Tips to take your Webinar from Good to Awesome

Webinars have opened the doors for a plethora of opportunities. They have made lectures and training sessions a lot easier by presenting them live on the internet. These days, webinars are enhanced with slick PowerPoint presentations, video clips, live questions, and and much more. If done correctly, a webinar can help generate leads, face-to-face connections, and boost the sales of your business or organization.

  1. Pay attention to the time spent: An effective webinar is best when it’s 60 minutes or less. If it exceeds an hour, you’ll most likely start to bore your audience, test their patience, or have them drop off altogether. It’s important to check the start time in different time zones if you are catering to a worldwide audience or a particular part of the world.
  1. Choose an area that is quiet: An area that is noiseless plays a super vital role in webinar hosting. You want your audience to be able to hear you and not be a part of constant chatter and disturbance. A soundproof room would be perfect! Also, if are planning on hosting webinars frequently, an investment in high quality audio and video equipment is worthwhile. Furthermore, ensure everything has been tested beforehand to avoid problems during your webinar.
  1. Registration fees should be economical or free: Don’t overcharge for registration. In fact if you aren’t well known or just started hosting, free is the way to go. The idea of using a webinar service and to host webinars is to impart knowledge and make it an enriching experience and interactive for those in attendance. Revenues come second. That being said, once you’ve established value or a core audience, you can start charging for more intimate or in-depth sessions.
  1. Include more than one presenter: Having more than one presenter adds to the charm of a webinar. Make sure this presenter is full of energy, knowledgeable and has a magnetic personality that keeps the audience glued. It can liven the conversation and help make it more interactive. It also doesn’t hurt if they’re tech savvy.
  1. Make it interactive: A good webinar with video conferencing is one that leaves plenty of time for attendants to ask questions. Moreover, another aspect of making it awesome is to give the attendants a chance to send in their feedback, and share their camera or microphone.
  1. Make use of social media channels: Social media is everywhere. Using social media is a practical and feasible promotional tool for small as well as medium-sized businesses. If done correctly, i.e. making use of hashtags, promoting blog posts, etc. can help you reach millions of users in a short span of time. However, don’t limit your promotion to only social media.
  1. Hold a free video conferencing event: The economy is global. A free video conferencing event can empower your business, reach new customers, and give it global recognition. In return, you reach a larger audience while providing an opportunity to connect remote employees with potential clients.

Here’s hoping the above was more or less a checklist for webinar hosting. Tell us what has been successful for you and your company.

The Keysto Using Social Media for Brand Engagement

The financial limbo of social media may be drawing to an end as companies slowly figure out how to monetize their likes and follows. Brand engagement is key.

Despite the sudden dominance of social networking in virtually all aspects of our lives, manipulating it to get results has been a sore point for businesses of all sorts, from start-ups and retailers to the network owners themselves.

Recent research conducted by Google indicates that “people who engage regularly with brands on social media tend to be better customers.” Not only were people who engaged with a business online more likely to prefer that business to others of the same type, they were also more likely to have purchased something there recently.

What’s more, the typical engaged social follower tended towards the same customer life cycle:

  1. Discovery of your company and products/services
  2. Choosing what is right for them
  3. Purchasing product/service
  4. Engaging with you and their peers after the purchase

The journey today’s consumer takes is increasingly cyclical, offering brands huge opportunities for not only repeat custom, but exposure to customers’ networks as well. Brands become more personable, accepted into the dynamic, and customers may come to see your company as an extension of their expanding social group. This is something to value and comes with great responsibility.

Rather than counting page views like a neanderthal, brand engagement on a company’s social profile is measured simply with replies, likes/favorites, and shares to better estimate how much of an impression your brand is making. Those sharing your identity and products online are your advocates and will help to build your brand.

Know your demographic and communicate in a way that appeals to them. Reward their positive comments with exposure to your own network (e.g. with a retweet — the new customer satisfaction quote). Remember, they might have a significant social outreach and their negative comments can travel as far as their positive ones. Keep them sweet!


