One of our latest blog posts started us down the road of discussing web demonstrations & presentations by exploring how to “work the room” over the web. Let’s continue on that road by opening up the ultimate web presenting can-of-worms…Webcams.
Ask any web presenter (or audience member for that matter), “what don’t you like about web presentations?” The first thing out of their mouth is, “I can’t see the audience (or the presenter).” Let’s ponder that for a second. In the last 5 years, 87% of the laptops produced are shipped with built-in webcams. (NOTE: I totally made that up, but it’s got to be close, right?) So it’s very, very likely that both presenter & audience are a click away from being able to see each other. Hum? That seems like an obvious solution to the #1 problem.
Here’s another one for you. Where did we ever come up with the notion that our webcam should be on all the time? Consider a live demonstration. Do you stand smack-dab in the middle of the room for your entire presentation? Uh…no. The majority of your time is spent at your laptop, showing your solution. Then, every once in in a while, you step away from the laptop, deliver a key point, and then return to the laptop so you can continue with your presentation.
Why do we do this?
To gain the attention of the audience so they’re better able to focus on our most important messages. OK. If I’m presenting on the web vs. in-person, can’t I accomplish the same thing by turning on my webcam to deliver the key message into the camera, then click the webcam off and continue with the presentation? Isn’t that going to help me gain the attention of my remote audience so they’re more likely to walk away remembering my important points? Yep, it would.
Think of your webcam like cake. Everybody loves cake. Just not all the time.
Let’s close this round of our web presenting discussion by reflecting on a concept that Mathew Dixon & Brent Adamson put forth on page 81 of their groundbreaking book The Challenger Sale: being BOLD. Their challenge to all of us selling in the technology space is to be big, innovative, and risky. Proper use of your webcam is an easy way to be bold, edgy, and differentiating.
Food for thought as you travel to path to becoming a world class presenter and/or demonstrator.