Win attention thousands of kilometers away. Life hacks for online presentation
Before the pandemic online exhibitions seemed something new and scary, but in modern reality they have firmly established their place among the tools for attracting applicants from foreign countries. Our university actively uses this format of work along with more traditional methods.

Of course, your performance at the exhibition is just one of the tools of a successful admission campaign but it can help the university attract the attention of applicants.

Today, as part of the exchange of experience, I would like to share life hacks of successful performance at online exhibitions. They are divided into two blocks: content and form, since both of these components are extremely important.
Content: Shift focus to your consumer
It is no longer news that the entire marketing landscape is shifting towards customer centricity. Instead of praising your high school and its services, you... do the same, but with wording that meets the needs of your target audience. Your speech is for applicants, about applicants, about their user experience in your university. Even the strongest brands need to turn their heads towards potential buyers of the product and literally voice their "pains" and the ways to solve their problems that you practice in your educational institution.

Point of interest
This point is related to the previous one. Unfortunately, many representatives of the universities jump at telling a story about university history, its regalia and achievements. Undoubtedly, that is important, but, in our experience, applicants and their parents cannot always connect this information with their user experience and ask more mundane questions: where will I live? Who will teach me? Will I have someone to ask for help? These requests are not universal; you must clearly understand who your target audience is. Having made its competent portrait, you can easily understand what is better to highlight in your presentation.

Showcasing strengths
Everything is great at your university: education, science, extracurricular activities, campus, location, and individual tracks. And it's great! But in order for the applicant to have a holistic view of the university, it is better not to overwhelm him with a variety of information. Choose 2-3 key points that meet the needs of your target audience, and focus on them in your speech: this way you can be sure that the listener will definitely hear the idea that you want to convey to them, and these key points will remain in their memory. If it seems you do not provide enough information about your school, you can always suggest that applicants visit official website of the university or the university page at the exhibition website, which contains a more complete presentation.
The form: attention = success
Many people including myself tend to break the time limit. And that is understandable, since you want to tell everything about your school and give as many details as possible, but it's still better to rehearse your speech in advance, remove everything irrelevant from it, and try to keep within the time allotted to you. The attention of the listener will anyway dissipate after 5-7 minutes of your speech, and after 10 minutes, many will already be switching to other things. That is why time limit on online exhibitions is usually 10-15 minutes.

Use a teleprompter

Some pople find it easier to speak spontaneously and present material based on presentation slides, but for most it is not so easy to talk according to just a blueprint. I noticed that many people prefer to write the whole text for themselves. If you belong to this category, use the teleprompter app on your mobile phone. You can choose the font size and playback speed. By placing the phone next to the camera, you will not be distracted and look at papers, but you are more likely to create the impression of spontaneous speech. Surely, you will feel more confident and your applicants will definitely notice it!
Attend more to details
It seems obvious, but you need to be seen and heard well, so the camera, microphone, light, environment, and even your appearance play a very important role. After all, this is how you demonstrate your respect for your audience and create the image of your university. If you're streaming from a one-way-lit office against an unpresentable wall or in a lecture hall with echo, it's unlikely to bring positive result. Use a ring lamp or softboxes; a branded banner is a good choice for such broadcasts as a background. It is important to think through every detail and test everything in advance to avoid unpleasant surprises on air.

Engage emotionally
Emotional speech always resonates with people more than a dry listing of facts. If you manage to show how much you are "infected" with the ideas of your university, how eager you are to talk about it, if you give live examples from personal experience, your audience will appreciate it. Unconsciously, you will give people the signal "I love working here, I love what I do" and this signal will be interpreted as "I will also enjoy being in this space." After all, the real emotions of real people and their reviews in the modern world have much more weight than well calibrated advertising texts.

Since the employees of the international service are usually responsible for the export of educational services of their university, it is important to properly build communication with potential applicants. And in this case, the educational institution will be judged precisely by you, your loyalty to the university, goodwill and self confidence.

I wish you all successful performances!
Alyona Shumetova .
Head of center for international activity and media at Almetyevsk State Oil Institute
Expert at
Alyona is a linguist by training, she did internships in Germany, worked as a marketing manager in e‑commerce projects, as well as a PM at international projects. Since 2020, Alena has been leading the activities of the university in two areas — international development and brand positioning. Expert in advertising, brand visualization and university promotion.