Presenting in an online meeting

Cara has never given a presentation on a virtual meeting platform before. There’s a big meeting coming up, and she’s asked Sammie for some advice. Check out the tips that will help Cara prepare for a great online presentation…

Sammie smilingCara looking worried

Sammie and Hayden, the organisers of the Salty Creek Community Festival, have scheduled an online meeting with council stakeholders and prospective sponsors to talk about the industry booths being set up. Cara is responsible for organising the Social Sector Industry Booth and along with the other booth organisers, she will be giving a presentation on what she has planned and how stakeholders and sponsors might like to get involved.

Cara is a confident speaker and is familiar with the council stakeholders, but she’s a bit worried about presenting online. She decides to ask Sammie for some help to make sure she’s on the right track.

Listen to or read the voicemail Cara leaves Sammie.

Voicemail transcript


  • What differences are there between an in-person presentation and an online one?
  • What advice would you give Cara?

Are these tips helpful for a person preparing to give an online presentation? Test your knowledge with the quiz below. Select YES if you think the tip is helpful. Don’t forget to select ‘Check’ and read the feedback.

Quiz transcript

After calling Cara back, Sammie sends her a follow-up email. Read the email to get some more tips on presenting online.


Hi Cara,

It was good chatting with you this morning. Looking forward to the run-through of your presentation on Friday. You’ll be all set for the meeting by next week!

I know you think Hayden and I are tech-whizzes, but we weren’t always confident presenting in virtual meetings! I wanted to share a few more things I did to get used to them.

Before my first presentation on a virtual meeting platform, I created a new meeting with myself as the only participant and played around with the different functions. I got my sister to join the meeting so that I could try sharing my screen, opening my presentation slides, muting my microphone, and opening the chat box. It was much better trying it out in my own time and space with someone to help me. I definitely felt a lot more confident once I had a better idea of what to expect.

Most virtual meeting platforms have a record function, so I actually recorded myself doing a trial run of my presentation with my slides when there was nobody else in the meeting. I was able to watch it back and see how I’d look and sound to the audience. I realised that the audience would see me looking down at the notes at the bottom of my screen, so I moved them up to the top of the screen so I could look into the webcam more often (that’s what makes it seem like you’re looking at the audience).

I know that you’re a bit worried about people’s background noise when they ask questions, and how it might interfere with your assisted hearing device. Many people set the standard for how they want participants to interact with their presentations at the beginning. You can let everyone know to keep their mics muted and send questions through the chat box if you prefer, or to use the raise-hand function so that people speak one at a time.

If you think it might be a bit much speaking, sharing your presentation slides, and reading the chat box, I can share your slides and move them along while you speak, or respond to people in the chat. Sometimes it helps to have a co-presenter. You can let me know on Friday what feels most comfortable.

Talk to you soon,



Cara winking and smiling from a computer screen

Cara feels much more prepared for the online presentation now. These new skills won’t just help Cara at the festival meeting – she now feels more confident using them in her professional role, and even setting up online family reunions with her loved ones who live interstate.

Today’s classrooms and workplaces are becoming increasingly digital, making successful online communication an essential skill. Improving your online presentation skills, like Cara has, will help you to reach your full potential while studying and in your future career.

Salty Creek Community Festival logo
  • Now that you know more about presenting online, you might want to learn about engaging your audience during a presentation. Check out the advice Hayden shares with a volunteer at the Economics and Marketing booth on giving a presentation. (5 minutes)
  • Presenting online is something that most uni students will do at some point in their studies, but it’s just one part of working with others in virtual environments. Take a quiz to test your online learning skills. (10 minutes)

Learn more on Learning Lab

  • The Online presentations introduction and Preparing for online presentations page are quick reads with info on tools you can use to make slides and visuals, and some things to consider before your presentation. (6 minutes)
  • Practice makes perfect – you can learn and improve from trial and error. Read about a group of uni students’ mistakes and lessons learnt when doing an online presentation. (4 minutes)
  • Learn more about presentation skills in general by exploring the Oral presentations basics tutorial, but keep in mind that some advice might not apply to presentations in virtual environments. (15 minutes)


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