Things are getting cancelled as isolation drives people and businesses indoors. However, presentations don’t need to remain limited to conference halls and meeting rooms. Through webinar platforms, video calling, and other online service presentation has moved – albeit partly by force – towards the digital.
Presenting in person and online share some similar features but have their own advantages and disadvantages. Where a traditional presentation at least had people in the room with relative focus on the speaker and greater gravitas due to its dedicated space (and often ticket price); digital presenters now need to compete with audiences’ cat, children, partner, housework and every other tab they have open on their browser.
Sure, a single online presentation could reach more people than any conference hall or sports stadium could hold, but how does a presenter connect with audiences as a mere thumbnail?
First and foremost, it’s worth questioning whether the presenter’s face is always needed onscreen. Like traditional presentation, onscreen graphics, animations, statistics, and so forth all help break up the monotony of watching someone speak and help illustrate points further for the presenter.
Unlike traditional presenting, having these onscreen during an online presentation ensures everyone will certainly see it – so no need to simply livefeed your face, think about presentation design elements that can help create a more engaging online presentation.
Primarily this is about your recording equipment and software. Firstly, ensure your mic isn’t picking up any unwanted audio, such as a running washing machine or noisy children in another room. Ask, will you opt for audio only and present slides/animation instead? And if you do opt to include video (which we would generally recommend as a means of connecting with audience), will your audio devices such as microphones and headsets be visible?
Generally it’s better to keep equipment as much out of frame as possible, even if you’ve got the best equipment money can buy – your audience isn’t there to see you brag swag about your latest toys; they want compelling content that only you can deliver. If its unavoidable, standalone microphones look far more professional than headsets or headphones with built-in mics.
Your video content means setting up a decent shot of yourself to live feed to your audience, ensuring your webcam is of acceptable quality and your also look presentable enough for your audience.
Use your webcam for introductions, for conversation, and to answer questions, but consider turning your webcam off when presenting slides or other visual information.
This covers everything from your internet connection, to the lighting, to your backdrop for the video feed. The point is to have as much under control as you possibly can, ensuring your internet connection is work fine, no one or thing will interrupt you, and you have a professional-looking setting.
Most sites suggest bookshelves or some presentable art, although nothing too distracting. Many webinar and online presentation platforms offer options background blur or editing in your own background to help keep the focus on you and your content.
Webinar Slide Design
The primary purpose of using slides in webinars and online presentation is to demonstrate information that would be better conveyed visually than verbally. Think about how an infographic looks better and is easier to retain compared to a basic table of figures. Infographics (data visualisation) demonstrate how a balance of design and informational hierarchy can make complex information easier to understand.
Data visualisation transforms facts and figures into something easily digested and pleasant to the eyes. By giving a graphical representation of data through elements such as charts, maps, and graphs, information thus becomes more accessible, making it easier to understand trends, patterns, and outliers.
The hierarchy of information also simplifies and prioritises information in accordance with importance to help audiences gain an understanding quickly and comprehensively.
This is the same essence as designing a webinar or online presentation. Whether to inform, persuade, entertain, or a bit of all – the primary purpose is to convey information in a way that captures and retains audience attention.
While PowerPoint is a complete suite for design tools, people often forget that it’s a presentation aid. Online presenters do the same, often centring their webinar on the content and design of their slides without writing a good presentation to begin with. Online presenters should not use PowerPoint as a crutch for lack of preparation or content.
Keep things short and simple – don’t throw massive text chunks or a hail or bullet points onscreen. Remember – slides are better visually than verbally, so stick to information that enhances what you’re saying rather than reiterates or distracts.
PowerPoint provides a complete multimedia designing program for creating slides with animation, graphic design, and interactivity. This can help break up webinar monotony, give presenters a break, and create audience engagement. Slides should be changing every 20 seconds or so to keep audiences engaged.
It’s sometimes better for your audience and your online presentation’s efficacy if slides are shared afterwards. Having digital assets to share post-presentation or webinar can provide a means for getting people’s email or sharing via social media. Posing questions on screen during the presentation can help ensure better Q&A sections at the end if you’re aiming to create a more engaging and interactive experience.
Synapsis Webinar Experience
We’ve had various clients across different industries all shift towards online presentation in light of COVID-19. Many live events and conferences have faced cancellation and asked us for a digital solution that still captures and keeps an audience’s attention.
Not only have we been tasked with design the necessary assets to support a webinar events, such as event registration, event landing page, digital content for promotional social media, and EDM content creation for Mailchimp automation – but we’ve been designing and hosting webinar platforms that can include various features to make webinar a more seamless experience.
Using the right webinar hosting platforms, we’ve been able to set up automations that add an event agenda, start date setup, duration, time zone, and password protection. We’ve also helped develop waiting room features where host can allow users to access to the content and live switches between presenters’ webcams and the presentation deck – built in PowerPoint. We’ve even included spots for sponsor commercials on a client’s webinar event.
Live webinar can be embedded on newly created webpages purely for the event and simultaneously streamed to other social platforms such as YouTube or Facebook Live. Automations can also be setup so the stream is instantly uploaded as a video file for people to view and share after the event.
We’re only going to continue seeing an increase in webinar and online presentations as people realise the benefits of working from home and the ease of producing a webinar over a live event. Since online presentations aren’t restricted by hall size or location, you can not only reach a far wider audience, but offer access to people that would never have the opportunity to connect with your brand personally.
Support your next webinar with social content that drives traffic to your brand. Check out our Ultimate Guide to Social Content, a free guide for all things social content creation.