Tips for Effective Web Presentation

As follow-up to my post, in which I slammed a recent webinar presenter's efficacy of presentation ... Here's my own checklist of best practices for delivering a good web-based presentation:

Planning Your Pitch

  • Develop a clear picture of audience needs, desires, problems
  • Structure "the story" & plan out flow: Intro, Body, Close
  • Keep it simple: limit to a number of key points (e.g. 3-5)
  • Use only helpful visuals to reinforce concepts
  • Strive to meet your audience needs - not self-promote
  • Clearly develop the "next step" recommendation
  • Meet with meeting partner to discuss flow, ideas & needs
          (if applicable)

    Before Your Web Presentation
  • Master material: Don't read a script -have a conversation!
  • Practice: tape yourself/ watch & listen or get feedback from others
  • Do a tech dry run; know how to use meeting tool(s)
  • Do a content dry run to verify timing & pace
  • Provide your bio to the moderator and discuss introduction
  • Silence cell phones, pagers and computer IM/Audio
            Include barking dogs, mewing cats, screaming children as necessary!

    During Your Web Presentation
  • Welcome your audience with enthusiasm
  • Introduce yourself and briefly outline key presentation objectives
  • Use a brief web survey to get to know audience
  • Share survey results with audience to build community
  • Tailor your pitch (e.g. examples) midstream toward audience
  • Provide real life examples that demonstrate cause & effect
  • Periodically reference slide visuals/numbers to help audience follow
  • Speak at a clear, even, and reasonably slow pace: R-tik-U-Late.
  • Exhibit passion, conviction and inflection
  • Smile while you are talking - it actually comes across.
  • Do make sure you breathe - it loosens you up and unkinks things!
  • Use pauses to reinforce points or build transitions
  • Avoid "gap filling" with words or phrases like "ummm" or "anyway..."

    Closing Your Web Presentation
  • Summarize key points and underscore recommended action
  • Thank the audience and moderator for their time
  • Provide a list of helpful resources
  • Open the floor for questions
  • If you don't have an answer to a question, offer to get one
  • Provide appropriate contact information

    After Your Pitch
  • Consider sending incentive or thank you to your audience (e.g. link to slides, a free book or white paper) to reinforce the bond you develop with your audience
  • Make sure you're tapped in to post-presentation feedback survey feedback!
  • Obtain any previously agreed upon audience leads & conduct follow-up
  • Refine and tweak your presentation (content, style, points) to address feedback

    In conclusion, using online meetings can be a highly engaging and effective way to use time and close distance gaps for remote teams. Today, there's a really low barrier to entry for anyone, and applications like WebEx and GotoMeeting (which both offer pay-per-use options) make it easy and cost-effective to run high quality online discussions.

    Following these basic, common sense rules can help anyone develop and deliver a more successful web-based presentation. Feel free to post your own tips, comments, ideas, links or questions by adding comments below.


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    I’m Leigh Durst, a 20 year veteran in business, operations, customer strategy, ecommerce, digital & social media and marketing. Simply put, I’m a strategist that helps companies (start-up to blue chip) achieve business shift, create more compelling online and offline experiences. I also write, speak and teach about experience design and next-generation business. I’m a futurist, visionary, strategist, doer and connector with a passion for people and helping others. When I’m not on the road, you’ll find me in the San Francisco bay area, working, beaching it and hanging out with my family and dog.


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