From Onstage to Online; tiny tweaks to make a massive impact

Onstage to Online

I’ve seen some speakers and teacher who have been doing it successfully onstage or in classrooms but are now struggling to make the transition doing that online.

The experience of watching a speaker on stage or in class is different from an online webinar. It’s like being at a sporting event. The energy of the people around affects you. Clapping, cheering and even shouting enhances the enjoyment.

On the flipside, when you’re watching a webinar, you’re usually alone in the comfort of your home.  Even if there are thousands of participants, the experience is low-key and introspective. 

Collective Cues Online

When someone tells a joke and people laugh, I find myself laughing along even if the joke wasn’t that funny. It’s the same reason why TV sitcoms use canned laughter to cue the viewer at home to laugh.

I saw an online summit where the speaker would ask everyone to stand up and dance, and the camera would pan to the screen showcasing hundreds of people standing up to dance. That was a clever way to cue everyone to do the same.

So the techniques for keeping audience participation in a face to face setting is different from online.

What Works On Stage May Not Work Online

Last weekend, I attended a webinar where the speaker was over the top, repeating the same phrases, using big gestures, giving 3 short claps to get people’s attention, and was shouting.

Yes, shouting. The distorted sound was unpleasant. 

In the beginning it’s a novelty, even refreshing. He was teaching a dry subject (numbers) and he’s created a lively persona that’s different from his more somber competitors.

However, that wacky in-person style to awaken and energize his classroom did not translate well online. Television and computer screens amplify and exaggerate everything. It adds 10 pounds (I’m still coming to terms with that) makes double chins look bigger, and uneven features more unbalanced. Quirks in your voice and gestures are emphasized.

Imagine the volume of a loud animated children’s cartoon turned up when you’re alone. After the novelty wears off in the first 10 minutes, the exaggerated antics are no longer infectious and can be grating.

The Online Experience Is More Intimate And Personal.

It’s important to stay true to your communication style to attract the people who are “right” for you. However, it’s necessary to adjust and tailor your style for different platforms to make a deeper impression on people. Speaking on the stage to a hundred people is different from speaking to a person across the table.

When you have good insightful content and are comfortable with speaking on stage, all you need are subtle tweaks that make an impact on your online presentation.

Here are 3 key adjustments to consider when transiting to an online platform.

3 Tiny Tweaks

  1. Speak as if it’s to just one person, sitting across the table from you. How would you infuse that person with your excitement and enthusiasm? How would you keep that person’s attention? 
  1. The first thing that expresses sincerity and engages people are your eyes. When you look at people on gallery view or worse…look at yourself, you’re doing that for yourself. Keep looking into the camera lens because that’s when you’re doing it for your audience, and connecting with them.
  1. The second thing that generates sincerity and energy is your voice. You can express enthusiasm without shouting. Using inflections, stresses, pace, pitch and pauses can enliven your message and keep people enthralled. Steve Jobs kept his audiences enthralled for 80 minutes without exaggerated antics.

You only need a few subtle tweaks to adapt your stage presentation into a captivating and inspiring online presentation!

Are you making the transition to presenting townhalls and teaching online… and you’re not enjoying it?

You can’t wait for the world to go back to normal where you can speak and teach face to face like you used to.

Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen for quite a while.

Let me show you how just a few micro adjustments of your natural style can engage your audience and make a memorable impact.

CLICK HERE for a free consultation on how I can help you to present confidently online .

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