Top 5 tips for making engaging, motivating, online instructional presentations (with ease).

There are two parts to that statement. Making your presentations engaging and motivating, and doing it with ease. Let’s start with the first part. How do you make an online presentation, instructional video or workshop as engaging and motivating as possible?

Do you think it’s more about CONFIDENCE (knowing your content back to front), or simply having good CONTENT (whiz bang technology or a slide pack that would woo Elon Musk)?

In short, it’s having the right combination of both – because if you don’t, then you’re either an entertainer (full of confidence) or a lecturer (really knowledgable) but you’ll be far from an engaging facilitator of learning. No one wants to sit through boring presentations that have them creating their shopping list instead of listening and learning, and no one wants to be the kind of presenter that clams up when they’re asked to answer basic questions because they know it’ll throw them off their game – right?

So what’s the key to creating engaging, motivating online presentations, webinars or tutorials?

I have a full course available on this in the Library, called Delivery Skills – which takes you through how to

  1. create a solid structure,
  2. create powerful visual aids to complement your content, and
  3. use ninja delivery skills that will have you taking your clients on a learning journey – not just parroting information at them, or filling them full of information they’ll probably never end up putting to good use – actually engaging them in the learning process and doing what we refer to in the industry as ‘learner centred’ and ‘discovery based‘ facilitation of learning.

It’s a far cry from lecturing that’s for sure! So how about the second part of that initial question – how to make online instructional presentations with ease?

 Following are 5 of my top tips for easily creating online video tutorials, lessons or webinars that are engaging and motivating.

After watching my online courses, my clients often say things like –

‘You just look and sound so natural in your course videos! How do you do it? I love sitting down to do your course because it’s like you’re in the room with me and we’re having a cuppa!’

These tips will help YOU be the kind of facilitator that your clients want to keep coming back and working with – time and time again – because they get THAT MUCH out of it. Isn’t that what every facilitator really wants?

engaging presentations online

1. Have a clear structure, and stick to it.

Intro, body, conclusion. That’s the crux of it. I go into a LOT more detail on the specifics behind each of these sections in the Delivery Skills course but at the very heart of it is the old adage:

Tell ’em what you’re gonna tell ’em.
Tell ’em.
Tell ’em what you told ’em.

Simple. It’s age old, because it works.

Bookending your presentation with an introduction and a conclusion warms the audience up and prepares them for what’s coming so they’re engaged right through to the end, and a conclusion wraps it up and reminds them of the key points you want them to walk away with. Good, simple, foundations of best practice teaching and learning stuff.

2. Don’t READ off a script.

Unless you want to sound like a robot.

I’m not dissing scripts entirely, believe me – I use them all the time for my sales videos because they need to be succinct, and there’s no time for waffle (I’m a story teller, I can’t help myself)… just remember though, that

Having a script, is awesome. Reading off it verbatim, isn’t.

If you really need to use a script, read it to yourself loads of times, so that the content rolls of your tongue easily. Then when you’re ready to record it, memorise a small section, a few sentences at most if that’s all you can remember in one hit, then look up and speak to the camera as if it’s actually a client or a learner standing right in front of you.

If you want to sound natural, inviting and engaging, READing will NOT get you there. I just today listened to an online business guru deliver a presentation about her new offering and you could actually SEE her eyes reading off the teleprompter- SO distracting and fills me with no confidence that she actually believes in what she’s saying. Newsreaders are trained to read what’s coming off the teleprompter – and they do it on a daily basis and have developed their own style, to sound natural. Unless you’re going to put a lot of time and energy into doing the same, just practice the content until you’re comfortable with it – then deliver it with warmth and honesty – you’ll sound WAY more natural and believable!

3. Speak to THEM. Not the camera.

Imagine someone is actually inside the camera when you’re filming. Sounds a bit nuts, but it’s how I roll when I’m recording. The camera won’t smile or nod, but your audience will when they’re watching the replay if you’re talking to them as if they’re actually there – so talk to the camera as if it’s a real, live person – and ideally, your ideal client!

