I was talking with a client the other day who was interested, and a bit nervous, about starting to do webinars. He asked me if I had any tips on presenting great webinars. I simply said, “Sit at the edge of your seat.”
He thought I was joking and replied, “That is your big tip on presenting webinars, to ‘sit at the edge of my seat’?”
If you’ve read my blog posts about giving webinars or downloaded my guide about presenting webinars, you may have heard this tip about how to sit before. Since he was so dumbfounded by it, I thought I’d share my explanation to him why sitting at the edge of your seat is so important for webinars.
- Your Body Langauge Adds Excitement – Even if your audience can’t see you sitting at the edge of your seat, they can hear it. Much like the old adage that people can hear you smile over the phone, they can tell if you’re excited to present a webinar. Sitting forward allows you to be enthusiastic, while leaning back drops your energy level significantly. If you were talking in person, leaning back would show the audience that you don’t care about the conversation.
- Hands Free – Leaning forward allows you to talk with your hands and be more natural. This freedom for your hands also calms your nerves because it feels normal instead of suppressing your hand gestures by keeping them locked to the armrests.
- Vocal Projection – Not only are you closer to the microphone (regardless if you’re using your computer’s internal microphone, a phone, or an external microphone), you’ll also enunciate better sitting up because your back will be straighter. If you lean back, you slouch and your words easily get mumbled.
- Stay Seated – Have you even attended a webinar or been on a conference call and it sounded like the person talking had a bad connection because their voice kept getting louder and then softer? That variance in volume happens when the presenter is pacing. Sitting at the edge of your seat prevents you from pacing [because you’re sitting down] and it prevents you from swiveling too. This part may sound obvious, but you’ll be amazed how many speakers naturally pace when they walk. (No need to “work the stage” when it is a webinar — and pacing is not working the stage anyway!)
- Better Connection – When you’re sitting at the edge of your seat, you feel better connected to the person you’re talking to and your excitement and vocal projection comes through. That same feeling happens via a webinar.
One of the worst things you can do when giving a webinar is to sit back and ramble on because your audience will tune out and log off. They need you to be excited about the topic and to easily be heard, which all happens when you sit at the edge of your seat when presenting webinars.
Now do you get why my #1 tip for delivering great webinars is to sit at the edge of your seat?
If you want to learn more about delivering great webinars, check out my guide on the topic – An Expert Guide to Flawless Webinars.
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