Are you one of many who had to cancel your live event and looking to replace it with a webinar? Then you should put some effort in improving your presentation skills – as there’s a big difference between hosting a physical live event and a webinar.
In this blog post I will share my best practices for having an engaging presentation during a webinar. With my experience in this area I hope and believe my advice will have some value.
Want to learn more? Watch our webinar “How to replace a live event with a successful webinar”.
“Since there’s a big difference between hosting a physical live event and a webinar – there are a lot of areas to improve on when it comes to online presentation skills"
1. Create dynamics
A live presentation on stage is dynamic, this can be imitated in a webinar by not just using PowerPoint as a tool. When you talk about an important point you want to highlight, you can temporarily shut down the PowerPoint, look straight into the camera and talk directly to the audience. Or if you want to share something that’s online don’t just have the website prepared in the background but show the actual process of opening a browser and typing in the link to the site you want to demonstrate.
2. Create interaction
At a live event you get away with being alone on the stage, we’ve already covered many of the benefits of such a format. For a webinar if you are alone there is a risk of sounding like you are monologuing. To stir things up consider having a second speaker join in, either for equal parts of the presentation or as an “expert commentator” or moderator.
3. Focus on voice and sound
In live presentations you have the entire body as a tool to communicate with your audience, but in a webinar you cannot use the body language in the same way. Even if your audience sees you through a camera, the screen is small and therefore the voice becomes an even more important tool for creating a successful webinar. Avoid tix and muttering and talk clearly. To ensure that the sound is good, considering using headphones or at least test the sound in advance.
4. Expect people to connect after the appointed time
Many people go straight from a meeting into your webinar. This means that you can expect people to connect a few minutes late. Of course, you should start at the appointed time, but begin talking about something that is not important to know to keep up with rest of the presentation – for example start with what you and your company does, or tell them about the webinar length, Q&A in the end, recording sent the day after and other non-critical information that is still of general interest.
5. Be prepared
With no one to see them it’s easy for listeners to shift focus to something else – their phone or a separate browser window. To avoid this, you need to be well prepared and when you have your Q&A session, (which we always recommend in webinars) you should already have prepared 1-2 questions that you know many people want answers to. By preparing some questions beforehand, you avoid silence and give listeners the opportunity to write their questions while you have already begun to answer some of them.
... and the mistakes to avoid:
Now we have gone through the basics when it comes to presentation skills for webinars. Let's look at the mistakes many speakers make when giving presentations online, so you know what not to do. It's all about capturing the audience right from the start with a good introduction, but many get heavy-handed as soon as they go live. Already here you may have lost your audience.
The importance of preparation:
- Before starting a webinar, you should formulate an interesting and captivating question, challenge or story to share.
- Our recommendation is that you write down word for word how to start your webinar, something you can lean back on if you lose your chain of thought.
- It’s easy to overestimate the time you have available, so prepare and rehearse well beforehand. It is better to focus on a few things and do it great, rather than rush through a webinar to say as much as possible.
Do you want to know more about best practices for a successful webinar campaign? Watch our webinar “How to replace a live event with a successful webinar".
Good luck and take care!