In this post, you’ll see the tips I found helpful (and the lessons I learnt) when hosting a series of internal training webinars in WebEx Training Centre. If you apply these tips and lessons, you should find it easier to host smooth events yourself (in WebEx or a similar system, like Adobe Connect).
You can click any of these links to jump straight to the relevant section of this post:
When you prepare for an online session, do you wonder:
- How long should your introduction be, and what should it focus on?
- How much content should you show on each slide?
- Is it OK to use animations, and if so, what sort should you use – and when?
In this post, you’ll find answers to those questions, and more. It’s part 2 of a review of Ellen Finkelstein’s post called:
9 tips to design presentations for webinars
(Be sure to also check out part 1 for my review of Ellen’s tips 1 to 4.)
In this post, we’ll look at the last 5 of Ellen’s 9 webinar tips, which I’d summarise like this:
Do you ever present online – at work or for yourself? If so (or if you’re about to for the 1st time), you’ll find superb tips on Ellen Finkelstein’s blog.
Ellen’s a PowerPoint MVP who presents and hosts lots of webinars, including the annual Outstanding Presentations Workshop.
Below, you’ll find part 1 of a review of Ellen’s post called:
9 tips to design presentations for webinars
In part 1, we’ll look at the first 4 of the 9 tips (plus a few of my own), which – among other things – deal with using your webcam, and interacting through polls or other means.
(Be sure to also check out part 2 for my review of Ellen’s tips 5 to 9.)
I’d summarise the first 4 tips like this:
Think back: How many of the webinars you’ve attended were worth your time?
Sadly, I find they’re often time- wasters, and I’m sure many people agree. (If you have a strong opinion either way, please say so.)
So, to stand out from your competition, here are 9 tips to help you rock at webinars! (Each tip’s marked as being easy, medium, or hard, so you can choose the ones that suit your current skills.)
You can use this pair of audience activities or interactions to “bookend” your training:
- The 1st is a superb addition to your session’s opening.
- The 2nd is an engaging way to get feedback at the end.
Interaction #1: Let the “attenders” set the agenda(*)
Have you ever seen a trainer do something that stayed with you for decades?
More than 20 years ago, way back in the 20th century, I saw a trainer use such an awesome technique that I’m still talking about it now – in the next millennium! So before I start to feel too old, let me share it with you.
(Short of time? Get to the tips.)
As a presenter, it’s increasingly likely that you use webinar tools (like Adobe Connect, Cisco WebEx or Citrix GoToWebinar) – or that you soon will. And you might well hold virtual meetings or training workshops using those same or similar tools (like Citrix GoToMeeting, GoToTraining, or Microsoft Live Meeting).
Whatever type of webinars or online meetings you run, you’ll find some useful tips in this post.
Still, you’ll want to choose which tips to use according to factors like the size of your audience and your comfort with running the online event in the 1st place, because some of the tips (notably 6 to 10) require more effort than others.
You can click any of these links to scroll to a specific tip:
In a webinar, what’s the best poll question you’ve ever heard? I just thought of a doozy, I reckon, yet I’ve never heard a presenter ask it. (It’s only “6½” words long, too!)
More on that shortly. But first, why not think for a moment about what might make a good poll question?
If you’ve read my recent post called
Do you make this #1 mistake when you present online?, you’ll know it asserts that the top mistake of online presenters (such as in webinars) is time-wasting, and it names 3 of the biggest symptoms:
- Spending too long on introductions
- Staying on the same slide too long
- Fixating on interaction instead of value
In that earlier post, you’ll find those 3 problems laid out, but you won’t find any solutions. So that’s where this post comes in.
Below, you’ll find ways to solve each of those 3 problems: Continue reading
What’s your most precious resource? Think about it for a second.
Don’t spend long though, because I’d say:
The answer’s your time!
It’s precious because it’s a finite resource for which competition is fiercer than ever.
No prizes, then, for guessing what your audience’s most precious resource is. Yup, they’re time-hungry too, just like you and me.
So what’s the number-1 mistake presenters make, especially online? Continue reading
In this post:
The pain: What most audiences see
During Q&A at the end of a talk, you know how most presenters show a slide saying something like “Questions” the whole time? As you can see here, that can quickly get very boring to look at, causing your audience’s minds to wander:
Well, here’s a far more engaging technique, so not only will you grab people’s attention, you’ll also come across as being really polished. This technique’s particularly handy when you present online, where your audience can get distracted all too easily. Continue reading