Moving to Virtual Blog

Is your audience signing out? It could be your presentation style

March 30, 2015 | Posted in eLearning Best Practices by icohere

Are you planning to host a webinar? Or, maybe you have been invited to speak at an online conference. How you deliver your upcoming presentation can mean the difference between keeping your audience logged on and connected, to watching them check-out in droves.

Presenting online is completely different than presenting to an in-person audience. In a live setting, presenters can feed off their audience’s reactions and the audience can feed off the energy in the room. The room is set up to support the presentation and the presenter is the focal point of the environment. With online presenting, the presenter is a computer screen, and the audience has immediate access to many distractions, both in the room and on their computer.

When presenting in an online setting, you have to work harder to grab and keep the audience’s attention. The more time you dedicate to improving your presentation skills, the less likely you’ll become one of the top worst offenders below.

1. The Ghostly Presenter.

Show the audience the speaker Does your audience know who you are?

Whether you are hosting a webinar or a speaking at an industry conference, your audience should know who you are in advance of participating in your presentation. Resolve this by creating a pre-event marketing campaign that connects you to audience influencers, the industry, and most important, your audience.

Can your audience see you during the presentation?

It’s nice to put a face to the voice. Before beginning the presentation introduce yourself, and include an image if you are not using a webcam. During the introduction, be careful not to smother your audience with your credentials or lengthy biography, and instead keep the conversation natural. You’ll have plenty of time to demonstrate your expertise through storytelling during the presentation.

2. The Lethargic Presenter.

Keep your presentations full of energy Remember the economics teacher in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off?


He captivated his audience, but not in a good way. Take advantage of the opportunities today’s online presentation platforms give you to keep your audience engaged (and awake). Keep the energy flowing by switching up the content and using a mix of media channels.

3. The Data Presenter

Data Overload It’s important to back up theory with data. For example, instead of saying “research tells us…”, we can add credibility by citing specific research and clearly tying it to the content. But data should be used to enhance a presentation, not take over. Data overload has the same effects as being long-winded. After a while, your audience forgets what the presentation is even about. You’ll make a bigger impact if you present the right data and clearly tie it to the topic.

4. The Pontificating Presenter

Deadly presenting mistakes Remember, the earlier advice of suggesting you not read your bio or tell the audience about each and every credential? The same goes for the rest of your presentation too. Unless you are the topic of the presentation, such as an interview, keep the presentation on topic.  The audience as a whole is the most important person(s) in the room. The content and your delivery should be focused on their needs.

5. The Verbose Presenter

Is your audience bored ‘Is he still talking?’

When a speaker tries to present too much material or simply talks too long, the audience quickly disconnects and becomes frustrated. At a huge in-person conference, the audience may be more inclined to keep their seat and tough it out. But in the comfort of an online event, it’s too easy for them to secretly step out of the room.

Can you think of another disastrously presentation style? Please share in the comments!


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Karin Benett

I hate “The Reader”. Most of their presentation is data…no pictures, no animations…And they read every slide. I happened to get straight A’s in Language Arts so I don’t need a presenter to read for me. Either use the PowerPoint slides as an outline or just provide me with the presentation so I can read it on my own and spare myself the drudgery of “The Reader’s” presentation.


Another great example, Karin. That’s a common problem. Hopefully, as technology continues to offer us more and more options to create dynamic content, we’ll see less reading and more interaction. Thank you for stopping by Moving 2 Virtual!