Prepare your presentation for a virtual meeting

In order to deliver a great presentation online, do not just take your already existing content (from in-person presentations) and simply present it in front of your webcam. For the virtual audience, you need to think a bit different:

Prepare and test your environment

  • You need good internet connection
  • Prepare a bright room, light source from front (no window or light source behind you!)
  • Clean background, not too much distraction but also not a blank wall
  • Camera on eye-level (if you have a laptop or camera on top of screen, lift them with books or boxes)
  • Dress appropriately (business casual, depending on listeners, avoid patterns, as they have a flicker-effect on screen)


Prepare your presentation

Format: Inform yourself which kind of slide format is needed for the meeting (usually 16:9, or 4:3)

Time management: prepare your talk at least 5 min less than your allotted time

Your Power point presentation: Prepare an easy-to-follow PowerPoint Presentation:

  • Less slides are better. The first slide should introduce your topic and yourself (sometimes a conflict of interest might be appropriate). The last slide contains a “Thank you” and your contact details if you like.
  • Ideal:  5-7 lines per slide and 7 word per line.
  • Choose a single sans serif font size 20‐point and up
  • Increase the spacing between lines to enhance
  • Make sure to add pictures and graphs that illustrate your key points and stories.
  • Colors: the best color for backgrounds is blue, black, and white
  • Use contrast: for text, white and light grey are good with dark backgrounds, and black or blue text for white backgrounds.
  • Avoid red and green because they are difficult for the colorblind
  • Keep graphics simple. Keeping your graphics simple will increase the likelihood that any graphics or animations applied will run smoothly.

Structure your presentation:

  • Begin with a compelling opening (for example a great anecdote) and end with a strong closing that includes a summary of your talk.
  • Include cases to illustrate your key points (the audience pays more attention if you tell stories)

Practice: In the virtual setting eye contact is very important! Prepare your talk a few times to remember where you can talk to the audience (your camera) without looking at the slides

Be prepared:

  • be ready and waiting to start (don not come too late to your own talk)-
  • close other windows such as email, to avoid unforeseen text messages in your shared screen.
  • open just those windows, where you have your presentation documents ready (also if you have a separate video to share, or a second document).

Finally: Don’t just read -> Present


Helpful video-tutorials:

We would like to share with you some youtube videos with valuable information and important points to consider when preparing a virtual presentation:

Short advice on how to deliver virtual (webinar, video conference and teleconference) presentations and meetings.

(02:34min) by Matt Abrahams

1) Think about your environment
2) Stand up
3) Rehearse
4) Dress to impress
5) Think about your supporting material (slides)

(05:50min) by Rachel Willis

1) Don’t be stiff & robotic
2) Make eye contact
3) Keep it short and sweet
4) Do a Dry Run
5) Engage the audience

(06:45min) by Dana Brownlee (Forbes)


1) prepare your background (no distraction, but clean)
2) “pause and breath”- appear calm
3) look directly into the camera (opposite to F2F presentation, do not look around) and practice

(02:37min) by Allison Shapira from Global public

Short advice on how to pre-record your presentation including narration to be saved as one file using Microsoft powerpoint.
(1:43min) by microsoft


Short tutorial on how to pre-record your presentation in a zoom setting. You can chose to include a video of yourself, or only audio. You need to have a zoom account for this recording.
(5:54min) by IDEAL Ulowa