Bad online presentations are your fault. Online presentations are much, much harder to construct and deliver effectively and yet despite this, the vast majority of online presenters have no training in the new media, made no allowances for the entirely different media and simply moved into the online space with their already disastrous powerpoints and read them out to the audience. And you (possibly, see below) sat through it, suffering and did nothing about the issue after the event.
Of course one might question if online presentations are actually poor, or am I simply biased? Let’s work through a few questions.
- How many online conferences have you signed up to this year?
- How many online conferences have you actually attended, live?
- How many online conferences did you defer attending (for any reason) but assured yourself that you would then watch the content asynchronously?
- How many online conferences have you actually watched, asynchronously?
The answer to these questions should of course be matched against your answers for in person conferences. I suspect more online conferences are booked, fewer in person conferences are missed and very very few have watched freely available content asynchronously. Of course there are multiple reasons for all of these but sadly, the quality of online presentations has a lot to do with the answer to question 4, even if you intended to do so whilst doing the ironing or working out. (How much does THAT value the content??)
We must accept that online presentations will represent a significant part of our future education and knowledge transfer. That is a good thing. They cannot simply be a recitation of powerpoint slides. That is a very bad thing. This will continue to happen until “good men (and women)” express their concerns that online presentations simply don’t work. Bad online presentations are your fault.