How to Use Interactive Presentation Software for Virtual Events
While virtual events are by no means a new phenomenon, there is no denying that in the past two years they have become the default. Not to anyone’s surprise—the COVID-19 pandemic forced a radical shift in the way businesses operate. With employees and clients suddenly forced to work from home en masse, replicating even the most commonplace business functions online became essential.
In fact, according to a Forbes analysis in May 2020—mere months into the crisis—the prevalence of virtual events spiked by 1000%. And now, over a year into the “work-from-home revolution,” it seems they are here to stay, even as we ease back into the office in a limited capacity.
This means it’s time for businesses to step up their execution of virtual event ideas! After all, if this is the new default, you want to put your best foot forward in this new(ish) world. And one way to do so is with interactive virtual event presentations.
Let’s look at how you can use presentation software like Ingage to make your virtual event ideas come to life. From mixing multimedia to interactive elements, we will detail some easy ways to improve every virtual interaction.
Conduct Engaging Virtual Presentations with Interactive Elements
Delivering a good presentation is already enough of a challenge—but add the online factor, and you’ve got a wholly different (and more intimidating) beast on your hands.
Remote audiences face more distractions at home. An August 2020 survey from Zippia revealed that over 50% of employees are preoccupied with other things during virtual meetings. These activities are often anything from checking emails and texting to surfing the internet and doing household chores. Presentation organizers need to get creative to keep attention spans from dwindling!
Interactive virtual presentations are one of the best ways to remedy this attention deficit. Making your virtual events interactive means transforming run-of-the-mill, passive slideshows into engaging presentations that inspire and promote discourse between attendees.
To test the waters, try easy and effective interactive elements such as:
- Action Buttons. These display pop-up photos, videos, interactive maps and other media when triggered. If you can think of it, you can embed it in an action button. Embedding action buttons is useful for providing visual examples, adding context to a discussion or emphasizing existing elements. They make it easy to transform a single slide into an immersive experience.
- Video and Audio Clips. Audiovisual snippets detailing or reinforcing your topic break the monotony of a presentation. Such clips are helpful for showing demonstrations that may be hard to do during the presentation. Following up on a topic with a short video or audio sample can also emphasize your argument and add depth to the discussion.
- Image Carousels. Pictures may be stationary, but they don’t have to be boring. Carousels create rotating banners to display multiple images on one slide without taking up too much space. These are effective for showcasing products, providing visual examples and presenting timelines.
Showcase Products and Services
An interactive virtual showcase is another key tool to consider for your virtual event ideas. Interactive virtual showcases are a cut above the introductory embedded photos, videos and transition animations mentioned earlier. They integrate different types of media and visual elements for a fully animated presentation, so you can keep consumers hooked with every click. Whether you are launching a new service or conducting a product demo for a prospective client, these showcases allow you to deliver your product or service’s narrative in a far more dynamic manner than the traditional slideshow.
Start your virtual presentation a video cover page like those offered by the Ingage Presentation Suite to kick off your virtual presentation with a dynamic sneak peek—this lets your customers know from the get-go that this is no average presentation.
Next, throw in some compare pages. These radical animations allow your audience to view before-and-after photos with sliders instead of simply looking at them side by side—toggle between models effortlessly and let customers see for themselves. Compare pages are particularly helpful for service providers like cleaning companies and home renovation firms as they emphasize the extent of their services.
In addition to these key integrated animation features, interactive virtual showcases allow you to play with the very linearity of your presentation. Navigation tools like those provided in the Ingage Presentation Suite let you control the narrative of your virtual showcase in a way never before possible with a simple slideshow.
Host Virtual Training and Workshops
There’s no doubt eLearning has become a critical tool for corporate education and development initiatives in recent years, and not just because of the COVID-19 “work-from-home” revolution.
According to a 2018 Training Industry report, 50% of learners find virtual training modalities useful for sales learning. Moreover, an IBM study from 2014 showed that businesses reap $30 in productivity for every dollar invested in eLearning—one imagines this to be even more now!
Of course, virtual workshops are an adjustment. As this learning modality is different from face-to-face training, organizers need to cultivate new techniques to make the presentation dynamic. Some examples include:
- Keeping it interactive. Media pop-ups, videos and audio clips are just as helpful for virtual learning as for corporate presentations. These force learners to interact with the slides rather than just scroll through, keeping them engaged.
- Sharing links to resources. A slide can only fit so many words. Moreover, the Training Industry report mentioned above found younger eLearners now expect their information to be delivered in “bite-size increments.” Embedding links to further resources can add context to certain topics and provide additional reading materials for your participants without overwhelming them.
- Using in-presentation assessments. Polls, quizzes and similar devices serve dual purposes: they are handy transitions when moving on to a new topic while also testing a learner’s retention of the material covered.
- Tracking trainee engagement. Interactive presentation software solutions like Ingage are equipped with analytics to help you track various metrics. Tracking page views, page duration or section views gives insight into how trainees are interacting with your presentation and helps you monitor their progress. This can be used to make improvements to your training material.
The Future of Presenting at Virtual Events
2020 was a tipping point for virtual business interactions. Work setups are now predominantly remote, accelerating the adoption of virtual communication not only for day-to-day conversation but also for corporate events.
Luckily, there’s an increasing availability of tools to assist as businesses move forward with their digital transformation initiatives. Zoom, Adobe Connect, Ingage Presentation Suite and more—all the tools you need to prepare and facilitate interactive presentations are right at your fingertips. All that’s left to do is create some killer content to make your virtual event ideas a resounding success.