Give your presentations online

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If you have a new product or service to launch, wouldn’t it be good to be able to present it your existing and potential clients?

Not so easy if your clients are spread far and wide – perhaps not even in the country. Why not host an online presentation, or ‘webinar’?

Just as you might use your laptop or tablet for a physical presentation, you would do the same with a webinar – basically sharing the contents of your screen with your audience.

There is a plethora of providers for you to try, with a variety of subscription prices and features available.

You can host meetings with one or two attendees right up to large-scale web conferences with 1,000 people.

Audience participation can be created in various ways. Pre-prepare polls, asking simple multiple choice questions. You get live results in your webinar control panel which you can talk about during your presentation or even show to your attendees.

During a physical presentation, your audience would be able to put up their hand should they wish to ask a question. Your online attendees would be able to do the same, if you wish.

They will have a panel in which they can type questions, which you can answer when you’re ready. You can even allow audience members to voice chat.

Many webinar providers will also allow for multiple presenters to participate from any location.

Webinars can be recorded for use later. You can offer them as a resource to those who attended so that they can come back and cherry-pick content they’d like to see again. There will also be those who could not attend. Offer them access to the recording so they don’t miss out.

There are some basic points to bear in mind when hosting a webinar:

Location: make sure that the room you will be using is as quiet as possible. Ensure that phones are switched off, and make it clear that there should be no interruptions.

Connection speed: If you are at the end of a dodgy connection you don’t want your presentation to be freezing regularly. As a matter of course you should test it out well in advance. Use one of the free trials that are available to run a practice webinar. Get friends or colleagues to act as attendees to assess the quality.

Dry run: once you’ve prepared your webinar, test it again on others who will give you an honest opinion.

Plan: Don’t leave everything until the last minute. A poorly prepared presentation will do you more harm than good.

Introduce yourself: it’s amazing how many people forget to introduce themselves properly. Include a photo of each presenter so that your audience can put faces to the voices.

Have a look around at the various webinar providers and take advantage of their hints and tips – then get ready to unleash yourself on the webinar world!

Andrew McEwan of The Web Workshop in Morebattle (www.thewebworkshop.net) helps businesses with their online presence and digital marketing.