At the heart of every great presentation is a skilled presenter. Great presenters are storytellers. And because audiences need more than slides, he tells stories with powerful interpersonal communication tools, like gestures, posture, and facial expressions. Great presenters know we’re wired for body language.
But in the digital age, we have fewer opportunities to connect with our audiences on a personal level. We increasingly use online presentations, webinars, and meeting tools, which often fail to capture the speaker’s body language and personality.
The result? They fall flat, not taking full advantage of the power of personality and storytelling that a good presenter offers to a live audience.
So what should a content marketer do?
1. Make the most of video
The “disembodied voice” approach to online presentations needs to evolve. Online audio-only presentations – from webinars to online meetings, voice sales presentations to screen sharing tools – are popular. But this popularity comes at a cost: Most online presentations lack personality and effectiveness.
An audio-only online presentation is handicapped from the start, as the medium deprives the speaker of many of the visual communication tools available to a live presenter. No eye contact. No smile. No position of trust.
Showcase your strengths and offer more of “you” with online presentation tools that use video, not just audio.
Take a look, for example, at this online presentation of Australis Aquaculture. Pairing the CEO with an energetic product manager to tell the story of sustainable seafood, and sprinkle it with B-roll videos, helps advance the story and personalize the message.
2. Plan your presentation with online distribution in mind
Quite often presentations are designed for a live event with digital capture and distribution after the fact. Of course you will send the slides after the presentation… but without a presenter will your post seem out of context and your points lost to your post-live audience? Capture your presenter live alongside your deck in all its storytelling glory and you’ll increase your chances of your audience connecting to the on-demand version of your insight.
Once the Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise media team started researching, for example, they quickly found that potential content marketing material was all around them. This keynote address by President Tom Burns, for example, quickly morphed into sustainable online content that continues to perform well as a generation of demand and accompanying efforts long after the live presentation is over. or dimmed in memory.
3. Understand your goals – and your audience’s goals
By trying to meet both your organizational goals and those of your audience, you can dramatically improve the effectiveness of your online presentation.. Think about all of your possible goals for creating an online video presentation – and why your audience would attend. Maybe you are looking to establish thought leadership and capture leads, or it could be that developing a fabulous online presentation is key to your viral branding. But what is there for them? Your audience has no interest in becoming your lead, but would like to assess your expertise and learn something new.. When you hit the jackpot and trade the value, your presentation naturally becomes more personal.
The international consulting firm Parthenon Group, for example, produces a series of thought leadership presentations by its chief economist, Roger Brinner, which directly address the concerns of major clients and prospects about the state of the economy. Brinner’s understated authority comes through clearly in these video presentations, in a way that she simply wouldn’t use audio-narrated slides.
4. Go beyond PowerPoint to include a range of existing digital content types
New online presentation platforms make it possible, for example, to synchronize live web pages in a presentation or webinar. This is perfect for doing surveys and viewing results in real time, or even for taking orders directly from the overview window.
5. Look for powerful and flexible online presentation tools, but start with the simple
Fortunately, today’s most advanced online presentation platforms don’t stop at video syncing.. They further enhance the experience by providing just-in-time footnotes, virtual documents, calls to action, forms, quizzes, polls, interactive transcripts and other tools as part of the the whole interactive experience. And they augment that experience with powerful analytics that show how presentation material interacts. We have integrated all of these features into KnowledgeVision, but other platforms will no doubt add some of these features in the future.
Most importantly, don’t get overwhelmed by trying to do too much, too soon. Start simple, get your bearings with basic on-demand video presentations and add powerful features and even jump to live streaming later. It really is easier than ever to create video presentations for an online world, 24/7 anytime, anywhere.