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:
To find public-speaking wisdom, do you go to specific blogs? I certainly do. In fact, 3 years ago, I published a list of 6 of the world’s best.
But a lot’s changed in 3 years, and some of the blogs on my original list have gone belly-up. (In fact, you can still access most of those, but they don’t publish anything new.)
So I thought you might appreciate a fresh list.
Mind you, given that I’ve also listed 10 extinct public-speaking blogs, it’s not easy to find contenders.
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.
Do you ever struggle with knowing what to talk about when you give a speech? Or do you want a new perspective on the value you bring as a speaker?
If so, be sure to check out this 1-hour video by Darren LaCroix, who’s now a renowned speech coach, and was the 2001 World Champion of Public Speaking (in the annual contest run by Toastmasters International).
Note: If the video starts midway along the timeline, please just drag the playhead back to the start.
Also, there’s about 3 minutes of background at the start of the clip, including short parts of Darren’s acceptance after winning the world title. So if you like, by all means drag the playhead to the 3’10” mark, or skip to that point on YouTube instead.
Darren’s a great speaker, and his talk’s filled with both humour and powerful insight. In fact Patricia Fripp, former head of the National Speakers Association, is quoted as saying:
Hands up if you’d like to improve your public speaking – each time you do a presentation. Well here’s some great tips from speaking coach Charles Greene for doing just that.
He suggests you hand out a feedback form every time you present. And Charles even published the 8 questions he asks his own audiences after every talk.
To save time and effort, just use Charles’s questions
So to save yourself time and effort, you could just use Charles’s questions instead of “reinventing the wheel”. (Thank you, Charles, for sharing generously.)
I really like that Charles asks just 8 questions, so most people will be happy to respond. And most of his form simply asks people to rate his talk on a fixed scale from “strongly agree” to “strongly disagree” (a Likert scale) against various criteria. For instance, his 1st question asks people the degree to which they agree that:
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?