Six tips for presenting an efficient, smooth, and memorable webinar.

Webinar

As social beings, people have found a way to stay together and share, even during the pandemic. Moreover, this adventure began in the digital environment has been adopted by many and become popular. What are we talking about? Maybe you are still going through your participation stage. Eventually, however, you will have to embark on this adventure and present a webinar! If you want to get off to a good start, you should select the right platform, pick a proper event date and time, leverage the content of your presentation and your voice to offset the inability to use body language, have a good, reassuring team, rehearse a lot, and smile more to make people feel that you are close to them even though you are physically away.

Work, education, social responsibility, entertainment… Regardless of the theme, there comes a time when we all have to make a presentation. And at that moment, we all have to test some of our skills and abilities. The truth is, presentations will always be a part of our lives. Moreover, they will only be more and more digital.

Digital activities, which do not require direct, in-person communication in a physical environment, offer a comfortable space for those with social phobia and are afraid of making presentations in front of people. Although extroverts and social individuals who like looking someone in the eye and shaking hands find webinars disappointing, they later thought webinars sounded plausible after realizing various opportunities to address wider audiences.

The delicacies of a great webinar presentation

Webinars surely facilitated many things for everyone. However, online events also brought about new challenges. Compared to in-person presentations, live broadcasts require you to consider many points technically. Considering that facial expressions and body language influence a significant part of human communication, the ability to manage people's attention and perception and take their pulse requires considering various elements if they are removed from the equation significantly.

Here are six tips for presenting an efficient, smooth, and memorable webinar:

1. Select the best platform

If you want to make your presentation at ease, you should first select the best platform where you can actually do it. Nobody wants to experience an abrupt interruption during a presentation they prepared carefully. Does the company providing webinar service have a streaming infrastructure solid enough? Or is it mobile compatible? These are among the things you need to consider.

Although we live in the technology age, many people are still technology novices and nervous to hear even the "d" of digital. Accordingly, the platform you will choose should also be user-friendly. Moreover, your target audience does not have to be novice digital users. You should always choose a platform with a user-friendly interface.

The platforms with a customizable structure that offer sufficient options for your branding and messages have a great advantage. Especially when you plan to hold a virtual event specific to an organization, you should ensure that your platform's structure provides you with customized design opportunities.

2. Choose the best event date and time

Everything is all set for your online event. You are ready to start and sure that everything will be completed smoothly. However, at the very last moment, you realize that you have set your event on the same time and day as a nationally-watched sports event. How discouraging could the situation get? You should certainly ensure that the date and time you want to hold your event is at a different time than other well-known organizations, cultural or sports events, or various digital conferences concerning your industry.

After ensuring that your webinar does not collide with any other event, we recommend holding your online meeting on Thursdays and during lunch hours if possible. Of course, if your target audience includes working people with the ability to join your broadcast only in the evening, or even better, if you already have a preference survey for your event's time and day, you can make your selection accordingly.

3. Have a well-prepared presentation

Perhaps you aim to introduce people to something new or to persuade them about something. Regardless of your goal, you should first have well-prepared topics. You can allocate one or several slides for each title. It is totally up to you. However, if you plan to have a discussion or Q&A session at the end of your presentation or event, know that you should spend 2-3 minutes at most on each slide after subtracting the time you anticipate for the relevant session while planning your presentation. Thus, you can hold your audience's attention more on you. Also, you should ensure that the page number of each slide is displayed on a corner of your screen. If you include speaker notes at the bottom of your slides, you can have an idea of how long it may take to present the slideshow by counting the words. It takes 2 seconds to say one word. You can find out the duration by dividing the number of words by 120.

While discussing your topics, another way to increase your audience's attention is to give general examples based on your life or experiences and share interesting and memorable statistics concerning your topic.

Including more visuals on your slides and using your voice effectively while giving presentations in a digital environment will partly offset the lack of body language communication. You can always keep all the attention with your speech and body language even without a presentation in a physical event. While giving a presentation at an online meeting, reinforcing your presentation visually with various content will help people focus on your presentation. Keeping your voice monotone can also cause your listeners to lose interest and drift away from you. Changing your voice accordingly by speeding up and slowing down the tempo of your voice from time to time will block this monotony.

