Even the world’s greatest car is only as good as the driver behind the wheel. And even the World’s Easiest Webinar software is only as good as the person who presents the webinar. Winning webinars have a secret ingredient — YOU! So today we’re going to talk about how you can become a more successful presenter.
In 1971, a researcher named Albert Mehrabian published a book called “Silent Messages.” In it, he reveals that:
- 55% of your message is projected by non-verbal cues like posture, eye contact and gestures.
- Another 38% comes across through your tone of voice and vocal inflections.
- Only 7% of you message arrives via your content.
And it makes sense. If you meet someone who is stiff and uptight, and who mumbles his words, it’s hard to listen to their message.
On the other hand, we enjoy listening to a relaxed, cheerful person with a bubbly way of speaking. OK, in the morning, I cheer and bubble a little less 😉
Work on Content
Now don’t get me wrong. Make sure you polish your webinar content to perfection. And make sure it provides value for the attendees.
But you already do that, don’t you? So let’s talk about the other 93%.
Work on Vocal Image
Now, maybe you don’t have a naturally lively voice. Does that mean you’re sunk? Not at all. Let’s review a few ideas to improve how you sound.
- Pace yourself. Rushing can make you sound frantic. Worse, you may sound insecure or unsure.
- Keep it moving. If you plod along too slowly, participants may grow bored and restless.
- Pause. If you need a moment to collect your thoughts, just take a relaxing deep breath. Just don’t doze off 😉
- Include variety. If you get excited, speed up. If you feel thoughtful, slow down. Vary your volume too.
- Express yourself. A robotic voice puts listeners to sleep. So put a little more expression into your voice.
Now don’t overdo these things, because it can begin to sound silly. Just tune your ear to the natural music in your voice. And have a little fun 🙂
Work on Visual Image
This section is not about how to make yourself better-looking. Oh sure, you need to attend to basic grooming details: maybe get a fresh haircut and make sure your clothes and accessories are in good shape.
But beyond the basics, you can present more effectively if you focus on these details.
- Watch your posture. Don’t slouch, but don’t be stiff. Strike a balance that feels (and looks) authentic.
- Control movement. Fidgeting distracts. But immobility looks weird. Put meaning into your moves.
- Use gestures. Hand and head movements help emphasize a point. Just don’t overdo it.
- Keep eye contact. With a video camera? Absolutely. Pretend you’re looking into the eyes of a listener.
Helpful Tip: Use the ClickWebinar recording feature and study the playback to find small ways (and maybe big ways) to perk up your vocal and visual image.
A Word of Caution
The problem is that these techniques may not feel natural, at least not at first.
You may feel uncomfortable when you gesture. You may feel phony when you put energy into your voice. And those feelings don’t make you a better webinar presenter.
For webinar success, you need to assimilate these new techniques into your presentation personality.
Master the Skills
I suppose some people are born with presentation talent and naturally produce an outstanding image, visually and vocally. If you’re one of the lucky few, good for you.
The rest of us need to do one thing diligently: practice!
That means you should speak your presentation out loud — alone or with a friend to give you honest feedback. Stand in front of a mirror to practice your posture, eye contact, and gestures.
And not just once, but many times. How many? That depends on the importance of the meeting or webinar. If it’s just a friendly online get-together with those who already know, like and trust you, maybe you afford to “wing it.”
But if there’s a lot at stake, why not practice until you feel competent, comfortable and confident.
At ClickWebinar, we hope your webinars succeed beyond your wildest dreams.
So do an honest evaluation of your visual and vocal presentation skills.
Then commit yourself by letting us know how you plan to make your webinar presentation skills the best they can be.