Ken Molay is president and founder of Webinar Success, a consulting firm that assists companies in producing and delivering effective and compelling web seminars. Ken combines a technical background with experience in corporate marketing and public presentations. He is a prolific blogger on the subject of web conferencing and its applications, and has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal and industry publications. He is a frequent public speaker on the topic of more effective webinars.
In this conversation, Ken Molay talks about his session at the upcoming Presentation Summit 2020, being held virtually this year from August 10 to 13, 2020.
Geetesh: Ken, tell us more about your session, The ABZs of Webinar Platforms at this year’s virtual Presentation Summit conference. What can audiences expect to learn?
Ken: We’ll look at differences in the way that some of the major webinar platforms handle presentation materials and interactions with audience members. This isn’t going to be a training session on how to use each technology. Instead, we’ll compare and contrast just the behaviors that affect presentation designers and speakers.
The focus will be on presentation-oriented platforms where there is a distinction between presenters and attendees, rather than looking at software designed for peer-to-peer meetings. “The usual suspects” will get heavy mention… Adobe Connect, GoToWebinar, ON24, Webex Events, and Zoom Webinars. But I will also highlight some less well-known names that have interesting presentation features, such as KUDO and Intrado Studio with their ability to natively support multilingual interpretation. Or Xyvid’s specialized audience engagement tools.
With so many different technologies in use around the world for virtual presentations, presenters are likely to find themselves guest-speaking on an unfamiliar webinar platform at some point. It’s useful to know what questions to ask about the technology ahead of time in order to optimize your visual materials, plan effective interactions, and avoid frustration during your talk.
Geetesh: Does webinar technology actually matter when it comes to designing and delivering presentations?
Ken: It really does! Looking at the design side of things, creators need to decide whether they can embed multimedia such as video clips or audio recordings. Some technologies allow video playback but require the video file to be loaded separately from the slides. If multiple people are speaking, it is easier to manage the presentation with centrally loaded slides that can be advanced by each presenter during their section. But every technology that allows slide uploads also introduces its own set of limitations on what (if any) animations and transition effects are supported.
Some technologies compress slide images, which can result in blurry reproduction of compressed image formats such as jpg. Some demand (or work best) with PDF versions of slide presentations.
When thinking about delivery, the most important and obvious distinction is whether audience members hear the presenter immediately or whether the software buffers the audio and video stream and then broadcasts it on a delay. This completely changes the dynamic of the types of interactions and requests for responses a presenter can work into the presentation flow.
Some feature implementations straddle the line between design and delivery. For instance, consider displaying an interactive poll… Perhaps you want to test your audience’s knowledge on a subject. Different platforms may let you display slide content (such as a reference image) while the poll is running… Others replace your content with the poll. Some technologies devote a very small amount of screen space to the poll question and answer choices, requiring you to think about effective ways to phrase the poll. And some platforms limit the number of choices you can offer. Knowing these limitations ahead of time is critical in order to make sure you are not stymied by a technical limitation when you login to present.
What is the Presentation Summit?
For nearly two decades, Rick Altman has been hosting the Presentation Summit, a highly popular event that is geared towards users of PowerPoint and other presentation platforms.
Indezine.com is the official media partner for the Presentation Summit.
Date: August 10 to 13, 2020
Location: Virtual Event
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.