Hacks for Crafting a Killer Webinar Presentation – Part 1: The Webinar Content

Crafting a killer webinar presentation is not simple, but with this two-part blog series, you will have the perfect tutorial at your fingertips to learn how to craft your very own killer webinar presentation that delivers results.

This blog series is ideal for those who want to host webinars, but don’t have the budget for an in-house content writer or graphic designer to help pull together killer webinar presentations. The good news is, you don’t need that in-house expertise! As long as you or someone internally is an expert on the content topic you wish to speak about, you can still pull off a professional webinar presentation that will be sure to impress.

A webinar presentation utilizes a PowerPoint 99.9% of the time unless you are hosting a webinar demo of a software platform. This PowerPoint presentation is the focus of the webinar and what your webinar attendees will be looking at throughout the length of the entire presentation. Since it is the star, it is important to build your webinar presentation with a solid foundation. That solid foundation is your content. The content is your webinar script.

It is not ideal to start building your webinar presentation before your script. I’ve met way too many webinar speakers that prefer to just “wing it” when it comes to what they will be saying during the live webinar. If you’re a charismatic speaker and know your content inside and out, the webinar might still go well, but you will be doing your webinar audience a disservice.

 

Here is why winging it is never a good idea:

  1. You’re able to easily get off track as you didn’t properly plan on how to deliver the content
  2. You might share information that confuses attendees or not share enough information
  3. If you’re stressed out before the webinar, sick, or having a bad day – you might lose focus and forget key points or stories that would enhance the content of webinar
  4. You’re more likely to be nervous, as each slide you look at you will have to think of what to say, vs. already knowing what to say

 

These are just a few reasons, but there are so many more! A webinar presentation script is your life boat. It helps you to be confident in what you’re saying and knowing you are delivering the very best content to your audience, at the right time in the live webinar presentation.

Considering the webinar script is the foundation of your webinar presentation we are going to review in-depth how to prepare your script and then how to use that script to select the content for your webinar presentation.

First start you will start with a Word document to note all your ideas, points you want to make and the flow of the webinar presentation you are aiming for. It is much easier to start from one continuous document, than going directly to PowerPoint and figuring it out from there.

Once you have down the direction you want, it’s time to start building your script on that same Word document, from start to finish.

When I say script, I mean you really want to write down each word you plan on speaking during the live webinar. Of course, you can’t script the Q&A section, or what you might say based on your audience’s poll answers or chat comments (and you most definitely need to comment or relate to those answers!), but that will be the only time you need to think of what to say – the rest of your webinar presentation track will be a well-oiled machine. That way if a webinar attendee asks a question that you know you will be covering later in the webinar, you can tell them to stay tuned, vs. side-tracking the whole webinar  presentation to answer that question and potentially confuse other attendees who don’t understand the concept yet.

As you build your script, include the following 9 parts. Through writing down content for all 9 parts, you will then have your entire talk track ready for the day of the webinar and ensure it aligns with your webinar presentation PowerPoint content and what main points you want your webinar attendees to takeaway.

Additionally, during your dry-runs, as you read out loud your webinar presentation script to your team, as a group you can collaborate on gaps in content or chunky transitions. With this feedback, you can quickly update your script so that the live webinar is seamless and you can ensure you are hitting on all the reasons your webinar attendees signed up to attend in the first place.

 

The 9 Parts of a Webinar Presentation Script

 

  1. Greeting

During this greeting portion, you will welcome your webinar attendees, thank them for joining, perhaps note a few housekeeping items. You will then introduce yourself and your company, what you do and why you are relevant to speak on this topic. If you have co-webinar speakers, have them introduce themselves as well.

It would be a good idea to run through a very quick tutorial for using the webinar platform from an attendee perspective if you plan to have participants interact with the webinar platform to chat or fill out a poll, for example. Basically, whatever information that is important for you to share to ensure a successful webinar should be stated here before getting started.

Tip: If you do plan on interacting with your webinar attendees through poll, chat or other webinar engagement features like social sharing or white-boarding, you should decide at what times you would like this interaction to happen and place it in your script accordingly so that you do not forget to invite them to write an answer in the chat or fill out the poll at the times it makes sense during the content delivery.

 

Beginning your webinar presentation

 

  1. Agenda

Run through the agenda of the webinar presentation. Your agenda should have 3-5 bullets on what you plan on covering, each bullet should be for a different section of the webinar, and you’ll want to say how long each section should take to review and how long you intend for Q&A at the end of the webinar to answer questions.

To create a “section” you will want to break up the content you intend for them to learn in different chunks as to create the different elements of the webinar. Through doing this, it will make the delivery of content easy to understand in sizable chunks.

As an example of different sections, your first bullet on your agenda could be “The What”, second bullet can be “The Why”, third can be “The How” fourth bullet could be “The When”.

 

  1. Objectives

Write out the objectives of attending this webinar. You could talk about what your attendees will get out of being there, possible next steps after the webinar, or what webinar attendees will now be able to do because of participating in your webinar.

 

  1. Separate Sections for Each Agenda Item

This will be the bulk of your script as you are writing out the content for the entire reason people are attending your webinar in this part. This content is founded on your agenda and objectives of the webinar presentation.

Based on the sections you selected in your agenda and using the example in #2 (the what, why, how, when sections), you will write out all the content you want to say that explains each section individually. You will start with section 1 and write down everything you plan on saying to explain this section, and then move on to section 2, and so on. It is important for clarity that you don’t jump around the different sections during your script, as you might confuse your attendees. Of course, the content should build on each other – stay away from language like, “we will discuss this in section 4” if you are still in section 1.

