Recently I’ve been thinking about how to get the most from my Skype presentations, and thought I’d share some ideas. Hopefully, with your input, this will result in some handy best practices.
Most presentations we make today fall into certain categories, whether it’s a regular sales pitch, a status report or a “Game Changer” opportunity (investor round, job interview, large account).
Given that typical sales pitches and status reports tend to be repetitive once you’ve got the basic format, I’ll focus on the Game Changer presentation. These are virtually unique each time and warrant careful preparation. That said, many of these tips apply to any Skype presentation.
In the past we would deliver the game changer in person, but increasingly we do them over Skype. Why?
- Cost – Using Skype rather than investing time and money to travel even relatively short distances spells big savings for small businesses.
- Convenience – For many people the ease of Skype calls means less pressure and obligation, which often makes them more willing to meet.
- Quality – HD video along with Skype’s super wideband audio quality means you catch more of what’s being said, facial expressions and other nonverbal communication.
So, how do we prepare for that important meeting?
- At least a day before:
- Day of the meeting:
- Create a group chat, add the participants and change the chat’s name to reflect the purpose of the meeting. Type in a welcome message and send files and meeting agenda as appropriate.
- Find a quiet place to meet, and move the lighting to enhance your image. Practice with a friendly contact or visit Tools>Options>Video Settings in Skype. Consider placing branded accessories nearby, like a coffee mug with your logo.
- If you’re presenting, load all materials so they’ll be at your fingertips. Remove distracting applications: personal email notifications, social media alerts, etc. Just before the meeting, set your Skype status to ‘Do Not Disturb’ to prevent notifications from appearing during your presentation.
- Start the meeting:
- Drop a note into the group chat announcing the meeting is starting. In the chat window, click ‘Call Group.’ Press ‘+’ at the bottom of the session window to go to video or share your screen.
- If you’re calling an individual, select their contact name and then ‘Video Call.’
- Make sure everyone can hear and see you.
- During the call:
- Use screen sharing or group screen sharing to walk participants through visuals like websites or PowerPoint presentations. Go to the ‘Call’ menu and select ‘Share Screen,’ or move the mouse to the bottom of the call window and select ‘+’ and ‘Share Screen.’
- Observe and respond to body language. Are they yawning, looking down at something they’re holding underneath the table (probably a phone)? Ask for input as you go.
- It may be appropriate to add a colleague during the call to validate or provide more detail. To do this, move the mouse to the bottom of the call window, select ‘+’ and ‘Add People to this Call.’
- Ending the call:
- Ask for feedback and address any concerns or objections.
- Tell them where to get more information: “I’ll keep this chat live, so if you have a question just type it in here …”
- Follow up with a ‘thank you’ message in the chat.
- What’s your best Skype presentation story? Share in the comments, below. Or, if you have questions about presenting via Skype, ask here, tweet to us at @Skype4biz, or start a discussion in our LinkedIn group.