Roger Courville, an expert on online presentations of all sorts, with an emphasis on online training and webinars, was our guest speaker for June 1, 2020.
Roger has been a friend of the club since its inception, having given an earlier workshop presentation on this topic when we were recruiting our charter members in 2017. He was one of the sources I consulted for my Forbes.com article that year on Improving Skills for Webinars, Online Meetings. Since then, he has also served as a celebrity guest judge for our webinar contests and helped in several other ways.
Roger Courville, CSP has been called “The Michael Jordan of Virtual Presentations.” He’s an award-winning speaker and author who brings evidence-based tactics to transforming boring webinars. His work includes working with organizations as diverse as Pfizer, FedEx, Australia Institute of Training and Development, American Management Association, US Bank and, of course, L-TEN. And he loves habaneros.
Uh … I have a few slides to show you … just a second, where is that share button … okay, here we go. Just a sec, oh right, show from beginning. Here we go ….
Have you attended an online meeting where the presenter said at least some of that out loud? Or have you been that person? Having a little trouble futzing with the technology is perfectly understandable when you’re just getting started, but eventually you want to grow beyond that.
One technique I am working to perfect is to just speak for a moment or two (with my face on screen, rather than my slides). As I speak a specific line of my introduction, I start the slides without fumbling.
Here is what I have learned by trial and error.
Put your slides in “presentation mode” ahead of time, before you actually share them. In PowerPoint, you go to the row of buttons under Slide Show and click “From Beginning.”
Leave the slides warmed up and ready to go as you enter the Zoom meeting and await your turn to speak.
As the time in the meeting for you to speak approaches, find the green Share button at the bottom of the screen and click on it. For the speaking technique I discuss above (just talk first, then add slides), you do not actually want to start the screen share yet — that will not happen until you click the blue Share button within the dialog box.
With the screen control dialog displayed, select the screen that you want to share. The presentation mode view of your slides will be one of the options you can select. Leaving the dialog box open will block part of the screen Zoom screen (as shown above), but you can move it around as necessary to see what you need to see. (More important, you’re getting ready for your own time on camera).
Begin speaking when you are introduced. Hover your mouse over that blue Share button. At the exact right moment in your speech, click the button in the dialog box. Your slides will appear on screen, and you can begin advancing through them.
You can skip or modify steps, depending on the nature of your speech. If you prefer to have your slides displayed from the beginning of when you start speaking, it still helps to have everything queued up and ready to go before you start speaking.
With a little modification, you ought to be able to apply the same basic concepts to presenting in other online meeting environments such as GoToMeeting or Microsoft Teams.
Note that if you select a specific application, such as your PowerPoint, but then switch to showing a web page or other application, the audience will still be seeing your original selection. If you are going to be switching between applications, it is better to select the full screen view. Just leave your slides, or whatever application you want the audience to see first, as the last application displayed before you entered Zoom. When you start screen sharing, the Zoom screen disappears (expect for the thumbnails and controls in the margin of the page), leaving the last application viewed as the subject of your screen share.
Keeping it Simple
While this is advice I don’t always follow, the “keep it simple, stupid” (KISS) principle is probably best, when possible. If you just take it step-by-step, the plan I outline above will help you be a little more of a smooth operator online.
We have been used to using PowerPoint when giving presentations. I find that Google Slides is very convenient and easy to use for slides presentation. When I conducted the survey among Online Presenters members, I received a feedback that the biggest time waster when creating slides are:
Finding the right theme
Finding the right images
Making the slides presentation look professional
Need more practice so you will be sync of doing it.
Below is the video of my technical presentation project #5 to address the problems when creating slides presentation. I hope that you benefit from it to improve your slides presentation. 🙂
This is the replay of a Facebook Live broadcast with tips for speakers and Toastmasters leaders about how to use the Facebook platform. You may want to fast forward to about 3:40 when the program really begins (or look at how I try to stall for time in those first few minutes while I’m finishing the preparations I couldn’t get done until the broadcast started streaming).
I experimented with a visual setup for the first time as the ah counter in our online meeting. Here is a summary of what I did on the technology side:
Set up a green screen background in my physical space
Used streaming software (free version of XSplit in this case) to alter the video feed using text, images, drawings, etc. In particular, I used a digital whiteboard to tally the items of interest and display them on screen in real time.
Fed the streaming software’s altered video (rather than my direct camera feed) into our meeting software
Captured screenshots of the final result for sharing after the meeting
Ah Counter’s Report
I kept tallies for our group as a whole. This focused on the use of ah (46), um (16), and so (24). The major thing I noticed in the overall group was that almost everyone says ah and/or um the moment they first engage with the group. Coming online from being muted is a bit of an “awakening” that leaves us uncertain of our connection (ah = “testing 1, 2”) or flustered and searching for what to say.
I also kept individual tallies for the presenters of prepared speeches. These were more detailed than the whole group. Ironically, compared to the group, there was very little use of ah and um.
Carole’s speech was generally quite clear with minimal use of filler and unnecessary connection words. Ah (0), So (8), Um (2), And (4).
For Paul, I noted the use of a few additional transitions. Ah (2), So (5), Um (0), And (19), Double Clutch / Restarts (6), Now (1), Well (4), OK (1), Needless to Say (1). Notably, Paul made heavy use of the word “and” to start thoughts and fill gaps.
Our online meetings platform is RingCentral Meetings, which is based on the Zoom video platform (thank you to RingCentral for sponsoring our account). By default, the software decides which video to feature on screen based on where it detects sound. This works well during a conversation or an interview, but when someone is giving a speech we do not want the view to be shifting away from the speaker to an audience member who may have coughed or made some other noise.
On a desktop computer, you can “pin” the video feed you want to be featured. Each viewer needs to take that action (it’s not controlled by the meeting leader).
Here is the explanation from the Zoom documentation:
Pin screen allows you disable active speaker view and view a specific speaker only. It will also only record the pinned screen/speaker. Pinning another user’s video will only affect your local view, not the view of other participants.
Right-Click on PC or Left-Click on Mac the users video to bring up options
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