Undoubtedly, online presentation tools offer most of us a unique opportunity to reduce costs, reach more people while integrating powerful technology to create appealing, real-time presentations.
But just as they provide more opportunities, so can they be dangerous pitfalls for additional presentation blunders. Aside from the usual offline presentation mistakes like reading directly from your slides or failing to rehearse your script, there are other mistakes which can most likely be committed when doing web presentations.
Here are 4 of these and what you can do to avoid them:
Not knowing who your audience is
Just because you have this virtual space separating you from your audience doesn’t exempt you from knowing more about them. In fact, this need becomes more necessary, albeit also more challenging.
To make this easier, understand your invitees or audience beforehand. Sort them according to common background, interest, industry, roles, etc. Connect with them via social media. Do a pre-presentation survey of what they expect. If you’ve had experience doing web presentations before, survey previous attendees or viewers to know what works and what doesn’t. All these can make your life easier when you draft your script and work around your presentation.
Failing to use the right online tools
Even if you’re not the most tech savvy person in the world, there’s a host of convenient tools at your fingertips to create an effective web presentation. You just need to choose and use the right one. Determine the online presentation room style that best suits your presentation. Here are some tips:
- If you have multiple speakers with several attendees, consider a webinar.
- If you want a collaborative presentation with fewer attendees, do a video meeting.
- If you’re the sole speaker with a large number of guests, present using a webcast.
- Other specialized virtual rooms can be made for specific needs like product demonstrations or e-learning classrooms.
Aside from deciding the appropriate tools, choose high quality webcam or videos which have superior streaming capabilities. Likewise, invest in audio quality. Think out of the box and move beyond Powerpoint. Great presentation tools like Prezi can make your slides even more appealing and powerful. More importantly, test all these beforehand as part of your rehearsal.
Not checking your “background”
This is potentially one of the most embarrassing mistakes you can make. Background covers both audio and visual. Make sure there’s no background noise on your audio quality. If you’re far from the recording device, get a mic.
Be conscious of how you look in the camera. How do you appear in contrast with your background? Do you make eye contact with the camera? Do you make unnecessary, distracting movements? Run a rehearsal video and watch yourself before doing your actual web presentation. Remember, if you put yourself within a video frame, you (and whatever you do or how you look) become the focus more.
Delivering a long winded presentation
Especially for pre-recorded video presentations, you should remember that while your audience can be forced to sit through an hour-long live presentation, they will however not hesitate to close the window when viewing your recorded presentation a minute after finding it worthless.
Keep your presentation short
Convey your main message immediately after your brief introduction. As a rule of thumb, you generally just have 2 minutes to capture your viewers’ attention.
Combine your web presentation with visuals
Key difference between offline and online presentations is that in the latter, your gestures and interactions are fairly limited, increasing the likelihood of boring or distracting your audience. Imagine having to sit through a web presentation with just the image of the presenter facing you throughout versus seeing some photos, charts or cartoons every now and then.
Another way to engage your audience is to change your vocal patterns from time to time. Vocal patterns are more likely to sound dull or too scripted during web presentation so it helps to vary this to keep your audience on their toes.
Together with embracing the power of online presentation is embracing the challenges that come with it. It’s no longer just a matter of doing what you’ve always been doing during offline presentations. But once you’ve overcome these, the exciting presentation possibilities ahead are simply endless.
What other online web presentation tips work for you? Let us know through your comments below.