In recent years, webcasts have become increasingly popular for businesses looking to bring their presentations and events to a wider audience.
Webcasting allows you to broadcast your presentation live over the web, freeing you from the 100 or 1,000 attendee limits you may have with web conferencing technology and enabling you to reach an audience of thousands — or even tens of thousands — around the world.
Online video platforms like Panopto make live broadcasting video in high definition from your laptop a breeze.
If you’re planning on live streaming a webcast of your presentation, here are a few tips to make sure that your event is a success:
Regardless of whether you prefer to use PowerPoint, Keynote, Google Slides, or Prezi, you’ll want to make sure that your presentation slides are easily readable. For maximum readability, contrast is the key. We recommend sticking to either to white text on a dark background, or black text on a light background. If possible, try to minimize the amount of text on each slide. Text-heavy slides cause viewers to concentrate on reading the slides rather than pay attention to what you have to say. Instead, use pictures or graphics to help you tell your story.
Many presenters make the mistake of speaking too quickly and rushing through the presentation. Most of the time, rushing is simply caused by adrenaline or nervous energy. You can decrease the possibility of presentation nerves by giving yourself enough opportunities to practice prior to your event. If during your webcast, you find your breathing becomes more shallow and you feel your body tensing, try taking a moment at the end of a sentence or concept to pause and take a deep breath. Not only do brief pauses help your audience to digest the content you’re presenting, it buys you a little time to resume breathing normally. If you can breathe comfortably, it will be harder to rush.
Not everyone is comfortable speaking off-the-cuff without a script. If you’re better following a script, you’ll want to make sure that a copy of your script is at eye level to the camera. Otherwise, your eyes will be constantly darting off-camera as you read your script, which can seem unnatural and distracting to your viewers.
One product we really like is the See Eye 2 Eye, an inexpensive teleprompter that sits in front of your webcam, which allows you to read from a script while looking directly into the camera lens. Using the teleprompter lets you keep eye contact with your viewers and helps you create a more professional-looking video.
If you’re like us and have attended a fair number of webinars, you’ll have experienced at least one occasion where the online presenter receives an email or instant message during his or her presentation. Not only is this distracting for your viewers, but it can also be potentially embarrassing for you. Make sure to close any applications you won’t be using during your presentation — it will reduce the possibility of any distracting pop-up notifications, as well as help your software run more efficiently.
It might seem strange, but body language is still important — even for virtual events. We recommend leaning forward at a slight angle as a signal to your viewers that you are engaged and interested in the topic. By contrast, leaning too far back in your seat may make you appear disconnected or nonchalant.
In the chance that any of your viewers may have missed a portion of your presentation, or would like to share your talk with their colleagues, we recommend that you make your presentation recording available for on-demand viewing. With Panopto, your live stream is automatically recorded and uploaded to your organization’s video portal. Minutes after you’ve wrapped up your presentation, your video is available for on-demand viewing from any laptop, tablet, or mobile device.
For more tips, check out our post, 4 Simple Tips to Improve Your Online Presentation Videos. If you’d like to learn more about how Panopto can help you create professional-quality webcasts, contact our team for a free 30-day trial.