March 29


train the trainer

  • Online video course instructor

5 ways to prepare an online learning course presenter

The performance of the on-air presenter in an instructor-led training and education video has an outsized effect on the engagement of the learner. When your online course presenter shows up to set, are they confident and ready to give a strong performance?  The chances are low.  After creating thousands of hours of online video courses, it’s our experience that presenters are often not on-air professionals.  Instead, these individuals tend to be employees, and sometimes they’ve had no participation in the actual course development.  They likely have little to no experience leading an asynchronous learning course. Yet, they are the best choice to present because they have the most subject matter expertise and their lived experience can create an authentic connection with the learner. 

To help get them through, here are a few useful tips on how to prepare a presenter to give a performance that will connect with learners and deliver on the learning outcomes necessary for any type of training videos.

1. Provide context:  It’s essential to provide your course presenter with a comprehensive understanding of the course’s content, learning objectives, target audience, and tone.  Providing this level of context will ensure the presenter’s performance is designed to engage the learner in a deeper, more emotional manner.

2. Rehearse, Rehearse, Rehearse: Practice makes perfect, and this applies to course presenters too. Make sure your presenter has plenty of time to review the scripts and practice delivering the content in the right tone before the day of the shoot. A table read with the subject matter expert and other relevant stakeholders is also a great practice.

3. Teleprompter training: Most presenters have never worked with a teleprompter before and it can be a challenge to remain relaxed and natural.  There are several free online and mobile apps for a presenter to practice before the shoot.  We use the remote capture software OpenReel to record and playback teleprompter rehearsals for presenters so they can see exactly where they might be able to improve their delivery.  Just remember these options are fairly lo-fi compared to the professional teleprompter kit and operator the presenter will work with on set.

4. Practice self care: We often require course presenters to stand on their feet and talk for several hours a day and this can be taxing on both the mind and the body. It’s imperative for a course presenter to eat well, stay hydrated, and get a good night’s sleep before filming. Throat coat tea or hot water with lemon will help maintain strong vocal chords (without causing a gassy stomach). 

5. Be communicative and ask for feedback:  Capturing engaging content takes time and patience.  Course presenters should communicate their experience so the crew can adjust accordingly.  Don’t be afraid to let the producer know if you are feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or confused.  And don’t be afraid to ask for feedback, or even a few minutes to breathe and refocus.  Every individual on the set is committed to provide the best experience for the presenter in order to achieve the collective vision for the course and most importantly engage the learner.

Optimizing the presenter’s video presence is crucial since the instructor is the single source of contact with the learner throughout their learning journey and a poor performance can have drastic consequences on engagement.  Take the time to prepare instructors with these tips and watch as they deliver and you reach your number one KPI of engagement



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