Moving to Virtual Blog

Tuesday Tips & Tricks: How to Handle a Nervous Presenter

December 10, 2013 | Posted in Courses, eLearning Best Practices by icohere

Lance A. Simon, VP Client Solutions

nervous webinar presenter

Image courtesy of Ambro at

There is so much to prepare for in coordinating a successful online event.  Even if you and your team are completely prepared for an event, what do you do if your speaker isn’t familiar with the virtual presentation format?  First steps are the practice run-throughs, but what if those simply aren’t enough?  What are some ways to troubleshoot for a technology neophyte?  We’ll share a story from iCohere about just such an event below.

While doing an initial interview with a presenter, who was an expert in his field but had no experience with webinars, it became apparent that getting the presenter to deal with the webinar system was going to take a huge amount of time and be a big distraction for him. So how do you handle this, to help put him more at ease and let the workshop run as smoothly as possible?

We had the presenter send us his slides and print them out for himself.  We then directed the presenter to call into a telephone conference line as opposed to using his webinar audio, which almost everyone is comfortable doing.

By doing this, you take care of streaming the conference line out through the webinar, and have the presenter give you a cue when the next slide is ready to go forward – something as simple as saying “next” at the end of each slide. You forward the slides and when it comes time for Q&A, you read the questions over the phone, and the presenter responds with the answers.

Our satisfaction survey results found that participants don’t find this set up to be disruptive. You don’t even have to mention during the webinar that the presenter is not “online”. Although this is certainly a “low tech” approach, it works fine for this type of presenter– it will help put everyone at ease and ensure that a wonderful, valuable presentation is delivered to your participants.

Your checklist:

  • Remember: The CONTENT is most important
  • Presenter prints off slides
  • Call into conference line (blended audio)
  • “Next” to forward slides
  • Read all Q&A out
  • Make the technology work for you!

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