Here’s the second half of yesterday’s blog post about how to keep your online presentations (webinars, video conferencing) interesting and remembered. Yesterday’s key points were to use anticipation, visuals, and participation. But there’s more! Visuals work best when they require the participant to think rather than simply view. Here are a few ways to incorporate “thinking” visuals:
- Use a high definition, very richly colored graphic or photo with only one word of text. Let the visual be a trigger for the rest of what you want to present at that time.
- Use an interactive game, such as flipping over matching cards.
- Use a visual to ask a question, and get participant input via voice or chat function on screen.
The point is, visuals can be used to engage rather than simply illustrate, and that makes your presentation much more memorable.
Voice is always key in presentations, but in an online venue it is even more vital. Why? People can’t see your non-verbal communication (even in video conferencing it is often unclear or missed). Vary your voice, adding emphasis and emotion. A monotone voice which is reading long lines of text off a slide is the worst – people will tune you out and have no recall of what you said.
Finally, people will stay tuned in to you when the closure they anticipate doesn’t come. I used it at the end of yesterday’s blog post, the “to be continued” today. This is called the Zeigarnick effect, after a market researcher who first noticed that people will faithfully tune in to things that have no closure – soap operas, for instance. Today, we see mini-dramas as brief advertising pieces that tell a story but have no closure. People wait for the next advertisement to see what happens as the story line develops. That’s the Zeigarnick effect!
Remember to lead with a memorable opening line that invokes feeling, engage people with rich visuals and interaction, use your most interesting voice, and keep people guessing just a bit. All these will help your webinair meet its objective to engage postential customers. Try it out in your next online presentation, and stay tuned to see what happens!