The following document is for anyone preparing to provide a training webinar for Maine CITE. You may also download and print out a PDF version of this guide.
Revised January 2020
When presenting a Maine CITE sponsored webinar, use this guide to prepare your session. Maine CITE is required to ensure all training programs meet standards for accessibility by people with disabilities and serve to showcase how to present training programs using the principles of universal design.
Before your presentation
If you decide to use any audio visual aids, including PowerPoint slides, they must meet accessibility standards. To ensure access, all presentation materials must be sent to Maine CITE at least five (5) work days prior to the date of your presentation.
All webinars need a short program description including learning objectives (usually listed in bulleted form). Ideally, the program description is written in present tense (not future tense) so it may be used before the webinar and for the archived version (e.g., “…this training provides participants with knowledge about…”). Maine CITE staff will assist you as you prepare the program description.
The webinar description should be completed 4 to 6 weeks prior to the event to ensure distribution in our marketing activities.
We require presenters to prepare a fully-accessible handout of “speaker’s notes” to share with participants before the webinar. Speaker notes should be formatted in MS Word. If additional handouts are needed, please make sure they are fully accessible (See Accessible Documents Appendix). Maine CITE staff will assist you in making this document accessible.
If there are additions, deletions or corrections to the handout content, a revised copy may be submitted to Maine CITE after your webinar and will be made available as part of the archives.
Handouts need to be sent to Maine CITE for review five (5) days before your webinar.
Using the Zoom Webinar presentation system, the choice of presentation software is open. If, however, the presenter plans to use anything other than MS Office PowerPoint, this application must be tested fully before the webinar. Presentation applications that use a significant amount of animation (e.g., Prezi) is discouraged.
If you use MS Powerpoint, please use the Maine CITE theme located on-line here:
Please do not embed audio or video files in or create “transitions” between or within slides in your PowerPoint document.
If your PowerPoint has speakers’ notes included, you may not be able to view these when presenting on Zoom. Options for using speaker notes will be discussed before the webinar.
Generally, Maine CITE does not share actual PowerPoint/presentation slides with participants. However, if you require that your PowerPoint file be shared with participants, please make sure it is fully accessible with all assistive technologies (See Accessible Documents Appendix).
Presentation content needs to be sent to Maine CITE five (5) days before your webinar.
Short, video clips may be used during your presentation. These videos must be captioned. Videos that have only auto-captioning should be checked for accuracy well before the webinar date. Videos with inadequate captions may not be used. Note that not all video streaming platforms offer captioning.
Links to video clips are generally placed on the webinar’s event page so participants can access them after the live event.
Current accessibility guidelines call for the use of Video Description (a.k.a., Audio Description or narration). However, standards and specific software designed to deliver this content is still not readily available. As a short-term workaround, we ask that you verbally describe the actions happening in your video selection before showing the video and perhaps also after you have played the video.
Video content needs to be sent to Maine CITE five (5) days before your webinar.
Audio (sound clips)
All audio content which involves spoken word must be accompanied by a transcript.
Audio content and transcripts needs to be sent to Maine CITE five (5) days before your webinar.
Practice sessions are a valuable opportunity to prepare for your live webinar. While many of our presenters have made many presentations over their careers, delivering information in webinar format present some unique challenges and a practice session will help to make the experience successful.
Practice sessions can be arranged for any time before the actual webinar date as long as all of the presentation materials have been prepared.
Presenters who have had no past experience with webinars may wish to have more than one practice session.
Presenters will need access to a computer or laptop with a high-speed connection to the internet (preferably 10 MB/sec or higher). Most laptop computers come with high-quality cameras and integrated microphones and speakers that can work quite well for webinars. It is essential that you have your laptop directly in front of you while speaking to ensure quality sound.
Generally, tablets and other devices cannot be used for webinar presentations. If you do not have suitable technology, Maine CITE will provide this for you at our office in Augusta.
If you choose to present the webinar from your own work location, please select a quiet area and remove any potential distractions such as telephones/cellphones and other background noise. Turn off any other computer applications (e.g. e-mail, Twitter clients) that might make a sound during the presentation. When co-presenters are speaking it is a good idea to mute your microphone.
During the Webinar
Webinar presenters need to enter the webinar room at least 30 minutes prior to the schedule start time for a sound check.
Each Maine CITE webinar begins with the Host providing an introduction to the Zoom Webinar system.
Remember to speak slowly and clearly, as though you were speaking to a live audience. If there is more than one speaker, you need to identify who you are before you speak. All Maine CITE webinars use live CART transcription and it is essential you speak slowly to ensure the transcription is accurate.
Zoom Webinar uses the “chat pod” where participants can type in questions for the presenter(s). You may choose to hold questions until the end of your presentation or a designated time in the presentation or, you can monitor the chat pod and respond to questions as they arise. When you are ready to answer questions from participants, the Host will read the question aloud before you answer.
