I do a lot of webinars, teleseminars and video recordings. Here are some tips on how I prepare.
- Go potty. You don’t want to be on a 1 hour call and have your bladder screaming at you. Maybe you *can* hold it, but do you want to concentrate, answer questions, and sound awesome while having that distraction?
- Have water. I have a big cup of water, full. I’ve done a few calls and didn’t get my cup filled… never a good idea. A coughing fit doesn’t sound very well…
- Have the right headset. I use GoToWebinar and Skype mostly (I use all kinds of systems but those are my favorites), and 99+% of the time I use VOIP, which means a headset, not a phone line. The most important part of my headset? The inline mute button, which allows me to to mute by pushing a button that is about 2 feet down the cord. And, the “right” headset doesn’t mean expensive. My favorites are about $30.
- Write down the phone number on a piece of paper. If your internet goes down, and your smart phone loses service, you want to be able to pick up a landline and call in… but you need that number! I write down the number, the code to get in, and even the number of the host/hostess.
- Have a backup computer/laptop? I have been doing this for over a year. Look, my webinars are worth a lot of money to me. Whether it is thousands of dollars, or potential to make sales or share my brand, if someone schedules their time on my call, I want to make sure my main computer isn’t the cause of an early termination. I have a laptop and headset set up so that if my PC crashes, within 5 seconds I’m up on the backup laptop. The alternative (which has happened too many times) is my PC restarts and it takes seven to ten minutes to get back to the call. Those seven minutes are KILLER.
- Write down the talking points. I speak on different things, and most presentations are different from the others (even if it is the same topic). I always write down the talking points to make sure I talk about every point the audience thinks I’m going to talk about. No matter how smart you are, your brain will go in a lot of different directions, especially if the audience can ask questions during the call. Write down your points and respect your audience by talking about the stuff you said you were going to talk about.
- Respect TIME. I typically start within 60 seconds of the time I said I would, and I do what I can to end on time. Don’t go longer, don’t do part and tell people you’ll do another part later. Respect the audience and watch the clock.
- Be ready for the unexpected. If someone else is co-presenting and their line dies, what do you do? Can you talk through it? What if you get the hiccups? What about a bloody nose? What if there is unusual and loud noise by your office? I’ve had these and more… you need to be ready and able to ignore, or talk through, the unexpected. FOCUS on your audience and your presentation.
What would you add to this list? How do you prepare, or what have you seen other presenters do that is awesome?
I’m going to use the comments to add stuff I forgot to include.
Brush your teeth. Maybe even floss. I know, weird huh? I’ve found that when I present, even on the phone, that having a clean mouth with good breath is what I feel most comfortable with. Maybe I’m just nuts.
Here’s an experiment. Right before your next presentation eat a few handfuls of Cheetos… and don’t brush… and then let me know if that bothers you 🙂
I use everything you’ve mentioned, I would add dress business casual, it always makes me fell more professional when presenting.
I print out hard copy of anything I might refer to – saves toggling back and forward on a computer.
Would like to add a huge thanks to Jason for sharing some really useful tips.