Each social network differs in the way it encourages and generates engagement too. Facebook is between “friends” (though often in the loosest possible sense) and users might be more inclined to believe what they read. Twitter, on the other hand, mixes audiences and works better in real time to deliver news or updates as they happen.

It might be the disposability of information on Twitter that explains why Instagram outperforms it 50 times over in brand engagement. Perhaps too much information is a bad thing after all!

Instagram’s success relies on the power of images. It forces you to be creative with everything you post, the hashtag system is easy to use, and its content is shared with wild abandon! Building a following from the ground up can be tough, but if you learn how to maximize your exposure and capture people’s attention with a great name recognition or brand then your content will practically start sharing itself.

The good news is that it’s only getting easier. Businesses can now sell directly through Instagram, and several companies are working at applying the same idea to the Pinterest model too. It’s only a matter of time before other social networks become more directly linked to our final purchases. As that happens, the effects of brand engagement will become simpler to measure and improve.

It may sound corny, but these days it’s truer than ever: the customer is your friend.


Nick Rojas is a business consultant and writer who lives in Los Angeles and Chicago. He has consulted small and medium-sized enterprises for over twenty years. He has  contributed articles to, Entrepreneur, and TechCrunch. You can follow him on Twitter @NickARojas, or you can reach him at

Webinar Mistakes That Are Boring Me to Tears!

Dear Webinar Presenters and Hosts,

Video conferencing can be an influential tool to build a community of similar interests, establish thought leadership, and even cultivate and develop sales leads. But few webinar hosts seem to be making the most of the various webinar tools available. As someone who has attended one too many boring, static webinars, if you want to make yours worth my time, here are some things you probably ought to work on.

First and foremost, you hold a 60-minute webinar or free web conferencing event and don’t even bother making it interactive! Like seriously? I want to be engaged, with video, audio and other interactive elements. I’m not attending a webinar to just her someone yap the entire time. I want active participation, a Q&A session, polls, chatting. If not, I may as well just watch a recording. Webinars don’t have to be boring, so let’s not make it.

Secondly, what is with the constant sales pitches? Every other minute is not an opportunity for you to push products down my throat. Help me understand things and I might stick around for another session. Don’t just try to up sell me, teach me something useful now. The over the top branding, is just that, over the top. I appreciate that you are trying to make a living, but when in doubt – go subtle or go home.

The other thing I will say is that too much text on your PowerPoint kills all the excitement of a live event. I don’t quite get the idea of having so much text on slides. If I want to read, I’ll go to the library. Too much text gets really boring, real quick. I want some visuals, images, infographics, and maybe a YouTube clip, not just plain boring text. The slides are supposed to enhance a presentation, not literally spell it out.

I also love interactive Q&A sessions. I love honesty too. So, if you think you don’t know the answer, it’s absolutely fine, but don’t just stop the question and answer round completely. You can always follow-up after the event or post answers on the conference page or community bulletin or even an email.

Polls are another feature that I love about a webinar service. Polling allows me to have a voice in a webinar’s direction or content, and enhances engagement throughout. In fact, polls help us “attendees” feel like we have been a vital part of the webinar. At the same time, please, please don’t do a poll just to see if I’m awake. I’d like to get my brain working and know that the poll holds some value and isn’t just being used to take attendance. If your webinar is interesting and interactive, I’ll participate.

So how about hosting a webinar or web/video conferencing or webcast that not only helps us “attendees” enhance our knowledge, but gives you a valuable, vibrant, and interactive way to communicate. Please?

How Not To Lose Your Mind While Hosting a Webinar

A webinar helps you to grow your business and build deeper connections with existing customers while building a bond with new and potential customers. Webinars are indeed a fabulous option when you are looking for generating high quality leads, however, it could be the cause of stress if not executed correctly. Here are tips that will ensure you don’t lose your mind or bore the attendees while hosting a webinar.

