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  • 18 November 2020
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Technical guidelines for online presentations

Technical guidelines for online presentations

How does it work?

Online presentations are held in exactly the same way as the face to face ones with the same amount of time allotted and the same judges. 

We use Adobe Connect for all online presentations. If you are not familiar with this here are some links that might help and may also be useful to rehearse how slides and other presentation materials might work:

You do not necessarily need Adobe Connect installed in order to attend and present in your session. You will be able to access your presentation via the link that we will supply nearer the date of your presentation

There is no limit on the amount of people that can attend the presentation but do bear in mind that you only have a limited time in which to present. Presenters do not necessarily have to be in the same location.

All presenters will need:

  • A device with internet. We recommend a PC or laptop rather than a tablet or mobile device.
  • Ideally access to a landline, mobile or cellphone as audio is best via dial-in. VOIP within Adobe Connect is also available but this can be challenging to get clear audio within the session, so we recommend using dial-in audio if possible.

Who's on the judging panel?

You will be presenting to a panel of up to 3 judges, one of which will be the category chair. All judges will already be familiar with your written submission 

The judges will more than likely be viewing your presentation from different locations. They will not necessary have a webcam.

The judges will speak at the beginning of the session, so you know that they are there, but will most likely listen to the 25-minute presentation in silence. There is no need to design your presentation for interaction, please trust that they are listening and making notes.

There will also be a host who is there to take care of the technical side of the presentation and support both presenters and judges.

How long have we got to present?

You have 25 minutes in which to make your presentation with an additional 10 minutes for questions.

There will be 5 minutes of set up and take down time either side of the presentation but it is advisable to ensure you are more or less ready to present as soon as possible.

There will be back to back presentations taking place so it is essential everything runs to time.

We very strongly recommend that you send us a copy of any visual information (slides, demos, etc.) at least 24 hours in advance of your presentation so that it can be loaded, checked and ready for you to present.  This prevents any technical difficulties eating into your, or any other presenters' allotted time. If you cannot send us the visuals in advance, another option is that you can present via screenshare from your computer. The host may be available to help you with this prior to the session if you log on about 15 minutes before the start time.

Please be aware that any technical or time delays encountered by uploading your material at the time of your presentation may impact on your overall presenting time. Back to back presentations mean that you will not be able to run late.

Who can present?

You can include as many presenters as you feel is necessary, but do bear in mind that you only have 25 minutes to make your presentation. We recommend no more than 2-3 people are involved.

The judges are always interested in the views, experiences and opinions of learners or users. If your submission involves clients, partners or other organisations it may be useful for representatives from those organisations to attend if possible.

Even more than when presenting in person you need to define roles and decide who will speak when. It makes sense for one person to act as the lead and to introduce others at the right times.

Make sure you include introductions to those who will be presenting.  You would introduce the speakers at the start of any face to face presentation so you may like to include a slide or two to do the same in the online environment.  If possible include a picture of each person who will be taking part as it's much easier to relate to someone when you know what they look like.

If you want to use live webcam video to do the introductions that's fine but we wouldn't recommend it elsewhere.  Unless there's a specific need for video, such as showing or demonstrating something, it can often be more of a distraction than a help.  Also do bear in mind that judges may not have access to a webcam.

Can I use an iPad or other mobile device?

You can't do an app share from a mobile device in Adobe Connect, not without a reflector software. A simulator on your desktop would be the better and easier option.

What to include?

It's likely that you would set the same agenda whether you are presenting online or face to face. There is no need to design your presentation for interaction, with the judges as they will speak at the beginning of the session but will most likely listen to the 25-minute presentation in silence. .

Please review the category criteria and consider your presentation against these benchmarks.  The judges will already be familiar with your written submission so there is no need to reproduce it - this is your chance to enhance what you wrote.

While some corporate history may be required, remember to keep the focus on your project or product.  In some categories the application is less important than facts and figures.

Think about the feedback you have gathered, both qualitative and quantitative, and how this reflects against the criteria.  Do bear in mind, especially if you are a supplier, that supporting evidence from learners can be much more persuasive if your client is able to attend.

What about slide design?

