A few years ago at Duarte, we conducted a survey to see how many people attended presentations remotely versus in person. The results showed that 85% of presentations were remote. It’s harder to make a sincere connection with an audience when you’re not in the same room.
Managers spend most of their workday in meetings. Many managers consider almost half of those meetings a waste of time. So when meetings are already feeling like a waste, make yours more productive by using a presentation.
In a remote meeting situation, you’re competing with many attendee distractions, the primary one being their e-mail. If your material isn’t more interesting than their inbox, they won’t be 100% present.
Have meeting attendees read one page and discuss that topic. When attendees read the presentation and then discuss it, it engages them more often. Each time you advance to a new slide, if attendees are multitasking, they’ll have to minimize e-mail (or whatever they’re doing) to read the slide so they can continue to be a participant. But again, don’t read or present the slide to them; it’s faster if they read it and then discuss it.
You can also use presentations as a guide and context for all the topics you want to talk over. Putting the topics you’ll be discussing in a presentation moves the meeting along. It also helps attendees gauge how much you’ve covered as the meeting progresses.
If you’re using telepresence or other emerging video systems, sending presentations ahead of time will ensure that your communication is failsafe (you never know what might go wrong with technology).