Saturday, June 23, 2018

Public Speaking Online, Part IV

During the Web Speech

            One of the helpful suggestions from the business writers used for this appendix was to start on time.  This might seem obvious, but if you have ever been in an online meeting or webinar, it’s harder said than done--mainly because participants log on at the start of the meeting rather than early and it takes a while for the technology to kick in.  Therefore, one suggestion is to have a “soft” introduction for the punctual and a “hard” opening for the late-comers.  The soft intro could be the fun, attention-getting one (video, interactivity) and the hard one the “this is why the topic matters let’s get down to business” opening.

            It goes without saying that you as the speaker should be on time well before the beginning of the meeting, and ready to go technology- and presentation-wise.

            Web speaking is often scheduled for a longer period of time than a face-to-face speech, which does not add to attention level of the audience. For this reason, your presentation should include time for questions and input from the audience.  However, this should be planned at intervals, perhaps between main sections of the speech, so that the audience isn’t interrupting at inconvenient times.

            Going deeper, perhaps we should ask the fundamental question of purpose. What is your intent in this webinar speech?  To educate? To persuade/sell? To contribute to or facilitate a decision? Something else?  Everything else you do comes from that intent or purpose, just like your face-to-face speech comes from the specific purpose speech.  What do you really want to accomplish from this meeting?

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