Many people presenting for the first time during a webinar are surprised by how different it feels speaking to a virtual audience compared to a live one. After all, it is difficult picturing people in their underwear when you cannot see and in most cases, even hear them. Without body language and eye contact to keep your audience engaged, it is imperative that you rely on your voice and word choice to communicate the tone of your message. Web annotation tools, polls, and QA sessions can help gauge the interaction of your audience, but it is your voice that will initially capture their attention.
Here are some tips that can help you sound like a pro on your next webinar:
- Speak with enthusiasm (this is not to be confused with volume). This is important in any presentation, but is vital for a webcast or webinar. Having energy in your voice conveys your interest in the topic and prevents you from sounding monotone.
- Set the tone of your presentation with your introduction. Knowing your audience and topic well will help you determine what tone is appropriate. Depending on the topic, telling a story or opening with a question can capture listeners’ attention.
- Use body language. Physical movement actually infuses more energy into your voice and makes you sound more conversational. Using hand gestures, or even standing up and moving as you would if someone was in front of you, will keep you more alert and interactive.
- Remain focused. Avoid wandering off-topic or going on tangents that aren’t directly related to your message. It is easy for listeners to lose interest or multi-task online if your message strays.
Author – Jessica Bradford is a Virtual Event Manager with V2 who has been in the event production industry for over 5 years.