The value of self and peer reflection is not unique to digital presenting, however it becomes easier to do so due to the fact cameras are involved. It is simple to record the average digital presentation, whereas it isnt likely to be as straightforward when in-person. Additionally, when watching it back you are likely to have a very similar experience as the audience did. (Of course, always get necessary permission from participants before recording).
I believe self reflection is probably the single most important thing any presenter can do. Record yourself now, watch it back, pick out good aspects, things to work on and compare it to others. As you get more experience, continue with this practice, refining as you go. Then once you have lots of recordings under your belt, go back to that first one and note just how far you have come. I did this recently. I realised that, whilst pretty good, my first experiences in live broadcasting were a little two dimensional. I had the content spot on (but remember that’s only 7%!) and my tone of voice was pretty good too, but I didn’t have enough visible body language. When I watch presentations where I have learnt to add that in, I notice a significant increase in quality. I encourage all the presenters I work with to take time to record themselves and self-reflect, and emphasise that their own critiques are just as (if not more) useful than other people’s.
It is also very helpful to look at the work of others for inspiration or to see what not to do. Critique their style and compare it to your own. Don’t be tempted to copy anyone else too much though, it is important to always be yourself (being you is far better than being anyone else).
A few go-to presentations I have reflected on with colleagues are listed below. Have a look and compare their styles. Make up your own mind about what works and what doesn’t. Are there any elements that stand out to you as something you could improve on yourself?
What have I missed?
The above is a pretty comprehensive reflection on the presenting experiences and observations I have made over the last year, but it is not exhaustive. I would like to hear about your tips and techniques for enhancing presenting styles for digital audiences. Or are there elements listed here that just don’t work for you? Please do share any insights or comments you have.