webinar presenter: anxiety tips

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Question

Do you have any tips for managing anxiety about public speaking where the audience cannot speak back - for example, a webinar, where all participants besides the presenter are muted?

There's a great article on the art of the webinar that has lots of good tips for webinar presenters.Does the situation create some anxiety because you're not getting feedback from the audience? You have no idea if they're bored or playing Pokemon Go. That silence can be off-putting (hearing crickets).

The nice thing about webinars is that you can ask questions and get feedback. For example, you can ask a question and have the audience raise their hand if they agree (they can click a button to raise and lower their hand). You can also conduct a poll and get audience interaction and feedback that way. I always like to start with a poll or a question to get the audience engaged, and intersperse these throughout the webinar. Also, your audience can use the chat window to ask questions at anytime throughout the presentation (I usually have a moderator stop me with questions at appropriate times). Ideally, you'll get your audience's attention from the start and keep them engaged throughout the presentation with some interactive activities.

It's also good to imagine that you're talking to real individuals who are interested in what you're saying. Speak right into the camera (the equivalent of eye contact), and focus on getting your message across clearly.

Does anyone have other ideas? Please join the discussion below to add your thoughts.

Dr. Cheryl Mathews Anxiety Coach