November 4, 2011 by Jeff Hurt
The art of delivering presentations to remote audiences is anything but new.
Radio and television have been doing it for decades.
Radio and TV personalities face many of the same challenges that digital event organizers and presenters face.
They present to remote, invisible and silent audiences. They can’t see or hear their audience’s reactions. They can’t look them in the eye or watch their facial expressions. They can’t see their body language.
TV news reporters assume that their viewers are multitasking during their broadcast. They plan for and expect that their viewers are preparing dinner, playing with the kids, cleaning the house or surfing the computer.
They know that there are many things competing with their audience’s attention. They keep the content short, compelling and emotional.
These reporters must execute their craft well to stay on air or they lose their jobs. If we look carefully at what they do and how they do it, we can learn some techniques to make our digital presentations more engaging, efficient, enticing and relevant.
Here’s a little known secret. In the early 1990s part of my job was to host and produce two live monthly TV news-magazine shows. I still have the VHS tapes of those shows. (Yes, VHS tapes!)
When I was first asked if I would host the shows, I thought they were nuts because I didn’t have any experience with TV. I agreed because I thought it would be an interesting experience. It was and it lasted for five years!
One of the producers was a former TV news executive. He gave me a homework assignment to watch several news reporters and take notes. After several days of observation I shared my thoughts. He used that assignment to teach me how to act, what to say, how to use facial expressions and body language for TV.
So try it. For the next 30 days, watch and listen to TV and radio personalities. Talk shows, news and documentaries will provide the best practical delivery techniques. Take notes and observe the following:
Here are some of the things I learned that also help with digital events.
1. Successful productions have interesting information chunked into short segments.
2. Presenters are passionate about the topic and their energy level is contagious.
3. Presenters focus on the audience and look directly into the camera. On webinars talk directly to your audience like you would with a phone conversation.
4. The content must sequence together seamlessly. Efficient transitions eliminate awkward moments.
5. Voice inflections, facial expressions and head movements are critical! The audience responds favorably to these.
6. Don’t fly solo. Broadcast programs have a team that work together each with specific roles.
Don’t underestimate the similarities between media broadcasts and your digital presentations. Learn from the radio and TV pros. By examining how it’s done in broadcasting, you can pick up some great techniques that will improve your digital presentations.
What are some other ways that TV and radio news programs are like digital presentations? What are some ways TV and radio are very different than your digital presentation?
Filed Under: Conference Education, Hybrid & Virtual
This has been a great hit these days! These techniques will definitely help people! I’ve actually had used these ideas and techniques to work on vlogging!
Thanks for reading and commenting! Glad you can vouch for some of these techniques too!
Well done, Jeff. Great synopsis and very helpful!
Thanks for reading and replying! Appreciate it.
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