The focus in a webinar is 100% on the online audience, there is no physical audience. For many speakers, this is an unfamiliar situation that poses some challenges. Think of the lack of non-verbal feedback and presenting in front of the camera. Therefore, below are the 10 most important tips for good speaker preparation.
- Determine whether there will be several speakers and/or a host during the webinar. Agree who will take on what role during the webinar and in the preparations.
- Who is responsible for the presentation material? If this involves several people, make sure that there is always one person who is ultimately responsible for the final product. In addition, it should be known which conditions the PowerPoint presentation has to meet.
- Discuss whether the speaker will be required to perform any other (technical) tasks during the webinar in addition to presenting. Think of the operation of the live manager, in which case you will need to practise in advance.
Content of the webinar
- Do not overload the PowerPoint slides with text and do not read out the content. Participants find this distracting. Remember that the speaker is the story and the PowerPoint only provides support.
- Interaction is essential during the webinar because it creates involvement and makes the message sink in better. Therefore, plan interaction moments during the webinar, such as polls and the handling of questions. Consult with those involved on how this will be integrated into the webinar.
- Be familiar with all the details of the studio setting. Will the presentation be standing or sitting and is there a place where the slides will be displayed for the speaker?
- Preparation is the key to success. In fact, there is one-to-one contact with the webinar participants and this means that every detail is visible. Therefore, preferably practise several times, record it and look back to learn from it.
On the day itself
- Bear in mind the choice of clothing. For example, do not wear a striped pattern or striking jewellery when presenting in front of the camera. Are there several speakers? Then coordinate their outfits for a good overall look. Also bear in mind that make-up is essential when presenting on camera.
- Be at the location of the shoot at least two hours beforehand. This gives you enough time to do a final (short) dry-run in the studio and go live with peace of mind.
- Look into the camera while presenting and address the participants personally with ‘you’ or ‘you’ and not ‘you’. After all, the speaker is in direct contact with someone behind their computer, tablet or smartphone.
Tip: There are plenty of examples of webinars with experienced webinar speakers, including those from Alex Asset Management.