Last week I conducted a webinar titled: Speak Like You Mean Business! Participants felt it was the ideal way to learn how to convey their 30-second commercial in a compelling manner.
Although I’m experienced in conducting webinars, it was certainly a good reminder of how challenging they can be if you want to get positive results…and who wouldn’t! Perhaps one of the most common mistakes speakers make is assuming that a webinar doesn’t differ significantly from a live presentation. Without any hesitation I can tell you that this is an erroneous assumption. Let’s review 10 essentials to ensure a successful webinar for you.
1. Choose the right software for your needs: My preference is WebEx, however several choices exist so it’s worth exploring your options. Also familiarize yourself with the software mechanics. While it may seem straightforward, it’s in your best interest to carefully review the technology and do a dry run in advance of the actual webinar.
2. Capitalize on the interactive tools: Be sure not to go over board; perhaps you want to select 1-2 effective ways to engage your audience such as taking a poll and using the chat box.
3. Use creative visuals: This is your primary vehicle for connecting with your audience so it’s important to put the time into selecting vivid images that will capture your audience’s attention and help them recall what you shared.
4. Have a moderator or facilitator available: Since there are several areas to attend to during a webinar, it’s good practice to partner with someone who can navigate your slides, coordinate polls and direct questions to your attention. Having assistance is invaluable so you can remain focused on interacting and presenting your message.
5. Connect early: Since you’ll potentially have participants signing on from different locations and time zones around the globe, help welcome them at the outset. One way to do this is by having a continuous loop which features key information such as what to expect, how to handle technical concerns, etc. You may also ask participants to sign in with their first name and where they’re located. This allows you to refer to them more personally or comment on their location, if you wish.
6. Engage from head to toe: Since your audience isn’t in front of you, all you have is your voice. You can enhance your delivery by periodically standing and by using more non-verbal language (especially gestures and facial expressions) to help lift your voice.
7. Check in frequently: It’s easy to lose people on a webinar due to short attention spans so periodically break things up by asking for comments or questions. This helps keep everyone alert and reduces multi-tasking.
8. Record your webinar: This is a great feature because if someone registered but couldn’t attend the event, the recording is quite beneficial.
9. Self-assess: Listen to the recording to hear what you did well and where you need to improve the next time.
10. Solicit Evaluations: Seek electronic feedback from your participants right after the webinar ends to learn what their preferences are and also to discover what other topics interest them the most.
With these 10 tips at your fingertips you’ll be off to a promising start in being webinar wise. Please let me know how else I may assist you; I’m happy to help.
Please note that my next two webinar dates for Speak Like You Mean Business are: Wednesday, February 11th (3:30-5:00 p.m. EST) and Wednesday, March 25th (12-1:30 p.m. EST). Hope you can attend!