When it comes to preparing to give your webinar, there are a number of distracting things that can potentially get in the way or even be embarrassing. What are some of these distractions and what can you do to remove them? In this video, author Richard Harrington shows you what these distractions are and how you can remove them from your webinar.
- When you're getting ready to give a webinar, there are some things you can do to remove distractions and potential embarrassments. Let me walk through some of those. The last thing you want is for people to get an unexpected glimpse into your personal life or for you to share more information than you intended. First up, couple things about removing distractions. On your computer, there's some things that I would do. This includes hiding the clock. You don't want people watching your webinar to pay attention to the time.
You'd like them to instead pay attention to your content. Make sure you clear your desktop as well. Remove any folders or files, and have a nice, clean desktop if possible. Choose a minimal desktop pattern, something that's non-distracting. Consider hiding the dock or the taskbar, so people don't see what applications are open or things bouncing. And clean up any shortcuts on your desktop. Some people will also make a dedicated user to minimize what's installed and have a clean experience.
Let's put that into practice. I'll hide my dock, shortcuts Command + Option + D on a Mac, and you'll notice that my top bar here is quite clean. That's because I'm using a service called Bartender. This is a utility that allows me to control what options show in the top bar. You'll notice, for example, I can completely hide the clock or, if it's important to me, put it in the Bartender status bar, so it's not visible by default.
This great utility makes it very easy to hide things. Now, one thing I want you to realize is that my desktop isn't actually clean, instead I'm using a useful utility here called Desktop Curtain, and this lets you control what is seen. You could decide to cover up the items on the desktop. And under Preferences, you can even control what is put on the desktop. So, for example, you see here we can set the color and get something nice and simple to keep it minimal.
Otherwise, you could choose an image or to use what's in place by the system, but have it cover up the desktop. Now, if you don't want to install these two utilities, you could, of course, easily do all of this manually, but I find that keeping it nice and clean is highly desirable, and a couple of pieces of affordable shareware make that process easier. Let's cover that same idea over on a PC, but this time I'll do it the manual way. What I would suggest is try to minimize distractions.
So you can consider making a new folder, and simply call it Desktop Items. When giving your webinar, take as many of these item as you can, and place them into that folder. This will greatly cut down on the clutter on the desktop. I always recommend emptying the recycling bin before you present.
And consider if you really need some of these shortcuts. A lot of times, system shortcuts are installed, and they don't really do anything. As such, you can choose to delete those if you don't find that they're necessary. Now, on your taskbar here, there's going to be Settings. This allows you to tell it to automatically hide the taskbar in desktop mode, which I strongly recommend. You can also minimize any badges and turn that off and choose if you want to hide information.
Additionally, you can use smaller taskbar buttons if you want to keep this a bit more minimal. Additionally, I would recommend that you go into this advanced setting here called Turn system icons on or off. You'll notice that I turned off the clock. You can also turn off things like location and the Action Center, which pops up comments. I'll get rid of the touch keyboard as well. Now, when we take a look at that taskbar, it's going to be less cluttered, and it should automatically hide as I start to work.
Besides cleaning up your computer and your desktop, I'd also highly recommend cleaning up your web browser. There are some things to look for. First up, make sure you clear out your history and remove any cache files. You want to avoid any auto-completions in the address bar that might give a glimpse into your viewing history or your children's viewing history, or whoever last used that computer. And you should also hide any unused tabs. Try to minimize leaving too many things open. Additionally, try to hide your favorites or bookmarks.
Those could be distracting, as people might try to read what you have on your screen that's unwanted. So, for example, here in Safari, I would make sure to go under my History here and simply clear this out. Clear History, and you can tell it to remove all history. Now, that's gone. You also may want to take a look at options like the Favorites bar or the Sidebar.
These can get in the way, as you don't necessarily want people seeing your bookmarks. So consider hiding those things. Hide the Sidebar. Hide the Favorites bar. And this will clean it up. If you have a site that you don't need in your Top Sites, you can click to clear this out. You could also tell it to never include that in the Top Site option. Now, this is browser specific, but there are different options that you can set. Remember, as you start to open multiple windows, you'll see different tabs.
Many people like to use tabs to quickly switch between. For example, this would allow me to have several different websites open. And then I can switch between those websites very easily. But if you have tabs open for things that aren't actively used, be sure to close them down. But there's one more type of distraction, and that's environmental. There are a few things you can do to minimize.
For example, right here I have a privacy screen, and this is very useful. When I'm presenting at my desk, I'll generally put one of these up. Now, there are lots of options and styles out there, but what's nice here is that this allows you to create a backdrop. Here we go. And this could minimize what's being behind you as a presenter. Now, obviously, this one's designed for sitting, but you see that it just breaks things up. And instead of seeing out your office door or a cluttered cubicle, you can get a nice, simple backdrop, and there are many options out there.
Make sure you remove the distractions from the physical location. Take a look at your desks and walls, see if there is anything you can get rid of. Consider the privacy screen, like the one I just set up. This will cut down on gapers looking into your office. Simplify your wardrobe, avoiding banging jewelry and busy patterns. And alert others if you are going to be recording or broadcasting your webinar, so they don't walk into your office in the middle of a session. Taking the time to remove distractions on your computer, in the web browser, and in the physical environment will ensure that the audience is paying attention to you and your content.
- Choosing the right webinar platform and host
- Organizing your content
- Planning for audience participation
- Inviting attendees to the webinar
- Setting up your presentation computer
- Selecting a microphone for a webinar
- Using a pro camera via Thunderbolt or USB 3
- Adding a VR camera
- Optimizing slides for a webinar
- Holding a rehearsal event