  • A reliable webinar platform: Too many technical errors can be annoying and put off the attendees in no time. There have been instances wherein a paid webinar platform has proven to be a better option than choosing free web conferencing, thanks to the multitude of features available. In this regard choosing the right webinar platform requires adequate research, understanding and practice in order for your webinar to be successful. It’s also good to understand the technical problems that may occur and take the necessary precautions well in advance. For instance, you could log onto two computers, or multiple browsers in case one of them crashes. Another great option is having your presentation printed out in case screen sharing or your slide show doesn’t go as planned.
  • The right webinar training: It is good to know what is offered in terms of help articles, online training, presenters guides, etc. for the webinar platform you ultimately choose. Checking the system requirements and making certain that your computer, webcam and microphone work with your chosen webinar platform before the actual day of the webinar is VERY important in preventing a disaster during the conference. What’s more, a practice session with your presenters can help you know exactly how you sound and look and what adjustments need to be made to your presentation. For this, checklist is important.
  • Take help from a co-presenter: Most successful webinars have a co-presenter helps attendees with questions and tech issues. Also, with the help of a co-presenter, you get another business to market and endorse your webinar, add to the knowledge, and someone else to talk and reply to questions from the audience while you focus on the moment at hand. This way, attendees aren’t bored and don’t have to spend the entire webinar reading slides full of text. So whether you are using a basic free webinar service, or a more feature full webinar platform, having a modertator or co-presenter relieves some of the pressure and alleviates webinar duties.
  • No matter what stay calm: Don’t try to speed up your webinar and finish it quickly. You want your attendees to comprehend what you’re presenting. Sometimes, simplifing your webinar or presentation is best. If goes to short, you can answer people’s questions. Keep in mind, technical glitches may happen. The screen may freeze, the microphone might not work, the slideshow will disappear, etc. Just remember to stay calm and try and resolve it. If it doesn’t get fixed, you can always apologize and move on. If nothing can be done, offer a freebie item, reschedule or  simply send a recording them a recording of the webinar.

Here’s hoping the above tips have been of help to you. If you happen to have your own kickass tips make sure you share them with us in the comment section below.

Global Webinar Statistics You Ought To Know

Webinars are the best way contact your targeted audience. They can help build better client relationships, generate marketing leads and even spread brand awareness. From presenting online conferences, seminars and lectures to sales and advertising, every single industry can gain immensely from hosting webinars.

Here are some statistics that are sure to blow your mind away and incite you to dive into the fascinating world of webinars right away!

  • On an average 40% registrations result in conversion. These are dependent on two vital factors namely: the description of the event matches the expectations along with the length/convolution of the registration form.
  • Registrations happen a week before the webinar, however, the marketing and promotions start at least a month in advance.
  • 60% of marketers make use of webinars as part of their content marketing programs. These could be in the form of PowerPoint presentations, hand-outs, videos, interactive questions and answers, etc.
  • 2 presenters are ideal when presenting a ticketed or free webinar service.
  • The average attendee duration lasts about 45-60 minutes. This is based on how easy it is to get to the event, how thought-provoking and attention-grabbing is the chosen subject or the presenters along with the time given for Q&A round.
  • An average of 40% attenders involve themselves in Q&A rounds.
  • Approximately 30% people prefer to answer a poll.
  • Over 55% people prefer watching a free online meeting rather than attending a live in person one.
  • 25% of registrants view the replay.
  • For attendees, Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the optimum days for hosting a webinar.
  • The best time slot for ticketed or free webinar hosting is observed between 10-11 am.

Webinars are extremely effective for companies and viewers alike. The audience size has grown massively and webinars have certainly become more social and interactive. So, what are you waiting for?