Lastly, always ensure that your background has a natural, easy-on-the-eyes, and distraction-free environment. Unless cheating people into purchasing your new product with your cute cat behind you is part of your strategy...

4. Teamwork

For all online meetings of all sizes, you should have a team, or at least a few friends, who can help you. Although your virtual event may not need a stage direction, you should at least have someone who answers questions in the chat while giving your presentation.

If your event requires more technical support, such as for sharing music, video transitions, and commuting among speaker spaces, collaborating with a service provider offering such services before holding an event would be an on-point decision.

If you are going to hold your digital event on a platform with a team, you should provide your team with all your content on time and allow them to have the necessary preparation period. Before any event, you can ask your team to build an introductory page for early joiners who log in to the platform and include your event flow and information about the speakers and moderators. You can also create a foyer area and offer networking opportunities for those who join the event early.

If you have multiple speakers during your presentation, you can also assign a moderator. Thus, you will both have a more professional webinar and a person who monitors everyone to ensure compliance with the deadlines.

As a fundamental element of your team (if you are not already collaborating with a professional service provider), you should also have someone in the audience listening to the presentation as a participant. Therefore, you can have another watchman with the ability to notify you regarding any disruption that may be experienced during the event and provide you with post-presentation feedback.

5. Preparation & Rehearsal

We can say that webinar preparation includes two parts. The first is a typical preparation involving the same steps of an in-person presentation. Here, you should review your presentation, rehearse it out loud several times by keeping time and checking up on the flow of your presentation and how long you spend on each slide or title. In the end, giving a smooth presentation is more significant in a digital event. Before your presentation, you should also consider the ways to introduce yourself and other participants, if any, in a concise way, and rehearse all these processes until you are satisfied with them.

Let's also discuss the technical part of giving presentations… Back then, we used to check how to display our laptop screens on a projecting screen or wall and whether our projector and pointers were running smoothly. Now things are a little more complicated. First, you should familiarize yourself with the platform where you will give your presentation, sign in as much as possible, and get to know the entire interface. At the beginning of your presentation, you should introduce the chat moderators to the audience and offer them essential referrals concerning all questions and notes.

Moreover, you should also check your tools such as your camera, internet connection, and microphone. In particular, you should ensure that your mic does not pick up external sounds and cause an echo. Not using a new computer or any new, similar tools on the day of your webinar would be beneficial. Using the tools you know and are familiar with increases your chance to intervene successfully at the minimum when you encounter an inconvenient surprise.

However, you should be ready to face the worst surprises. If you have a friend in your plan B and provide them with your presentations and other materials, your contents can be shared via another computer or cloud if you have an issue with your computer or screen. If you have a co-speaker or a guest invited, you should also consider your plan B if they become ill or will not be able to join the webinar.

6. Look right at your camera and smile

You may not find the chance to look everyone on the other side of the screen in the eye. Although you address your audience from a 3x3 cm square on their screen, try to look right at your camera and smile. In this way, your audience can feel closeness and concentrate more on the presentation regardless of the kilometers between you and them. In the end, even if we, as the audience, know that the host does not look at us directly from a corner, we feel guiltier about surfing through other screens or checking what's new in our mailbox.

Leveraging these suggestions, we have shared under these six headings, you can have a great start in giving successful presentations at online events. The truth is, we will no longer come together in physical environments for any event or meeting as we used to whether the pandemic ends or not. Now it is time to accept this fact and adjust to the new normal immediately… We hope that our tips will help you in this respect. Have a nice presentation!

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

** We request a briefing prior to the virtual event.

** An account executive contacts you to discover event details such as content and scope of the meeting as well as target audience.

** Next, a screen is opened for you to send invitations to the target audience. Once you upload your list, invitations are sent out.

** The list of registered users are emailed to you one day before the event. Then, reminders are sent to the registered users 24 hours and 1 hour prior to the event.
** On principle, we recommend sending out the invitations at least 5 days prior to the event.

** If you request a special layout, please consider that 3 business days will be needed for design and software updates.

** If your guest list is ready, the event can go live within an average of 8 business days after the briefing. The design process is included in this timeframe.
** Google Chrome or Firefox browser should be used.

** We recommend connecting via a high speed fixed bandwidth for uninterrupted streaming.

** An external microphone or a headset microphone should be used.

** Using an external or built-in 720P video camera will enhance the streaming quality.