While the insurance industry is once again attending face-to-face conferences, trade shows, and seminars, virtual meetings are here to stay. The more than two-year hiatus in holding face-to-face gatherings amid the pandemic and the resulting rise in virtual meetings demonstrated that not all meetings require in-person attendance. Virtual meetings are more inclusive with more participants able to attend, and they are more economical. Advanced technology has also made it possible for insurance agents and others in the industry to conduct killer presentations.
Here are several tips on how to maximize your next virtual meeting with presentations that slay:
Know Your Audience
Create a persona of your target audience, so you understand what participants expect from you and how to address their needs. For example, are you talking to the C-suite, including IT staff, about the need for ramped-up cybersecurity including insurance, or are you speaking to manufacturers about the rise in cyberattacks? How you approach your presentation will make a difference. IT personnel don’t require an explanation of cyber terminology, while manufacturers whose job is not in cybersecurity will need a review of the basics (for example phishing, ransomware, social engineering, cyberextortion, multifactor authentication, etc.). Tailor your presentation accordingly.
Set An Agenda
It’s important to outline each of the topics you want to cover and stick to them. Create a chronological list of objectives for the presentation. What is the most important concept you must cover? Take notes, and make sure that all of your other points flow with the structure and transition back to your main concept.
While your audience obviously wants to hear what you have to say (they signed up for the presentation), the fact is most people at their desks (at home or in the office) are multitasking and become easily distracted. You want to capture their attention and keep it throughout your presentation.
Take the time to create a professional, visually appealing, and interactive presentation (whether in PowerPoint, Visme, Keynote, Prezi, Canva, Google Slides, or another tool). Consider using a professional designer to help you create the presentation – it’ll be well worth the spend. A professional can bring your presentation to life with typography and images (photos, graphics, icons, etc.) to illustrate your points and align with your agency brand.
Keep Your Sentences Short And Catchy
Don’t be too wordy in both your written presentation and when speaking. You want your audience to quickly read what is on each slide while you speak to each point. While presenting, add some humor to your presentation. Audiences tend to tune out after 10 minutes, particularly in a remote setting; therefore, shake things up with a joke or a funny story that is relevant to the topic.
Interact With Your Audience
Pretend you’re physically in the same room as your audience. Make eye contact through the webcam. Also, get your audience engaged with a quiz or poll every 10 minutes (depending on how long your presentation is) so that you continue to hold the participants’ attention. Virtual polls and quizzes can be conducted during videoconferencing using tools such as Zoom, WebinarNinja, and others.
Incorporate best practices to eliminate or reduce distractions during your presentation. These include having everyone on mute while you speak, having people raise their hand on the virtual platform or wait for the Q&A session at the end of the meeting for inquiries, and requesting that your audience members eliminate any background noise on their end.
Test Your Equipment
Run technical checks to ensure everything is operating to avoid any possible problems. Be sure your camera is working, and your audience is able to clearly see you. Your mic and speaker should be properly installed. The lighting should look good. Have IT on standby just in case there is a technical issue during the presentation that needs to be fixed.
Be sure you set aside time for Q&As at the end of your meeting. Let your audience know at the outset there will be a Q&A session. Participants can send questions throughout the presentation that are collected by one of your staff members. At the end of the presentation, provide a brief summary of the topic with the key highlights. Reach out to participants for feedback to see what they thought of the topic, the presentation, and its relevancy. That will help you improve future virtual presentations.