Virtual selling and consulting is the future of the building and contracting industry. While it has some clear advantages for your business, you may need to adapt your presentation delivery to make the most of this evolving medium.
Since it’s easier to tune out during a virtual meeting, you’ll need to be more engaging, precise, and succinct. Experts will tell you that you have mere seconds to hold someone’s attention in the digital realm. How long depends on what you Google or who you talk to, but the consensus is fewer than 10 seconds.
That means your main concern is managing your audience’s fleeting attention. To do it successfully, try these six tips on nailing your virtual presentation delivery.
Provide a roadmap. Start with a basic agenda so the client knows what to expect. Remember that you are trying to teach your client something new, and even adults need scaffolding to understand and retain new information. You may even consider sending the agenda ahead of time, and asking if your client has questions so you can provide the most relevant (and engaging) material.
Use your face. There’s nothing more engaging to humans than another human face, which is incredibly hard to ignore. Even if you can’t see your client on video, make sure they can see you. While polished, dynamic presentation materials are important, make yourself a main focus and you’ll have a better chance at holding your audience’s attention than with a prepared presentation alone. You’ll also want to look your best on camera.
Speak with your client and not at them. Structure your presentation in a way that maintains an active, two-way conversation. That means you should have frequent, open-ended questions (something that can’t be answered with a “yes” or “no”). When you’re pitching over video, you may lose the ability to read some non-verbal cues and other body language, so you’ll use these check-ins to assess your client’s state of mind.
Lighten up on the details. In most cases, it’s a best practice to keep your on-screen presentation materials concise and easily digestible – be wary of lots of text or overly detailed graphics. Instead, focus on big ideas. You can always fill in the details by emailing follow-up informational material for the client to explore.
Make the most of the digital platform. Plan to frequently switch between yourself and your prepared presentation materials to continuously engage your audience. Bring your prepared content to life by using bold imagery and photos that produce a quick wow factor. And, be sure to use plenty of high-quality images to show off your work. If you don’t have a decent stock of your previous projects, start now by taking better before and after photos.
Modify your approach as needed. Everyone absorbs information differently, so be accommodating. If you’re losing a customer’s attention, ask questions to find out what’s resonating most and what they might have missed. By encouraging that two-way conversation, you keep your clients engaged and have a better chance at closing the sale.