How To Not Suck At Webinars

5 Webinar Presentation Pro Tips

This is the transcript of this segment of Episode 68 of the Beyond Social Media Show podcast.

David Erickson: I’ve been watching this marketing conference: videos from a marketing conference, a very well known marketing conference. I’m not gonna say what the name of it is. But many of you know it. And I’m not mentioning the name because this issue is not specific to this particular conference. It’s a problem across the board at any conference you go to.

1. Webinar Hosts Should Get Training

First of all, there must be a training academy for webinars; for a webinar host, for the people who introduce the featured speaker at a webinar. Because they all have the same voice. It’s all “and we’ll turn the floor over to you.” It’s the same cadence, it’s the same intonation; I just don’t get it.

2. Bullet Points Are Webinar Killers

But anyway, aside from that, this marketing conference: The presentations were filled with bullet points, bullet points galore for people who are talking about visual communications. Okay, so the visual on it is not visual communications as bullet points.

If you want to keep people’s attention, as you’re watching online; bullet points is not the way to do it. You need to give one simple image and force them to pay attention to what you’re actually talking about, rather than the bullet points you’re presenting on the screen.

3. Check Your Ego At The Start Button

The other thing is egos getting in the way of your message. So a lot of these people are presenting because they’ve got big egos; they’re happy to you know–they’re not afraid of being on stage, they’re not afraid of presenting. So that’s a plus for them, right? And they’ve been successful at whatever they’re doing.

So they’ve got big egos, but sometimes their egos get in the way of presenting. They come off as being Know-It-Alls, which they are; but they come off in a way that detracts from what they’re actually trying to say. It detracts from their message. Their personality, their ego, gets in the way of their delivery.

4. Modulate Your Voice

Or opposite: You’ve got somebody who’s super, super knowledgeable of the topic matter they’re discussing but they’ve got this flatline delivery and it’s completely uninteresting to listen to because they just don’t have any, any difference in their voice intonation. They know their subject dead cold but you just can’t pay attention and impossible listen to.

5. Test, Test, Test Your Technology

And then: Avoidable technological snafus. Somebody was calling in on a cell phone from a foreign country and had trouble–surprise, surprise–flipping through his slides and the audio quality sucks. So just some advice on how not to suck in a presentation. Avoid those things and you’ll be halfway there.

BL Ochman: Well, there are so many other ways to make presentations besides bullet points. And, you know, I agree with you, being an expert in a subject doesn’t make someone a good presenter. And you know, so many–I like to go to conferences where we’re doing case studies because when you’re doing case studies, that means you actually did something; you’re not just talking about something.

And you know, being a good presenter is something that requires practice and something that requires a good bit of skill in presenting. And, you know, my big issue with conferences for the last couple of years is that they’re all done with panels.

Panels are so freakin boring. They’re all done with panels. And then after the panel is over, you can’t ask questions. What? Why did I pay to be at this conference? If I can’t ask questions of the experts I’m going to hear from here? So you know, conferences–and they’re not cheap–are important places for networking, not necessarily important places for hearing presentations.

David Erickson: Yeah. This one is done very, very well. There’s all kinds of networking opportunities and everything. The content is really, really good. There’s a lot of stuff I learned from everyone that I’ve watched. But so often, they’re done so poorly as presentations and people’s egos get in the way of it that it completely detracts from what they’re saying.

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