7 Types Of Infographics All Free Web Conferencing Hosts Can Use To Engage Their Audience

Using a pie-chart, bar diagram and other old school tools of graphical representation are boring. Infographics are the new tools of disseminating complex information, data and graphics in a simple, clear and succinct way.

Here are 7 kinds of infographics that most webinar hosts can make use of to keep their audience engaged and disseminate complex information in a visually compelling way.

Flow chart

A flow chart works best when you have to address a question. You can present your audience with two to three options and provide them with different solutions. This kind of infographic also works very well when you have a situation to explain. It is ideal for breaking down complex processes and simplifying content during your free web conferencing event.

free web conferencing

Via Google Images

Number game

Not only does this have an interesting name but it has an interesting purpose as well. A fun way to pass on numbers is with this kind of infographic. Simply announcing numbers may cause your audience to misinterpret them or not realize their importance. These kinds of graphics can easily be shared and referred to at a later time as well.

free web conferencing

Via Google Images

The timeline or chronology

This kind of infographic may be familiar to many users owing to Facebook. But a timeline is a visual aid one should use when you want to take your audience on a journey. The content has to be interestingly designed to keep your audience engaged throughout the free web conferencing seminar.

free web conferencing

Via Google Images

Visualized article

This is an infographic aid that storytellers love to use. It helps to break down laborious pieces that are to wordy and helps your audience understand better. When you want to share a lot of your content on social media this is an ideal video conferencing solution.

free web conferencing


Photo info-graphics

Want your free web conferencing event to look professional? Use photo infographics. These are simple and clear tools that offers non-cluttered relevant information about a very specific topic using real life photographs.

free web conferencing


Versus infographic

The ‘versus’ infographic is best used when you want to make a comparison between two topics or people. It is a video conferencing solution that works best if you have relevant criteria to clearly bring out the differences.

free web conferencing

Via Google Images

Useful bait

This kind of infographic helps you re-establish the basics. It may not necessarily provide new information. But a ‘useful bait’ info-graphic can be easily printed and distributed amongst your attendees as a pamphlet.



Use a mixture of these kinds of info-graphics and create a never before webinar experience for your viewers.

Why humor is a medical webinar’s best friend

A witty caption that most people from the medical industry will relate to like “someone once told me, if you want to succeed in med school, there is just two things to remember – don’t fall in love and don’t fall behind.”

Humor is an essential asset not just in life but especially in life care services. So when like-minded people get together to attend a medical webinar it’s important that as a host, you put your funny scrubs on.

Webinar hosting


Here’s why humor is the best friend any medical webinar should have.

Helps you get across your message

Saving and changing lives requires people in the medical to be resilient and thick skinned. People from the medical field see and hear misery for a lifetime. The best way to get your message across to them is with humor. Webinar hosting for medical events will be successful only if you are not afraid to play the devil’s advocate. Earnestness will kill your content so avoid it. People are looking for fun so give them that.

Not afraid to call a blind person blind

Doctors and medical staff have spent the better parts of their life studying the human anatomy. They are not afraid of body parts or ashamed of it. Drawing analogies between your content and these parts will only help them grasp what you are saying in a better way. So do not hesitate to tickle that funny bone.

Webinar hosting


Enhances patient care

Most medical practitioners deal with patients who are tense and often anxious or sad. So when you want to get across to them, the best way might be to lighten the mood. And medical professionals know the importance of a light touch and value it. Keep that in mind when putting together your webinar.

Webinar hosting


Character likeability  

Webinar hosting requires skill. It requires an exceptional level of expertise when your attendees are experts/doctors. For your content to be liked you have to be liked as well. So therefore humor comes to your rescue here as well. Everybody likes the funny guy, so be that person.

Helps swallow the bitter pill

Even the most creative infographics will lose their punch when it comes to medical facts and figures when hosting a free webinar. However, these numbers have to be used in your presentation. What will help these numbers from not getting lost in translation is putting a positive spin on them. Euphemisms and jokes are your best bet.

