Due to COVID-19, I'm working from home, and I'm going to give a presentation from home. I wonder if some of good practices when giving presentation directly are still good? For example: do not put too many words in the slides => but now the audiences only have the slides to stare at, should I put more words?

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    One big difference with in-person presentations is that it is harder for you to judge whether the audience have understood you, because you can not see their faces and reaction, and even if you can the reactions are often delayed a bit. So one piece of advice is to ask regularly if there are any questions and if everything is clear, especially after explaining a concept that is important for understanding the rest of the presentation.
    – Louic
    Jun 17, 2020 at 7:25
  • Practice with your technology to make sure you have the bugs worked out (e.g., your microphone sounds good, you know how to do things without fumbling, etc.) Jun 17, 2020 at 12:51

3 Answers 3


Differences between a real in-person and a remote presentation are quite many, but the main key points of keeping an audience engaged remain the same. Assuming the audience can access the slides somewhere before or after the presentation, I would suggest to have pictorial representations of main concepts - use schematic diagrams and small bullet point sentences to assist them. Play around with bold fonts and highlight colours for texts, but not too much of any of these. There are many other good practices for giving a scientific and technical presentation, do perform a google search and find your preferred ones.

For a remote session, it is best to choose a platform where you can share your screen and keeping your video on, which actually adds a real feel to the presentation for the audience. It is good to have a plain background and silent environment as much as possible. If you choose a virtual background, make sure the software platform has had enough practice with it so that it can recognize between you and the background without patches of your face disappearing in the background. Structure your words more like a conversation and less like a monologue because even though the audience might be the best in this field, it is easy to zone out in such a session, so it is best to put in elements that attract attention and makes your talk easy to follow. Also, remember to number your slides/equations, etc so that they are easy to refer to.

Also, keep track of the time, if there is a chair or convener, probably they will give warnings, otherwise time yourself and don't rush or be overly slow, try to keep a steady tempo. A neutral tone is also a strong requirement for remote sessions because if your audience is spread across the planet, you don't want to come across as either a rude person or a bore.

I remember the speakers from remote sessions whose talks were natural and didn't seem too rehearsed and plastic. In the end, the content matters the most, but it is always pleasant to see it presented in an easier way - just like in a good paper.


No, I'm pretty sure that more words to stare (squint) at aren't going to be a big winner. If you can't switch back and forth between yourself and your material in a seamless way, then send them the materials prior to the presentation and refer to them as you go. Number them, perhaps to make reference easy.

But some sort of screen splitting software would be better, perhaps.

And assure that there is room/time for questions and an effective way to answer them.

And attend to what is seen in the background as you speak and make sure that you don't get interruptions from people/pets as you go.


May not be relevant for your situation, but I had added audio to my ppt presentations for building excel models using the Solver.

The students can work on the example in parallel, pause it as needed and, perhaps, mute me as needed :)

Feedback was good, as my students were in all the world's time zones so one single presentation was not going to cut it.

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