So, you have thought long and hard about the topic for your webinar. You have planned the meeting well and are expecting a full audience. The most important thing now is the delivery. You will want people to have an interesting experience and then come away with the feeling that they have learned something new and useful. What are the 10 top public speaking tips for webinar presenters?
1. Learn How to Use the Technology
Although this first tip isn’t to do with the actual speaking, it’s definitely something that is essential to a fluent delivery. The last thing that you want is to trying to sort technical issues as you are speaking. Spend enough time learning how to interact with the software, then you can concentrate all your efforts on a fantastic delivery.
2. Remember the 3 ‘P’s
What are these? Practice, practice and more practice. All aspects of your webinar require practice, no matter how long you’ve been doing these. You need to know your subject well and also you need to give attention to your delivery.
3. Audience contact
Our eyes convey emotions, therefore visual contact with your audience is essential. On a webinar, you need to always look at the camera, but don’t stare. It’s okay to look at your notes, but keep this to a minimum.
4. Emphasize principal ideas
You should know yourself what your main points are, and you will want your audience to remember these. Principal ideas can be emphasized using voice stress, pausing and varying the pace you speak at.
5. Talk with conviction
This is so essential if you want your audience to take on board what you are saying and act. Try to use language which gives ‘color’ to your presentation. For example a ‘great product’ can become ‘….such a great product…” So, make sure that your facial expressions, gestures and body language show that you believe what you are saying. A word of caution, don’t speak in such a way that you start to lecture your audience.
6. Use good visual aids
These should be used to emphasize your thoughts, not just repeat them. Keep any text short and to the point – bulleted lists are good. However, the visual aid should be immediately understandable. It’s not good if the audience has to read long text, or colors and backgrounds distract from the main point.
7. Use questions
There are 3 types of questions to use:
- Rhetorical questions. These allow the audience to try to answer the question themselves. If you use these, give a bit of time for everyone to think.
- Direct questions. Never ask questions that you know that your audience doesn’t know the answer to. This can cause awkward silences and can give the impression that you are a ‘know-it-all’.
- Questions that you yourself can’t answer. When you say: “Don’t worry, I don’t know the answer either” you engage with the audience much better. It also helps your audience to pay more attention to what you do know.
Appropriate pausing should be used to emphasize points, allow the audience to think and make sure that you don’t start rambling. Remember, when emphasizing points, pausing can be used both before and after the main point is said.
9. Repeat yourself
It’s been said that repetition is the mother of retention. Your audience needs to take something away with them. Before moving on to a new main point, give a short review of what you just said. When you have important points, do this: tell what you are going to say, say it, then repeat what you just said. Repetition should be used sparingly.
10. Always plan for less
If you have planned for 40 minutes, then speak for 35 minutes. The worst thing that can happen as a speaker is to realize that he is running out of time and can’t get all his points in. In these cases what happens is either the speakers speeds up and can deliver his presentation properly, or he has to cut short and can’t deliver all his points. Remember, the actual live presentation will take more time than the rehearsal.
By following these top 10 public speaking tips, you can make sure that you deliver an outstanding webinar and give a presentation which is remembered for all the right reasons.