Be wary of your jokes being natural though. Do not force a joke or you may find yourself in a situation where you have to explain the humor. Avoid lacing each slide with slapstick comedy and offensive doctor jokes at all costs. Laugh with your audience instead of laughing at them.

5 Reasons to Invite a Guest Speaker to Your Webinar

Inviting a personality as a guest speaker is a great opportunity to amplify the effectiveness of a webinar. Undoubtedly, the inclusion of a guest among the speakers has a profound influence on the quality of the session. While guest speakers may end up adding to the cost of the webinar, it is an extremely viable strategy that will effectively drive user engagement.

Here is a look at some of the reasons a guest speaker will benefit your webinar.

  1. Broadens the Audience Base

A guest speaker is assumed to be a renowned expert in the relevant field. As a result, your primary responsibility of attracting a broad audience will be served by the popularity of the guest speaker itself. A broader audience base facilitates snowballing of your network, which will greatly help you reaching out to more people.

  1. Enriches the Content

Webinar content must be full of information, analyses and perspectives which spark discussion. However, knowledge is never enough. A guest lecture will definitely enhance the quality of discussion with his or her knowledge base.

  1. Adds a New Perspective

Every person has his or her own perspective on any subject. Besides, the perspective held by a personality invited as a guest lecture is expected to be hypothesised with reasons and logical evidence. It not only initiates a new way of discussion, but also greatly engages the part of audience who are in agreement.

  1. Improves Credibility of the Host

To attract a knowledgeable audience, the content must be authentic and original. A guest speaker advocating the content of a free video conferencing session indicates a third person unbiased approval of the subject, which convinces the audience of its value. The audience is likely to follow the review of a guest lecture and use it to make an informed decision.

  1. Indicates Resourcefulness

Hiring a guest lecture for a webinar shows that the organizers enjoy a respected position in the industry. The prominence of the invited guest lecture also recognizes that the organization hosting the webinar must be a resourceful and valued one.

5 Types of Content You Need For a Successful Webinar

Content is the backbone of a webinar. There is no doubt that the audience outreach, the technical accessibility and the engaging power of a webinar presentation are extremely important when it comes to delivering an effective web conference. However, what remains after a webinar is done, is the learning the host and the audience gain during a webinar session, which actually depends on the quality of the content disseminated during the webinar session.

The ideal content for a web conferencing session should be multi-dimensionally informative, personalized to the audience and flexible. The content demands special management on the part of the webinar designers in order to maximize its resourcefulness and engaging proficiency. Content designer must focus on the segmentation of the content according to its characteristics. Segmentation helps designing the content to be more effective and engaging. If you work on your webinar content in segments, it ensures that each part meets all the requirements. Once you have all the segments in place, evaluate your content holistically to assess its quality.

The content of a webinar can be segmented in the following manner:

  1. The pre-script content

It refers to the content delivered to the invited audience before the webinar starts. It contains the road map of the webinar and provides the audience a glimpse of the discussion to be held during the conference. It should be concise, clear and engaging.

  1. The spoken content

This is the content which is delivered to the audience by the host or presenter of a webinar. Its effectiveness depends on the presentation skills of the speaker. The speaker usually employs several techniques to enhance the deliverability of the spoken content. The most commonly used techniques are personalizing, use of humor and rhetoric.

  1. The visual content

This is the part which supports the host’s content. It helps drive the matter of discussion home using illustrations. The use of advanced info-graphics in content facilitated by free web conferencing software should aptly summarize the topic being discussed.

  1. The interactive content

This refers to the user generated content which develops during the discussion between the speaker and the audience. This part does not have to be scripted, but the speaker must control the course of the conversation. The host must maintain the flow of the discussion and keep it on track.

  1. The summarizing content

This is an overview of the webinar which is presented to the audience at the end of the conference. This is the comprehensive review of the webinar which helps in increasing its recall value. Feel free to prepare for a Q&A as well.

