Sharing your pitch with people who are working remotely is today’s new normal. And now that you’ve conquered your technical challenges, it’s time to focus on managing distractions and making virtual chat fatigue a thing of the past. How do you connect with your audience and make your virtual sales presentation memorable? Here are 6 tips to try:
1. Create a Personal Connection With Your Ice Breaker
Start off with an enthusiastic opening that includes a personal touch. Creating this bond sets an open tone that can create a comfortable audience, build trust and drive open dialogue after the meeting. Use that “waiting for people to arrive” time to your advantage and get that energy flowing. Ask questions relevant to the meeting that also relate to your audience. Keep it light and upbeat. When participants are on, start with a quiz about the business, provide trivia related to the product or service, or ask about everyone’s first job.
2. Use Emotional Cues
Just because your audience can see your face and hear your voice, that doesn’t mean the engagement level is the same as an in-person meeting. Yes, video allows you to see some of the facial cues you’re used to with in-person meetings, but not all. Dial up your voice cues to replace visual cues to make your communication crystal clear. Vary the pitch and cadence of your voice. If you notice yourself nodding, make sure to communicate that agreement vocally because your video might have frozen or your host might be looking elsewhere. Go above and beyond to establish that emotional connection that leads to responsiveness and engagement.
Related: Whether it’s for your weekly staff call or a new client pitch, you’ll be prepared to present confidently, putting your best face forward with these five helpful and easy tips to make sure you’re camera ready.
3. Combat Virtual Chat Fatigue
Even the most interesting meeting can be draining. Your clients are looking at you and it can feel like a performance, even to those listening. Let them know to follow their own comfort level—to do what they need so they can pay attention to your content. For example, you can opt for a quick meet-and-greet at the beginning with everyone’s camera on to build the initial connection and then give the option to turn the camera off.
If your presentation is longer than an hour, build in break periods. Encourage stretching, refreshments or a quick burst of exercise (a desk yoga move) to reinvigorate focus. And don’t keep people guessing. Communicate the agenda ahead of the meeting.
4. Leverage Effective Engagement Techniques
Use Compelling Presentation Assets
Your PowerPoint slides become that much more important now that it’s their primary visual. Another tactic is to use transitions, videos and animations to break up the content and infuse another expert. Adding sounds and visuals keeps interest levels and energy high.
Encourage Dialogue With Your Audience
Asking questions along the way can do wonders for keeping your audience tuned in to your content. However, nothing is worse than when you ask someone a question and they’ve obviously been multi-tasking, so they need the content repeated—or multiple people attempt to speak at the same time. Avoid this by addressing the person first and then ask the question (this offers a chance for the person to be fully engaged). Try to engage your audience using the 5-minute rule.
Another way to keep people from talking over each other is through pooling or chat features. They give your audience an alternative means of communicating and contributing. Bonus points if you’re able to leverage another team member to moderate the chat window. (Your virtual meeting chat features will depend on your video conferencing platform.)
5. Incentivize the Experience to Generate Excitement
If appropriate for your particular sales audience, incorporate some fun by rewarding contributors along the way. Offer a quiz of key points with a grand prize at the end, make a cheeky bingo card, etc. Gamifying your meeting not only makes this a more inclusive experience, but it also grabs attention and will make your virtual presentation more memorable.
6. Remember the Meaningful Touchpoints
Get back to basics and stand out from the crowd by sending a handwritten thank you card after the meeting. Extra points if it includes a personalized gift that ties back to your presentation and can help foster that additional connection between the audience and your brand. Consider a gift certificate or care package from a local business until treating them to dinner is on the table again.
Likewise, here are some don’ts:
- Don’t use the potato head filter
- Don’t engage only the decision maker. Seek out input from the entire team to gain buy-in
- Don’t let the virtual environment hinder you—think of how you can creatively engage your audience in the topic
Allow your personality to shine through. Include some surprising, fun elements. Drop in a celebrity cameo message with a personalized greeting or add some applicable memes throughout your presentation to keep it light. Instead of being one more presenter of yet another virtual sales meeting, why not use a few, simple techniques and show clients and potential clients who to connect with.
New technologies to bring people together virtually without losing the excitement and engagement factors of in-person events are in full force, and can be designed to appeal to various motivators outside of just recognition. Learn more about the technical aspects to virtual events.