I hosted a webinar at work today.
I simultaneously dread but secretly love doing presentations, which is an interesting relationship.
I think I over-prepare, which stresses me out a little beforehand, but it works, because my the time the presentation comes around I know my material like second nature, and I can actually relax and enjoy myself while I present. Avoiding nerves also avoids easy yet critical mistakes that can be made when presenting over a webinar, like forgetting to press record, or forgetting to share my slides. None of those disasters happened, my colleagues all told me how much they enjoyed the presentation, and I felt good because I had done well.
The always on-point and hilarious Tim Urban of the blog Wait But Why outlines his opinion of different methods to public speaking:
By the way, his post on doing a Ted talk (which this diagram comes from) is pretty good. And yes, I know a work-related webinar is not in the same league as a Ted talk, but the principles still apply, ok?
My usual method is a 2.5 – I wasn’t reading off a script, but I did have detailed notes in addition to my slides and had practiced twice beforehand, and memorized a few key sentences. I have a professional yet casual talking style when I do presentations, classes, speeches, etc.
The webinar itself was sharing my experience from VALA conference all the way back in February – it took me this long to actually present due to having a busy semester at work. But one of the projects I got busy with actually assisted my presentation. The topic was E-learning, and I was able to talk about a relevant project that I’d done since VALA, actually applying some of the take-aways from the papers I chose to a real situation. So that turned out to be a bonus.