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Delivering Presentations On The Net

by Stephanie Downs

Although many of the components are the same between traditional and virtual events, there are still new aspects one must consider when preparing a virtual event.

Delivering Presentations on the Net

With the introduction of virtual events, business will never be the same. Sales personnel can now conduct one-to-one sales meetings from their home offices. Divisions of a major corporation can gather in one virtual spot and discuss marketing and product strategies. And even a CEO can sit in a log cabin in the mountains and reach out to thousands of customers around the globe.

But none of this can be done successfully without first taking steps to make sure their presentations deliver well over the Net. Although many of the components are the same between traditional and virtual events, there are still new aspects one must consider when preparing a virtual event. Let's break it into three components:

1) "See" or Visual: The primary options for a visual presentation are PowerPoint, streaming video, or a combination of the two. PowerPoint is the most common and the most stable. Implement some PowerPoint first, then move on to a combination, and finally go "full streaming" when you are ready. Full streaming is the most impressive and cost effective, but the presenter has to make sure he has the knowledge and that his audience is ready for it.

Below are some recommendations to consider for the visual component of the event, whether static (PowerPoint) or streaming:

- Watch out for "builds." Many e-conferencing solutions will not support builds so you will need to create separate slides.

- Make sure video clips or sound clips have the same affect as they do in a face-to-face event. Sometimes humor does not translate over the Net.

- Keep it moving! Do not spend more than two minutes on a slide—give them something new to look at.

- Test the presentation in the system—confirm that the graphics are not too small or granular.

- Use features such as polling, white boarding, Web surfing, etc. Go the extra mile to keep it interesting.

- Bad habits, bad clothing, and bad backdrops—these things can kill an event. Pay attention to the details and work with the speakers to minimize these problems.

2) "Hear" or Audio: The same options exist in the audio component of the event. The presenter's choices range from standard teleconferencing to an audio bridge, audio that streams over the Internet (called Voice over Internet Protocol or VoIP), or a combination. Like the visual aspect, start with teleconferencing and build to VoIP, as the presenter becomes more familiar with the technologies. VoIP is more cost effective, but there are headsets, soundcards, microphones, etc. with which to content. And as the presentation moves into VoIP, leave an option for attendees to call into a conference bridge.

Here are some recommendations to consider for the audio component of the event, whether teleconference or streaming:

- Use a Moderator—It is essential that someone manage the event and keep things moving. A good moderator can wrap-up a rambling speaker or cut off inappropriate questions from the audience.

- Multiple Speakers—Having at least two speakers to interact will make the event more interesting. Panels are really fun!

- Accent or speaking issues—this is tough in any presentation, but more obvious over the Net where people may not be able to see the speakers lips and hand movements to help minimize confusion.

- Use hand-sets or headsets only, and don’t forget the sound checks—Do not allow presenters to talk into speaker phones and make sure they use the same equipment for the rehearsal as they will use for the live event.

3) "Do" or Interaction: This is where virtual conferencing leaves traditional presentations in the dust. Like the visual and audio components, the audience is reached with presentation and sound—as in a traditional seminar. But e-conferencing allows the presenter to go much farther. Here are just a few of the features that are available:

- Polling—allows the presenter to ask his audience any type of question and immediately post a graphical representation of the response.

- White Boarding—If the presenter needs a visual or drawing to communicate a point, strike up the white board. It allows the presenter to not only write but draw with squares, circles, stars, check marks, and more.

- View Window—During a presentation the presenter can pull up ANYTHING on his computer and show it to the audience. This is great for product demos or surfing people out to a website.

- Application Sharing—Does the presenter need to share a hands-on lesson or show the recipient what he is talking about? He can hand the recipient the controls to his computer to move product around, edit an Excel spreadsheet, etc. The recipient does not need to have the application on his machine—the presenter just allows the recipient to hop on his.

Although e-conferencing events may seem new and intimidating, there is much a seasoned presenter can pull from his history of giving traditional presentations. Think of it as a new type of room. Good Luck!

 

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Monday, 18 Dec 2017 12:04 AM

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