One of the benefits of the Internet is the ability to provide online presentations or training. Called webinars, online presentations have risen to a new height with instant Internet access. A webinar can be conducted at any time of the day or night and can be done via a webcam or by the use of video and graphics. When conducting an online presentation, podcast or webinar, it’s important to keep in mind some key points to ensure your presentation’s success.
To have a successful online presentation or training event, it’s important to keep in mind these critical points when signing up people for the event:
Slideshows created with slideshow software work well for conveying statistical information or facts. Don’t overcomplicate the slides, keep them simple and clean for easy viewing. Images work well with slideshow presentations and help to engage participants. Use more slides than you normally would in a regular presentation. Because you are not in the room with your participants, you need to keep them engaged. Keep it simple, move at a good pace and provide many slides.
Outline your presentation in advance and stay within a specific structure. Don’t jump all over the place with your information. If you have a specific result you wish to achieve, such as a call to action, make sure this is clear. By outlining the information ahead of time, this will help when it comes to preparing the slide presentation. If you’re teaching people how to use a specific software or online application, make sure to show them actual usage using a video presentation as you teach them. Be creative, but keep it simple when using visual tools to help in your online presentation. If you plan to have a question and answer session, this can be done via the Internet as well, but you need to make sure that whatever host you use for your online presentation includes the interactive features.
Always enunciate clearly, know your objective and introduce it succinctly. Include any special benefits or features if you are selling something and have a call to action at the end of the webinar that engages your audience to take action. It’s important to connect with your audience emotionally. Don’t talk down to your audience—talk across to your audience. Don’t be condescending or use terminology that your audience may not be familiar with.
Grab your audience’s attention immediately with the first slide by using a short video. Forge a relationship with them immediately, and don’t introduce yourself right at first. Introduce yourself after you have engaged your audience and have their attention. You also need to stimulate your audience’s imagination by using visual words. Pictures are worth 1,000 words according to the old saying. That includes the pictures you create in your audience’s imagination. Use storytelling to help convey your ideas. Most people won’t remember the words that you leave them with, but they will remember the mental images from your presentation.
Avoid long pauses of dead air time, but use pauses effectively. Don’t use filler words such as “um,” “uh,” “and then,” and more. This doesn’t sound professional and even though you may be prepared, it sounds like you’re aren’t prepared, like you’re searching for what you want to say. Keep a crib sheet handy to help you remember any special announcements or key points not included in the slide. When you end the presentation, end it positively. People usually remember the last part of the seminar, and when you keep it fresh and positive, they go away from the webinar invigorated and inspired.
Because of the nature of working with computers and the Internet, when you complete a live online presentation, keep another computer operational or online as a backup. If something goes wrong with the computer you are using, you can easily switch over to the backup computer in case something goes wrong. When you plan for all contingencies, you will ensure a successful online presentation.
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