Now more than ever we’re being asked to embrace technology and step out of our comfort zones to present information online. There are so many amzaing tools out there to create a presentaion but it takes a bit of work for most of us to actually feel confident in front of a camera. Trial and error can be the best way to get comfortable with new technology but it also helps to have a plan.
Prepare, prepare, prepare
Like any presentation the key is preparation. This means getting started early and planning.
Create a clear focus with 1-3 key message(s).
Revise your drafts and edit out unnecessary content.
Make notes for each screen / section.
Think about how you are going to engage the audience.
Practise timing of spoken presentation.
Become familiar with the technology (eg. Zoom, Viva Voce, Collaborate etc)
No matter which web conferencing software you use the key is understanding its features. Make sure you know how to control the following:
Screen sharing and presenter view.
Playing an embedded video (if relevant).
Using a spotlight or highlight on a speaker.
Setting up and testing audio and video.
Set everything up fully to achieve the best results
It’s also important to choose a suitable location for your presentation. Make sure you find a space which is quiet and has good lighting. This may mean booking a study room in the library or going to a friend’s house when they’re out. If at home let others know that you are presenting live or recording so you’re not interrupted.
Before you start, think about your appearance.
Wear appropriate clothing – smart casual (no PJs!).
Angle your camera just above eye level to frame your shoulders and face.
Keep your face well-lit with natural light, or place a lamp behind the camera, towards your face.
Remove personal items or anything visible in the background.
Do a final check of the technology.
Test earphones, phone camera or webcam.
Close down all unnecessary browsers, windows or apps and turn notifications off.
Have notes ready (printed or in presenter view).
Test slideshare settings in presenter view.
Check the audio and video settings.
Log into the web meeting on another device to check the audience view.
Tips for pre-recording your presentation
Some assessment tasks require you to record your presentation and upload the file. The same principles apply but you may need to do things a bit differently when pre-recording.
Practise making a short recording then watch it back.
Pause when you transition between slides or present complex information.
Speak from notes rather than ‘reading’.
Breath and smile as you talk.
Follow assessment task instructions carefully.
Don’t forget to hit record!
Whether you’re presenting in person or online being a clear, confident and engaging communicator is an essential skill to have so it’s worth investing some time and energy into it. Check out more QUT resources on presenting online.
It seems obvious but the ability to start conversations and talk confidently is something that will help you in all aspects of life. Celeste Headlee is an award-winning journalist who has years’ of experience interviewing people from all over the world. Here are her tips for having a good conversation:
Stop what you are doing. Give the other person your full attention.
Assume you have something to learn.
Use open-ended questions.
Go with the flow.
Don’t pretend to know if you don’t know.
Don’t repeat yourself.
Don’t give too many details.
Check out her entertaining TED Talk on 10 ways to have a better conversation.