Tips for Effective Online Presentations

April 20th, 2009

Valerie Simon

 2112205672_e06f1aa818.jpgIf you are used to conducting presentations or speaking engagements, you are probably quite familiar with the standard public speaking advice. You are keenly aware of your body language and always maintain eye contact with your audience. You carefully time the distribution of any handouts and you use a laser pointer as though it were an extension of your own body.

If you are like the folks on our sales team at BurrellesLuce, however, it is likely that you are also being asked to present online more and more often. Whether you are speaking at a webinar or to a select group of clients or colleagues, online presentations offer new challenges, such as attracting and engaging your audience without the advantage of seeing live reactions. Consider the tools you do have: a computer, a phone, your voice and knowledge.

Here are a few tips for making your next online presentation a success.

  1. Prepare your computer. Close out all windows you do not need. Turn off IM, Tweetdeck, Outlook or any other programs that might cause a distraction during the presentation. Be sure that your screensaver is appropriate and that you have downloaded any software you may need for the presentation in advance.
  2. Assure your phone connection will be clear (headsets, speakers and cell phones create potential problems), and that you have a bottle of water handy.
  3. Spend time developing and reviewing the content. Just because you can look at notes, doesn’t mean you don’t have to prepare. Get as much information as possible in advance. How much time will be devoted to the presentation? How many participants will be in the room? Is there any key information the audience expects to learn.
  4. Pay extra attention to the tone, speed and volume of your voice. Be sure to speak clearly.
  5. Engage your audience. Encourage participation and create an interactive environment.

Here are some other best practices. What tips do you have for making successful online presentations?

2 Responses to “Tips for Effective Online Presentations”

  1. Martin Ng says:

    Creating a site people can go to during the presentation in another tab is a great alternative to written materials, as well as the interactive games that live presentations can have.

  2. As the internet is becoming increasingly prevalent, it is becoming increasingly important to be able to effectively communicate with others online. Because we are not able to use eye contact or body language in online interactions, the integration of other techniques becomes all the more important.

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