Webinar Presentation Best Practices

CLEO works with presenters from legal clinics and other community agencies to prepare PowerPoint presentations that provide the visuals for our public legal education webinars.

Here are some "lessons learned" about how to develop good webinar presentations:

Audience and presentation content

  • There are two audiences for your webinar: People who register for your live presentation, and a much larger, more diverse audience, who will watch and listen to the archived version on the CLEONet web site.
  • Work with CLEONet to develop a title and description of the webinar content that is suitable for the widest audience.
  • Work with CLEO to provide a welcome message and instructional tips at the beginning of the presentation to help those in your live audience unfamiliar with webinars to get started and understand how the webinar will be facilitated.
  • Prepare information on follow-up or recommended next steps to include at the end of the presentation.

Slideshow planning

  • Include an overview or table of contents slide near the beginning so the audience knows what order to expect and understands when there will be breaks for questions and comments.
  • Don't overdo background information. Time is short and the average audience just wants the "meat" of the topic
  • Slides should highlight only key points that will be explained in detail during your presentation. If a comprehensive stand alone resource is also required, prepare a detailed handout version to make available after the presentation.
  • Use real-life examples to explain and illustrate your points (names changed or omitted, of course), and ask your audience to offer their experiences as these may vary among participants and everyone benefits from the exchange of information.
  • Slides and the live presentation should be in plain language. Avoid using legalese.
  • Avoid using unexplained acronyms, abbreviations, or local terms that would be unfamiliar to a wider audience.
  • Avoid slides with information that may soon be out of date such as costs or dates. Instead, link to sites where this information is always current

Slide design and appearance

  • Avoid having too many text-heavy slides or small fonts.
  • Limit the number of different fonts, background styles, and themes in your slide show.
  • Colourful and relevant graphics or photos can enhance presentation points. Some presenters use free clip art and borrowed stock images in their slides.
  • Avoid too many hyperlinks within the text of your slides. While these may be handy for people who download the presentation slides separately, most webinar tools won't allow these to be "hot" or hyperlinked during the webinar. It's better to present a short number of web site addresses at the end than a series of embedded links throughout.

Finalizing the presentation

  • Make sure the presentation fits the content description and intended audiences.
  • Do a final proofread to catch typos, and ensure that names are correct, quotation marks are used properly, capitalization is consistent, and grammatical structure in bulleted lists is correct.

For more information

To find out more and get involved contact us at webinars@yourlegalrights.on.ca.