A great online presentation shares many of the qualities that make a face to face presentation stand out. It’s still important to know your audience and their interests, be confident of your purpose, and to be able to communicate your key message with impact. It might sound obvious, but don’t forget to read the marking and assessment guidelines and follow them carefully. Check whether your presentation will be live or recorded, and whether you will be expected to answer any questions. Do you know how to use the software required? Can you have a practice run?
Certain challenges may come with online presentation. It can be hard to engage an audience you can’t see and to judge their reaction. When we speak face to face our tone of voice and body language does much of our communication. This means that to present well online the clarity of the content itself really matters. What is the point of your presentation and what things do you want your audience to remember most? Does the content you have included reinforce your key message? If you are using slides, are they structured coherently to make sense to the audience?
To feel confident delivering online, prepare a script for yourself and rehearse it until you know the material well. Give some thought to your audience and ways to engage them. Is there any scope for interactivity such as a question, or a poll? Remember to leave plenty of pauses for the audience to process what they are hearing. Think back to online presentations you have listened to. Which ones engaged you, and how did the speaker hold your attention?
Your vocal delivery is very important too. Listen to a recording of your voice. Do you sound clear, and does the tone of your voice match what you are saying? We have guidance on improving your vocal delivery on the Skills@Library website.
If you would like more help with presentations or any other academic skills issue you can make an appointment to see a Learning Advisor online.