Dedicated webinar studios can be scary when you work from one of them for the first time. Getting in front of the camera can be scary and can feel strange the first times. Compared to face-to-face events you don’t get the instant feedback and energy from people.
Presenting in such a place can be daunting but with the right advice, the right people and a little work you will be able to present like a rockstar.
Our webinar experts can help you with their own presenting tips when presenting from a webinar studio.
Arriving early to your studio presentation is a big factor in your preparation. 45 minutes before the event would be advised. This time will be perfect for a proper technical run-through and to revise your notes before you go live.
When choosing an outfit for your presentation, choose something that suits you and in which you are comfortable. You want to choose clothes in solid colours that flatter your skin tone. You want to avoid striped and clothes with busy patterns because they can be difficult to assess for a camera. The camera can pick up each little details so you want to avoid uncomfortable or rustling clothes as they can be distracting. You also need to be aware of little details while your sitting. Gentlemen, if you wear a jacket and you’ll be sitting at a desk, make sure you sit on the tails so it doesn’t hunch around your neck.
A small amount of makeup works great on camera and you can add a little extra powder to avoid shining in front of the camera. This is true for men as well as women.
Cameras are very good at capturing small details. A slouched back will be very visible on camera compared to real life. This is why it’s important to sit straight even though it feels unnatural. As a tip you can put a thin cushion on the back half of your chair seat to tip your pelvis forward, which will generally make your back straighten.
It will be very visible if you don’t use the eye of the camera as your main eye contact point. Consider the camera in the room as another person to whom you are talking to. You should spend the majority of the time looking at the camera when talking to your audience. The difficulty is that it needs to stay natural and you might want to look away to your presenters regularly.
Try to vary expressions and tone so that it’s more natural. You want to use the same attitude as if you were talking to another person. If you’re sharing something surprising, try a confiding tone. If you’re sharing something shocking, use a more assertive tone. If looking at the eye of the camera feels too strange, try to imagine a person close to you on the other side of the lens and talk to them.
If you are doing a webinar with other presenters in the room, you might want to spend a roughly equal amount of time looking at them and the camera.
You can also be in the situation where your co-presenters are remote. You need to look at the screen for their facial expressions and their body language to get their implicit communication. You need to catch their emotions in order to get a feel for who you are talking to. When it’s your term to talk, don’t forget the camera and answer their questions.
Especially when it’s your first time presenting from a webinar studio or if you are feeling nervous about presenting in general, it’s a good practice to have a strategy to help you relax.
Having deep breaths before the event can help or having fun by telling jokes but everyone has their own triggers to relax. If you need more time to be prepared in order to relax, then you might want to do that. Try to keep in mind that your presentation won’t be perfect and that’s okay. Keep going no matter what and don’t focus on the negative things.
When on camera you want to be true to yourself to improve your engagement levels. It helps if you know what kind of presenter you are and focus on that. If you are a hand talker, then work with that. Try to build in additional gestures and movements during your presentation to feel more engaging to the audience.
Using smiles, event forced one will have an impact on the tone of your voice and your overall facial expressions. You want to be upbeat, energetic and present the more positive you can be. This will help you be better perceived by the audience on the other side of the camera.
Humans are story tellers; we always learn better when there is a story behind actual facts and figures. You don’t want to be boring during the presentation and just ticking boxes. Try to build engagement during your presentation. You can start your presentation by telling a story, a personal anecdote with which your audience can relate. Take your audience on a journey and make your presentation fun and entertaining, as well as informative.
You want your presentation to feel like a conversation to your audience. They will feel and be more engaged if they are part of the conversation with you. You don’t want to talk AT them.
Try to use clear language that everybody can understand and explain words before using acronyms or business-related jargon.
This can be avoided by repeating and reviewing your speech in advance. Try to review it with another person which could also catch problems in your presentation. If you stumble on a word, try to change it, it will make it easier for you.
When on camera there is nothing more terrible than silence. This is called dead air and viewers are much more forgiving if their video freezes than if the sound drops out.
That’s why you can see some TV presenters filling the air during bugs or downtimes. If you are running into problems during the webinar you might need to do exactly that. A good tip is to ask an innocuous question, quickly recapping the ground you’ve covered so far, or even cross-promoting an upcoming event.
When you’re in front of the camera you need to behave in a certain way because the format demands it. You need to be in this particular headspace as soon as you get in front of it. That’s why bloopers of presenters are funny, they don’t behave that way usually.
Always behave as though you’re live, behave professionally and don’t say anything you wouldn’t like your audience to hear.
You also need to be focused throughout the event and don’t behave differently just because you are not currently talking. Many mistakes and cropper happened after a presenter has disconnected mentally from the presentation. Save your unvarnished thoughts until you leave the studio.
If you are going to be talking hours on end during an event, it’s always good to have something for your throat. Such events are draining for your body and you want to stay on top of that by staying hydrated.
Always think of slides as support material, not the actual presentation you are doing. You can prepare title slides and holding slides in case something goes wrong and you need to show it during a technical issue.
People are here to hear you and your expertise not to watch you read from a PowerPoint. Don’t repeat exactly what’s on them; focus on being engaging. Slides are helpful when presenting alone but in different format it makes more sense to just film presenters and their interactions on a particular topic.
Scripted content should be avoided when presenting on camera. They will suck out the dynamism from your presentation and won’t boost engagement. Reading from a script will loose the spontaneity from your presentation.
Notes can be used but are better to have information on your progress during the presentation or your backup if you loose an important information.
If you are really struggling without help and notes, you can rely on technology to help you. Teleprompters and autocues can be used to make your presentation more natural even though you are using notes. Apps are available for your tablet or phone to use as teleprompters. Various webinar providers can also set you up with autocues.
Questions are very important if you are in Q&A sessions or launching a poll. You want to invest some time to think about the best questions you can ask your audience. Be provocative, and think about what the answer is likely to be. When delivering poll results, you want to be energetic and positive it will show to the audience.
Mistakes happen, be prepared. Don’t stop and correct yourself, it’s not unnatural to do mistakes and the audience will not focus on it if it’s corrected. You can also pause on that and start again with the mistake corrected in mind.
Ask another question, launch a poll or move to your next slide with a neutral phrase, such as “I wanted to talk a little bit about…”
Cameras amplify everything and they are very good at picking things that we are usually unaware of. You might want to video yourself and you presentation to catch those little things. You can watch it back and improve your camera presentation skills little detail by little detail.
When in the of your presentation, you might think it’s more important to finish the tangent you went off on, but for your attendees respecting the timing you set for your webinar is more important. You don’t want to catch more time from them than you need. Stick to your agenda and the time for each points otherwise you can struggle to get through your content. You will have positive points with your audience if you deliver what you promise and let them get to their next work commitment on time.
Webcasts.com.au offers presenter coaching as part of its managed webinar service. If we can help take the pain out of your webcasts, reach out to one of our sales consultants by calling 1800 733 416.