One simple tip to improve your presentations and webinars

Want to know how to communicate more effectively?
If you deliver any kind of presentations it’s likely that you have a favourite filler word or noise that you’ve got into the habit of using. You may not even realise you do it but your audience certainly will. And instead of really focussing on your presentation they will be distracted by these habits and could even miss crucial information.
Oooh. aahh. Errm, Ok. You know. Ummm
Does one of these fillers belong to you? Or maybe you have a favourite word that you overuse? (My personal favourite is actually.) This is part of the same problem (although, err, I am actually working on improving this.)  If you are doing an audio track for e-learning, delivering a webinar or podcast then it’s even more important that you lose the fillers as your audience are missing out on the non verbal messages.
Why do we do it?
Well, umm, silence is scary! We’ve been conditioned to avoid it since childhood.  We’re used to people butting in and losing the chance to finish what we were saying. Just look at a news show when they have a group of politicians on to see a good example of this. You won’t spot many gaps in conversation.
When we’re presenting it makes us feel more comfortable, we’re keeping things flowing along with the odd “ok” or “umm” whilst we think of what to say or how to answer a question. You know what though - a bit of quiet is good! It allows the audience to think about your message and how it applies to them. It gives them the space to learn before you move onto the next topic. It makes you look more confident. It gives you a chance to take a deep breath and slow things down.
How to lose the oooh’s

The first step is becoming aware of what your filler words are. This is the only way that you can dump them. The best way is to get a presentation coach to listen in and help you improve your technique or attend a course where you’ll be able to practice in front of a group who will give you feedback. (On our courses we supply recordings so that you can watch yourself later.) If that’s not possible video yourself or record a dry run webinar. There is a snag though - you might not be able to spot them! Try to get someone else, even if it’s a family member, to give you some help on this. They’ll be able to pick out the words and noises easily.  It’s worth noting that if you are feeling really confident you won’t tend to do this as much. I’ll cover some tips on building your confidence in another blog post soon.

Lose the fillers and you’ll be able to communicate more effectively, and will come across as more confident and credible. Let your audience focus on your presentation without being distracted by your bad habits. Your webinars, presentations and e-learning courses will be the better for it.


Photo Credit: jscreationzs

One Response to “One simple tip to improve your presentations and webinars”

  1. Glyn said:

    Nov 21, 10 at 10:17 am

    Good tip, thanks!

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