Webinars are powerful. They provide a way to educate and spread an idea to a large group of people at a relatively low cost. If you aren't familiar, a webinar is an online seminar. Better yet, a webinar is a presentation that is given on the web. The problem is, presenting to a group of people that you don't know and can't see can often make it challenging to create and deliver an awesome webinar.
But don't worry! We've put together some simple tactics to help ensure that your next webinar is your best one ever.
7 Ways to Instantly Improve Your Webinar
1. Use Your Landing Page to Set Expectations - One of the subtle keys to a great webinar is making sure your audience clearly understands what information they will be getting before they even attend. When a person registers for your webinar using a landing page , make sure the page mentions all the key topics that will be covered during the webinar to ensure you have an interested audience.
2. Create a Real Audience - You may not realize it, but when presenting in person, you use the looks and reaction of your audience to direct your presentation. Well with a webinar, you can't do that . For your next webinar, find a co-worker, intern, or just anybody to join you in person. Use that person's reaction and feedback to your presentation as a proxy for the reactions of your online audience.
3. Treat it Like an In-Person Presentation - I learned this tip from the great Nancy Duarte , who is THE expert on presentations. She told me that she actually stands up and presents a webinar as if she was giving an in-person presentation. Sure, you will need a headset to make this work, but it's worth it. When you are standing, you have a different tone and style that just can't be replicated by sitting. Take Nancy's advice .
4. Use More Slides - During a webinar, the people listening are in front of their computers, which means they have seemingly endless distractions. To ensure that you hold their attention as much as possible, keep your slides moving quickly to give them a visual element to hold onto. This speed of slide movement will mean you will need to break up your information across more slides than you might consider doing for an in- person presentation .
5. Test Ahead of Time - A great webinar is flawless. This means not having any issues with the software you are using to host the webinar. Make sure to test all your software and hardware ahead of time to ensure that the only thing you have to worry about during the webinar is the idea you are trying to spread.
6. Verbally Call Attention to Slides - Referring back to the idea of keeping your audience's attention amongst their many distractions, you will also need to use verbal cues. Direct your listeners. Say things like, "Look at this graph!" or "This image is so powerful!" These types of statements will help re-engage an audience that might have become distracted.
7. Encourage Sharing - Part of hosting a great webinar is getting your idea adopted. Another part is getting that idea to spread. When you have key ideas or data, give each point its own slide. Let this key content stand out. Use verbal cues to encourage sharing. Something like, "This is a key fact that you might want to email to your peers or share on LinkedIn." This tactic really works. Direct your audience, and watch the online mentions of your webinar increase.
Originally published Jul 1, 2011 10:52:00 AM, updated October 14 2019