You have prepared for what you believe is a killer presentation. You have your technology ready. You have picked the perfect setting. You are ready to make this live remote presentation one for the history books.
Okay. Perhaps that's a bit melodramatic; however, you get my point. You have invested time, energy, and research in designing a meaningful session to deliver to an audience of listeners who are located all over the country -- possibly around the globe. However, full calendars and busy lives can preclude your target audience from attending the session live, and you have more who opt to catch the recording at a later date that's more convenient for them.
While you can understand and respect those realities, it does nothing to make you feel better about preparing to present a live web-based presentation or a synchronous class session, right?
A friend and colleague once shared with me people make time for what's important to them. End of story. So with that, let's identify three ways you can make your session important to your prospective audience, so everyone's not putting it off until a later date but is showing up live and ready.
First, entice your viewers. In short, market your session. Yes, market it. Let your participants or students know this is going to be worth their time, and have them saying to themselves while rubbing their hands together, "Oh yeh … this is gonna be a good one!" Pique curiosity, and build interest with a short, catchy email blast or a learning management system post/announcement. Additionally, provide bonus material in the live session that can be consumed or accessed only if one attends the session live. Finally, clarify what responsibility everyone has for making the session a successful one.
Now that you've gotten the word out, organize your message so it's delivered with purpose and intention. Do you remember those patterns of organization? From all of those English and composition courses you took over the years? You know what I'm talking about … chronological, sequential, spatial, compare-contrast, cause-effect … it's all coming back to you, isn't? Think in those terms. You do not have to organize your presentation using any of those patterns, but do have a system in place for how you will share information, engage the audience, then provide time for the audience to process what you shared and take action based on your recommendations. This helps the audience not feel overwhelmed and keeps you focused on your message.
Finally, show some of your personality in the session, and extend the experience beyond the live session. Make it clear why this is your passion, why you love the topic, and why everyone should care. Realize you will not make experts out of your audience - and that's perfectly fine! - but that you want everyone to get a solid sense of the importance of the material and why it should matter. Commit to extend the experience beyond the live session by ending the session in a very deliberate manner that adds value to the live session and that makes the participants feel supported.
Remember to spread the knowledge! LIKE, TWEET, or COMMENT on this post to get the word out to others!
Be seen. Be heard. Be great!
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Photograph credit: Anja