PRESENT TO SUCCEED LESSONS LEARNED

Virtual Meeting Revolution with Luke Goetting

In our Present to Succeed Lessons Learned series, we include all of the fascinating, valuable, and wow moments from the sessions of our debut 2021 conference. We aim to share with you the best takeaways and help you improve your presentation craft every day.

Luke Goetting is an award-winning presentation specialist and the founder of Puffingston Presentations – a presentation agency based in Austin, Texas. He is also a winner of the Best Business Prezi Award and a certified Prezi Expert.

In his session, Luke presented methods and ideas for making any virtual meeting or presentation more engaging and successful by introducing interactivity and dynamic content in it.

The new normal: remote work and virtual presenting

When Luke started his freelancing consultancy eight years ago, he discovered that if he has credibility and a market fit, people would hire him even back then without ever having met him face to face. In the next few years, Luke has gone from freelancing to a presentation agency. In that time he has changed his mindset from thinking that he had to meet everyone in person to having very successful partnerships that were entirely virtual.

When you communicate digitally, there is so much that you can improve. You can make it far more engaging, which will increase the quality of your virtual interactions tenfold. When the pandemic struck, we all assumed it would be a temporary inconvenience, but remote work and virtual meetings had been on the rise in recent years, with or without that event. And, post-pandemic, looks like virtual presenting will remain a part of our lives.

Planned presence, dynamic content, and interactive broadcast were the three main topics Luke had in his talk. He presented an overview of each and then invited the audience to vote in the poll pictured above on which one they wanted him to start with. The audience chose dynamic content first.

Dynamic content

What do we share during our meetings? How can we create narratives that are both interesting and inspirational? What is a conversational presentation?

The adaptable, modular presentation, which allows you to alter the information you cover dependent on the audience’s interest, is an alternative to the A-to-Z linear presentation.

Here, Luke showed the differences between a linear and non-linear presentation structure. 

A meeting is a discussion in which we exchange information, and there are various types of meetings. There are meetings where one person is the leader and shares what he, or she, knows in a lecture-style format. Then there are the open-ended meetings, or panels, where individuals ask questions, which may be helpful, but they tend to be fragmented. So, how to aim for that middle ground to maximize that productive exchange?

Luke made a great food analogy about it. Imagine taking your audience to a buffet, where everything has already been chosen and prepared for them, and they only have to go through and take a bite of everything. Now consider bringing your audience to a fine dining experience: you provide context, you provide specials as a teaser, and then you present them with a menu from which they may choose. Although it appears logical, few speakers or leaders are ready to let their audience to choose. Yet, those are the situations that have the greatest impact.

Moreover, when it comes to meetings, how much do you generally modify your presentation? Most of the time, it’s simply minor adjustments. But if we tailor it based on who attends and how the meeting proceeds, it becomes a totally different experience that allows you to engage deeper with your audience.

Interacting with your audience in such a way also takes some of the risks you take as a presenter. You have no idea what your audience is truly interested in, but they can tell you. It saves you from assuming what they would like to hear. This kind of presenting is ideal for sales presentations, training, onboardings, all-hands meetings, and any other type of presentation that can be more interactive and conversational.

Planned presence

For on-camera presence, Luke highly recommended standing up while speaking or using a standing desk for it, rather than being hunched over the laptop that we have seen already.  Also, smiling and making gestures to show what you talk about, and keeping eye contact have a huge impact on your presentation delivery.

Interactive broadcasting

So, how to package and broadcast your content in a way that is both interactive and engaging? Or how to make the most of the tools and technologies that are available?

We all had taken for granted the conference setting meetings and having that captive audience. In online meetings, it’s not enough to have a good camera presence or great content. Something that would make you stand out more is taking advantage of the fact that you can control the stream that your audience sees. You can leverage your virtual meetings in very exciting ways.

Here Luke listed some virtual webcam software that can be used to create engaging custom views for when you are presenting virtually.

We have complete control over the screen, which is both an advantage and a challenge. We are essentially broadcasters now, and we must think as such. Every platform has some camera options – you can screen share and go back and forth between that and your camera, so your audience can see you and your gestures, and then you can simply put your slides back on the screen to bring the focus back to them when needed.

While talking about technology Luke showed a very simple but powerful tool he uses and recommends – the Logitech Spotlight Presentation Remote. It enables him to highlight or zoom on his screen.

Let's summarize

Luke absolutely practiced what he preached by demonstrating in his presentation what he teaches his clients about interactivity and content. He explained how transitioning to more interactive modular presentations reduces your risktaking as a presenter by letting your audience tell you what they want to learn more about. Luke emphasized that having a great on-camera presence and great content is not enough. It should also be served in an interesting way and he suggested virtual webcam software that can be used to produce a way more engaging stream to help you stand out when you present.

Last but not least, for on-camera presence, he strongly advised against the typical standing-over-the-laptop look, and recommended changing it for standing up and holding direct eye contact with your audience.

Let us know by commenting on what the most helpful tip from Luke’s session was for you! 

And while reading is great, why not see the whole session yourself? Get the Tools Delivery Recordings for the discounted price of €39 or all 30+ sessions for just €79! 

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Join Present to Succeed - the biggest presentation skills conference in the world

Whether you are part of an organization or running a business, how your slides look will always factor in your success. Learn how to become an influential speaker by joining our 30+ industry-leading speakers’ sessions.

Start engaging your audience better and influencing them to embrace your concepts, hire you, or buy your products. Now is the best moment to get your ticket!

Join Present to Succeed - the biggest presentation skills conference in the world

Whether you are part of an organization or running a business, how your slides look will always factor in your success. Learn how to become an influential speaker by joining our 30+ industry-leading speakers’ sessions.

Start engaging your audience better and influencing them to embrace your concepts, hire you, or buy your products. Now is the best moment to get your ticket!