With many college students across all degree programs taking some or all of their courses online these days, it’s imperative for students to know how to best present themselves virtually. This is particularly relevant when it comes to doing virtual presentations like PowerPoint slide shows and showcasing visual projects that might otherwise be presented in a traditional classroom setting.
Consider the following virtual presentation tips to shine as brightly as you can when your instructor and classmates have their full attention on your class presentation.
1. Format your virtual presentation so it’s easy to read and follow.
This goes for both in-person and virtual class presentations, but make sure your virtual presentation is palatable. This means:
- Using text sparingly on each slide and ensuring the text you use is large enough to read
- Using visuals/videos that are engaging but also easy to view and follow
- Limiting the overall number of slides and transitions
2. Consider sharing your virtual presentation slides separately.
If you have the ability, consider sharing your virtual presentation slides or other visuals with your classmates ahead of time or as a link in the chat feature. This will allow them to access the content directly on their own computer in case of any technical issues that may arise while you’re presenting the material live.
It’s also wise to do this to ensure everyone can fully access the content if they use assistive technology.
3. Be fully aware of how to share your screen.
Most web conferencing tools like Zoom and Microsoft Teams allow users to share their screen to those attending a virtual session. Make sure you practice doing this and that your screen is fully visible for when it’s your turn to step up to the virtual podium.
4. Test your technology, especially when presenting multimedia.
In addition to the basic concept of screen sharing, you’ll want to be sure any multimedia like audio and video in your virtual presentation are coming through clearly. So, take some time to test this out. Make sure that you are using an internal audio source if you’re presenting content from your computer or other device. If you’re using a microphone, make sure it is connected and enabled to have its audio captured during the presentation.
5. Consider using an external microphone.
Speaking of microphones, it’s only a small investment to get one that can work well. External microphones can capture your voice so much more clearly than the internal microphone on a computer or mobile device.
If you plan on speaking for any length of time, such as doing a virtual presentation for one of your college classes, a microphone can transform an otherwise mundane sound into one that is much easier to listen to for your instructors and fellow students. This improved sound quality and more reliable audio will keep them more engaged.
6. Position your camera correctly.
If you will be on camera for part of or the entire presentation, be certain that the camera you’re using on your device is positioned in the right spot. Try to position your face in the middle of the screen so that the camera is not aimed too high, too low, or off at an angle. Everyone should be able to see you clearly.
Another virtual presentation tip in this category is to make sure the background lighting is appropriate. Some light is good, but having a window or bright light in the background can be distracting as well.
7. Dress professionally.
If you’ll be seen by others in your class, you should dress as if you were actually in the classroom. It’s easy to be more relaxed at home, but at least for a virtual presentation or class period, consider wearing something appropriate.
8. Choose an appropriate environment.
Conduct your virtual presentation in an area with minimal visual distractions in the background.
Mute yourself if necessary. If you can eliminate background noise during your presentation, your instructors and fellow classmates will appreciate this. You should silence your phone and any other potential distractions in your home or wherever you are conducting the virtual presentation.
Also, tell others with whom you live that you will be doing a presentation for one of your classes at a certain time. This way, they can be considerate not to be too loud or distracting when you are presenting.