Ah the “good old days” when nobody used Zoom or Teams

Fact is, I started using Zoom in 2016, presenting our software to Customers across Australia, New Zealand and other countries, way before all the “hoo-ha” of the video and screen sharing tsunami of 2020.

Along the way, I’ve picked up some useful experience using Zoom and Teams, here at Plus Software and I’ve been asked a few times to share what I do.

Here are my 4 key tips and although predominantly garnered from presenting software to Partners and Customers, these tips probably work for most presenters, across most industries.

1. Get a Media Banner.

Sure, you can use a virtual Zoom backdrop (there are many other add backdrop add on’s) but we prefer to use a physical “Media” Wall Banner.

It looks polished and professional and the light background colour reflects nicely, helping with lighting too. It’s not practical if you’re travelling but if you’re presenting mostly from one location, it’s a nice, “real” touch, coupled with an opportunity to subtly market your brand. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.

2. Attention Shock ‘em.

People drift off.

They think of their laundry, their kids, their Mexican Hairless dog, the weekend BBQ, or laugh out loud because they’re not wearing pants. You lose their headspace. Often.

I get it. To combat that, I write attendees names on paper next to the laptop and every now and again I throw in a name:

“So, maybe in your role, JAMES, you’d like to see this Sales Order function?”   or “I’m sure, FELICITY, you’d like this Sales Dashboard on your desktop, every morning?”

Attention shock, every now and again. Politely.

Less drift, more focus.

3. Move the mouse smoothly and slowly, dammit!

If you’re presenting software, it’s easy to lose your audience.

That’s because it’s probably the first time they’ve seen your software and the benefits of using it. And to them, it’s a whole bunch of blocks, icons and stupidly small text, all mixed up in a (sometimes) poor sounding environment, with erratic internet connection and constant external distraction.

Meanwhile, as the presenter, you’re viciously moving the mouse and talking at the speed of Elon Musk’s tweets, because you do it every day, and know what you’re seeing and doing.

Slow the mouse right down.

You can even tell the audience what you’re going to do, to prepare future eye movement:

“Okay, so now we process this Order, right, and if you look at the top right of my screen, there’s a Process Icon – open that, and there – got it, FELICITY?”

(See what I did there?)

4. Record your “stuff” to Dropbox/OneDrive and value add, post session.

This is a great opportunity to do a value follow up.

Not those rubbish “Just following up to see how the demo went” kind of email.

Record the session, dump it into a Dropbox or One Drive folder and send the link with your email:

“Hey Sue, I’m glad you think our software adds value. If you want to review our session or show other team member not present at our meeting, here’s a link to the Video, for 7 days. Enjoy. As promised, I’ll give you a call on Tuesday – I have it in my diary for 11 am.”

You could even load it to a YouTube account if some people don’t use Dropbox or One Drive or breathe oxygen.

Other Tips

 There’s loads of other basic stuff like making sure you have good lighting (some ideas here), the intelligence of working with two screens, or the judicious habit of looking directly at the Web Camera. Search on Google for more tips and weep with joy, you Zoomonster.

Peter Whalley

If you have any other tips, I’d love to hear them in the Comments.