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  • The Redback Team
  • The Redback Team

    19th February 2016

“It was my first webcast in two months and I was rusty!” – Tips for Presenting on Camera

It can be harder than you think

You just can’t avoid it – eventually as a webinar or webcast presenter you are going to have to switch on the camera and live out your inner news reader.

This week we held our first Business Skills Webcast for the year and once I heard 3, 2, 1 I suddenly became so nervous! Why? It had been over two months since my last webcast and I was very rusty. However, it gave me the opportunity to take a step back and realise what all presenters must feel like if they a) have never presented in front of a camera or b) don’t do it on a
regular basis.

Here are some things that helped me get through the next 45 minutes. Feel free to use them or if you’re an organiser of webinars or webcasts, pass them onto your presenters:

Perfect your introduction

You only get one chance to make a first impression – it’s a lot easier to log out of an online event than walk out of a room full of people. Create an introduction that can be used for all events you host and eventually it will just roll off your tongue:

Use words you are familiar with. In order to engage your audience you need to be natural and sound like you are having a conversation with someone as opposed to talking at them.
Cover it all – from the topic to the interactive tools of the platform, but keep it short and sweet.
Here’s a template you can use:

“Hello and welcome to today’s webcast, How to Host Your Own Online Event. Today we will be uncovering tips to market, host and report on your webinars and webcasts. Before we begin, here’s some tips on how you can interact with us:

-Use the chat box to ask questions and share your comments with everyone involved
-Access supporting documentation by clicking on the resource tab located in the bottom corner of your screen
-Provide us with your feedback by clicking on the survey tab before you leave the event
-And, if you are experiencing difficulty hearing the sound from your computer, please dial in and listen through your telephone by following the instructions on your screen

Keep bio’s to a minimum

Memorising an entire biography can be difficult and will no doubt increase nerves. If you are facilitating, simply introduce your presenter, their position title, and company and get them to elaborate on what makes them credible. And, if you are the presenter, keep your bio short and sweet and consider using your opening slide to explain more about who you are and what you do.

Get comfortable

This used to be my number 1 mistake, especially if I wasn’t sitting behind a panel desk. This is probably more for females, but I don’t want to generalise:

-Clothing: Wear something that isn’t going to move as you speak and consider lapel microphones
-Jewellery: A good microphone will pick up everything – bangles, watches and necklaces banging around will only distract your audience
-Hair: It does get in the way, especially if you are presenting side on

Remember the online

It can be easy to forget about the camera as you’re presenting. My tip is to look into the barrel of the camera and refer to your notes only when you need to. Keep it conversational and if there’s more than one of you, ensure you talk to you co-host/facilitator every 20 seconds or so.

If you don’t have a teleprompter handy, type up the key notes of your presentation in bullet points and display them in a PPT on a large screen directly above the camera. You won’t look down as much and will be less likely to forget key points.

Be natural

No –one wants to sit and watch a robot present on-screen for an extended period of time. It’s important to remain natural, let your personality come through and remember that whatever will be, will be. It’s not always going to be seamless and yes, sometimes things are going to go wrong – it’s how you deal with it that matters!

Online audiences appreciate a sense of humour – it helps cut through the technology barrier and makes your content memorable. In saying this, ensure you remain professional at all times – leave the ‘in jokes’ for another time.

Just get over the first 5 seconds

Believe me, once the first 5 seconds are over it’s all UP! Just remember, you know your content better than anyone and everyone is there because YOU are the subject matter expert. Enjoy the experience!

Feel free to take a look at this week’s webcast. We were joined by Marc Cowper from Recomazing and chatted to him about how to transform your customers into the most effective marketing channel.

Until next time,
Sara

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