Michael Ventimiglia at GetVoIP.com asked me to contribute to an article featuring short tips from various "webinar pros" (well I should blush). The combined wisdom of a dozen experts is now available online in How to Give a Killer Webinar: Tips from the Pros.
I was a little surprised to see what Michael chose to focus on in the extract he used from our dialogue. He pulled a quote about the power and reach of webinars, and I certainly stand behind it. But since I have a little more space available here, I wanted to share with you some additional tactical tips I suggested as well. I thought it was important to highlight differences in presentation style when addressing a remote, unseen audience.
Webinar speakers certainly need to concentrate on the fundamental skills important to any good presentation: Proper slide design, focusing on audience priorities and interests, telling a compelling story. But a great webinar presenter takes extra care to account for strengths and limitations of the online environment.
- Your speaking voice needs to carry additional energy and passion to overcome the lack of physical presence.
- You should talk to your audience in the singular rather than plural form… addressing each listener as an individual, rather than addressing the audience as a group.
- You must continually engage and encourage audience members to respond and contribute through interactive challenges, questions, polls, and thought-problems. Don't just declaim "at" them for 40 minutes!
Remember, the most successful webinars are the ones that feel less like pre-recorded lectures and more like conversational dialogues.
I encourage you to read through the tips in Michael's article and more importantly, follow the links to the online resources provided by all the experts. You will find much more depth and insight that simply could not fit in the short space allotted.