Roger Courville: Why You Suck at Virtual Presentations

Sean Campbell
Authored bySean Campbell
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Authored byBridget Burley

­B2B Revealed Podcast

Interview – Roger Courville

In this episode, Cascade Insights CEO Sean Campbell and Roger Courville discuss how to generate more engagement with webinars.

Roger is called the “Michael Jordan of online presentations and virtual classes” and was named rising international star by the National Speakers Association. He also leads a company called Roger Courville Webinars SuckEvent Builders, where for the last 18 years, he has helped companies with webinars, webcasts, and virtual classes.

In this episode, Roger tells us why online presentations are crucial for communication, development, and learning.  He also explains how to properly conduct a webinar.

Not only will we hear some of Roger’s best practices, but we can learn about his pet peeves, personal weaknesses, and favorite presentations to watch and learn from.

In This Episode:

  • What makes webinars so bad?
  • Generating engaging presentations as communication tools.
  • Creating effective attention getters to draw in your audience.
  • Designing a motivational presentation for information cognition and retention.
  • Producing presentations with a genuine approach.
  • What webinars lack to engage audiences.
  • How to improve presentations to involve your audience.
  • Why introductions and biographies motivate audiences to continue to listen.
  • Talking at people versus talking with people.
  • How to coach your boss when you know the more effective approach.
  • Watching top talks and seminars to understand best practices.
  • Things you need to stop doing right now before your next webinar.

The Takeaways:

  • Guide the audience on how to participate in a presentation.
  • Learn to avoid talking at people. Start talking with people.
  • You’re better off saying your point then facilitating dialogue.
  • Just talking from a powerpoint doesn’t make for an interesting webinar.
  • Presentation decks make horrible documents. Documentation decks make horrible presentations.
  • Interaction should be the very first thing you do – offline and online.
  • Make it a conversation by calling on people individually and keeping them engaged.
  • If you wouldn’t do it in an in-person seminar, why would you do it online?
  • A long-winded opening is just a waste of breath.
  • Stop using part of your webinar to explain the platform. They either know it already or come in too late to hear your explanation.
  • Only say the parts of your bio that are relevant to your audience.  No more.


We recommend following Roger on Twitter or LinkedIn to stay up-to-date on best practices in virtual presentations. You can also check out the recommended TEDTalks Roger cited for some ideas on how to captivate your audience.

Subscribe to our newsletter to keep up with our posts on virtual presentations, market research, and other B2B tips. You can subscribe to our podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.

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