Presenters thrive on audience interaction. It’s obviously easier when you are in the room with your attendees to know whether or not you have their attention. You can read their reaction and change your presentation as needed based on their feedback. It’s what you do best to ensure your participants walk away with the information they need.
Even though it seems difficult, it is possible to conduct dynamic virtual training sessions. The following tips will get you off to a great start:
1. Use your vocal energy to keep the audience interested. Since your learners can no longer see you, your voice becomes your only physical connection with them. Your voice will need to be strong and energetic. One way to make that happen is to stand while presenting. It will be easier to project your voice. To keep your energy up, keep your hands free while communicating. The more your body gets involved, the more energized your voice will be. Consider having someone in the room with you while you present. Have them sit about three feet away from you and talk directly to them.
2. Set guidelines for focused participation and state the agenda. In the first two minutes of your presentation explain the guidelines for focused participation. This may include how to ask questions, how to stay engaged and how to handle technical problems. For example, state: “I will be calling out to you individually for feedback.” This lets people know you need them to pay attention. Within the first two minutes also state the topics you will cover and how much time you plan to spend on each. This will help people focus their attention on the information that is most important to them. Lack of guidance makes it easy for learners to tune out.
3. Adjust your PowerPoint slides. When delivering web-based training, your PowerPoint slides are often the only thing your learners see. Therefore, the slides must be simple, visually appealing and easy to follow. To maintain their attention, consider changing to a new slide every 30-60 seconds. This means you’ll need more slides than in a face-to-face event. Each time you advance a slide, state the topic of the slide, list the highlights of the topic, then provide the detail.
4. Keep your audience engaged with polling questions and surveys. It’s a good idea to prepare a few questions ahead of time that you can ask your audience and receive feedback. Keeping the questions simple and the answers humorous helps to engage your students and share your personality. For example, “When it comes to attending training, I:” a) do it because my boss told me to; b) love to learn new things or c) have nothing better to do right now”
Following these four simple tips can help you duplicate the feel and interaction of a live training session – anytime and anywhere. For more tips, check out “Presentation Tips for Webinars”