- Simplicity is key. Don’t over do it with tons and tons of text. Your slides should be an addition to your presentation. You shouldn’t be reading off your slides verbatim.
- Limit bullet points & text – images and charts are more powerful when telling your story
- Here’s a biggie – limit your animations, transitions, and builds. Too many of these can be overwhelming and cause you to get off track. Also, some transitions and animations may not translate well to your webcast platform, depending on what you are using. Always check with your producer on best practices.
- Use high-quality images
- It’s great to have a theme and company template to incorporate. Avoid using the PowerPoint Templates.
- Incorporate charts where appropriate, and make sure numbers and text are legible.
- When using colors, stick to your theme or your company colors. This makes your presentation more professional and cohesive
- Choose basic, clean fonts and keep it consistent. Sans serif fonts are cleaner and easier to read.
During this Holiday Season, our thoughts turn gratefully to our clients who’s partnership has made 2017 a great year. It is in this spirit that we say… Thank you and best wishes for the holidays and a very happy New Year. V2 had a wonderful company holiday dinner this year at Woodsman Tavern, in the hip Southeast district of Portland. We shared in some delicious southern themed food, including fried chicken, collard greens, homemade smoked ham, and oysters! It was a wonderful way to bring the year to a close and celebrate our achievements as a team. Thanks to our owners, Tania and Aaron for the fun holiday dinner!
May this season bring you the gifts of peace, hope and joy. To kick off your season with some laughs, V2 made this short holiday video for your viewing pleasure.
(Don’t worry, no V2 employees were harmed in the making of this jib jab video).
Happiest of Holidays and New Year!
The V2 Crew
We celebrated Halloween in style last week with a company wide potluck! The team even dressed in costumes…we had a hippie, skeleton, giraffe, witch, queen, a dancing pumpkin, a knife victim, and last but not least….Donald Trump (Drumpf), who brought in his “wicked weenies” to our potluck ..thanks Don. We had quite the feast of salmon (thanks Aaron!), fried chicken, and delicious cupcakes, and some spoooky cider!
The V2 dogs Peyton and Abbey even dressed up for the occasion as a taco and squirel enthusiast!! We hope you all were able to take a break from your busy work schedules to enjoy Halloween and all the tricks and treats! Happy fall, and Happy Halloween from the V2 Crew!
Below are some great tips on how to engage and get your audience hooked into your presentation within the first few minutes. The biggest items to think about from the attendees’ perspective are: What am I going to get out of it? How does this benefit me? Start simple by filling in the below remarks with content that fits your presentation.
- During this session you will hear from (speaker names/bio/background, how their expertise brings value).
- You will have the opportunity to ask questions about (key topics to be covered in the presentation).
- You will discover where to get more information about (great idea to include contact information and other handouts at the end as well).
- During this session you will see a demonstration of (software or other products that might benefit from a live demo).
Follow these tips and we guarantee attendees will be engaged, ask questions, and stay for the duration of your presentation!
V2 | Virtual Event Manager
Many of you have probably attended webinars or webcasts where the speaker demos an application or software from their desktop to give a sneak-peak or preview to audiences that may be interested in purchasing a software or application license. While most speakers tout their “live demo” in the webcast description, sometimes, those “live demos” are pre-recorded and shared as video content. I know, I know…gasp! The reason many speakers do this is to make their demos as smooth as possible and to be able to edit out any mistakes, pauses, or “ums.” However, pre-recording your demo is not necessarily always the answer, sometimes it’s best to run the demo live. Let’s take a look at each option in more depth, shall we?
Here are some top instances when pre-recording your demo is a good option:
- If the speaker who is giving the demo cannot be on the live session, then it is obviously a good option to have them pre-record their demo content and share it as a video. In this situation, you don’t have much choice if they are unable to make the scheduled time of the webinar.
- If the content you plan on sharing is highly technical and requires graphic heavy and bandwidth intensive software or multiple applications to achieve, then it may be a good choice to pre-record the demo as a video. Trying to share too many data rich applications at once can really slow down your connection to the webcast and cause a bigger delay in the audience demonstration.
- Your speaker will be traveling or is in a location with poor internet. This is a good reason to pre-record the demo in this instance to avoid delays or issues connecting to the webcast sharing Having a solid wired connection to the internet is KEY when presenting on any webinar or webcast!
- Some best practices to follow when recording your demo – use software that allows for good audio quality and try not to make the video too large in size. Make sure you are checking with the webcast provider on optimal video bit-rate specs to ensure the video isn’t going to run into buffering issues.
Here are some ideas on when to run your webcast demos live. (Don’t Be Scared!)
- Your demo is relatively straightforward – you are sharing one application, platform, or software, and you’ve tested the sharing option in the webcast and everything is working fine. Doing the demo live does tend to sound less “scripted” and you can better respond to questions as people are asking them.
