The previous post addressed keys to preparing and promoting a webinar. In preparation for your webinar, you have clearly defined your goals, built lists of targets, sent the invitees well-constructed promotional emails and made it easy for them to register to attend. Now it’s nearly show time. The following are four additional keys to producing an effective webinar.
The Presentation – You are taking your audience on a journey. At the outset of the presentation, share the agenda and tell them what they should expect to learn by the time the talk concludes. Create a presentation that will captivate the attendees. Weave in stories as a way of delivering and reinforcing your main points. The more compelling the messages and delivery, the more interested they’ll be and the less likely they’ll leave. Make the presentation highly visual and legible. Use lots of imagery and minimal text. Insert polls to keep the audience involved.
Most webinar speakers create their presentations in PowerPoint (PC) or Keynote (Mac). But there are other options, such as cloud-based Prezi. As for webinar platforms, Adobe Connect, GotoWebinar and WebEx are some of the more popular ones. Most webinar platforms offer recording capabilities. But if you want to do your own recording, check out Camtasia (PC) and Screenflow (Mac).
Speaker Preparation – Practice, practice, practice! The live webinar should not be the first time that the speaker delivers the presentation. Hold one or two dry runs. So that the presenter is not distracted during his talk, have someone else advance the slides for him. Also, have a group of employees present in the room with the speaker so that he has eye contact with an audience. People are usually more comfortable, and their voice sounds more at ease, when they are presenting to others in person versus sitting in a room talking into a phone knowing that there are scores of faceless listeners out there.
Follow Up – Within a day, post a copy of the presentation and the webinar recording on your company’s website. Send the links to the attendees as part of a follow up thank you email. Write a separate email to the people who registered but did not attend and provide them with instructions on how to watch the webinar on demand.
Measurement – Ask your attendees to fill out a survey before they exit the webinar. This is the best way to get timely and honest feedback. Track how many drops occurred during the presentation and at what points people left. Pay attention to the business titles of the people who attended. Did you attract the targets you were after? If not, re-examine your promotional emails and the webinar’s subject to determine if they are best suited for your target audience. If this was a demand generation initiative, track each lead to determine whether the webinar helped move the prospects through the sales cycle.