Diana Beyer writes about speaking Online and more specifically about delivering a course Online. Here we have taken some of her content and tailored around what is important for any speech delivered Online.
But firstly, what are the Differences Between Offline And Online Speeches
Differences Between Offline And Online Speeches
Let’s start making sure that you understand the difference between an online and an offline speech – just bear in mind that we are talking here about courses that don’t involve live video conferences.
First of all, it is an uncontrolled environment. Meaning that you can’t be sure of what your students are doing while you talk. You won’t be able to see their faces, analyse their reactions, so you can make adjustments from there. The feedback you are more likely to get will come only after the end of your course, meaning that it will be very late and expensive to change anything.
Secondly, it might be watched in blocks. As the content is available in a way that a student can use it anytime and for as long as they want it, they might not watch your video in full, but a couple of minutes per time.
Thirdly, interactivity will be established in a very different way. This is most likely to happen through emails or forums, as there is no way to know who will be online when. So strategies that involve asking questions to your audience are completely out of the table here.
Now that you have in mind the challenges you have to face, let’s go to the tips that will help you with them.
- Make sure that your equipment is right
This is really critical. No matter how brilliant you are as a speaker, your microphone and camera can ruin you from the very start. So take your time to test your equipment, the lightning, your computer, your whiteboard (if you are using one), or any other resources that you will use for it. Get to know what are the best things available when it comes to technologies. Choose your best angle (yes, it does exist!) and listen to your own voice. Record a few tests and see how it went. Ask other people’s opinion too, especially if you know someone with the same description of your target audience (read the next tip). And don’t forget to do it all over again just before you start, as some settings might need to be adjusted again.
- Get to know your audience
Who are your audience? How young/old are they? Where are they from? What is their background? What are they looking for? You need to answer these and other questions if you like to get your speech right. Depending on what you find out, you might need to adapt your vocabulary, your tone of voice, and how you organize what you are going to say. If you ignore it, you might sound too academic or just boring. They even might not understand you all together, and your content will get poor reviews for this easy-to-fix reason. So look for them wherever you can, from social media to your nearby coffee shop. But find out what you need to know so you can customize your speech to your target audience.
- Get inspired
You should always watch speeches similar to the one you are about to record so that you can get inspired. Of course, pick the instructors with the highest reviews, but make sure that you analyse the comments, so you know you are both dealing with the same audience and level of expertise. Not that you are going to be copying them, as you should learn to develop your own style. But finding out what works, getting everything organized using mobile apps or even your notebooks, and adapting it to your own needs is something that you should consider.
- Inspire them
Now that you have inspired yourself, it is your time to inspire them. The biggest challenge is to keep your audience interested, and this is your task as well, something that you will be trying to accomplish by being persuasive. As often as possible, you should challenge and encourage your audience. They need to believe that they are capable of doing something by themselves, so don’t make the process too hard, but also don’t underestimate their abilities. Surprise them and congratulate them during your speech, as if they were there. Use positive words, and let them know what is expected of them and what they should do next.
- Watch your body language
Here is where your words become less important, and you start to pay attention to how you say it. At this stage, your body language can be your best friend or your worst enemy as it gives away your intentions, experience and fears. What you should do here is to record yourself delivering the speech and check your body language (not the content). Among others, you should look for the following behaviours:
- Your hands should be used wisely, to point out things and reinforce what you want to say
- Your body should be balanced, so keep it feet shoulder apart
- Pronounce your words clearly and breath calmly, so you will sound confident
- Remember to include 5-10 seconds pauses, so they can have the time to reflect and take notes
- The Takeaway
If you want to be a successful online instructor and deliver persuasive speeches, you will need to take it seriously and prepare yourself for your audience.
Of course, you need to know the content by heart, but as a speaker, you know that this is only 50% (or less) of the requirements. And that if you don’t manage to engage your audience and keep them interested, all your efforts could go to waste.
So make you sure that you also do your homework and that you know what you audience wants from you. Check your equipment, and test and train your speech before delivery.