To give a presentation on the web has its fair share of challenges. For starters, the lack of in-person interaction makes it difficult for presenters to personally connect with the audience and get a sense of how well the presentation went. Furthermore, presenters are often competing for the attention of their virtual audience who might be multi-tasking as they speak.
To make the most of webinars, here are some tips and tricks to attract audiences and keep them engaged.
Before the webinar
Every good webinar needs an audience. The first step would be to convince the audience to sign up for your webinar. There are some common elements that make some landing pages more successful than others:
1. Create a search engine friendly topic or headline. A headline is where viewers start deciding whether or not to attend the webinar. As the entry point for attracting traffic, your headline will need to scream for the audiences’ attention. It should be short, succinct and encompass information about the webinar.
To make it more compelling, the headline needs to be presented as useful to the reader, convey a sense of urgency or that they could derive unique benefits from the webinar. Instead of saying ‘Make a Million Dollars in One Day’, this sounds like an unbelievable and ludicrous proposal; consider using ’10 Ways to Improve Your Financial Situation within a Month.’ The latter is more realistic and actionable that promises a way to solve a common problem.
2. Create a landing page to set audience expectations. A landing page provides all the key information that the audience will need to know about the webinar before attending it, including the time, date and speaker’s information. Alongside, list down all the key topics that would be covered to help set audience expectations about the session as well as give them a clear understanding of what they would gain from the session.
Additionally, you could also upload video recordings from previous webinars for a sneak peek of the actual presentation. Videos could also help your speaker – if they have a fear of speaking to a large audience.
3. Reach out to audiences before the webinar. Be proactive and speak to prospective audiences before the actual session. Draft out the channels of communication that you intend to promote your webinar with. They could be news releases, emails, blog posts, Facebook ads and Google ads among many others. Use these platforms to engage with audiences and get them looking forward to the event prior to the actual session. Some ways to look into would include tweeting a hash tag for the event, writing blog posts and also promoting giveaways related to the webinar.
During the webinar
4. Fully utilize visual slides. In a regular presentation, the presenter is the visual while the slides are mere visual aids. But in the case of webinars, the slides are the visuals and will keep the audience engaged throughout the entire session. Given the importance of these slides, it is important to make them relevant and logical to overall flow of discussion while at the same time visually appealing for online viewing. Avoid using just black and white text throughout all the slides. The brain processes pictures much faster than text, so use images appropriately to keep audiences interested. If you need help creating slides or videos – we have a team at Business Hangouts that can help – click here for more info.
5. Use twitter to generate audience engagement. Make use of twitter to keep in touch with the audience before, during and after the webinar. Create a unique hash tag to form a community of people around a common issue. You can use the hash tag during the session as a medium to interact with participants through posting comments, posting questions and soliciting answers from the audience. Furthermore, it raises awareness of you and your organization through your Twitter handle, and adds a personal touch to the webinar.
6. Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse. It should come as no surprise that a successful webinar requires lots of planning and practice. Familiarize yourself with the technical features of Business Hangouts and if you need help – check out our How To section with simple video tutorials.
In addition, practice helps you become more comfortable with the content and builds up your confidence in the process. Pay attention to the attitude and energy you are projecting so that audiences will remain engaged and interested throughout.
After the webinar
7. Send all participants an email at the end to thank them for their time. In the letter, take the opportunity to recap your main points and provide them with links that were mentioned in the presentation. You could also direct them to your website and CV for more information. Alongside, use the event’s Twitter hash tag to address any lingering queries and questions that were not answered.