, we're preparing in the actual venue where we'll be speaking.

It used to be that preparing or simulating an upcoming pitch or talk meant rehearsing in your office, at home, or in the closest conference room. Sure, you'd work on ways to improve your speaking voice , how to use body language effectively, and how to connect with an audience. But you'd then have to actually perform that same talk somewhere radically different like your client's office, at an industry convention, or perhaps in a video studio. 

Whether in-person or virtually, you need hands-on advice! Learn 101 skills for successful presentations in The Public Speaking Handbook, How to Give a SpeechOn Amazon.

Dr. Gary Genard's Public Speaking Handbook, How to Give a Speech

These days, your webcam and desk often make up your performance space, whether you're speaking to others in your organization or at an international conference. That means that any improvement in your online speaking skills from rehearsing or training get fed directly into the finished product.

In other words, you're performing in the virtual meeting in the same place, and in the same conditions, that you were in when you practiced: your seat at the computer. What you see and hear when you record your practice sessions (to critique yourself), will be very close to what the participants of the virtual meeting experience.

That's why you need to get really good at it. In an upcoming article, I'll discuss how to prepare and practice for an online presentation. See you then! 

This article is excerpted from my book, Speaking Virtually: Gain Confidence, Boost Your Presentation Skills, and Acquire Virtual Presence in Online MeetingsFind it on my author's web site and on Amazon.

You should follow me on Twitter here.

Gary Year-End image

Gary Genard is an actor, author, and expert in public speaking and overcoming speaking fear. His company, The Genard Method offers live 1:1 Zoom executive coaching  and corporate group training worldwide. In 2022 for the ninth consecutive year, Gary has been ranked by Global Gurus as One of the World’s Top 30 Communication Professionals. He is the author of the Amazon Best-Seller How to Give a Speech. His second book, Fearless Speakingwas named in 2019 as "One of the 100 Best Confidence Books of All Time." His handbook for presenting in videoconferences, Speaking Virtually offers strategies and tools for developing virtual presence in online meetings. His latest book is Speak for Leadership: An Executive Speech Coach's Secrets for Developing Leadership PresenceContact Gary here. 

Main photo credit: LinkedIn Sales Solutions on


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