- Often, presenting your demo live allows you to bring up your sharing screen again later in the session. Perhaps an audience member asked a question about a feature that you initially hadn’t thought about sharing; doing a live demo gives you the freedom to do so.
- Practice, Practice, Practice. One way to alleviate your nervousness about doing a live demo is by doing what you do during any presentation…practice! Practice by yourself, in front of colleagues, in the webcast meeting room. Practicing will calm your nerves and will allow your presentation to flow naturally.
V2 | Virtual Event Manager
As the V2 Adobe Connect Pro subject matter expert on our team, I’ve produced a myriad of trainings and events with my clients on the Adobe Connect Pro platform. Adobe Connect is one of my favorite platforms as an event manager because of its flexibility and collaboration features which lend itself well to a virtual classroom. Let’s take a peek at some of these features and how you can utilize them in your trainings.
Adobe Layouts – What are they? Layouts are a feature that allows you to create different elements or pods within the adobe connect meeting room. These pods include chat, polls, video (webcam), links, Q&A (moderated questions & answers), and share pods that allow you to share presentation files as well as your computer screen. Adobe Layouts let you as the Host choose where these pods live, and how they appear. For example, at one point in your presentation, you may wish to poll the audience on whether or not they have completed pre-work required of them prior to the training session. You can easily switch to this layout with the pre-loaded poll questions by using the layout panel on the right side of the screen. Click on the layout icon in the panel to switch your view. Layouts allow you to easily customize and re-organize the look and activities you want present in the meeting. You can set them up ahead of your meeting and you can alter them on the fly using prepare mode under Meeting options.
Using Prepare mode allows you to move to a different layout and change pods or load content while keep the attendees and presenters on the active pod. This is extremely helpful if you have last minute changes in content that need to be updated while in session.
Presenter Only Area – The presenter only area of the Adobe Connect Meeting or Seminar room is a handy tool that easily allows you to store pods/see layouts/chat your other presenters without attendees having any knowledge of this. At V2, we utilize this area to keep presenter notes on the presentation, have an chat pod open amongst presenters to give cues and communicate any issue/questions that may appear during the session. It is also a great way to prep and get ready any new pods you may decide to add to your presentation on the fly. For instance if you decide to add a poll, or bring in a chat pod for the attendees you can select this in the layout menu, and it will automatically open in the presenter only view first, where it will remain until you drag and drop it into the attendee area.
Breakout Rooms in Adobe Connect allow you to separate your attendees into different virtual rooms for group collaboration. The Host simple organizes the attendees into different groups using the breakout view and starts breakouts, and like magic attendees are in their own private virtual meeting and audio conference. The Host can move seamlessly in and out of each breakout room and back to the main meeting. Once you are ready to bring everyone back, then with the same click of a button, attendees return to the main session. You can load separate presentations into each breakout group, separate chats, polls, and any other interactive elements that fit your group activity.
We highly suggest Adobe Connect Pro for your corporate trainings and internal meetings. We think you’ll find that with Adobe Connect Pro you can create interesting, collaborative virtual trainings that will keep your attendees engaged. Reach out to the V2 Crew for more info on how we can help you best utilize Adobe Connect Pro’s unique features with your training goals.
V2 | Virtual Event Manager
We at V2 wanted to take a moment as we transition into the New Year to thank our clients for your partnership. We so appreciate your business and value working with you to make your life less stressful. This past year has been a busy one, and we can’t wait to see what this year will bring. In order to give you some fun Holiday laughs, we’ve created this V2 Crew video for your amusement. Don’t worry, no crew members were harmed during the filming of this video.
Happy New Near!
The V2 Crew
The HTML5 versus Flash debate has been a hot topic among Web developers for years – and even more in recent years. In fact, the main reason that iOS devices do not support Flash, is because of Steve Jobs’ ardent belief that HTML5 was the future, and Flash was “no longer necessary” as he stated in an open letter in 2010. But no matter what side of the fence you are on, there is no denying the impact of HTML5 on video and the web.
For online video, HTML5 has several things that Flash does not: mobile capabilities and semantic markup. For those of you non tech nerds out there, Wikipedia defines Semantic HTML, as “the use of HTML markup to reinforce the semantics, or meaning, of the information in webpages and web applications rather than merely to define its presentation or look. Semantic HTML is processed by traditional web browsers as well as by many other user agents.” The growth of mobile engagement with interactive video and HTML5’s open structure all combine to create the future of an HTML5-based Web, leaving the player based Flash program in the past.
Since the first version of HTML5 was published back in 2008, mobile has been slated as one of the publishing language’s largest advantages. And since iOS and many Android devices don’t support Flash, Flash is bound to PCs – which, according to Forbes , is a market that has been steadily declining since 2007 – the year the iPhone was launched. According to the Pew Research Center, in 2015, “Nearly two-thirds of Americans owned a smartphone, and 19% of Americans relied to some degree on a smartphone for accessing online services and information for staying connected, because they lack internet at home, or because they have few options for online access other than their cell phones.”
