If you're looking to stand out during webinars and other online meetings, you'll need to hone your communication skills to be both clear and compelling. But in order to do that, first of all you need to appreciate how different online presentations are from delivering them in person. Here's a few tips, courtesy of Forbes.com:
Choose the best platform
There are numerous options when it comes to online webinars, including GoToMeeting, YouTube Live, WebEx, Zoom and many more. Be sure to try out a few different platforms first and use the one you're most comfortable with, and the one which offers the functionality you desire most. Beware that not all platforms are the same, and the differences could distract you during a live broadcast if you're not aware of them.
"I think the goal should be to get familiar with how to use a number of different platforms or any type of presentation that comes along,” Rita Barber, presentation consultant, said to Forbes.com.
Practice makes perfect
Be sure to practice your impromptu speaking skills, so you don't sound too scripted. The idea is to come across as if you're speaking at a regular business meeting. Practicing will also help you to get more comfortable with speaking into a camera.
Get yourself some help
There's certainly no shame in having someone assist you. Your assistant can help to monitor questions from the audience and relay them to you at the appropriate time during your presentation. This means you won't be distracted while you're speaking to your audience.
Be sharp, be professional
Naturally it goes without saying you'll need to dress snappy for the camera. Go for a professional/smart/business type of look, and be sure to tidy up the office or wherever it is you're broadcasting from. If you're really not dressed for the occassion, it might be better not to appear on camera at all, and just talk while the camera is focused on the slides. But this is not preferable, as appearing on camera yourself helps to establish more of a connection with your audience, helping you to deliver your message more efficiently.
Learn to live without audience feedback
You'll need to get used to this. “Pausing is different” where online meetings are concerned, Barber told Forbes.com. With live presentations you'll get feedback in the form of a few laughs or a nod, which helps to confirm that your message is sinking in. But when you're delivering a presentation online, you probably won't get any feedback at all. As such you might want to develop techniques to encourage feedback, in the form of live commenting from your audience or an interactive poll they can take part in.
Last but not least, don’t forget to smile. Smiling for the camera will always help you make a stronger personal connection with the audience.