Our friends over at Alliance Virtual Offices recently interviewed Roger Courville, author of The Virtual Presenter’s Handbook, who has been around virtual conferencing since 1999. The technology has grown considerably, but according to Roger, presenters still have a lot to learn.
Courville’s recent survey of over 1,200 virtual conference users and participants found that some of the biggest complaints have less to do with the technology and more to do with the caliber of the presenters and the material presented.
Apparently, presenters can be just as boring in a virtual meeting as they can be in person. They can be just as disorganized and turn off a virtual crowd just as quickly as they can turn off a live audience. So there is no magic coming through the cloud to boost a speech, or illuminate a diagram, or clarify a set of talking points. If the presentation was lacking before the virtual eye opened upon it, it will be just as lacking during it.
This may not come as a huge surprise, but it does underscore the need to cover the basics, regardless of which media used to present your materials. There’s a lot more to the Courville Q&A and I urge you to read the entire interview at Alliance Virtual Offices.
The bottom line is that this should be a lesson for all of us who “hide behind” the virtual curtain. Be prepared, make sure your materials are well organized, set a clear agenda, and practice looking directly into that miniscule camera embedded on your laptop. Your audience awaits!