Virtual Doesn’t Have to Be Boring!


“I’m SO excited to sit through 178 PowerPoint slides in the next 30 minutes,” has said no one ever! I never understood death by dull presentations before the global pandemic forced all of us to go, do, and be more digital, virtual, and online. I can’t imagine the torture most business professionals endure as they’re held hostage by those who insist that After Covid (A.C.) learning should be the same way as Before Covid (B.C.)

Whether it’s a webinar, a video broadcast, an educational session, or any digital interaction, virtual doesn’t have to be boring. If you’re presenting the same content you had in the past online, stop it. People want to be kind and forgiving, but we all have a breaking point.

A handful of ideas to consider – additional tips and a deeper dive on each, including specific tools I’m using, in our Nour Forum community:

  1. Virtual screams for interactive, engaging, and immersive experiences. If you’re talking at your audience, you can’t possibly understand what they’re thinking, what if any of the content is resonating, their perspectives, and what they’ll take away from your session. Before you design your session, prioritize your target audience and empathize with their wants and needs. How will they be better off because of your session?
  2. You’re not the hero of the journey. Few people care what you know; they only care about what they’ll know from investing the time, effort, and resources to join you online. Stop making online sessions about you, your book, your brilliant advice, or insights. The session should be 100% about their challenges and opportunities
  3. Equal value in the content and the community. For years, subject-matter experts have shown up and presented material. There is enormous value in new, fresh, and compelling content. What you’re also missing out is the second half of successful digital engagement – the community! Get to know them in advance, engage them with interactive tools during, and create a forum for discussions on the content afterward.
  4. Your digital infrastructure needs a makeover. The slow internet access to your home, built-in camera of that laptop point up at your chin, the bright light behind you that makes you look like you’re in the witness protection program, and poor audio quality from your laptop microphone, are not putting your best digital foot forward. If we’re all going to work from home for months to come, maybe it’s time to upgrade your digital infrastructure. If your organization doesn’t do it, invest in it yourself – we’re talking about your digital brand.
  5. Get efficient and effective online. Meetings, webinars, etc. don’t have to always begin at the top of the hour or last an hour. If we’re all having 6-8-10 virtual meetings online daily, how refreshing to do some (if not many of them) in 15 min or less? No one can effectively stare into that camera or watch others on a screen for 8-10-12 hours a day! Please dispense with the flowery pontification and get to the point. Two of my favorite questions at the onset of every digital interaction is “what’s the best use of our time together?” and “how much time do you think we’ll need?” always looking to balance digital relationship needs with digital relationship efficiency.

If you missed our two-day, highly engaging, interactive, and immersive Emory Executive Education course on Strategy Visualization and Agile Alignment this past week, you missed a group of highly interactive professionals, immersed in a digital whiteboard! Ask me how in the Nour Forum.

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