Have a conversation with them. Ask them rhetorical questions. Speak from the heart, and directly to them and their problems – it’s SO much more engaging than reading something pre-prepared.

4. Plan for editing, when you’re taking the videos.

Yep, sounds a bit crazy, but my clients have agreed that this is one of the most helpful pieces of advice when creating digital learning videos. It will make your videos so much simpler to edit and ultimately, so much better! When you’re recording, scan a small section, look up at the camera, take a deep breath, settle yourself, smile, then start speaking. When you’re done, pause BEFORE looking down at the next section.

Read the next section, look up, pause, settle, smile, then start the next section – so easy to edit those reading parts out later on! If you don’t take the time to pause before and after each section, it’s a nightmare trying to edit out the bits in between and when you add fade ins and fade outs, it all gets very messy! Believe me – I’ve edited hours of videos and I’ve learnt the hard way – don’t make the same mistakes I did!

5. Production is better than perfection – just get started!

So many of my clients have these HUGE blocks around getting started on their videos – and I always give them the same advice – for the love of all things holy, JUST START! If your first video is perfect, then  you’ve waited WAY TOO LONG! How many things do you get right the first time you give them a go?

Think back to cooking your first omelette, or your first driving lesson, or your first kiss – eek!

Getting good at something TAKES PRACTICE – and thinking the first video you do is going to be perfect is just plain insanity.  So if you’re putting off doing videos for this reason, then give yourself a good swift kick up the backside of reality, and give it a go – to hell with it if it isn’t perfect the first time – it won’t be! Getting started is the most important part – you’ll get better over time – and just remember, getting something produced is better than getting something perfected! Don’t believe me? Watch this short video – on what REALLY happens when you try to create professional videos!

So I asked whether you’d like a step by step guide that outlines the process I use to efficiently create batches of videos… and TA DA! I have a free article that walks you through the main steps – click here to read more!

Ready to learn how to pique your clients interest and hold their attention right to the end of your presentation, rather than have them drop off out of sheer boredom?

Fabulous! I’ve prepared a tutorial and a worksheet that outlines everything you need to know about how to structure a presentation that will have your clients on the edge of their seats, and motivated right through to the very end, ready to take action with their new skills and expertise.

The lesson is available here.

It’s located in the FOUNDATIONS Level of the Library, in the Delivery Skills course:

Lesson 3.1 Structuring your presentations

Click on the above link to be taken directly to the Lesson. If you’re already  a member of the Delivery Skills course, make sure you’re logged in! If you’re not, you’ll be redirected to the page where you can become a member.

structuring your presentation - tips for engaging presentations online

Great content stuck in your head & hard drives?

So much to think about . . .

>> What to put in & leave out, in what order?

>> How to package it? Or deliver it? Online?

>> Will it just be a waste of time & money?

>> Will the content actually help people and help me build my reputation as the go-to-professional in my field?

My quiz can help!

Do this 3 minute quiz, and find out exactly which areas you need help with.

25 thoughts on “Top 5 tips for making engaging, motivating, online instructional presentations (with ease).”

    • Hi Nicole! I mean so that when you play the final video, the video of you talking is inside the video, and the slideshow that goes with the presentation is in the background playing at the same time, so the slides are changing, as you’re talking about them – so in essence it’s like watching you give the presentation live, as you would infront of an audience – you’re talking in front of the screen that is progressing through your slides as you’re talking about them 🙂 an example of what I mean is this webinar I did – – the slides kick in around the 1.45 minute mark!

  1. OK – I’m in diguise here … please visualise false mo … Yes please! 😉

    And if I do this another twice in different disguises I think you’ll find there are twenty people who want you to do a step-by-step tute on this 😀

  2. I see my ‘yes please’ is not needed, it has the green light already, yey … I love the way you embed your videos, I was watching your introductory videos this morning and noted to ask you how you achieved that. So I’m delighted to see you’ll be sharing your tips, thanks so much Maria.


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