Often people think it is harder to speak in front of a camera, as opposed to a conference, but a good webinar service provider like First Sight Media will make the experience as easy as possible. We’ll walk you through the equipment, introduce you to the technicians, explain the whole process and finally help you to rehearse until you feel relaxed and ready to give a good performance.
Lights, camera, action
When you arrive at the venue microphones, cameras and lighting will be in place and the webinar service providers will have checked and tested the equipment.
Normally for a single presenter a lapel microphone is used, which is attached to the transmitter and placed in a pocket or attached to your belt. For a panel of speakers a desk-mounted microphone may be better. A few sentences will set the microphone level.
Two cameras are standard for webinars, providing a couple of viewing angles, to make for a more interesting viewing experience. For two or more cameras, the director uses a mixing desk to cut between each as required, communicating with the camera operators via a talkback system. Once the presentation commences remember to look into the camera lens as any eye movement away from here, however small, will give the impression you are not giving the e-delegates your undivided attention. Well, if you are being introduced by a colleague, then of course look at them.
The brighter the lights the better for video quality, is the general rule. If the lights are uncomfortable for any reason, let the technical team know and they may be adjusted. With head and shoulders framing it is difficult to lose reflections in glasses so, if possible, wear contact lenses or leave the glasses off, as this provides a more intimate presentation for the online audience.
A plain background is good for even lighting, but rather dull, so look at what you can use – a pop up banner or exhibition stand can work well.
Your colleagues liaising with the webinar services provider will probably have asked for your slides in advance to allow the presentation software to be pre-cued. If you have not been asked about this, please contact them as it will save a lot of pressure leading up to the event and on the day.
If you make any changes to slides, please contact the relevant people as soon as you can so the master deck can be updated. If you do need to make changes the night before the event, please make it a priority to email the slide to your event contact, not wait until you arrive at the event room as there will be plenty to do without remembering a small, but important slide change.
Presentation confidence monitor
Depending on your situation, you will probably be given a monitor close by, but out of camera shot where you can see your slides without looking up at any screen behind you (larger events), or referring to your laptop.
There is one particular benefit to having this confidence monitor. Presentation software for streaming such as iPresenter allows global multiple-choice polling of the online audience. You prepare the slide with the questions and the poll responses come back within seconds. You are then able to see and talk about the results, but the audience cannot until you choose to show them (or you can keep the results to yourself). The software has other features too such as live online audience Q&A, speaker biographies and an on-demand easy-review system.
Rather than having the cameras roll and you launch into your presentation, a very effective way to introduce the event topic is for you to be welcomed by a colleague or associate. This can be just a few words, a brief biography or details of your big achievements. This approach immediately connects you with your audience.
READY TO GO
Everything is in place, it’s time for a rehearsal and to mentally prepare. Normally a few minutes is enough to let the speaker sees how everything operates, how they control their slides and interact with the host. A quick cuppa, an appearance check and we’re off!
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