Issue #105 March 21, 2006

PowerPoint Tip - Web Presentation Delivery Tips

Last issue I shared some tips for doing presentations remotely. This time I want to focus on tips for a presentation delivery method that is gaining momentum quickly - the web presentation or sometimes called a webinar. I have held these and now have a web meeting facility that I use to train individuals or groups without the expense of travel (e-mail me for more details or visit http://www.ThinkOutsideTheSlide.com/webtraining.htm). As I defined last time, a webinar is where the audience sees your slides in their browser and listens to you on a conference call. You are controlling the slides while you are speaking on the phone. You do need a service to present in this way and a few of the big names in this market are GoToMeeting, WebEx and Live Meeting. When doing a web based presentation, keep these tips in mind. No matter how fast your connection is or how fast your participant's connection is, there will be a slight delay between when you "push" the slide to the service and when the participant sees it on their screen. This means you need to keep talking on a slide until the next one appears. But how do you know when the participants have got the slide? Here's one trick I use. I connect a second computer in my office to the presentation as a participant. Then, after I change slides, I can glance over at the participant computer to see when the new slide arrives on the screen. This delay in transmission also means that you should refrain from using animation or transitions, as each one will be delayed, causing your presentation to be disjointed, and any movement does not transmit smoothly due to the delays in the system. Take advantage of the polling tools that many of these systems include to take the pulse of your audience before or during the presentation. You may even want to use a poll to determine what topics you cover next if you are using a non- linear delivery approach (to learn more on non-linear delivery, which I think is the next wave in presenting, check out the web tutorial I did on this topic - visit the web page at http://www.ThinkOutsideTheSlide.com/webtutorials.htm). Finally, most of these services offer an option to record the video and audio together so you have a record of the presentation. Be cautious with this. My experience with a few of these systems suggests that the quality of the recording is far worse than if you record locally using a product like Camtasia. If you have not tried web based presenting yet, or if you do it regularly, keep these tips in mind for a more successful presentation.