As a professional, presentations are just part of your job. You have important information to relay to clients, potential customers, colleagues, and more, and it’s imperative that you do so in an intelligent and efficient manner.
With a webinar, you have the advantage of reaching people that are geographically dispersed without having to worry about high travel costs or global accommodations. While webinars transcend the physical presenter/audience dynamic, they do share some core similarities with any presentation that you should always pay attention to.
One of the most important similarities is a well-written speech or script that you’ll use to guide your through your webinar. Whether you write your own presentations or have someone who does it for you, you must remember that a well-written, grammatically correct webinar will gain far more respect than one that is riddled with mistakes and embarrassing spelling or grammar errors.
Why Proofreading Your Webinar is So Important
We’ve all been there: reading an email, article, or even a text that has a typo or various grammar mistakes. Even if we know the writer behind these messages to be an intelligent person, the occurrence of typos and bad grammar automatically makes them look less professional and competent than they really are.
When this happens with someone we know, it’s easy to forgive the mistake because we personally know the person to be a smart and capable professional. When this happens with a stranger, however, it can completely destroy their credibility. For this reason, it is so important to proofread your webinar from top to bottom.
Chances are that those you’re presenting to are complete strangers and will only know you from their webinar presence. If you are communicating with poor grammar, using embarrassing spelling mistakes, and have poor content, your audience is highly likely to disengage from you and whatever it is you’re selling or presenting.
Even if these things are simple mistakes, the price of making them could be hefty. Investors may not want to put their money into a project or business headed by someone they perceive as unable to grasp simple grammar and spelling. Audience members may view you as unprofessional if your content is sub-par and you speak poorly. Your colleagues and superiors may also have a damaged view of you and your abilities if your presentation has this common but detrimental mistakes within it.
The best way to avoid these pitfalls is to always proofread and to double and triple check your speech and webinar outlines.
Some proofreading practices are quick, efficient, and can guarantee perfect webinars every time. Try the following:
- Read Your Work: While writing, it can be hard to catch small grammar and spelling mistakes that are easily made. Always read over your work as you go so you can catch small mistakes that are often made while typing.
- Read It Aloud to Yourself: Even if something reads well, that doesn’t always mean it’s going to sound great when said aloud. You have to remember that your audience is mainly going to be hearing you speak rather than both watching and listening. This is because most people multitask when tuning in to webinars. If the majority of your audience will be listening in, you’ll want to make sure that your presentation sounds good and flows well. Reading aloud helps, you catch unnatural pauses, notice sentences that don’t flow well, and find ways to add inflections and emphasis where it’s needed.
- Get a Fresh Pair of Eyes to Look Things Over: Sometimes you can only do so much before a fresh pair of eye is needed. When someone else looks over your webinar for you, you have an extra thorough examination of your words. A second person can help catch mistakes you’ve missed and ensure that your speech is in its best possible shape.
- Don’t Rely on Spellcheck: Many people rely on spellcheck when writing reports and speeches, but this can be a huge mistake. While spellcheck is mostly helpful, it can miss certain grammar rules that are naturally picked up on by ears trained to your target language. This reiterates that reading through your work and having a second person proofread is the best way to catch mistakes.
- Tape Your Reading and Practices to See Things from the Audience’s Point of View: If you record yourself giving your speech, you get to see your webinar from audience member’s perspective. This is mostly helpful when it comes to content. As you watch yourself, stay aware of lulls in the presentations or places where things get confusing or even boring. This will help you identify which parts of your webinar are engaging and which parts could use some work or clarification.
- Hire a Professional if Necessary: So maybe proofreading isn’t your thing. There are many freelance proofreaders out there that can go over your webinar with a fine-toothed comb thanks to their professional language background. If you need to, search for a proofreader online or through your business contact and get the best help you can afford.