- Speak naturally and at a normal volume. Wearing a headset can prevent you from hearing yourself properly and you may unintentionally increase the volume of your voice. It is preferable to use a headset to improve audio quality rather than an inbuilt microphone, but be aware of your voice.
- Avoid reading directly from your notes. This can flatten the tone of your voice. Instead, use your notes as a prompt and aim to talk ‘around’ your slides using a natural, conversational tone, including the ‘ums’ and ‘ahs’ of everyday discourse which allow learners to process your language.
- Pause and allow time for participants to ‘digest’ what you have said and what’s on the screen.
- Describe what you are doing, so participants know what is happening and why you might have stopped talking or there is a short silence. A conversational approach is friendlier and will reassure participants.
- For example: “I’m just bringing up the slides I want to show you…” “I’m going to read your chat messages for questions…”
- Deliberately pause and wait for responses to allow for audio lag and let participants switch on their mics. (You may need to remind them to do this.) You and your students will adapt to this with practice.
- Ask larger groups to mute their mics whilst not speaking to prevent unintended noise. Remember as moderator you can mute all participants (from the attendees panel) if you encounter feedback noise.
- Ask specific participants to respond (speak on mic) to prevent everyone trying to answer at once.
- Use the Hand Raise tool to identify who wants to speak and go through them in the order in which they raised their hand. You can also use the Chat to manage this process.
Dealing with questions and handling Chat
- Manage expectations at the beginning of the session. Explain how you would like questions to be asked (e.g. in chat at key points / when you invite learners to come on mic, etc).
- For large group sessions, you may wish to point out that you won’t respond so much to questions during the webinar but that there will be time at the end for questions and answers (Q&A).
- There may be questions that you won’t have time to address. Give an indication of what participants should do in this scenario (e.g. post any follow up questions to your blackboard forum).
- It is usually less distracting to deal with questions at key points during the session and spend the rest of the time focusing on content or activities.
- Invite participants to write their questions in chat as you go along. You can then address them later. If you have an assistant they may answer questions in chat or identify key questions / themes and share them with you.
- When you respond to a question, it can be helpful to repeat it back to the participants. When you have finished addressing the question, close it clearly before you move on.
Useful phrases for responding to questions in Chat
- “There’s an interesting question here from Angelic. She asks…”
- “Several people have asked about …”
- “I think I would say…”
- “I hope that answers your question Saad. Now let’s think about… / Now let’s move onto another question….”