How to tackle Zoom fatigue when it’s impacting pitches and sales

By Lyndon Nicholson, CEO of Future Present.

Zoom fatigue is very real and businesses, and audiences, are tiring of it.

In the first lockdown we were all pitching, selling and communicating via Zoom and other video-calling tech, because it was the only option.

Initially it was a bit of a novelty. But even in the first lockdown people were getting fed up, according to a study by London South Bank University. And there’s still much debate about the explosion of video-calling tech companies are using in response to COVID-19 and the fact it’s straining our brains.

Factor in 74% of firms saying that remote working is here to stay, and we’re all going to be pitching and selling online for the foreseeable future.

What’s affecting the pitching process

So, companies are trying to figure out how to adapt, stand out from the competition and prosper. Especially when you consider our short attention spans (on average it takes just 10.71 minutes for peoples’ minds to drift off during a presentation). Plus, there’s a lack of eye contact and body language cues to contend with.

Pre-pandemic the best pitch presentations had a single word or image on each slide for the presenter to talk around. This is because you want the audience to focus on what you’re saying, not on lots of words on a slide.

When you’re pitching online, it’s different because your prospects are looking at a presentation on screen and you’re in the background. They expect to have more to look at, and you can lose their attention quicker if you’re not engaging them.

Let’s not forget broadband connection speeds too. You can’t control your audiences’ so you need to be creative and think differently about what you include, like virtual demos and complex animations about your products and services.

And businesses are saying that it’s harder to stand out when they’re pitching online and they want to get more creative and find different solutions.

How to stand out and continue winning business during a pandemic

Demand for virtual sales presentations and pitch decks have shot up by 80% this year, so there’s clearly a need for expert help, but ‘Zoom fatigue’ is also regularly cited as reason for wanting a different way to pitch.

Live presentation experiences that feel more like an interactive TV broadcast are gaining traction because they offer a more engaging and interactive experience for everyone. And they enable sales teams to pitch to audiences of any size, anywhere and at any time – online.

Conversation-based selling is another great way to switch up your sales pitches. This enables you to bring your audience to a point where they are participating in the pitch. If you use a menu-driven sales presentation you can click on the sections relevant to that conversation which makes for a more personalised experience.

If using this menu-driven approach another bold move is to pass control of the pitch to your prospects (controversial, I know, but I’ve seen it delight some audiences). This is where you hand over the presentation to your prospects and let them steer the conversation based on what they want to know from you.

So, while ‘Zoom fatigue’ is impacting pitches, sales and online meetings, companies do have plenty of options to switch up their pitching game and impress their audiences with something different or unexpected.

Lyndon Nicholson is CEO Of Future Present, an agency specialising in presentation storytelling, design, development and experiences.

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