You’re doing it wrong(er)

You’re doing it wrong if you think a presentation is simply reading out PowerPoint. You are doing it wrong(er) (sic) if you do that online. An online presentation is much more of a challenge than a live presentation for multiple reasons. There must be a different approach to message, media, and delivery. If the approach is the same, it will fail even harder online than on a live stage.

doing it wrong(er)

An online presentation is not simply a standard presentation delivered to your laptop camera. A detailed explanation of #htdap online is here. Please read that before you continue. Sadly, our experience of online teaching during the pandemic is that the same bad habits of normal presentations have been applied which makes everything worse. Audiences are voting with their mousepads, engagement is minimal and huge resources are being wasted. If you have simply presented your normal presentation to your laptop, you are doing it wrong(er).

The principal error of text heavy slides being read out verbatim disengages live audiences quickly but will cause the online audience to disconnect, not just mentally but even physically. Behind a muted microphone and camera(off) there is no requirement for the audience to continue with a bad presentation. Visual confusion and clutter of the various platforms and their displays make it even harder to look for the talking head of the presenter amongst the icons and consequently few audience members pay attention. Poor audio and video of the presenter may be the final straw.

An online presentation cannot simply be the same as a live presentation anymore than a handheld camera is the same as live TV coverage. Presenters and organisers must address these facts and make significant changes to address these issues. The amazing Tessa Davis has some great tips on a Twitter thread for conference organisers. How much one invests in any of the changes, depends on the nature of the meeting. Doing nothing means you are doing it wrong(er).

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