Pandora’s Box or Better than Ever? Tips for Benefits Presentations in a Pandemic

One simple method may be to change the Zoom background you use when giving the presentation. Online graphics editing program Canva has new, free customizable Zoom backgrounds. Those backgrounds can be changed to help keep key information literally right by your side.

Open enrollment for many companies is tough. Trying to get the attention of multiple busy people who need to focus on small details is rough going in a normal business day. But in the pandemic where many are working from home, large gatherings (the kind needed for benefits presentations) are discouraged, and frankly, everyone is worried about important things, it can feel like an actual living nightmare. Not the kind where you go to school without your clothes on, but the kind where you are unprepared for the big final. Many companies that have fiscal years not tried to the calendar year, like those who start their FY in July or schools who might start their FY in August, may be entering that open enrollment period now. Here are a few tips on how to increase your presentation game to help those employees stay focused and get the information they need.

Since we covered the topic of alternatives to PowerPoint back in July of 2019, [1] everyone and their grandmother, literally, has become savvy to the online video conference platform. Zoom reported that it has 300 million daily Zoom meeting participants. That’s roughly equivalent to the entire population of the United States.[2] Many folks find the traditional slide presentation format, Powerpoint, to be less than optimal in interacting with Zoom.  

If you want to stray away from Powerpoint so as to avoid those problems, like blurry slides or suboptimal transitions, you might try those new platforms we discussed in July of 2019: Prezi, Haiku Deck, Visme, Pickit, Focusky, and Slidebean. Prezi focuses on the visual aspect of presenting information, whereas PowerPoint focuses on content - it’s mostly driven by words on the page. This helps keep your audience’s attention. Prezi also focuses on the interplay between the information – allowing your audience to stay engaged with the material instead of glossing over details after fatigue sets in. That focus on the interplay between the information can be especially helpful in a benefits presentation where employees may be interested in comparing plans. In fact, some experts urge benefits administrators to avoid reading their slides as much as possible.[3]

If you want to stick with Powerpoint, you can try options to animate that slideshow. You can also Zoom your Powerpoint on Zoom.[4] While that may sound like the beginning to the Matrix version of a benefits presentation, there is a Zoom feature in Powerpoint. The Zoom feature in Zoom allows you to move more freely within the slide deck so that you can have a more engaging discussion. While it requires a few tricks, like creating a summary page, it isn’t rocket since.

Many folks note that employees tend to miss details in open enrollment periods, like wellness benefits in health care insurance. They may also lose key details of the “alphabet soup” of special savings accounts, like HSAs and FSAs. Having an online presentation can actually help those employees. Rather than opening a pandora’s box of troubles, an online benefits’ presentation may help keep those employees engaged with the details.

One simple method may be to change the Zoom background you use when giving the presentation.  Online graphics editing program Canva has new, free customizable Zoom backgrounds.[5] Those backgrounds can be changed to help keep key information literally right by your side.

Again, the more visually engaging the presentation, like with animated Zoom backgrounds or more interactive presentation software like Prezi, the better. As one expert suggests: “Try to limit the use of graphs, pie charts, and flowcharts. These will only bore and maybe even confuse your employees if too much is thrown at them at once. Include plenty of fun stock imagery, and limit the words that appear on the slides.”[6]

Zoom also allows for chats, which may help your benefits administrator answer questions within the presentation more easily than might have been in the past with live presentations.







These articles are prepared for general purposes and are not intended to provide advice or encourage specific behavior. Before taking any action, Advisors and Plan Sponsors should consult with their compliance, finance and legal teams.

Back to Blog

Latest Entries

Need a Proposal?

Before leaping into the unknown, we recommend a thorough examination of your plan. Because we are experts in the field, we know the marketplace and know what your existing vendor is capable of offering.  Through this examination, we can help you optimize the service you receive.

get xpress proposal