Teleconferences are a practical solution born in the last years to substitute physical business meetings or small group presentations in general. It is now common even for small companies to have employees in various cities, countries and even continents. Thanks to teleconferences, these meetings can take place without much more troubles than time zone differences. Nonetheless, many business experts still doubt of their effectiveness, since logically, a discussion from afar is way more difficult to conduct than a face to face meeting. What can possibly go wrong? Just so many things.
Naturally it is difficult to measure the success of a presentation over a teleconference, but it would be fair to point out that a meeting was successful, if the measures and plans discussed during the presentation are properly implemented to reach the desired goals and objective. Nonetheless, so many factors can cause a teleconference to miss its targets and many have to do with simple details. It goes without saying that for a teleconference to be successful you require the proper technical instruments in regards to audio connectivity and this is usually the major concern, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. No matter how good the audio connection is, no presentation will be successful if the participants are not able to follow clearly what is being presented. Think of the new office employees taking part on a first meeting. They received the slides of the presentation beforehand, but during the presentation constantly find themselves lost on previous slides and lose track of the presentation. In fear of interrupting they do not ask questions and end up losing concentration. Or what is worse, they constantly interrupt so that everybody gets lost. Nonetheless, there are various ways to avoid this.
1. Make the presentation easy to follow, but exciting
Concentrating on a presentation over the phone is much harder than in person. Therefore, you should stick to a clear story-line, make your point and arguments clear and avoid getting derailed into side topics. Of course this does not mean your presentation has to be boring, since that would cost you your audience`s attention. Roller-coasters always keep on track and keep their audiences at the edge of their seats. Throwing in some interesting facts and anecdotes that stick to the story always helps.
2. Try to keep interruptions to a minimum
Questions and feedback are always valuable, but the more you get of these during the presentation, the harder to follow will your message be. Make clear to your audience that questions and feedback are welcome at the end. If you present your information clearly, there will be no need for unnecessary questions during the presentation.
3. Do not overextend your presentation
Too long presentations will also cause audiences to lose focus, especially on a teleconference. Stick to the vital facts you need to discuss with your audience in other to enhance everyone’s productivity.
4. Think about your audience
Be empathetic with your audience and get into their shoes. You might be presenting at 09:00 am after a nice cup of coffee, but your audience might be listening to you at the other side of the world after a hard day of work. Keeping such information in mind will help you better prepare on how to approach your listeners.
5. Use the proper visual means
It is common to share slides and reports beforehand, but too bulky reports might cause users to get lost among the materials. Moreover, providing too much information before the presentation might provoke diversions from other key tasks at hand, to read the presentation which will anyways take place. Usually it is better to provide viewers with the materials after the presentation, so that they can better digest them later with calm, to properly fulfill their tasks discussed at the conference. It is common to take advantage of the various technologies available nowadays to achieve this. A good example is Beamium, an online platform that lets you share your slides live within seconds and keeps all viewers synchronized to your same slide, allowing them to download the presentation afterwards and avoiding interruptions regarding slide numbers.
Teleconferences will permit you to save a lot of valuable resources and especially time in order to enhance the productivity and effectiveness of your operations. Just keep in mind what the goal of the presentation is and chose the best means to implement it successfully and the results will definitively show themselves.
Image Source: ©unsplash.com/@euwars