TechweekCHI Preview: Q&A with Trading Technologies

twchi_session_fintechWith Techweek Chicago’s Fintech Summit approaching tomorrow, we interviewed leaders from Trading Technologies (TT) about their industry, their company, and their advice for others in similar positions. See answers from TT’s CEO Rick Lane, CMO Brian Mehta, CTO Drew Shields and Executive Vice President of HR Katie Burgoon.

BigMarker: Have you been involved much in Techweek previously? How will your role this year compare?

Katie Burgoon: Last year was the first year that TT attended, and we thought there was a really vibrant, energetic and talented crowd in attendance. We were so impressed that we wanted to step up our involvement this year, and we’ll be giving a talk on the main stage during the Fintech Summit tomorrow. We are also attending the Hiring Fair on Friday.

BM: What initially drew you to the fintech industry?

Brian Mehta: I’ve always had a passion for marketing technology, as well as the motivation for working on what’s new and ground-breaking — particularly with regards to the SaaS revolution, technology is giving more and more people access to tools and applications that can help improve their quality of life. I see fintech as the next big thing and really a blank slate in terms of marketing, training and overall communications.

BM: What do you think is the biggest challenge in Fin Tech? Especially for traditional financial companies.

Drew Shields: The biggest challenge is that capital markets firms have generally been slow to adopt new technologies, which means that it’s a delicate balancing act being an innovator in the space: you have to earn the trust of your customers and help them build trust in the technologies you use to innovate. At the same time, major transformations are happening as evidenced by the closing of the CME trading pits. So our users are evolving quickly while technology is evolving at an even faster pace, which creates unique challenges. We have to decide which technologies to use and when to use them, but also when to build for the user’s needs today, versus where you see them being in 2-5 years. Building sustainable solutions is challenging when both users and tools are changing so quickly.

BM: Financial technology can be confusing. What would you say the biggest marketing challenge is for fintech companies?

Brian Mehta: I think the biggest challenge is in effectively simplifying the message. This is a complex industry and you need to distill complex ideas into something easy to understand. But if you make it too vague, you run the risk of leaving people without enough details to fully comprehend the product. For example, we had to be very careful in describing our platform’s hybrid-cloud architecture, because there is still so much anxiety and misconception around the term “cloud.” It makes for a tricky balancing act.

BM: What’s the best advice you could give to a smaller company in the fintech industry?

Rick Lane: My advice would be that before you try to scale, make sure you’ve developed a core audience of passionate and loyal users that cannot live without you. It takes a lot of time and effort to build the relationship, but it’s necessary to have if you ever want to grow the right way. Your users need to have trust in your company to do what’s best for them, and that trust must be earned.

BM: What’s the best advice you received while working in your industry?

Katie Burgoon: Never burn a bridge. That’s true across all industries, but I think it’s particularly true in a niche like fintech. You never know when you might end up needing someone’s assistance in the future. And even if you just burn a bridge with one person, the effects on your reputation can spread well beyond that. The fintech world is huge, yet even smaller ironically. So many people I have previously worked with, hired or had to part ways with in one fashion or another, have re-entered my professional life. The beauty of this industry is that it is home to some of the most innovative and talented minds around. Those networks are critical.

BM: What’s the most rewarding part about working at TT?

Rick Lane: We have a diverse company with smart people that debate in a healthy and team-oriented manner.

Drew Shields: So much is at stake with our software, that having a hand in building a world-class product is rewarding.

Brian Mehta: Can’t beat the free beer! Just added ‘bartender’ to my resume. But in all seriousness, being part of a company that is genuinely disrupting an established industry is exhilarating.

Katie Burgoon: We give people the opportunity to take ownership over certain parts of the business, and new ways of doing things are welcomed. We work hard to eliminate the fear of failure. We are okay with making mistakes and we learn from them. We want all of our employees to feel empowered, tapped in, vested and to have fun, all while solving challenging problems.

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