Online presentations have to be more interesting, entertaining and value-packed than live presentations, because all the listener has to do is click “Close” or the little “X” in the corner if they aren’t fully engaged. One click, that’s it. Don’t, however, let that discourage you. Your audience wants to hear what you have to say — you hooked them with the title and a brief summary of the presentation’s content. Creating a compelling, attention-keeping presentation is an art form that anybody can learn. Here are 5 quick tips to help you lose the snooze button in your online presentation:
Tip #1: Don’t drone on and on
For many presenters, it’s tempting to keep talking on and on to fill up space, but that immediately puts the listener into sleep mode. According to a recent study at University of North Texas, the ideal length of a presentation is roughly 20 minutes. I’ve also heard that the average timespan to consume online video is somewhere in the 5 minute range. I think that these are more guidelines than hard and fast rules. You can have an online presentation lasting five minutes or 60 minutes depending on the purpose of the presentation and your intended audience, but the point is that you want to deliver your content in short, relevant and manageable chunks. If your presentation is a bit on the long side, you can determine if there are natural points where you can divide it into multiple shorter presentations. Droning on and on while delivering a presentation may have killed our nation’s ninth president.
Tip #2: Don’t just have text & bullet points on your slides
An abundance of text on a slide won’t keep your audience entertained and focused. Using images such as graphs, tables, photos and even sketches can add character, personality, and impact to the presentation. Statistics can add credibility and persuasive power to your presentation. A good rule of thumb to remember is that less is more on a presentation slide.
Tip #3: Don’t read from the slides
Your audience can read. They don’t want you to repeat what they can see. Craft a narrative (Rule #3 in “8 Rules for Exceptional Slide Presentations” from SEOMoz) or a list of talking points that you can follow as you are delivering your presentation. You can use the same basic outline as your presentation and adapt it into a script or series of talking points, but don’t just read what’s on your slides. This wouldn’t be a problem if you follow tip #2 and use imagery on your slides to make your point. Remember, you want to speak to your slides rather than read from them.
Recording of “How To Be An Online Presentation God” Webinar
Here is a recording of a webinar that we offered last week on giving online presentations. It was presented by a presentation expert and consultant, and he offered a TON of great tips on how to be a better presenter, which can be applied to both a live and on demand presentation scenario. It’s available for you to view for free, so check it out!
Use Knoodle At No Cost Until 2013
Also, we were offering a code that will let you use Knoodle for free until 2013 as part of a special promotion for the webinar. This promotion was originally only valid through October 31st, but due to popular demand by people located in the east coast who were affected by Hurricane Sandy, we’re extending the offer until the end of the day tomorrow, November 2nd, 2012. If you’re interested, here’s what you’ll need to do:
- Sign up for a free trial account (or login if you already have one).
- Click the Buy/Upgrade button in the top left corner of the page.
- Select one of our flexible monthly subscription plans – you will not be charged for the plan selected until January of 2013, and if you cancel any time before that then you will not be charged.
- Then enter in the code PRESENTATIONGOD upon checkout.
We hope that the quick tips offered here, the recording of the webinar above, and the ability to use Knoodle for free through the end of 2012 will help you deliver better online presentations — whether they’re for product demos & tutorials, sales & marketing presentations, new employee onboarding, compliance & safety training, or collaborative learning. We would also love to hear any other quick tips you may have on how to lose the snooze button for your online presentations…share them in the comments below!