How to teach webinar presentation skills?
April 18, 2012 12:01 PM   Subscribe

What are some effective (& cheap) ways to teach someone how to be a great webinar presenter?

Giving presentations & webinars hasn't ever been a problem for me, but I'm at a loss trying to figure out how to mentor/train a young co-worker in this skill. She's pretty good at in-person presentations but her webinars are just flat. The content is okay (tried and true presentations used successfully by others) and the technology is fine, but she's just not coming across as engaging.

One thing I thought of was having her watch some great webinars--anyone have a good example? We're in sales so that's the context. Any other ideas? TIA.
posted by Kalatraz to Work & Money (2 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Can you define what you mean by webinar? I'm assuming that everyone is watching the same slides/video and listening to the presenter's audio either from the computer or over the phone, right?

This is definitely a different skill than regular presenting, and I've had to listen to some awful webinars. I would recommend that when she give the webinar, she is actually presenting in person in front of a small group as well. It will come across in her voice to those listening remotely.
posted by radioamy at 12:07 PM on April 18, 2012

Best answer: Yep, present to a small audience, preferably standing up. Failing that, she could also sit in front of a mirror or window as she presents. She can look out the window and deliver her talk to the trees on the lawn.

Also, she should consider rewriting part of the presentation to suit her personal style, especially the opener. Personally, I have trouble delivering other people's presentations without making modifications (usually removing slides, removing text from slides, adding pictures, and increasing hands on demo time). The opener should be custom. If the previous opener relied on audience engagement (a question, etc), then there must be a new opener to sustain interest (eg relevant humourous anecdote).

A professional speaker trainer would be most effective at coaching her, but I guess that is out of your price range. You can try to coach her yourself I suppose. You could give her a copy of the Cat in the Hat or other such text and have her give the first few pages of that in a webinar format. Practice enunciating the consonants at the end of each word, stress every second or third word in a sentence, get rid of the question mark inflection at the end of sentences, and ensure that there is a range of sounds in her voice. She can record her practice sessions and play it back as she varies her tone of voice in the text. After she's done some variations on Cat in the Hat, she can go back to her prepared text and give the opener a couple of times.
posted by crazycanuck at 4:32 PM on April 18, 2012

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