From stage to screen: 7 webinar tips to keep your business going
Events may be off but your audience may need you more than ever. What’s more, your business does not have to grind to a halt even though in-person presentations are no longer an option.
You can still reach your audience by taking your presentation online in the form of a webinar.
Like any presentation, planning is important for you to achieve your desired objective with your webinar. With this in mind, we’ve put together a few pointers to support you…
1 Begin with the takeaway
What’s the one key message you want your audience to remember after the webinar? When you begin your slides, think about your takeaway and make it clear from the start.
GotoWebinar found that the average audience viewing time for a webinar is 57 minutes, so you want to seed your message early, support it throughout the presentation and then come back to it in your conclusion.
2 Tell a story
Hook your audience from the first slide – storytelling techniques are essential for sustaining interest. Try mapping out your story using the following format:
· Introduction – Build empathy with your audience and create tension by amplifying the gap between the problem you identified and the solution you’re offering.
· Middle – go back and forth between the problem and the solution. Show your audience how much better their situation can be.
· Conclusion – The closing slides are not the end of the story but the beginning of a new one: reinforce your message so your audience can share your vision of a better world.
3 Complement sound and visuals
Your audience is going to be listening to what you say while looking at and reading your slides, and perhaps even taking notes. Align what’s being shown on the screen with what you’re going to say so it makes sense to your audience as they do so. It’s not a good idea to reuse an old presentation as it needs to satisfy what’s being discussed during the webinar.
Incorporate enough visual aids in your webinar slides that are simple, clear and consistent with your script. These can come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, from symbols that represent keywords to metaphors that put ideas across in a simple way.
Remember that your audience can also participate in your webinar, so if your slides are too busy or you go through your main messages too quickly, they’ll struggle to stay engaged.
4 Deliver useful information (not a sales pitch)
Many people are using webinars only to pitch their products. This should be avoided, webinars are used to deliver valuable facts, insights, and information. Delivering this type of content will help you build a good relationship with your audience. The goal is to keep them coming back for the information you’re providing. It’s much better than tricking them into listening to your sales pitch and have them running away.
5 Mention your product or service
We just covered why not to pitch during an instructional webinar. This is different. Let your audience know that what you’re teaching is relevant to your business. If you’re doing a webinar on marketing networking, for example, it’s a good idea to let your audience know you wrote a book about the very same topic. This is to be done in moderation - the point is to establish yourself, not sell your products.
6 Use this opportunity to gain a new audience
Try to keep the conversation going with the attendees of your webinar. Ask questions, interact and make yourself easily accessible on social platforms such as Twitter or Facebook. This way you can gain your following while perhaps gaining some valuable feedback.
You already have their emails, so it’s important to keep in touch with them. You can start sending them an email thanking them for their attendance. Then, you should send updates they might be interested in, but be careful about the frequency of your emails.
If your audience took interest in you and you delivered well in your webinar, there’s a chance they’ll speak well about you to their friends, family or colleagues. Spreading the word about your webinar gives a good chance to boost your next webinar’s attendance.
7 Show your audience that you appreciate their participation in your webinar
Make your audience feel special and reward them for the time they spent with you. Offering something they will appreciate like a discount, a limited time offer, or a free product/service will help them feel good about the whole experience.
A webinar becomes an asset that can keep on giving… Record it and make it available to those that couldn’t join live.
Nathan Jackson is Managing Director of presentify. His company supports businesses with presentation solutions, animated videos and presentation coaching.
Get in touch with Nathan