Podcast Ep. 139 Seven Reasons You Suck at Online Presentations

Speaker-Sisterhood-Northampton-Cecile-LackieThe most frequently asked question I’ve heard in the last three months is something along the lines of, “How do I give an online presentation that doesn’t suck?” First off, it’s hard! Second, it requires a little more thought than just showing up and talking. Don’t worry, help is on the way. Below is the list of seven reasons you suck at it and how to fix it.

1. You lost them at the seventh second when you hit a technical glitch related to your slides.

Stop relying on PowerPoint to be your presentation! Get more creative with your presentation props and visuals so you don’t have to rely on the screen to do your talking for you. You also avoid the awkward technical glitch that happens when trying to set it up. Try a handwritten sign! It does wonders.

2. You’re boring.

Try some of the following ideas to increase engagement, interest and impact:

  • Play a game
  • Take a poll
  • Do a quiz
  • Ask a question that can be answered by a show of hands, verbal answers, or answers in the chat box
  • Use props
  • Do show & tell
  • Wear a costume
  • Be surprising and unexpected
  • Show a short video clip

3. You won’t turn your camera on.

Your presentation is about more than your content, it’s also about your presence! Communication consists of three things: content, body language and tone. Without your camera, your audience is missing your body language and facial expressions. Add a more personal element and build a stronger connection by showing your face.

4. Everyone sucks at online presentations.

Compensate for the fact that it’s a sucky way to share content by being extra engaging. When your audience is passive, you lose them. Keep them involved every minute or two (if it’s a short presentation) or every 3-4 minutes if it’s longer.

5. You’re talking AT your audience.

Again, don’t let your audience doze off and miss everything you have to say because you’re giving the world’s longest monologue. Find ways to keep them interested using some of the tips in #2.

6. You didn’t think about your audience.

You put together a speech that you thought covered what you wanted to say, but is it what your audience needs to hear? Don’t forget the golden question: What problem am I solving for them? If you don’t know, go back to the drawing board.

7. You ONLY thought about your audience. 

While it’s important to know what your audience cares about, you also need to keep in mind your agenda. What do you want from the audience? What is your goal? Creating a seamless presentation that includes your agenda and the audience’s agenda is a win-win for everyone.

Got a topic you want covered on my show? Email me at angela@speakersisterhood.com and you may hear it on an upcoming episode!

Listen to episode 139 Seven Reasons You Suck at Online Presentations here:


Angela Lussier is the founder of the Speaker Sisterhood and also an award-winning speaker, seven-time author, and two-time TEDx presenter. She is the host of Claim the Stage, a public speaking podcast for women. Her motto: Stop waiting. Start creating.