While you may be both an effective manager and presenter, the two skills are not always mutually exclusive by any means. Being an engaging presenter is a talent that comes with experience and a willingness to refine approaches, but it’s important to be willing to embrace these qualities. The major role of a good presenter is to bestow important information and values on a large audience, especially if your business has a substantial staff. Either way, though, anyone can get up in front of a crowd, whether in person or on video, and drone on about company policies and upcoming initiatives. This isn’t an effective way to get your message across, and if anything, actually wastes time and energy since no one will remember a dull, unengaging oration. Here are four common mistakes that many presenters make, and how to avoid them.
1. Use the Proper System to Convey Your Message
The start of a good webcast is to ensure that you’re using the right type of service. One of the biggest gaffes that can crop up when it comes to trying to facilitate a productive large scale briefing is not utilizing a video conferencing service that can accommodate the full breadth of your audience, as well as not being up to par with your needs. BlueJeans live webcasting services are specifically designed for participants up to 5,000 people, and this is a good example of how to properly do a video conference. There are certain elements that you’ll want to ensure are available, such as how many active participants you can include. The difference between participants who tune in versus those who can actively join in is an important distinction to make, and it depends on what your video conferencing system can facilitate when it comes to large live broadcasts via the web.
2. Tell the Story the Right Way
Business 2 Community defines the difference between the mediocre and mindful presenter, stating that the difference between having your message fall flat versus being clearly received is being able to not make the information redundant. In other words, don’t announce that you’re going to tell your audience something, tell them something, and then re-tell them the same thing after you’ve already said it twice. This not only makes you a boring and uncompelling presenter but also loses your audience’s attention, completely defeating the purpose of meeting in a large group anyway.
3. Accept and Embrace Audience Feedback
If you want to know what works and what doesn’t when it comes to presenting over a live videocast, you need to not only be receptive to feedback but also actively ask for it. While it can be uncomfortable accepting criticism after working extremely hard to get it right the first time, it’s necessary and part of any learning curve. The other issue you may not expect is that you also need to push for it since not everyone wants to criticize management. Whether you’re a CEO or simply higher up the ladder than the people you manage and are trying to communicate with, many times, employees may feel reluctant to be candid about their impressions of a presentation. This is where you need to reassure people that you want real feedback because the value of the information gleaned can make a huge difference in the quality of your next presentation.
4. Know How to Deal with Difficult Personalities
If you’ve invited 100 people to be active, responding participants in a large-scale video conference meeting, it’s inevitable you’ll probably have to deal with at least one difficult personality. This also means you need to have a tactic for dealing with it beforehand. Entrepreneur advises that when you’re dealing with a confrontational person who’s having a hostile moment, the last thing you want to do is respond viciously. This not only fuels the fire but makes everyone else more uncomfortable than they probably already are. An example might be someone challenging you on a point you make or asking a confrontational, provocative question. The best approach is to take it all in stride and act as though you knew it was coming. Never register surprise or outrage when you’re on camera in front of hundreds of your colleagues, because it will only create panic and unrest. The most important thing you can do in a situation with a hostile person is to remain calm and collected.
Being an engaging presenter can be a challenge, especially if you don’t consider your ability to speak in front of a crowd a talent, but it’s a skill that can be easily learned. As long as you remain open minded and accept failures as they come, you are sure to learn how to have a successful large scale video presentation. Getting audience feedback after the fact is important, as is being able to troubleshoot in the moment as issues come up with participants. In short, being an effective presenter isn’t much about natural charisma, but more has more to do with a willingness to learn.