top of page

Tips on returning to in-person presentations

Tips on returning to in-person presentations

After a long year of working remotely, people are beginning to return to the office. And like a baseball player showing up for spring training, it’s going to take some time to get back up to speed with in-person presentations.

So to help you shake off the cobwebs and become your best presentation self, we’ve put together a few tips for transitioning to in-person presentations again.

Practice makes perfect

If you want to get back to your old level of comfort and skill at presenting (or even get better), there’s no substitute for practice. After a year of presenting remotely, you may notice that your breathing is off during long periods of talking, your rhythm has adjusted to the lag of digital presenting, or that you just feel a little weird standing in front of a room full of people.

The best way to get past those presentation nerves is to practice! Rehearse your presentation in front of a mirror, run through it with colleagues, however works best for you. The more you present, the easier it will be.

Re-adapt your visuals

Lots of people used digital presentations as a reason to push the envelope on how they used visuals in their presentations. That means more transitions, animations, and charts are showing up than ever before. And that’s a good thing! Each one plays a part in orchestrating a presentation.

But the dynamic of a digital presentation is quite different from one given in a room. Now that the attention is back on the presenter and the audience isn’t separated by a screen, you may want to scale back the extra visuals, or at least make sure they have been designed to work on a larger screen.

Which leads us to our next tip…

Check your tech

There are two parts to this tip.

First, you should remember to check your designs for legibility on larger screens. Without the up-close-and-personal view that came with digital presentations, long text and small type can be hard to read. The same thing goes for charts and other visuals.

And, of course, remember to check your devices for compatibility. Adapters, file types, software updates: there are so many little things that can derail a presentation before it even gets going, and taking a few minutes to double check the usual suspects will help you stay on track.

Take a hybrid approach

Sometimes you don't want (or need) to overthink the difference between a virtual and in-person presentation. So instead of spending extra time customizing your content for each format, consider a hybrid presentation.

Hybrids sit somewhere between a virtual and in-person presentation. They might not be as bold or packed with visual bells-and-whistles as an in-person, but they also have less content than a purely virtual (or leave-behind) might.

For a great hybrid, focus on a good balance of content and visuals, but avoid splashy moments like animations or videos (which often play sluggishly when streaming). Trim your content back to the core, and make sure each slide feels balanced and easily scannable.

It’s ok to make mistakes

We’re just going to say it: no one has ever given a perfect presentation. And after a year out of the office, it’s going to take time to get comfortable with the process again. As we said in the beginning, the best way to get good at something is to practice. So give yourself some space to grow, and before you know it, you’ll be giving better presentations than ever before.

To learn more about presentation skills, check out our Presentation Training class.

Update (03/24): we’ve revised this article to add some new details on best practices for virtual and in-person presentations.

Looking for more information about presentation skills and beyond? Check out our resources for expert advice and tested strategies.

About the author

Kyle Kartz is the Creative Director of Storytelling at VerdanaBold. He is an expert copywriter and strategist, with experience driving major campaigns for global brands in multiple industries. He is passionate about communications, the outdoors, and cooking.



PowerPoint tips and tricks, new presentation design ideas, and other bold ideas, delivered directly to your inbox.

bottom of page