Over the last few years, the world has slowly shifted to conducting meetings and other important calls over video conferencing tools like Zoom or Google Meets. With the acceptance of completing anything from business to interviews online, knowing how to present yourself enthusiastically with charisma is important to market yourself.
Speaking in front of a laptop or camera is very different from doing it in-person. Many people have strong presentation skills when they can read the tone of the room with social cues but may struggle while doing it virtually.
In this article, we’ll go over some strategies that you can use to improve your overall presentation skills and appear more confident to your audiences.
What Are Some Ways to Present Yourself More Enthusiastically with Charisma on Online Calls?
Be Prepared Ahead of Time
While mindfully obvious, being prepared ahead of time isn’t simply just practicing the script and taking key notes of your presentation, it is much more than that.
Start by eliminating distractions that may occur that will deter you or others from the presentation. Check your internet connection for example, reset it beforehand once or consider a wired connection.
Since you may be presenting your computer screen, remove icons or open tabs that are not relevant to the presentation. It has become the norm for many people to have dozens of browser tabs open; close them – you don’t need them.
Eliminate distractions around you in real life. Do you have pets or sources of noise that might happen? Close the door. Have something visually distracting behind you? Consider changing the background to something more neutral.
Finally, come with an agenda. No matter what kind of presentation you have, it’s good to have a basic outline of the main structure of what you want to discuss. If the audience is rather idle and not responsive, showing initiative and moving on the next topic really displays your leadership and presentation skills.
Add Interaction – Engaging the Audience
Showing charisma isn’t always just an audience looking at you directly, it’s also about setting the mood of the overall presentation.
Just like Dale Carnegie suggests in winning people; let the other person do a great deal of the talking. If you can engage the audience and let them do something enjoyable, they are more likely to agree with you, leading to perceived charisma.
For example, are you able to allow the audience to do short activities? Maybe let them play a little game. The game could be as simple as guessing answers to questions. Getting your audience to talk and interact with you allows you to ask questions like “why” they think that and allows you to pivot your presentation in agreeing with their ideas.
Start Off Strong
It goes without saying, the moment someone is disinterested or is distracted by something else, it’ll take a monumental amount of additional effort on your part to re-engage them. Knowing this, starting off strong immediately and getting their attention is key.
Are you able to be more enthusiastic in the beginning, can you present ideas that are interesting and entice the audience to keep listening to find out? What about using humor or asking relevant questions immediately to the audience to get them engaged immediately?
These are all great strategies to start off strong. You’ll want to hook your audience in immediately, so their engagement starts strong as you move into the bulk of your presentation.
Consider Upgrading your Equipment to Compliment Yourself
You’ve done everything you could but if your equipment is subpar, your presentation may come off as unprofessional. Purchasing newer, more modern equipment is usually one of the easier things to do, provided you have the funds.
Having a laptop or computer that is relevant for your situation is key – you’ll want a laptop that has a modern webcam with enough computing power so you don’t have to worry about potential slowdowns or internet interruptions.
Beyond the laptop itself, consider other complementary equipment such as computer desks. Your desk will allow proper placement of your webcam relative to your body. This is key in ensuring your audience gets a perfect view of you. Improper placement of the camera may visually distract the audience or make you look less professional.
Beyond the obvious home office-related equipment, have you also thought about other variables such as the temperature or lightning? Many people get hot and nervous during a presentation – consider turning up the air conditioning while presenting. In terms of lightning, you’ll want to have proper lighting against your body as well as your background. Using blinds or indoor lights can help achieve the optimal setup.
While using equipment is great and handy, remember they only compliment you. They’ll help handle some of the unnecessary administrative parts (e.g., ensuring you have a good positioning on the camera or you’re visually appealing in front of an audience) but it is up to you to improve your presentation skills around them.
Learn from Current Leaders
Just like the famous quotes, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” or “don’t reinvent the wheel”, this is exactly what we are proposing here.
Great presenters and leaders don’t randomly wing their presentation, they use tied and tested strategies that work. The next time you need to present, review some of your favorite leaders and some of the strategies they do.
This could be anything from politicians to celebrities or business leaders. Is there something similar that you notice they all do? Emulate it and incorporate it into how you present.
Simple ideas include having strong body language while speaking. A proper posture does wonders. Have you ever seen CEOs or presidents slouch?
Another example is the use of filler words like “uh”, “um”, or “so”. Leaders minimize the use of these if possible as they make you seem less confident and in turn, not as charismatic.
In summary, there are a variety of ways to help you appear more enthusiastic, confident, and charismatic on online presentations. Many aren’t as simple as “be more confident” but rather preparing ahead of time to make your life easier.
Preparing your equipment ahead of time, engaging the audience so that they speak for you, starting off strong, upgrading your equipment, and learning from leaders on the strategies they use are all great ideas to add to your arsenal.
Sure, most of these don’t change your “personality” but by ensuring a presentation goes smoothly is already more than enough to convince your audience of the perception of a reliable and charismatic leader and presenter.