Learn how to become a better presenter today. The purpose of the training is to share some practical tips to help lift your webinar delivery, so your experience on set is relaxed and to allow you to present with confidence.
Remember, the more you do it, the better you will get and the easier it will become. You will also find that they will help with your day to day communications skills. Let’s get into it.
TIP 01 – PREPARATION
Print out and go through your approved script with a pen, read through each line and make some marks where you feel natural pauses between phrases and underline any key words or accents.
This is called chunking, chunking is a great way to familiarise yourself with the script and it’s key concepts.
Your presentation shouldn’t be like the Melbourne Cup race call, no need to rush through it. Those natural pause points, a change in pace and some accents really help the viewer identify key information cues.
When you rush it can be hard for viewers to understand and keep up with you, particularly if there is technical detail or complex terminology used. The goal is to make it enjoyable and easy for the viewer to understand and to support their learning outcomes.
Reading through and marking pause points helps take the unknowns out of the scripts, it also allows you to prepare for any long or technical words and gives you breathing space.
Go through it 2-3 times and you will find your nerves will settle and you will be more relaxed come filming day.
A bonus tip to help get a sense of duration, is to get the word count of your script and drop it into speechinminutes.com – it will give you a rough feel of the script’s duration based on an average speaker word per minute.
TIP 02 – PRACTISE
Once you have chunked out your script, it’s time to practise with some teleprompter software.
Practise running the script 2-3 times prior to film day, it will help reduce any nerves, and you will be relaxed and confident on set come filming day.
Be sure to rehearse your script at least once as a full dress rehearsal.
On the day of filming, we will have the approved script loaded into the teleprompter, so you just need to turn up prepared, relaxed and ready to go!
TIP 03 – DRESS
On set we will be using a range of microphones including lapel mics. The lapel mic will need a jacket or shirt lapel to attach to and a belt buckle or pant hem to be secured to at the back.
Some dresses and blouses make it hard to secure the mic as they don’t have robust lapels or shirt fronts, we want the mic to sit up near the top button position to capture the best sound.
Avoid any dangling / noisy jewellery – as metal jewellery can rattle during a take and spill into the audio track making it unusable.
TIP 04 – APPEARANCE
We will have some basic make up powder available on the day to reduce any glare from the studio lights, should you request it. You just need to arrive neat and tidy in your usual ready to work / client facing state. So tidy hair and pressed clothes and we will take care of the rest.
TIP 05 – DELIVERY TIPS
Remember how we chunked out the script with natural pause points and accents in step 01?
This will come in handy on filming day. We will work through the script in paragraphs / chunks of text leaving some natural pause points as you go.
These pause points will allow us clean edit points of silence, where we can cut the footage and audio if needed in post production. Cutting an edit in the middle of a word can lead to funny audio visual jump cuts, it can sort of look and sound like a skipping record or CD.
Chunking will also allow us to work through shorter chunks of text, or to redo paragraphs as needed if there was a fluffed word or stumble – it’s way less scary than trying to redo a perfect 3,000 word take with no mistakes.
06 – PRESENTING TO CAMERA
Relax, get your breath, look down the camera and start your delivery when you are ready (no need to panic or rush).
Starting with a short pause and looking straight into the camera lens / teleprompter will give us clean edit points should we need to cut between different paragraphs or chunks of text.
If for example you look from the ground up each time, it makes it hard to cut as every shot will have your head nodding and be really distracting, by looking straight down the camera it gives us a constant, professional frame to cut to each time, thus avoiding the ‘nodding effect’.
The audience will pick up on this and find it distracting, remember that your goal is to keep the viewer engaged and absorbed in the valuable information you are delivering.
07 – WHAT TO DO WITH MY ARMS? HOW DO I STAND?
Secure your feet and hips in place (we don’t want any distracting pacing or twisting) and hold your hands in a comfortable open position in front of your torso.
This will allow for you to naturally articulate your hands as you work through your script, naturally using your hands will relax you. Some people may use their hands more than others, but having them free to move will add a real authentic flow to your piece & help keep you relaxed.
Having open, welcoming body language will help establish a deeper connection with the viewers / audience.
Hands in pockets, folded in front of you, fingers interlocked, nervous twitches or even hands behind your back can send negative body language signals to the audience to distract them, thus reducing their learning outcomes.
The goal is to have open and relaxed body language when presenting your expert topic to the audience, to open them up to your messaging.
Once again practise at home and remember that this will be a lifelong skill that will stick with you through your professional career and personal life. The more you do it, the easier it gets.