I normally don’t register for webinars in the evening, but this one resonated with me. I’d learn how to improve my virtual presentations – big time. And since there would be no recording, I hopped on.
Rebecca Morgan, a certified virtual presenter and co-publisher of SpeakerNet News lead the webshop and it was well worth my time.
Here are some virtual marketing tips and guidelines she suggested:
- At least 30% of your audience may be mobile. It’s easy to forget when we’re focused otherwise. Use big fonts, at least 80 – 100 point type on each slide. And one idea per slide. Who cares if you have lots of slides as long as you’re moving quickly and keeping the audience engaged?
- Position your camera at eye level. Engaging an audience begins with maintaining eye contact. Position your laptop camera high enough so you’re looking directly into the lens. You can use a ream of paper (like me) or check out Plexicam or the Center Cam. Not sure? Take a screen shot.
- Use a translucent background on images when possible. Images support your messaging, but text reinforces your slide. When you use a translucent background on images, it helps make the type stand out and breaks up the boredom of everything looking the same.
- Triple check your background. Viewers are distracted by objects that are oddly-paced or stick out. We did an exercise where participants used the annotation tool and circled items that might be removed. Think Highlight Magazine – but with a twist. What can you find that drives you crazy? Delete it. Sometimes I sit on a pillow that hides the doorknob in my office.
- Get to know the Annotation tool. This feature on Zoom helps you become interactive. You’re able to draw, stamp, and erase on the screen (and more). Here’s some information on how the Annotation tool works. On the fence? There’s only one way to get better – and that’s to practice.
- Ask questions to folks off camera. I didn’t know about the coffee cup feature that lets a presenter know someone’s not available. But, there’s no reason why you can’t ask a question to participants off camera. Establish rules early on so the audience knows what to expect. That also keeps them on their toes!
- Add fun tools to engage your audience. I learned about integrating tools like Wheel of Names and Jamboard. Wheel of Names let you pick random participants for things like prizes, and Jamboard allows you to use a scratchpad. You can paste images to present to a group and depending on your goals, it may provide a better learning experience. See if it works for you.
Of course, lighting is key, animation makes your presentation interesting, and above all showcase your brand personality. In the marketing and PR world, you are your brand 24/7 – especially if your presentations are being recorded. They may live forever on the web, so give it your best shot – even if it’s a yikes moment.
Worried that you flopped? Move on. You’re human, you’re smart, and everyone expects technological mishaps. It’s part of the new digital reality.
Bottomline: Ultimately, presentations are PR for small business, experts, consultants – and professionals who have an important message to share. Use webinars or webshops as part of your marketing plan framework. Maybe this can be your small business tip of the day.