Bear in mind that the judging panel will be viewing your presentation remotely and may be using a plasma screen or a PC monitor.  Aim to keep backgrounds relatively simple and clutter free.  When you are using text on your slides keep it brief and use a reasonable font size.  

The best and easiest type of file to use for slides is PowerPoint as this can be loaded in advance and we can ensure it is working for you. You can use Google Slides, Apple Keynote or Prezi but please note that these cannot be loaded into the session in advance and you will have to share your screen on the day.

Be aware that Adobe Connect converts your slides to its own format and animations don't always convert properly. There can also be a problem with formatting if you use a non-standard font. You can read more about fonts here.

Can I include video files?

Video files can be challenging due to bandwidth and audio challenges.

If you do use any video content, please make sure it's an MP4 file for best results.  Please ensure that your MP4 files are exported with a bitrate of between 500kbps and 1,000kbps to ensure smooth running in the session.

Embedded videos within PowerPoint will not play in Adobe Connect. Video files must be uploaded as separate files as embedded videos is something that we cannot help you fix on the day.

If you do use any multimedia elements, it's important that this is tested before the final presentation.  We recommend that you plan around it rather than rely on it, just in case it fails. You can read more about supported file types here.


Which is the best browser to use?

The best browsers to use are Chrome, Firefox or Microsoft Edge.  Other browsers, such as Safari, don’t work as well with Adobe Connect.  Depending on your browser version, you may also need to install an add-in to access all Adobe Connect features. You can find out more details for Windows and Mac at https://helpx.adobe.com/adobe-connect/connect-downloads-updates.html

What about voice?

One advantage of making a remote presentation is that you can work from notes and no one will see!  However, try not to over-script your presentation - you want it to sound as natural and conversational as possible.

Make sure that those taking part have good, clear speaking voices.  They don't have to be public speakers but some people are better suited to this than others.

Can I include a web tour?

If your entry is web based you may want to run a live web tour.  This can be a really good way to demonstrate exactly what the user will experience.  Do bear in mind that no technology is 100% reliable so it's a good idea to have a local copy or screenshots or something that you can switch to as back up just in case.  

What about whiteboards?

Where you might use a flipchart in a live session to draw or note something, you can use a whiteboard in a virtual session.  If you do plan on using a whiteboard it may be helpful to have a graphics tablet set up on your PC as this can make it much easier to draw or write than it would be with a mouse.

Any other tools I can use?

If you have used virtual meeting or classroom tools before, there are a number of other tools that you may be familiar with, such as polls, text chat, ticks and crosses, breakout rooms and indicators.  Do bear in mind, however, that you only have 25 minutes in which to present. 

What if the technology fails?

If you were presenting in person and intended to rely on some web based content, you would no doubt have a backup plan in case you were unable to access it (for example you may have prepared some screenshots to use instead).  No technology is 100% reliable so if you intend to run a web tour or other online based material, so it's a good idea to have a local copy or screenshots or something that you can switch to as back up just in case.  

Should I rehearse?

Practise your presentation with colleagues and partners so that you are comfortable.  Try to make it as real as possible and get your colleagues to act as audience.

Rehearsing within Adobe Connect to move slides whilst you are delivering can help with your confidence. If you don’t have access to Adobe Connect you can get a free 30 day trial.

What's the best environment?

It may sound obvious but make sure you that you have a suitable place to present from.  Trying to do it from your desk in a busy, open plan office is perhaps not ideal!  Make sure there is plenty of room for everyone taking part.  Put a sign on the door to make sure you're not disturbed.

When are the online presentations being held?

The online presentations will be held on 16-20 September and 23-27 September 2019.. 

We will give you the date and available time slots when your category is being judged when we email you to confirm the shortlist results.  You will then be invited to choose a time slot to suit you on that date.  All time slots are allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Be aware that there will be over 180 presentations taking place in London and online.  The date of your presentation is fixed and not negotiable so you should try to ensure that you, and any clients/partners who are required, are available.  

If you have more than one entry shortlisted then please note it is very like that your presentations will be on different dates. This is due to judge availability, the size of the shortlist and the large number of presentations taking place.

We make every effort to accommodate time differences, however, this is not always possible due to the size and constraints of the Awards judging process.

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