Presentation Technology

Guest Blog Post: 5 Ways to Create an Exciting Learning Experience to Keep Your learners Engaged

Eager to keep your students engaged? Rest assured that with the utilization of the latest learning tools, you are going to be able to achieve this target. Guest Blogger, Kamy Anderson is an ed-tech enthusiast with a passion for writing on emerging technologies in the areas of corporate training and education.

How to Get Your Message Heard

The Chinese proverb says a picture is worth a thousand words. IMAGINE how many words a video is worth. video cameraFor years I've been saying that speakers will need broadcasting skills. Well, the future is now. Recently, I was asked to do a live stream webinar to sales teams across the country. I've also been coaching a senior executive on her internal quarterly webcasts. And I predict there will be more requests for employees and entrepreneurs to do video presentations.

Video is a powerful medium for getting your message across.

Video use is skyrocketing.

  • YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google.
  • Close to 80% of people watch online videos at least once a week. (Online-publishers.org)
  • Videos in emails can double the rate of response. (Getresponse.com)
  • Videos are shared 12x more than links and text combined. (B2Bmarketing.net)
  • Online video viewing increased by 38% between May 2011 and May 2012. (Comscore)

So we know video works. But it can work against you if you don't know how to present on camera. Here's how to get your ideas across on video:

  • Keep it Brief. Don't put your entire presentation on video. Edit and display video segments.
  • Speak in sound bites. It will make the editing process easier. Sound bites are memorable.
  • Make an eye connection. If you are broadcasting to a remote audience, look directly at the camera. Your viewer should feel as if you're talking just to them. Have a conversation. If you are videotaping your presentation, look at your live audience.
  • Light it up. You can buy a special lamp for your desk that will provide softer lighting and make you look more professional. (Harsh lighting can make you look ghastly.)
  • Use a microphone. You can purchase inexpensive clip-on mics which amplify your voice and cut down on background noise.
  • Content matters. Provide value for your listeners. If your content is compelling, they will want to hear what you say. Speak in terms of their self-interests.
  • Let video tell your story. Video provides a consistent message to a wider audience.
Whether you're communicating virtually, selling a service or product, or giving internal webcasts, when video is done well, it is one of the best ways to get your message heard.

What Would Diane DiResta Do? A TED Speaker's Worst Nightmare

I watched this video over the weekend, and while I agree that the prank was well-executed*, I couldn't help thinking about reality. The reality is that public speakers run into technology snags all the time. The possibility of a tech glitch is one of many reasons people fear speaking in front of an audience. What would you do if this happened to you?

 

It is so important to be prepared for the worst when you go in front of an audience. What if your PowerPoint deck doesn't load? What if your clicker runs out of batteries? What if your microphone doesn't work? There are so many examples of speaking disasters. Your best bet is to have a recovery strategy:

 

Some speaking glitches are avoidable, and you can download our free presentation checklist to help prevent them. But there are many problems that you can't control. For those, you have to be prepared.

Prepare your speaking recovery strategy before your big day. This will increase your odds of a graceful recovery in the face of disaster. Knowing that you are prepared for any eventuality will also boost your confidence when you step onto the stage. Now go out and give a Knockout Presentation!

*The speaker in this video is a comedian and was in on the prank.

Do It Yourself Marketing - Create Your Own Video Ad

June is "DIY" (Do It Yourself) Marketing Month. I've said it before and I'll say it again - today more than ever, your success depends on your ability to communicate your value to the market. There are many ways you can do this, and one of them is through online video marketing. A smart, crisp brand will help your products and services stand out from the crowd. Promoting your brand doesn't have to be expensive. Here is a free tool you can use to create a 30 second ad: animoto.com. Don't forget to create your own YouTube channel. YouTube is a high visibility, cost-effective marketing approach.

Here's the video I created for my book, Knockout Presentations:

Why Public Speakers Fail

Professional speakers who are satisfied with the status quo will surely find their audience slipping away. Just like the car replaced the horse and buggy, dynamic, interactive presentations are replacing the talking head. Today, public speakers have to play a bigger game in order to give a Knockout Presentation. In a recent article entitled, Why Leaders Fail, the author cites the number one reason leaders fail and it's because they believe past success equals future success. There's a lesson here for public speakers and presenters. The article made me think about some of the public speakers I've heard. And just like in leadership, the rules of public speaking have changed. I've observed public speakers using an old time, one-size-fits-all presentation style. But what worked in the past, won't necessarily fly in today's market place.

Today's audiences are more sophisticated and demanding than ever before. The old, traditional method of the expert keynote speaker with the passive, listening audience, is an old model. Technology and social media have changed the game. Today, speakers engage their audience by using live polling for just-in-time responses, encouraging tweeting content, and interactive activities, even with large audiences.

Speakers have to look at their expertise differently and more creatively. It's not enough to be a standup keynote speaker. Today's savvy keynote speakers distribute their content through many media channels: podcasts, mp3 programs, white papers available on their websites, pre-program questionnaires or surveys, downloadable handouts, and youtube video clips. The focus has changed from "speaker-as-expert" to audience engagement and tapping into the expertise of the audience.

You can still take a horse and buggy ride, but it won't get you very far. If you want your presentation to have impact, you have to shift gears from giving a speech to taking a ride on the interactive highway and giving the audience an experience.

Evolution of Business Presentation Technology

In a past blog post I said that words will die. Well, that's not completely true. We're not going to revert back to smoke signals and gestures..But a growing trend is info graphics. Presentations are continuing to evolve. Nothing will replace the story but there are new ways of telling the story. From blackboards to interactive touch screens here is a  look back at how presentation technology has evolved. This infographic is from propoint graphics: So the next time you curse PowerPoint, take a walk down memory lane and be thankful you don't have to use overhead transparencies anymore.

Unhitch the Technical Glitch

teleseminarMurphy's Law was in full effect. My associate and I conducted a live teleseminar together. We rehearsed the night before using the conference service. She did a live recording of a different class the day before and it went off without a hitch. So we knew the service was reliable.

The day of our teleseminar we hit a glitch. As soon as we started the recording feature several people were kicked off the call. A flurry of emails warned us that they couldn't get back on. While my colleague furiously contacted tech support I carried on with my part of the seminar.

What should you do when you've prepared your presentation and you still get derailed?

Take a lesson from champion ice skaters. When they fall on the ice they get up and keep going. Immediately after the call, we recorded the same content without any listeners on the line. We then sent the link to everybody who registered. We offered them the recorded call, an offer to call us with any questions, and a refund if they were not satisfied. Only one person asked for a refund. (We sent her the link anyway).

What's the lesson here?

  1. Always anticipate what could go wrong and have a back-up plan.
  2. Choose reliable technology. (Higher priced plans provide better service).
  3. Rehearse using the technology and know that it can work well one day and not the next.
  4. Keep going. Continue your presentation with the people who can hear you.
  5. Do the right thing. Your reputation and integrity are more important than any profits. Your reputation is your profit center. If requested, we would have refunded every participant. Your content is only part of the message. Customer service is the REAL message.