In the world of remote work, more people find themselves giving presentations or explaining concepts over video calls. Sometimes, this type of public speaking can feel challenging. You have less interaction and immediate feedback from your audience, and it is easy to worry that you may be rambling. However, there are some simple ways to manage your speaking time during a virtual meeting.
Write Out Your Thoughts in Advance
One of the best ways to keep yourself on track is to write bullet points for yourself. When you are giving a presentation, you can reference your notes to make sure you are staying on topic and getting through the material at a good pace. Because you are likely using a computer screen for the call, you can have the notes on the screen in a separate window next to your meeting. Having notes handy ensures you don’t stray off-topic, which is particularly important if the conversation becomes lively or complex. Plus, if you ever aspire to be a professional speaker, these meetings are great practices for thinking on your feet. Just remember to keep your input concise and relevant to maintain the flow of the discussion.
You can also go a step further and write a script for yourself for your presentation. If you are not presenting something but just taking part in a discussion, take notes during the meeting. This helps you stick to your point when it is your turn to talk.
Reducing distractions also helps you stay focused on your topic. Use a virtual Zoom background to give yourself a neutral setting during the meeting, and have others do the same so no one is distracted by what’s happening behind them.
Share Your Screen
Another way to save time while speaking in a virtual meeting is to share all or part of your screen. Instead of trying to explain to others what a website looks like or reading a document to them, share it. When everyone can see what’s being talked about, they understand it more quickly, allowing the meeting to move forward more quickly.
Sending important documents to team members ahead of the meeting will also save time. Hopefully, everyone is briefed before the meeting, so you can spend your time getting work done instead of reviewing foundational information.
Establish a Speaking Schedule
When the meeting starts, lay out the rules and plans for questions. One method is to ask everyone to add any questions they have to the chat during the meeting. Then you can read and answer those questions at the end of your presentation. Ultimately, you want to make sure people don’t interrupt you during the meeting. This can derail your train of thought and slow you down.
You can also have people use the “raise your hand” feature in Zoom so you know they want to say something. This lets you call on people in an orderly fashion at times that work well during your presentation. Time limits are also good for question and answer sessions to make sure they don’t drag on.
As everyone gets used to doing more work and collaborating through virtual spaces, people will learn new ways to communicate and share ideas. With a bit of planning, you can make the most of any speaking time you are given on virtual platforms and do your part in making sure your team succeeds.