People assume that delivering an online presentation is much easier than delivering a public one, given the fact that you aren’t physically in the room with an audience of people. Sure, an online presentation has its advantages; you are able to conduct it in your home or office, you don’t have the added pressures of stage fright. But in conducting an online presentation, you still need to adhere to the exact same rules of presentations as well as other considerations about the online platform. Below are some tips to keep in mind when developing and delivering your online presentations.
The central idea of a successful online session is having a robust structure, that is centred around keypoints.
How you structure it is entirely up to you. Some suggest the 10-20-30 rule is the most effective.This rule states that all presentations should have 10 slides, per 20 minutes and have 30pt font. If a presentation is longer presenters will lose the audience and so every 20 minutes include a break of a pace changer. Pace changers can include anything from telling a story, to a poll – a video or info-graphic or even introducing a guest speaker.
While there is no definitive structure for a presentation to follow, it is evident that less is more. This is true in regards to both format, as well as content.
If you flood your audience with information, ideas and concepts they will only retain a very small amount of what is being said, which means all of the effort you have put into the presentation is wasted and so is the time they spent investing in your presentation.
In order ensure your presentation is beneficial and well-received, keep in mind that your aim should always be to simplify. Simplify complex ideas, break them down, give it to them slowly, check in with them to make sure they understand – and the audience will have a far better experience.
Presentations are an experience for an audience. In order for their experience to be a good one it needs to be entertaining and engaging. To achieve this, think about your presentations as a spirited yet factual conversation. Anecdotes and stories become a presenter’s best trick. They can be used to simultaneously explain engage and entertain. So use them to make valuable points and convey key messages, as this is often what will stick with the audience. Structure it in an exciting way, take the audience on a journey through your story, make them laugh, make them listen.
Another way to engage an audience is by using visual aids. Visual aids are necessary to keep people focussed on your content. Why display your valuable information across a series of boring text slides, when things can be explained so much more efficiently, in a more visually appealing way, through things such as infographics or video clips.
To create infographics there are many different online software you can use such as infogr.am and piktochart. Videos can be found on Youtube or why not try making your own. For quality pictures, try Flickr or Depositphotos and animations can be created via Animatron and Powtoon.
Unlike traditional presentations, you can’t rely on presence and movement to engage an audience when delivering a speech. Therefore, you should constantly be aware of your tone, rhythm and volume, to ensure that your voice is as active as possible. This way, your audience will feel more compelled to listen. When delivering your presentation, you should also be aware of your body. Make sure that your physical movements (fiddling, pacing) aren’t becoming distracting for your audience, otherwise you can take away from the value of what is being said.
Rehearsing is key to ensuring the success of your presentation. If you don’t know your content, the audience will immediately be able to tell, and you will appear be less confident and uninformed about the topic; which can damage your credibility and your reputation as an expert. Knowing your script is also important when delivering an online presentation that may be interactive in the sense that if you know your script you can deviate from it and return to it at any point.
If you decide to incorporate technology into your performance that you are not used to using, make sure you really perfect it before your presentation. There is nothing worse than technological faults and glitches in a presentation as it takes away from the whole thing and can frustrate people by wasting their time. Do a technical rehearsal with all of your equipment to prevent this from happening.
Online presentations aren’t as simple as having a conversation with someone through a webcam or simply delivering a speech. In order for your online presentation to be effective you need to incorporate a variety of tools and techniques to keep your presentation fresh and engaging.