I love giving presentations! Being in front of your audience, seeing how they transform during the presentation, and answering their questions are just some of the things that make presenting so exciting and enjoyable.
Do you want know what I love a little bit less? Giving presentations in a vacuum. Sometimes you need to hold an online webinar. I am often creating videos for my course and YouTube. In all these cases I am missing a key element of a presentation: contact with the audience.
Creating a webinar or a video is not so far away from creating a presentation for a live audience, but there are a few key differences that I want to highlight today.
Bring your own enthusiasm
Holding a webinar or recording a video requires you to bring all the energy, all the excitement and power to the presentation yourself. When you’re in a room, you can often feed off of the energy of your audience, or take them on a journey from apathy to excitement. If you’re alone in front of a microphone or a camera you need to deliver just the right amount of excitement in order to motivate your audience.
But pay attention: if you go over the top with your enthusiasm you can’t see your audience reacting. Finding the balance is hard.
Don’t sit on a slide too long
Nobody likes to stare at a video that is totally static. And this is what happens when – during a webinar – you start talking on and on about a single static slide. For Presentation Hero I’ve created videos that are 2 minutes long and still contain 20 to 25 slides.
As a rule of thumb, increase the total number of slides, even double them, when you are creating a video or a webinar.
Create some movement
You know those cheesy animations that look terrible in the boardroom and distract the audience while you are presenting? Well, those same animations can be your friend if you’re creating a video. Don’t go overboard by adding animations everywhere, but where they make sense you should absolutely have some dynamic elements.
Audio is a priority
Whenever you are creating a video invest on the audio part more than on the video. We can all live with a less than perfect video image, but we will all be disturbed by poor quality audio. The market is full of really high quality microphones. Look for podcasting grade microphones for your webinars. And don’t be scared to have a microphone in the picture with you, especially if it’s a good one.
If you’re recording a video think about adding some background music. But make sure that the music has the right tone and that the volume is low enough.
Practice your timing
The vacuum is a scary place. A keen sense of time is essential: you risk losing your live webinar audience or – even worse – creating a video that is too long to achieve YouTube success. If you’re recording, strive towards creating the quickest, most compact version of your content. If you’re live, make sure that your presentation is well rehearsed and keep a timer running.
You know what else can really help you create a great webinar or video? Having a rock solid structure, where you bring your audience from the beginning, to the middle, to the end of your presentation like it’s one simple voyage. But to learn all about that you will need to wait a little bit more.
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