Online presentations

How to Bypass the 5 Worst Mistakes in Online Presentations


Working in the media and as a trainer and presenter, I, like thousands of others, have been thrown into the digital arena, forced to transform our presentations and teaching platforms from live and in person to line. Also last summer, while teaching an online graduate course for New York University, I went through an amazing NYU training process to learn how to effectively run an online graduate class – with dividing students into virtual classrooms, sparking their participation and collaboration online, creating blogging and digital journaling tasks, presenting media, case studies, slides and other material in an engaging manner, and much Moreover.

I have observed that some people seem to do all of this naturally and effortlessly, and create compelling online educational presentations that captivate us, while others are either completely boring or seem exhausted and overwhelmed by technology, incapable of us. engage adequately.

Curious about what makes online presentations really great, I asked my friend and colleague Nancy Ancowitz – author, business communication coach and presentation skills trainer at New York University – to share what she recommends to bypass the 5 worst mistakes you can make in your online presentations.

Here’s what Nancy shared:

He’s here to stay, so we better find out soon.

We cannot go back. First of all, there is the inevitability of the Internet. Then, the ubiquity of YouTube. Now the popularity of

+ Hangouts are invading us too. And, with smartphones everywhere, the bar continues to rise. Are we all meant to be telegenic world citizens, creating high quality content and delivering it from our desks, summits and even vacation spots? The answer is both surprising and terrifying: yes, we are.

Now that so many presentations are online, we are bombarded with a new slew of awkward, stilted, poorly executed, yawn-inducing videocasts and webinars. Of course, we know that your presentations do not fall into these categories. After all, you are the Martin Scorsese of Skype, the Nora Ephron of video conferencing.

But, just in case you haven’t mastered the difficult art of virtual communication yet, here’s how. work around the five worst mistakes that online presenters do:

1. Watch your back.

Don’t leave the cameras rolling without first checking what is behind you and above your head. When presenting online, the field behind you shrinks to a little square box, at least when you’re seated, making that landscape of lilies behind you grow out of your head. Many presenters choose a simple background, a plain white wall, for example, only to realize too late that their white shirt on a white background has turned them into a single big monochrome drop (contrast, people, contrast!). So unless you have the luxury of a professional cameraman, wardrobe assistant, and set decorators to help you design, frame, and light the perfect shot, take a quick video test drive to see exactly how you come across the lilies and everything in between.

2. Hey, look over here!

Just as making eye contact with your audience is crucial when presenting in person, knowing where to look during an online presentation is just as important. Here’s where not to look: upwards or skywards, towards your notes (for over a second!) Or towards your smartphone, and around the many distractions. If you are presenting solo, look at the camera as if it were a close friend and maintain the appearance of eye contact. If you’re on camera with multiple people, focus on the person speaking, but don’t overlook the camera (your actual audience).

3. Listen, mom: no hands.

Avoid wiggling, turning your pen or ring, playing with your hair, touching your face or clothes, or touching anything, really. All of this unnecessary movement is a distraction when you are presenting in person and is magnified when you are presenting online. If your whole body is in front of the camera, do something natural. If you are seated and framed from the shoulders, use your hands sparingly. Otherwise, they can look like frantic monster paws filling the frame or blocking your face. Also, be careful when holding any prop or other visual so you don’t overshadow your face. It’s hard to put everything in the frame without practice.

4. Don’t “space” out.

Walking or pacing a lot can make you look like a caged hyena or a father-to-be. On the other hand, standing perfectly still, or worse, leaning on a podium, can make you look like a wax museum. If you are going to be walking, choreograph your movements to support your message instead of just strolling aimlessly. If you choose to stay still most of the time, control your space as if you own the room and treat your viewers as if they were guests in your living room.

5. Honor your online media.

Remember: you don’t appear live and in person. You are a flat, two-dimensional image, often in a small box on your audience’s desk, and their attention can more easily wander online than in person. So avoid being a talking head. A little visual flair never hurt anyone. So use photos, charts, graphics, cartoons (but not clip art) and short segments (important when presenting online) to capture the interest of your viewers.

In addition, your presentation is a performance, not a reading. So entertain and engage your audience by giving your presentation a “story arc”: a beginning (a compelling opening), a middle (a development of your central idea) and an end (a win or a conclusion). Build your presentation dramatically and interestingly to follow (hoping to create a sense of suspense or surprise), instead of randomly presenting everything you know about your topic.

* * * * *

As Nancy points out, presenting online isn’t just about doing what you’ve been doing live. You have to understand and embrace the medium. It takes practice and a very positive attitude, while also understanding that mastering online presentations will help you get your important messages out, build your platform, engage new followers, and take your business life to where you need it. wish it.

What’s your biggest challenge to skyrocket your online presentations?

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