Social distancing, self-quarantine, working from home; suddenly, we’re all doing it. Even in these confusing and trying times, you can reach out to customers to share and serve. Pick the right tool
… and stick with it.
I don’t need to tell you what’s going on right now, nor do I need to explain the impact we’re all dealing with. With events canceled and meetings postponed, you might feel like your ability to sell, inform, and educate is handcuffed. Not necessarily. You just need to consider options you may not have used in the past.
If you’re used to face-to-face meetings, presenting online to one – or a thousand – people might sound awkward – and the first few times, it is likely to feel that way. However, technology has come a long way and it’s now easier than ever to get in front of your audience and showcase your message, product or service. Here are a few tips for success:
- Set up an online meeting and share your presentation using one of the popular options such as Zoom or Go to Meeting; both have free versions. From Zoom, here’s how to share using either a single monitor or multiple monitors: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/203395347-Screen-Sharing-a-PowerPoint-Presentation
- Seeing faces increases connection and engagement. Use your webcam and a headset, which will give you better sound than your built-in microphone. Webcams also tend to keep your audience from multitasking during your presentation and missing out on much of your message.
Pause occasionally. Don’t be afraid of a little silence. It can help get your audience back on track and can be a great tool for giving them a chance to process what you’ve said, ask a question, or make a comment. In addition, pausing before revealing something important builds anticipation, and pausing at the end of a sentence reinforces key points.
- Before you start, check out your space. What might show up in the background?! Make sure there’s nothing distracting or embarrassing in view. Also remember to try to mute potential noise distractions. I’ve had my UPS dog alarm go off, and it can be a tad embarrassing!
Not all internet connections are alike, so keep animations and transitions to a minimum. What plays well on your laptop might not work well at all on a slower connection or older computer. This also helps put the focus on your message, not your slides.
- Rehearse, do not wing it! Record your voice (or even your rehearsal) online or on your phone if possible to catch vocal or physical issues you may not be aware of.
- Check and double-check your slides, your connections and your sound.
- Don’t run on. Short is always better than too long!
- Most online presenting options allow you to record your presentation. Consider doing this to review how the meeting went and consider what you might change next time. It can serve to remind you of items you need to follow up on and actions you need to take. You could also edit and send out your presentation to others.
Here’s our second suggestion: don’t forget about print! Print can reach potential customers when you can’t, and with more people at home, now is a great time to let them know about your services. Anyone who can serve clients – safely of course – at their homes, by delivering products or services directly to customers should consider utilizing inexpensive and popular printed items including door hangers, postcards, rack cards, and brochures. The mail will still be delivered! Lawns need mowing, appliances and computers will break, pools need cleaning, plumbing backs up, air conditioners fail, and restaurants are now offering pickup and delivery options they did not in the past. If customers can’t come to you – come to them via a colorful, enticing printed piece.
If we can help you – or you just need someone to talk to or bounce ideas off of – don’t hesitate to reach out! And take care, please.