Giving Better Online Presentations

Web seminars have become increasingly popular, but there are some tricks involved to make them interesting. I've presented Web seminars for 5 years and here are some techniques you can use to keep the audience awake and attentive:

  • Closely examine read the list of attendees before the program so you can tailor your presentation to the audience's interests.
  • Have more than one speaker, because the difference in voices keeps the audience alert. Two male voices will sound exactly the same; it's better to have a male and female speaker.
  • Try to have a "talk radio" sound to the presentation -- have lots of back-and-forth between the presenters.
  • Distribute handout materials that have blanks in key points; during the presentation, display the completed slides; this requies the attendees to write in the blanks, causing them to follow more closely.
  • Use polling questions to query the audience. Ask them about what's going on at their offices, or how many of the ideas you're talking about they are already using.
  • Use the e-chat feature to allow attendees to ask questions and interrupt the program to respond to a question.
  • Let attendees ask questions live over the phone at the end of the program.
  • Change slides frequently. Too much spent on one slide takes too long to go through and thus, too boring.
  • During the show, make sure you go through all your prepared material. Attendees hate it when you talk to long and don't cover everything.
  • Track results with a system that supports data collection (not just polls). This way, you will have a record of all important decisions made on the call.
  • Take the audience on Web tours (the attendees to other web sites).
  • Use the annotation tools -- operate the pointers, check marks, underlining and other emphasis features to explain a slide.
  • Record the program and offer CDs that contain the audio, slides and handout materials.

    A Webinar is just like a TV or radio broadcast. It must start and end exactly on time. The more you can be like a broadcast show, the better, becuase this is what your audience is used to.

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