​A few years ago at Duarte, we conducted a survey to see how many people attended presentations remotely versus in person. The results showed that 85% of presentations were remote. It’s harder to make a sincere connection with an audience when you’re not in the same room.

​Managers spend most of their workday in meetings. Many managers consider almost half of those meetings a waste of time. So when meetings are already feeling like a waste, make yours more productive by using a presentation.

​In a remote meeting situation, you’re competing with many attendee distractions, the primary one being their e-mail. If your material isn’t more interesting than their inbox, they won’t be 100% present.

​Have meeting attendees read one page and discuss that topic. When attendees read the presentation and then discuss it, it engages them more often. Each time you advance to a new slide, if attendees are multitasking, they’ll have to minimize e-mail (or whatever they’re doing) to read the slide so they can continue to be a participant. But again, don’t read or present the slide to them; it’s faster if they read it and then discuss it.

​You can also use presentations as a guide and context for all the topics you want to talk over. Putting the topics you’ll be discussing in a presentation moves the meeting along. It also helps attendees gauge how much you’ve covered as the meeting progresses.

​If you’re using telepresence or other emerging video systems, sending presentations ahead of time will ensure that your communication is failsafe (you never know what might go wrong with technology).

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