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Michele, thanks for this helpful summary. It came just in time--I'm preparing my first webinar.


Great summary! My only comment is that you had 100 slides in one hour! WOW!- I work with presenters and strongly recommend that they have less than 30 for a one hour program. We do use polling and I try to encourage them to use annotation tools as well to get activity going. I will have to rethink my recommendation......

Thanks as always, for great tips / thoughts. As for your #1, I am sitting at my computer, shouting YES! out loud at the cat. We are teaching our first distance learning course at the university masters level, and the time it takes for EVERYTHING is brutal. Prep time, ongoing feedback time - all of it. I am so used to teaching in a live setting, and truly everything I would just know instinctively to say or do now must be in writing. So thank you for making me feel like it's not just me! Hildy

Michelle: You have some really good thoughts. Thanks for sharing!

Using images! My experience has been you got to have them...they are more powerful than bulleted items and allow you to speak a bit more freely on the slide as well as invite the learners to state rhetorically, "I wonder what this is about."

Hi Everyone--thanks for the comments!

Nancy, regarding the number of slides--the feedback I got was that people liked the slides to move more quickly because that was all they had to look at and it made them feel like things were moving. In "real life" you'd see a person moving in front of you, but you don't get that with a webinar, so I guess it helped somehow.

And Walter--I think you're absolutely right about the images. This is something I've been working on in my PPTs a lot lately--using lots of photos and minimal words on the site. It has helped improve the quality tremendously and people really respond more positively. I have to say that it's definitely more time-consuming, though, trying to find just the right images.

Hi Michelle! Glad to hear that your webinar experience went well, and that Beyond Bullet Points is helping out. Some other practical tips that might help:

- When you're new to presenting via webinar, do a dress rehearsal using the webinar tool with some friends/colleagues who are remotely located. It's easy to get flustered with the technology, and the only way around that is to practice with them.
- The visuals are indeed critical to keep things moving - that's one area where BBP helps because the visual approach keeps things moving at a pace of at least one image per minute. In addition, consider your options beyond PowerPoint. Besides the polls you mentioned, switch to another document or application at appropriate times. One of the most engaging visual experiences is if you draw on a PowerPoint slide or document using a Tablet PC or a mouse.
- Equally important to visuals is your voice. It was interesting that you said you felt like you were on a radio call-in show, because I would say that the skillset you need for webinars borrows more from radio broadcasting than public speaking. Like on a radio, you would generally speak a bit more slowly, be careful not to say "uh hum" when someone is speaking, and as you point out, keep the whole event verbally flowing without dead air. I recently started seeing a vocal coach to lend me a hand, and the things she recommends are to always keep the screen level with your eyes so your head is not down, which would send your voice down. Some presenters put their computer monitors on a tall table and stand while they present at the webinar.
I'll be presenting a free webinar about presenting webinars at Adobe Connect on Feb. 14 - I don't have the registration details yet, but if you drop a line through the Contact form at www.beyondbulletpoints.com, I'll be glad to pass them on when I have them.

Hi Michele,
Thanks for a great summary. I also found that it takes much longer to prepare for a webinar than I thought it would, even when I'm teaching on a topic I know well, because you need more slides and those slides require interesting visuals. I hope that once I build a good personal library of images that represent all the different concepts that I discuss, the process won't take so long. I also appreciate Cliff's point about using the online pen to draw on the slides. I've been pretty timid about that to date, but I'm going to really try to incorporate that into my upcoming webinars.

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