Imagine for a moment that you were sitting down over coffee with a potential partner, and after some get-to-know-you chit chat you say, “so, tell me about your firm?”
On that prompt, your coffee partner pulls out a data sheet and starts reading it to you.
“What?!!?,” you start thinking. But it continues.
A half-hour later, when your heart is about as cold as your coffee, he looks up and says, “So, any questions?”
While a bit dramatic, this is essentially what happens every day in online presentations. Web seminars. Webinars.
In a study I conducted last year about online presentation best practices, in one section of the survey I presented respondents with a question asking them what annoys them most about online presentations with seven potential responses.
Their top two responses made it look like the other five weren’t even on the list:
“Presenter reads what is on the slides” and “Presenter reads a script.”
So why is this the number two mistake in online presentations?
I’ve incorporated this research into my public and private webinar skills training. In one session to a European audience, Alice (her real name) submitted a comment noting, “But I present to audiences for whom English is a second language and they like it when I read the slides to them. It helps their comprehension.”
My response, “Good job, Alice! You’re obviously not making mistake number one – know thy audience.”
An old adage on the sales floor is “people buy from people.” But that isn’t just a sales tactic. People aren’t going to pay attention, engage, or trust your ideas if you speak at them.
And their message for webinar presenters is clear:
TALK with me. Talk WITH me. Talk with ME.
1080 Group, LLC