10 Best Practices for Virtual Presentations

The past couple of years have influenced our social and work lives immensely. When it comes to the latter, research shows that a stunning 74% of companies will continue to do hybrid or remote work in post-pandemic times. For us in the presentation world this means more and more presentations will continue to happen in front of online audiences, and we simply have to adapt to the changes in communication. 

As we’re starting to re-invent the ways we work and connect with people around us, we’ve gathered a checklist of the 10 tips for virtual presentations that will help you overcome communication and technology barriers and be a more confident speaker.  

💡Note that we’ve gathered both online-specific tips and such that are valid for any kind of presentation, virtual or in-person.  

Let’s make it clear once again that knowing who the audience is should be everyone’s default starting point when preparing for a presentation. It‘s fundamental to any presentation, regardless of the context. Who is in the audience, what is their cultural or professional background? What’s in for them in your presentation? What’s their pain point and what issue are you going to solve for them? No matter what, remember your online audience are still human beings with real problems and in order to connect with them, you all need to step on common ground. Here’s how. 

1. Plan when and how to involve the audience 

So, you’ve already written down the story of your talk and need to think of all the ways you could engage the audience with it. First, you can draft out an agenda and fill in а calendar invitation. When setting the calendar appointment, take your time to clarify the purpose of the presentation, the major content points you’ll be discussing and, if possible, time estimation of each point. A timeframe shows you value everyone’s time.  

Second, do the attendees need to prepare for the meeting, e.g., read something in advance or fill in a questionnaire? Let them know by sharing the documents or links well before the meeting.  This will encourage them to actively participate in the presentation. 

2. Secure strong internet connection 

Now to practicalities. Top-speed internet connection will give you the peace of mind you need to deliver your talk online. If this means standing close to the router or getting a cable option for the Internet connection, then go for it. Also, while prepping for the talk, turn off notifications and any applications that would take up band width. Your device should be free from distractions. 

3. Get a good camera 

Your setup is a one-time investment that will pay off and a big factor to consider here is your camera. If you’re not completely happy with your laptop cam, you could buy a webcam separately. We highly recommend Logitech BRIO simply because they’re great and no, they’re not paying us to say that. They’re just that good.  

If you’re really after something amazing, then you’re talking DSLR or a good mirrorless camera.  

4. Present with your camera ON 

Whenever possible, present with your camera ON, make sure it’s positioned at eye level, and you look straight at it when presenting. This imitates real-life eye contact and is a powerful way to engage and connect with your audience despite the barrier of the screen. If you haven’t made looking at the camera when presenting a habit yet, stop everything and start here. 

5. Educate yourself about the platform 

You or your organisation are probably already using one of the many video conferencing platforms out there, so make sure you know everything about its features, you know what works best for you and how you can navigate through a potential issue without losing precious time. Find a way to stay up to date with all the recent changes in the platform (like googling articles named What’s new in [platform name] every month). Remember, your knowledge of the app – how to share your screen, how to record a meeting, how to mute and unmute others will help you improvise easily and not lose touch with the audience. 

6. Use more but simpler slides

Graphic design is vital when it comes to getting the message across. The right visuals can tremendously help you make even a complex idea look simple. Surely, when you are not a designer, this part can get a bit tricky (but not impossible) so if you want outside help, don’t hesitate to contact us at 356labs for developing your presentation. 

Pro tip (if you’re making the slides yourself)

1. Remember one idea per slide only. Yes, that might increase the number of slides, but it’s a good thing in the virtual context.

2. Make as many slides as you can. Changing slides creates something your audience can’t help but look at. When something changes (your slides) in front of your eyes, you have no choice but to check what’s new. Evolution. Safety reasons. Television works on the same principle. It changes scenes every few seconds in order to retain the viewers’ attention.

3. Don’t go crazy with transitions and animations. These could be very laggy on your audience’s end and might become so distracting and even annoying, you’d just give your audience a reason to click on another tab and stop paying attention to you.

7. Rehearse and repeat

Practice will spare you the stress afterwards. If you can’t make more than three rehearsal sessions, then it’s worth recording yourself so you spot any rough moments. The higher the number of dry runs, the better the real-time results. Now is the time to think about any possible negative scenarios. Preparing for what might go wrong can considerably reduce your presentation anxiety and, of course, help you think of ways to avoid such situations. 

Tip: Did you know that PowerPoint has a Rehearse with Coach option? 

8. Confident on-cam delivery 

Virtual presentations don’t exclude powerful body language.  Take it from nonverbal communication guru Mark Bowden and use your hand gestures to amplify your message and accentuate the key points. 

Also, since online presenting deprives you from the audience feedback that you’d normally be receiving in person, you need to put extra effort into emotionally engaging the attendees. Your voice will replace body language in establishing this connection, so practice the emotive tones of your speech and learn to pause to ask questions like What are your thoughts on this?, Does anyone want to add anything? 

9. Have someone help you 

A good option, especially valuable when presenting in front of more than ten people, is to have someone moderate the presentation. Ask someone to watch for questions and comments coming from the audience. They can also help you with the monitoring of the tech side, while you focus on your talk.

10. Nail the opening and closing lines

Many speakers underestimate the importance of the beginning of the presentation, which should contain the gist of what’s coming up. A good opener has an introduction to who you are, what you do, what you’re going to talk about and how your topic will bring value to your audience’s work or life. 

The same applies to your final words where you’ll need to wrap up your thoughts and motivate the audience to take action. Of course, the call to action is dependent on your goal, but make sure it’s well highlighted at the end of your presentation. Explain how they can benefit from your ideas or what they can miss if they don’t follow your advice. Maybe it will improve their work life or maybe it will incentivise them to do something? Don’t miss the chance to make a good statement. 


Virtual presentations are a multi-channel art that needs a lot of practice but also leaves a lot of room for exploration. Did you find our tips useful? If you did but you still need to boost your virtual presenting skills, take a deeper dive into our book, Presenting Virtually, which breaks down every question you might have and gives a tonne of tricks on mastering the art of presenting.