Richard Goring is a Director at BrightCarbon, the specialist presentation and eLearning agency. He enjoys helping people create engaging content and communicate effectively using visuals, diagrams, and animated sequences that explain and reinforce the key points.
In this conversation, Richard talks about the Presentation Ideas Europe online conference, being held on May 28th, 2020.
Indezine is a media partner for this event.
Geetesh: Richard, you are doing a session called Masterclass in PowerPoint Design as part of the Presentation Ideas Europe online conference next month. Can you tell us more about the biggest takeaway in this session for attendees?
Richard: It’s about how to apply some of the fundamental principles of design in PowerPoint and make sure that you effectively use things like grids, layouts, focal points, and color in presentations to make them look slick and professional. The biggest takeaway should really be how easy it can be to apply these fundamental principles to everything that you do to make your content look and feel more professional. But also recognize the implications that good design has on accessibility and clarity of information for your audience and also how it can help you to create content more quickly.
And then, most of the session will show how you can actually use these techniques, all live in PowerPoint, to guide you on best practices for presentation design, and see a variety of examples of how they can transform slides into professional, clear, and engaging presentations.
And that’s not only important for actual presentations, but all the other uses that PowerPoint is put to work towards. Whether that’s creating on-demand eLearning content, animated explainer videos, digital signage, infographics, or interactive reports.
Geetesh: Richard, you do many online sessions but have also done many sessions at industry events in person. Yes, it’s a little like comparing apples and oranges, but I’ll still ask you how you get nuances or elements from in-person sessions to translate to online sessions?
Richard: It’s certainly different, and I think a key thing to remember is that you can’t just transfer what you’re doing in-person to what you need to do online. It may be blindingly obvious, but you’re not in the same room as the audience so that instantaneous interaction you normally have is gone. Interactions with them need to be planned, or at the very least heavily supported by you.
For example, if you ask a question when presenting online, everyone is on mute, so they have to type in the chat, which takes time. But not only that, they have to recognize that you’ve asked them a question (because it doesn’t happen as often when online), and they have to think about what they’re going to say, and then they have to find the chat-box (because it’s in different places in all the various platforms). Cut down that time and make it really easy for people by signaling that you’re going to ask them a question in a moment, that you want them to type an answer in the chat, and tell them where the chat box is. There’s still a pause, but much shorter, so things feel smoother.
Another nice idea is to try and have a producer, moderator, or co-host that can be a proxy for the audience. They can read comments as they come in, and then interrupt you with questions. You can also have a short conversation with them, to help things feel more natural, and more like an in-person event.
We’ve actually written an extensive blog post about presenting online on the BrightCarbon website, which in turn has an even more in-depth PDF report examining all aspects of presenting online – from setup, to visuals, audience interaction, and the kinds of technology and platforms there are.
The big thing is to prepare beforehand and make sure that you’re comfortable with how everything will work. Don’t learn during the presentation that your camera has been on or you’ve been sharing the wrong screen!
The views and opinions expressed in this blog post or content are those of the authors or the interviewees and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer, or company.