Using Skype For Your Next Presentation
Skype is great for connecting one to one. However, many people don’t realize the benefits of using Skype as a tool for professional business presentations.
This past week I had the opportunity to speak to a group of professional speakers, coaches and authors in New York City. I didn’t have to get on a plane or go through the “TSA dance” either! I stayed comfortably in my home and had an error-free, smooth-flowing presentation to the group.
They got lots of information on how to use Skype for making professional business presentations (something they can use in their own work). They also had the opportunity to ask direct questions. We had a great time laughing and learning. At the conclusion the audience loved the opportunity — and I did too!
Think about how you can present using Skype when you have a sales presentation, or a team meeting. I was using the one-to-one connection from me to the one location where they had a few hundred people. You can also use Skype’s new Group Video Calling (GVC) feature to connect up to 10 parties (including the host) via video. This premium service requires at least one party have a subscription of US$8.99/ month so it is a great value.
There are other reasons to have this tool ready for business. Skype can save the day in the event of delays, mishaps, disasters and anything that can prevent you from physically being in a given location. We are acutely aware of natural disasters which can and do prevent travel. We also know about inevitable mechanical problems, weather delays and cancellations. Having a tool like Skype “in your hip pocket” for those “just in case” times can save the day!
Here are a few tips that can help as you prepare for your next presentation using Skype (all born out of battle-hardened, real-world experience!):
- Plan and Prepare. Don’t wait till the day of your presentation to test. Check it out at least one day before — from the actual room where the event will be, if possible. Sometimes connections can be good in one place and abysmal in another.
- Ethernet vs. Wi-Fi. If you have the choice, go with Ethernet. It is a stronger, more reliable connection in most cases. Yes, you can do it with Wi-Fi in some cases but I’ve had too many where it crashed because everyone else was also using Wi-Fi for their laptop computers, Smartphones, etc. etc. and the Wi-Fi signal was drained to precious little for the presentation computer.
- Position a Chair Up Front By The Computer. You want interaction with the group. Invite participants to come up to the computer and talk with you through the webcam. This changes the dynamics from a “Watch the video on the screen” to a lively interactive and more rich experience.
- Use Skype’s Screen Share Option. This will give you the ability to have your PowerPoint or Keynote presentation slides for the group. Practice these in advance as they can hang up in some cases. However, when they work, they are dazzling!
Skype can give your business a strong competitive advantage. Not only that, if you have the ability to make a powerful, successful presentation without the time, money and effort of travel, everyone wins.
Sounds like a good reason to use it! But please, don’t let my competition know about it!