Those numbers will continue to increase, and companies making Flash-based Videos are missing out on a huge audience by not enabling their videos to run on mobile devices. Now, what does this mean for the world of online events and webcasting you ask? A lot of big name webcasting providers such as INXPO and ON24 are already delivering Cross-Platform HTML5 Based Webcasting. What does that mean? For ON24, it means that regardless of device, all users will have access to the same features in the webcast and it will work across all devices and platforms with no application downloads or installations. With the new INXPO STUDIO, the HTML5 based platform allows responsive interaction for mobile users, simple switching between speakers and locations, and no flash plugin necessary, for greater security and browser coverage.
The future is already here in the world of webcasting and HTML5 and we believe will continue to grow with the high demand for mobile integration, the need to increase security, and to do away with plugins and players.
V2 | Virtual Event Manager
We know you marketers out there spend tons of time crafting your subject lines, as it is probably the most important part of your email message. An attention grabbing email subject line is one sure way to drive potential attendees to register for your event and spark their interest in your message. It could very well be the difference between someone clicking on your email or sending it to the trash. That’s why marketers are so focused on it.
To stay true to our motto of trying to “make your life less stressful” we thought we would highlight Some Tips for Writing Email Subject Lines that Work. We like this post as it showcases simple yet powerful methods for getting your emails opened and read. PinPointe also breaks down the Ten Best Performing Subject lines right now that are guaranteed to boost email opens, clicks, and registrations (or sales). You might be surprised that of all phrases “Thank You” according to Adestra’s 2015 Email Subject Line Analysis gets more engagement (opens, clicks, and sales) than any other phrase. If you pair that with an emoticon or “emoji” that can make your subject line stand out even more, believe it or not!
According to PinPointe, a key tip is to keep your email subjects brief and to the point. Now brief can mean a lot of things to different people. Brief is in fact 6 – 10 words, which research shows is the most effective subject line length. However, most people’s subject lines are in the 11 – 15 word range. Subject lines with 11 – 15 words have average open rates of 14%. Emails with 6-10 word subject lines have an average open rate of 21%.
When creating your subject lines, don’t be too generic. You shouldn’t be afraid to be specific to really capture your desired audience. Even though you have limited space, that doesn’t mean you can’t be creative.
How do you stand out from the crowd? Try to be intriguing. Remember subscribers get hundreds of emails every day. Asking a question, using a famous quote, or humor are great ways to grab their attention. Also make sure you aren’t too “salesy.” You want to create a relationship with your customer, and that doesn’t happen by sending them emails with sales pitches. Instead, send different types of emails, such as newsletters or whitepapers.
We bet if you incorporate some of these tips into your email subject line strategy, you will see a boost in email opens and clicks, and that will trickle down into increased webinar registration. Once you’ve got those registrants, be sure you are focusing on specific content best practices to convert those registrants to engaged attendees, who will keep coming back for more.
V2 | Virtual Event Manager
We work with a lot of companies, big and small and have worked with all kinds of presenters on the webinars and webcasts that we produce. As they say, “practice makes perfect” when it comes to giving a top notch online presentation. However with our many years of experience in this field, we have gleaned some very important tips if you are presenting on a webcast that will make you feel prepared and less anxiety ridden for those last 30 minutes before presentation kickoff.
- Have a back-up of your slides – either a hard copy, or a soft copy saved to your desktop in the background that you can easily reference. This will give you peace of mind if you have any trouble with your internet connection. Hard copy is most fool proof – in case your computer shuts down because you forgot to install those updates! This way you still have a visual of your slides, but can have another colleague or your producer move slides for you as a back up.
- Grab a glass of water. This sounds pretty basic, but we always recommend this when we talk to new virtual presenters on rehearsals. Water or tea is best to clear your throat – did you know that milk in your coffee actually can create dry-mouth?
- Shut down your mobile phone – We recommend this not only so this isn’t buzzing or ringing in the background, but also so you don’t get distracted by checking your email. Same goes on your laptop or computer – shut down your email and all other applications you don’t need. This will keep you focused on the presentation at hand.
- Reboot your computer before logging in and presenting on any webcast. The morning of or even the day before we recommend this – that way if there are any updates that need to finish, etc., you won’t be caught with prompts in the middle of your presentation.
- Make sure you login to the webcast at least 30 minutes in advance. Whether a rookie or an all-star at virtual presentations, we do this on every single webcast we produce to ensure presenters can get connected, and can do audio checks, and make sure everything is set to go. This time will allow you to feel prepared and not rushing minutes before you are scheduled to begin.
V2 | Virtual Event Manager