The art of creating compelling online presentations

Online presentations: Take on new challenges!

The learning format of the future: online seminars

Webinars – surely you have already participated in one or even conducted one yourself. In any case, online seminars are considered the most forward-looking learning format because they are interactive – thus allowing two-way communication between the presenter and the participants – and are also “live,” meaning the information is delivered within a program with a set start and end time. In the last two years I have already held numerous webinars as a presentation coach myself, but also participated in various ones. In both cases, one fact becomes clear to me time and again: online seminars are very different from face-to-face seminars – especially in terms of the presentation used.

A widespread misconception

However, speakers still believe they can give an online presentation like a face-to-face presentation: They use the same structure, the same slides and possibly even speak in the same way as in a face-to-face presentation, i.e. loudly and powerfully. However, this is a misconception. This is because the framework parameters, i.e. the setting, for an online presentation are quite different from those for a face-to-face presentation. The presenter should not only know the differences, but also draw conclusions for his own presentation. Because only then can the hoped-for effect be achieved. I would like to show you the new challenges.

Challenge #1: Reducing distractions

An important difference between online and face-to-face presentation that should not be underestimated is the distraction factor. Thus, this is much higher for online presentations than for face-to-face presentations. This is not least due to the lack of “peer pressure”. We are all too easily distracted by various secondary activities: by the quick reply to an email we just received, the juxtaposition of Internet pages, the brief inquiry from a colleague, and so on. The challenge for the speaker is to reduce the distractions. He is most likely to achieve this if he:

  • scores with an exciting structure, such as the 2-plot Hollywood technique or
  • Storytelling techniques – beneficial content brings, such as saving costs, realizing profits, etc.
  • and uses a varied visual representation of the presentation.

Challenge No. 2: Compensating for the lack of eye contact

In addition to the challenge of reducing distractions, the speaker must also compensate for the lack of eye contact between him and the participant. This should not be underestimated. This is because eye contact, as a physical reaction, is an extremely important visual information channel for the speaker in a face-to-face presentation, whereas it is completely absent in an online seminar. In the case of a webinar, online conference or workshop, the speaker must compensate for this lack of eye contact as much as possible. To do this, he needs information from the participants of the online event. He accomplishes this only by incorporating interactions into his online presentation and getting participants to interact with him.

Provided you already have experience with the presentation, you can also draw on experiential knowledge and know what the reaction is for most viewers.

Dipl.-Wirtsch.-Informatiker Matthias Garten is the expert for multimedia presentations. He is an entrepreneur, speaker (TOP 100 Speaker), trainer (TOP 100 Excellence Trainer), multiple book author, presentation coach, member of GSA and Club 55, organizer of the Presentation Conference and Presentation Bootcamp. He also gives numerous seminars and lectures on the subject of presentations. With his team at smavicon Best Business Presentations, he has supported over 10,000 presentations in more than 150 industries since 1993.

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