Updated: May 28, 2021
If you’re anything like me, you might be feeling a teensy little bit of webinar fatigue right now (thanks COVID!). We’ve all registered for a webinar that promises to be interactive, only to find that it is just another talking head event where you are spoken AT for an hour, with a pushy sales-pitch at the end.
What we need, now more than ever is REAL engagement and connection! The people who are successfully transitioning into a new, interactive way of presenting webinars are the ones who are remaining relevant and successful, and keeping themselves ahead of the curve.
Look, everyone can create a webinar, but as we all know from sitting through boring hours with zero engagement, not every webinar is successful. The good news – there’s clear criteria to focus on to make certain YOUR webinar is a stand-out success, one that people actually look forward to engaging with!
If you want to run an interactive, engaging webinar, you need to focus on passion and enthusiasm, delivering relevant value, knowing your target audience, and grabbing and keeping their attention throughout.
1. Passion and Enthusiasm
Passion and enthusiasm are the main components of every successful venture. If you don’t have passion for a subject, why should your audience? Especially during COVID restrictions, we are all needing an extra bit to make us feel connected, engaged, and excited. So, choose a topic that truly ignites your passion and enthusiasm. Then, reflect that passion in your presentation by:
- Using personal stories
- Varying the tone and pitch of your presentation, just as you would during in-person conversations.
- Gesture and move while speaking. Make sure the camera is positioned to capture your hand movements (no talking-heads!)
People are absolutely inundated with sales pitches today. Whether it’s Facebook, TV ads, or sales pitches at the end of webinars, they are being sold to so often that they are almost deaf to it. This is why it’s so important that the value you offer resonates directly with your audience. Make sure what you are offering is targeted enough to cut through the noise and appeal to them directly.
In order to provide value, you need to understand what motivates your customers. For example, people purchase certain items based on quality and others solely based on price. Know the preferences of your ideal customer or clients, and appeal specifically to those.
When you are presenting value to your customer, you also need to understand their needs and wants. Then, you will be able to show how your products or services will be able to benefit your customers, appealing specifically to what is most important to them.
Which leads us to criteria #3…
3. Knowing your Target Audience
This is something we work closely with you on throughout our coaching programs. Knowing how to deliver value requires you to understand your target audience. It is impossible to please everyone, which is why you need to know who your customers are (your target audience). This will require you to conduct some research and gather information. Begin by identifying the age, gender, income level, education level, and location of your customers. Once you have this basic information, you must determine how they interact with the world. What do they read? Where do they spend their time? What social platforms do they use? How do they share information? This will allow you to tailor your webinars to your customers as well as advertise in the right locations. Again, this will take a little work on your part, but it is worth the effort.
4. Grab and Keep Attention
It is essential to grab the attention of your audience immediately. It is just as important to KEEP their attention throughout the webinar. After a strong opening, you need to keep the momentum going. Many professional presenters follow the 10-minute rule. This rule is based on the understanding that attention begins to drift after 10 minutes. This requires a simple change of course every 10 minutes, such as switching to a demonstration or video.
Try these other ideas for keeping the attention of your audience:
- Use slides in moderation: slides with everything you say is just as boring as talking alone. Limit wording to one or two sentences per slide.
- Use animation and images: make sure that they are closely relevant to what you are saying.
Use demonstrations: this could be as simple as holding up your product for a close-up, or take the opportunity to show short, 30-second video clips of your product or service in action.
- Limit information: provide a basic overview, not an in-depth analysis. Encourage your participants to reach out to you if they would like further detail on a specific point.
- Experiment and find the methods that work best for you, and space them out to keep your audience interested and motivated.
By focussing on these 4 criteria, you’ll create webinars that inspire engagement from your audience and create maximum awareness of the value you provide. You’ll make each attendee feel involved, moved and inspired, and ensure they are actively interested. If done successfully, a webinar can actually generate 40% more engagement than in-person events, due to ease of accessibility! Sounds great, right? Now more than ever we need to engage and connect with our communities, customers and networks. A well-crafted webinar is a powerful way to achieve that.
If you’d like to dive into this a bit deeper, you can reach out to me anytime for a totally free, no obligation strategy session.