When not to present online
In another post I’ll come back to talking about what’s really cool about online publishing portals like Slideshare, but today let me address a common mistake, namely the failure to ask the following question:
“If I want to impact my audience, is a presentation the best way to do it?”
Here’s the crazy thing. PowerPoint, and now by default Webex, LiveMeeting, GoToWebinar, Connect, et al, are often used to deliver content that frankly could be better delivered in another way.
Web conferencing providers are in the business of selling you a service, and they do good stuff. But they’re not going to ask you to put on your marketing hat and ask “If I want to impact my audience, would I better serve them by writing a white paper than making them sit through this webinar recording?”
Another point we’ll cover at another time… public speaking best practices include NOT handing out a copy of your slides as a handout. If those slides are truly speaker support instead of the content itself, they’ll not tell the story anyway. And if you put ALL your content on slides one of two questions arise… you either need to ask the format question (e.g., would the whitepaper or other mechanism be a better format) or a presentation design question: is this presenter going to have an audience groaning that the presenter has cluttered, text-heavy slides (and probably risks reading them too)?
Do yourself and the audience a favor: deliver presentations when that’s the most appropriate way to achieve your goal.