Who controls slides and other presentation materials?
We prefer presenters control and move the slides in their presentation. We will show you how to do this.
Other presentational formats (e.g., extra content or video streams, etc.) are typically delivered in the same manner, but can alternately be managed by the Maine CITE Producer or Host.
As a means of increasing participation with members of the webinar audience, the Zoom Webinar system has a “polling” plugin than can be used to have audience members respond to a single choice or multiple response type questions. These polls need to be developed well in advance and will need to be in place at least 24 hours before the webinar.
However, at any time during the webinar presentation you may ask the members of the audience to respond by typing their responses in the chat pod.
At the End of the Webinar
The Host will remind participants to complete the evaluation form at the end of the webinar with a reminder that certificates of attendance are sent only to those who complete the evaluation form.
You are encouraged to provide information where participants can contact you for follow-up.
|Pre Activity||When: prior to||Who|
|Concept developed||6-8 weeks||Training Coord, Presenter|
|Date/Time scheduled* and Presenter’s Guide distribute||5-6 weeks||Traing Coord, Host|
|Marketing materials developed||4-5 weeks||Training Coord, Presenter|
|Event page created||4 weeks||Web Admin|
|Registration set-up||4 weeks||Producer|
|Evaluation form||4 weeks||Producer|
|1st E-mail Marketing Notification||4 weeks||Producer|
|2nd E-mail Marketing Reminder||2 weeks||Producer|
|Materials received/reviewed||5 days||Presenter, Training Coord, Host|
|Registration closed||1 days||Producer|
|E-mail Confirmation to partipants||1 day||Producer|
|Login – CART setup – Sound check||30 minutes||Producer, Host, Presenter|
|Post Activity||When: after||Who|
|Evaluation closed||1-2 days||Producer|
|Evaluations review summarized||2-4 days||Producer, Training Coord|
|Recording edit and archived||2-4 days||Producer|
|Event page finalized as archive||2-4 days||Web Admin|
*CART scheduled and confirmed
Appendix: Accessible Documents
As you prepare handouts for your webinar, please make sure all documents are fully accessible by using the following guidelines:
- All pictures need Alternative (ALT) Descriptions. These provide information and meaning to people using screen reader assistive technology (AT). We recommend using a few words to clearly describe the picture. Not too long, not too short.
- Make sure every object (Shapes, SmartArt, charts, photos, videos) has an ALT Description.
- Table columns need “headings” – information at the top of the column or sometimes in the first column that identifies the data in the chart. Headings are essential for navigation and understanding for users of screen readers. Try to use simple tables. If you have complex information, please use a spreadsheet as a handout.
- When adding hyperlinks to documents, use “embedded” hyperlinks.
- Avoid using abbreviations/acronyms unless they are universally known.
PowerPoint: As noted, we strongly recommend that you create a word processor to create Speakers’ Notes as a handout for your webinar. However, if you require the distribution of your PowerPoint file, please use the following addition guidelines:
- Please use the Maine CITE PowerPoint theme located on-line here: http://www.mainecite.org/docs/MaineCITE-Template.potx
- Make sure each slide has its own unique Title.
- Size of fonts is controlled by the Theme. You may make font size larger, but not smaller than what is in the theme
- View Outline to see if each Title is present and unique.
- All Images need Alternative (ALT) Descriptions. These provide information and meaning to people using screen reader assistive technology (AT). A good ALT description is short and to the point. Not too long, not too short.
- In PowerPoint, the software provides an option of adding a “title” and a “description” to images. The use of the title is optional; the description is essential as that’s what the AT will read.
- Make sure every object (Shapes, SmartArt, charts, photos, videos) has an ALT Description.
- Although you can add Tables to a Presentation document, it is best not to. Visually it makes more sense to use a chart or graph. In which case, follow the protocols for Images above.
- If you insist on using a Table…Table columns need “headings” – information at the top of the column or sometimes in the first column that identifies the data in the chart. Headings are essential for navigation and understanding for users of screen readers. If a large amount of data needs to be presented, it would be better to use a spreadsheet and provide that as an additional document (handout or speakers notes).
- When adding hyperlinks to slides, use embedded hyperlinks.
- Check reading order of all content by viewing slides in Outline format.
- Do not embed audio or video files in the PowerPoint document.
- Do not create transitions between or within slides in your PowerPoint document.
- Before you share your PowerPoint, use the MS-Office Accessibility Checker to test your document for accessibility.
Other Audio/Visual Materials
- All video content with human voices must include captioning for all videos.
- If you choose to use videos, make sure the video has Audio Description or be prepared to provide a description of the actions on the screen before and after the video is played.
- All audio-only content must include a transcript.
More information about Accessible Digital Documents may be found at: https://mainecite.org/accessible-digital-documents/