Under quarantine, the number of all kinds of online webinars exceeded all conceivable and unimaginable limits. The feeling that people were divided into two groups: some have horror-horror on all fronts, as in a well-known joke, while others suddenly have chakras, their karma has recovered, and pure knowledge of “successful success” has broken down. Actually, I wanted to talk about this. Moreover, thanks to this note, I get up on this unsteady soil with one foot. I won’t touch on what “cunning gurus” say, but I’d like to discuss how it looks for the audience. Especially since you never know, suddenly enlightenment will touch you and you will have to webinar to a millionth audience.
We are looking for the point
Can you recall the most original place from which you had to answer an incoming phone call? A modest corner of all thinkers and lovers to read alone, with an area of one by two meters with a faience bowl in the middle, immediately pops up in my memory, right? So, the last few days have strengthened the idea in me that people are ready to webinar from anywhere. At best, it will be an unlit corner of the kitchen, bedroom or balcony.
It is clear that not everyone has a spacious and bright greenhouse, but even in Zoom you can change the background. The second point is the pathological desire of webinarians to sit opposite the windows, which is a black talking spot.
Below are a few examples of “from these of your Internet”. If you meet friends, do not throw yellow rags at me. These are random victims of a search on YouTube for the key query “Worst Webinar.”
I don’t know why exactly these videos got out, but there is definitely something to talk about. Although, the number of views is respectable.
In general, the theme of the visual design of webinars is a whole cultural layer and a field for in-depth analysis. For example, how do you like the screensaver for the upcoming event. Intriguing? Motivates? Are you worried? Well, how could it be otherwise if eight hours (!) Of exciting narrative are ahead.
How long should the webinar last? There are obviously no strict standards. On my own I can say that I perceive everything up to an hour without much injuries. All that lasts more than 60 minutes ─ causes allergic itching and drowsiness.
More important for the speaker, in my opinion, is not to deceive the expectations of the audience. It’s better that you are in place 5-10 minutes before the start of the broadcast. It would also be nice if the topic you claimed did not differ much from the content.
Quite often I see how driven by adrenaline and excitement, webinarians begin to chatter mournfully. No pauses and emotions for you. As if Siri, Alice or Oleg are reading a piece of paper. Listening to this is boring. One salvation ─ comments and questions from the audience. Otherwise, no secret kung fu for you.
Smile and wave
In fact, whether this will be an online master class, lecture, video conference for hundreds of participants, there are several basic things that, it seems to me, it would be very useful not to forget to do. It’s like brushing your teeth in the morning or washing your face.
For example, say hello and ask the audience whether you can hear. Modern online broadcasting services (YouTube, Zoom, Skype, Instagram) allow you to quickly respond to comments. Having asked a question and having waited 1-2 minutes with the beginning of the speech, you will have the opportunity to better engage the audience, eliminate all kinds of technical problems, and arrange the audience for the upcoming conversation.
Have a joke, a short story, or a quote. Store in something that will be a bright start to your story. Otherwise, it turns out right off the bat. Approximately, as in the given example.
By the way, an important aspect, especially during the period of the coronavirus pandemic, when all households desperately and synchronously self-isolate with you ─ find the right place where you will definitely not be distracted. Otherwise, you are doomed to all kinds of funny things.
Follow the script
The structure of the webinar, as a rule, is not much different from the set design of any other public speech: introduction, main part, climax, denouement.
It is desirable that your story contains the formula 5W + H (Why? Who? What? Where? When? + How?). Typically, answering these questions can cover 99.9% of all topics on our planet. At the same time, the so-called “pitch angle” allows you to set the narrative vector (“You are for white or for red”).
Work in the frame
More or less everyone who at least once tried to do photography knows about the rule of thirds. In short, the bottom line is that all the most significant is at the intersection of vertical and horizontal lines. Nothing complicated. Although sometimes even professionals misfire. Funny example below. On the Internet you can find an explanation of what exactly is wrong with the pictures.
Dilemma: how much to leave yourself in the frame during the webinar? To the waist or to confine yourself only to the head?
Then immediately anecdote immediately comes to mind. The professor meets with a beard and a student in the corridor of the institute.
-Professor, tell me, when do you sleep with your beard on top of the blanket or under it?
-Yes, somehow I didn’t pay attention to it …
In 2 days.
Professor with bags under the eyes, tired look. Meets this student and says:
-Well, you generally, of course, give. My beard surrendered to you. And so it’s not convenient, and so it’s not convenient …
So, it’s better that your face is still fully visible. Emotions and non-verbal give an additional degree of perception of your speech. The rest of the body, such as the arms, will add energy. The choice is yours.
Another point that few people pay attention to at the beginning is the angle of the camera. This is especially true for people webinar on a laptop. Have you noticed that sometimes it seems that the talking head is about to jump out from behind you? All this comes from the fact that a person hangs over the camera. Looks down at you.
It would seem that you put the camera on the level of chapters and you get the feeling of a personal conversation. Alas, such a little is available to few, although it really adds life and intimacy to digital communication.
By the way, you knew that most people consider the left side of their faces to be “working,” that is, most attractive for broadcasting. Here even people conducted a small study of the workers and non-working parties of Yuri Dude.
In my case, it’s easiest for me to pre-rehearse and record my webinar on a laptop camera. For these purposes, I usually use Parallels Toolbox. There is a “Camera” among the toolkit. You turn on the recording on the laptop, then make adjustments. Everything is quite simple and intuitive.
How to get audience attention
Here are a lot of options for your attention: all kinds of rhetorical questions, clarifications, contests, flash mobs, puzzles and other activities that require the response of listeners. For example, a contest for the most interesting question or comment, etc.
Better terrible end or horror without end?
Remember, your webinar did not end until you turned off the camera. No unnecessary emotions, expressions and other manifestations. Otherwise, you will have to look at yourself in “these are your Internet’s”, as happened with the mayor of Gelendzhik recently.
In general, one can easily neglect all the recommendations indicated and do everything at the call of the heart and the dictates of the soul. In the end, it’s not the gods who burn the pots and the one who walks will overpower the road. Enjoy.