A lot of managers and trainers are using Web-based Seminars (webinars) and presentation sharing on the web to save cost but also help reach a large audience quickly.
Ellen Finkelstein is a recognized expert, speaker, and best-selling author on PowerPoint and presentation skills. She has received the PowerPoint Microsoft® Most Valuable Professional (MVP) Award.
In this exclusive interview with Arte of Presentation Process, Ellen shares her tips for taking your presentation on web through webinars and online slide-sharing sites.
Transcript of Interview with Ellen
ARTE: As always let us start with the first step of any presentation – Preparation. Is there really a difference in preparing for a presentation on the web as compared to preparing for a presentation in a meeting room?
ELLEN: For a webinar, you need to know the interactive features of the webinar service and set them up in advance such as polls or plan how to use them such as the chat window.
If you are not planning to use live video along with your slides, you don’t need to videotape yourself during practice. But most of the preparation steps are the same.
ARTE: How should the slides look different while presenting on the web as compared to a face to face presentation?
ELLEN: I would say that there isn’t a big difference. People are closer up, so you can get away with smaller text, but on the other hand, they have more distractions (e-mail, a colleague walking in on them), so I would stay big and bold.
One important issue is animation: it often doesn’t work well on the web because most webinar services don’t support fast movement. Finally, to keep people’s attention, I would recommend more slides, each shown for a shorter time; each slide change attracts attention.
ARTE: Are there some specific techniques (like polling questions) are available to keep the audience involved in a presentation on web?
ELLEN: Yes, polling questions are one option. Another is simply to ask a question and ask people to answer in the chat window. You can then read out many of the answers and use them to move your presentation forward. People like to hear what others in the audience are thinking.
ARTE: How do you get audience feedback with a presentation on web?
ELLEN: Getting audience feedback is always important. For webinars, the service may provide an after-webinar questionnaire. But when you’re doing a webinar, it’s really hard to know what the audience is feeling; in person, you can see it in their faces and body language.
If you’re training, you may be able to give quizzes. Little games also help you get feedback from the audience.
If you post a presentation on a slide-sharing site, people can add comments. If you post it on your blog, there, too, people can add comments, so you’ll get some feedback.
That then moves us to the next step of delivering the presentation on web…
ARTE: Is it possible to establish your credibility and sincerity when the audience can’t see you?
ELLEN: Your voice does a lot! Also, what you say is extremely important, of course! One thing I do after my webinars, is I always provide a handout with my script and additional instructions (for different versions of PowerPoint or links to resources).
I think that going this extra mile helps to make clear that I really want my viewers to get a permanent resource from the webinar.
ARTE:If you are having a voice over, what specific alterations should be made in delivery style to enhance effectiveness?
ELLEN: For presentations that you post with a voice over on a slide-sharing site or your website, you need to be a little clearer and crisper than in person. In person, people don’t expect perfection, so pauses and repetitions are OK. Once you put a presentation online, the delivery needs to be more perfected. Editing definitely helps!
ARTE: Since we are talking about voice over, how important are tonality and modulation when you present on the web?
ELLEN: It’s good to sound natural and not as if you’re reading. Standing up is a help to a more powerful delivery. Some people put pictures of friends in front of them and pretend to talk to them—it helps you sound more as if you’re connecting with people.
ARTE:How do you ensure that your audience is with you all the time? This is a difficult when you talks in person. But especially on the web, when there are distractions like email and chat messages, what can you do?
ELLEN: You can’t keep audience with you all the time. But use the interactive techniques we discussed, keep things lively, avoid all text slides, and make sure that you’ve planned well to meet your audience’s needs.
ARTE:Thank you, for the insights! I am sure people will find making presentations online far easier with these tips.
ELLEN: Thank You!
|Know More about EllenTo know more about Ellen’s work in PowerPoint and AutoCAD, visit Ellen Finkelstein’s website here.|
Webinars, or Web Seminars, are interactive online sessions that can include audio, slides, screen sharing, white boards, video and other content. They can be used for a variety of purposes like making sales presentations, product demonstrations, training, marketing and so on.
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