A kind of abstract from “Train the Web-Trainer”, an 8h training programme from Wise me.
As a Learning Consultant I had the chance to train over than 120 web-trainers in different organizations during the past few years. And as a Corporate Coach, web conference is a must have tool. We started with Cisco Webex about 5 years ago and then with Skype, Zoom and Teams.
Let’s be realistic, anyone can present or communicate via Web-conference, it is not difficult and it doesn’t require superpowers or exceptional skills. Still, as well as in physical presentations, there are less or more talented presenters.
Here are some tips to become an attractive Web-conference mate, based on my personal experience.
Before and during your presentation:
- Be prepared. Always prepare your introduction, body and conclusion. While presenting, don’t spend more than 4 min of talking before asking for interaction. Meaning that you should prepare short and simple pieces of presentation. If not, during Web conference the audience can “fly away” without even the constraint of being seen by others. This is even more important for recorded sessions.
- Prepare your environment before the meeting (background, house-rules(!), light, check microphone, etc.).
- Make a short intro “I will just take 4 min talking about…..X-Y-Z… and then, be my guest if you have any comments or questions. You may also use the chat while I will be talking”. This is what we call “setting the ground rules”. Unless if the Host has already done that.
- Speaking about the Host… Don’t forget to thank the Host for the nice settlement and invitation of the meeting -even if it is your assistant or a secretary.
- Be sure to add some humor or a story, or even something from today’s news – a positive one.
- Use rhetoric questions if you can. They attract the attention and introduce the chain of thoughts to participants.
- Use the chat. If someone is with you, he/she can write down for you every comment or questions. In real web-trainings there is always the Presenter and the Assistant role. During a web-training, the Assistant must know the material and can reply during the presentation.
- Don’t just read verbatim your slides or notes. Pretend there is a live audience in front of you.
- Share your presentation -if you have one. Not just during presentation but also as a file after you ‘ve finished.
- Be sure you keep the time-limits!
During the meeting:
- Always introduce yourself before speaking especially during a “switched-off camera” meeting.
- Don’t forget your communication soft skills – Praise, Acknowledge, be an active Listener…
- Keep notes -use the Wise me methodology of keeping notes.
- Don’t ever interrupt or talk at the same time with others -if micro is available/open for everyone.
- Keep it real… Meaning, keep your body language alive and smile. Yes, smile even if you have a camera switch-off mode conference. A smile can be “heard” over the phone.
- Don’t ever go away during a meeting. You will never be able to prove that you’ve left just for that second that someone asked your opinion…and you weren’t there!
- Web conference makes more easy quick, undesired reactions. Choose a “respond” and not “react” presence. Before asking to talk during the conversation, remember to be Short, Specific and be sure for what you want to say.
- Always ask to summarize an action plan at the end of the meeting -just as you should do in real meetings.
Dimitris Papadimitriou | Managing Partner – Wise me Innovation in Learning & Development