Presenting Online – 9 tips when something goes wrong

What is your biggest concern when presenting online?


 When something goes wrong and how to recover

Welcome back!  Last time we discussed Managing the Technology and how practice is vital to the success of your next presentation.  Here is the link to Part 2 of a five part series.  Now that you know a little more about the managing the technology, let’s move on to preparing for an emergency when presenting online.

when something goes wrong

Presenting Online – what could go wrong?

Let’s get real here, there are a multitude of things that can go wrong when presenting online.  Have you ever been presenting and your audio is disconnected during the middle of a presentation?  Have you ever had participants send you a chat saying they can’t see your screen or your video, and you can see your presentation on your screen just fine?

Emergencies in the virtual environment

After 14 years of presenting in the virtual environment I have likely seen and experienced almost every type of emergency.  My three favorite words when presenting either in person or virtually are practice, practice, practice.  If you feel confident about your presentation you will likely feel confident talking through and handling any type of technology faux pas.

Read: Check list for powerful Virtual Presentations

These are just a few of the things that could go wrong:

  1. Audio disconnects
  2. Audio connection is less than clear
  3. Computer connectivity is severed
  4. My screen looks different than what the participants are reporting
  5. I lose my voice
  6. I can’t toggle through my slides
  7. My annotation tools are not working
  8. I cannot find my log in details and I am the panelist/presenter

There are a 9 tipse to prevent failing during a webinar:

  1. Rehearse in the SAME location you will present from (no exceptions)
  2. Test your audio connection in addition to your headset. Some headsets work better with different virtual collaboration providers.
  3. Clear your cache, your cookies, and reboot your computer/modem prior to presenting
  4. Many speakers who are not prepared for an emergency will not be able to regain composure.You can log back in to the audio bridge and have someone else toggle through the deck.
  5. If possible, have a second computer logged in to the webinar as an attendee. This allows you to see what your attendees see real time.
  6. Have a back-up plan for audio issues. I have a mobile phone available and I can text back and forth to my moderator/producer if necessary.
  7. When you are presenting to a group of larger than 25 a best practice would be to have a moderator/producer. Someone to field questions, monitor chat, Q&A etc.
  8. Personally, I add my log in details to my mobile calendar.  If I cannot access my mobile calendar because I am traveling I know who to reach out to for those last minute details.
  9. Log in to your event no later than 30 minutes prior to your GoLive time.

I cannot stress enough the importance of having an emergency plan in place.

It is important to talk through and/or think through the details.  You will need to have a plan for self de-escalation. Many speakers who are not prepared for an emergency will not be able to regain composure.  Some presenters lose control of the very voice they spent so much time honing.  Figure out what your peaceful place is to bring your voice back to calm.


Originally posted in 3Plus International eGazine  

About the author: Kimberli Allen

About the author: Kimberli Allen

Kimberli Allen, Principal and Founder of Everything Webinar, LLC, is an international communication and presentation skills expert. She has acquired 20+ years experience as a corporate trainer, coach and entrepreneur (both virtual and in-person). Kimberli has designed numerous customized training programs, worked with such clients as Nike, Cisco, GlaxoSmithKline, and TAB Products, and personally coached thousands of clients in more than 32 countries. When Kimberli is not leading a training program or launching new products to enhance communication and presentation skills around the globe, you can find her competing in a duathlon or triathlon with her two daughters.