Q&A: should a webinar presenter stand up?

From a recent webinar, Bryan L. asked, “Should the presenter deliver the audio standing up to help resonance rather than sitting?”

Bryan, I stand up.  I love the energy, and truth be told, if you were in my office you’d see me waving my arms and walking around.

Here are a few things to think about:

How much contact do you need with your web conferencing system via the computer?

I purposefully have simple slides with one idea each, so I don’t use, for instance, annotation tools except in rare circumstances (e.g., demonstrating them).

I also am platform-agnostic.  My company is purely in the education business and we don’t sell web/audio/video conferencing or services, so I’ve adapted to be prepared for whatever conferencing platform my client is providing.  This doesn’t mean I don’t tackle platform-specific tactics when I’m working with a client privately, but in a public webinar like the one you attended I plan content to be applicable to the most people in the audience, regardless of what conferencing solution they’re using.  Takeaway:  I don’t spend as much time using/demonstrating “hand-up” or other features that they may or may not have.

It also depends on the type of session you’re delivering.  A broader lead-generation webinar often doesn’t require the same hands-on types of exercises you might use in a training session where you’re teaching managers a new software application.

What’s your office setup?

Me, I walk away from the computer, come back, push the next slide button (frequently!), and then when I do need to do something hands-on, I sit down.  Then I’ll stand up again.  While I don’t have a raised surface in my office now, when I was at Microsoft I had one section of my cube desk raised so I could stand at it…it was the best setup I’ve had.  If you can do this, it might be the best of both worlds

Finally, if you do sit down, what’s your posture? A few tips:

Sit up straight. It’s basic, but it’s important to letting your lungs/diaphragm/voice do the best they can do.

Put your feet flat on the floor – apart. Don’t cross your legs…it contributes to a constricting “closed” posture and generally tightens you up.

Breathe. As I often quip, we can’t change the voices we were born with, but we can change how well we use what we were born with.  See this post for more on this and a few other pre-conference tips.

Want optimum energy?  Stand up when you present at webinars.

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