 

  1. Stories and examples

Your script might include stories and examples alongside the main content for each of your sections.

These are great to include to further explain your point or concept. Another place to include these is after you have reviewed all the sections on your agenda, and then you share stories or examples to reinforce the content in a different way after your audience has had time to process the primary content.

Regardless of how you do it, ensure you have enough relatable stories or examples to include in the content. Stories help your audience understand complex ideas and for them to imagine taking the content and implementing it into their world.

 

Use stories in the content of your webinar presentation

 

  1. Recap / Takeaways

Once you’ve completed section #5 and #6, you will recap what you have shared today, why you have shared it and the top 3-5 things you hope your audience takes away and remembers post-webinar.

During this part would be a good time to encourage your audience to fill out a poll on the favorite thing they heard today, or start the Q&A portion.

 

  1. Next Steps for Attendees

When hosting a webinar, there is usually a next step or action you’d like your webinar audience to take. Perhaps that could be registering for another webinar, downloading an eBook, signing up for a one-on-one demo or encouraging them to buy your product. Whatever it is, give them all the information needed to make that next step. You don’t even want to assume they know what the next step is, or how to complete that step.

  1. Contact information

Share all the ways to get ahold of you, the webinar speaker, or the company you are speaking on behalf of. Include emails, phone numbers, websites and social sites.

 

  1. Closing Comments

Thank them for attending and if there is anything left unsaid, now is the time to say it or continue to reinforce the next action you’d like them to take and how it would benefit them.

As you write your script, take special care to write it out in a conversational tone as you would speak. Write out whole sentences, not fragments – that way if you get nervous or tripped up, you know exactly where to pick back up. And most importantly – practice, practice, practice your script until you can read it as though you are not actually reading from a script. Additionally, time yourself reading your script out loud to ensure you’ve written enough content to last the entire webinar presentation, or see if you need to cut content, as it could be too long.

Once your webinar script is complete and you feel comfortable delivering it as is, even without the aid of a PowerPoint, you can start building the webinar presentation PowerPoint!

You will use this final script to pull from for the content you place on your webinar PowerPoint slides. Take your script and using the highlight feature in Word, highlight the most important elements from each of the above 9 webinar script parts. The idea is to transition these parts to your PowerPoint slides. Building your webinar presentation PowerPoint will be quick and easy following this method.

Note, you will not actually copy and paste your highlighted content directly onto your slides. Instead, you will want to shorten your talk track into short, digestible snippets or “call-outs” to place on your slides.

 

Part 2 Teaser

In Part 2 of this blog series, I will share a sample PowerPoint template which includes what slides to include in your webinar presentation based on the 9 parts of the webinar script. Additionally, each slide in the template will have examples of the type of content to put on these slides. So don’t start building your webinar PowerPoint yet.

In Part 2 we will first review how to design and build your webinar presentation PowerPoint, then how to place your content on this final PowerPoint design and finally tips for adding images to enhance the final look of the PowerPoint.

Check out Part 2 Here

 

Get started!

To host an amazing webinar presentation, you’ll need premium webinar software.

Start your free trial of BigMarker today or send us a message to get in touch!

Webinar Marketing 101: A Guide To Effectively Use Webinars As Part Of Your Marketing Strategy

Webinar marketing has proven value in virtually any promotional mix.

Still, some modern business owners hesitate to include webinars in their marketing strategies, for a wide range of reasons. Some believe that their current efforts are “good enough” and feel reluctant to change their approach. Others are apprehensive about learning a new technology and fear that they will have an on-air lapse that will derail their presentation. Some may even worry about the presentation itself; they are convinced that they have nothing of value to say.

Fortunately, executives in every industry often discover that their webinar marketing fears are unfounded. From a technology standpoint, partnering with a provider of an innovative and intuitive virtual conference system quickly eliminates the fear of live presentation glitches. Additionally, many professionals are surprised to learn they actually do have a lot to share with their audience.

Whether it’s hosting an online demonstration for a new product, providing a slide deck of recent industry trends, or even just hosting a question and answer session about a current hot topic, there are limitless ways to add value with followers using webinar marketing.

 

Stop Missing Out On Webinar Marketing Benefits

If you are not including webinar marketing in your current promotional approach, you may be missing out on an extensive range of brand-building benefits. Many entrepreneurs and businesses who are late to adopt a webinar marketing strategy quickly realize that their former content marketing strategy really wasn’t enough at all. Just one webinar session can help business owners tap into a wealth of advantages.

Unlike most advertising resources that only provide a marketing monologue (aka – your brand speaking at consumers), webinar marketing opens up ample opportunity for an actual dialogue with your targeted demographic. Not only does webinar hosting grant you a chance to engage with your audience, it also provides a platform for you to inform them. More specifically, webinars are an ideal marketing channel for you to inform your customer base about services, offerings, and topics they actually want to hear about. What else in your promotional mix can do that?

Finally, webinar marketing offers long-term, sustainable brand traction. You and your team get to further your corporate exposure and reach with every hosted session as well as provide a personalized dynamic to your overall brand identity. Your audience gets to put a face and voice to your business name to help you quickly build trust and credibility. An online conference can both generate new leads as well as further nurture current prospects in your pipeline as you move forward towards the ultimate goal of any marketing pursuit – a sale.

Moving Forward With Webinar Marketing In Your Branding Strategy

Once you’ve decided to include webinars in your branding campaigns, it’s important to put together a plan on how you’ll achieve your corporate promotional goals and objectives. Much like other resources in your advertising initiatives, it’s critical to develop a webinar marketing strategy to optimize use and results. When putting together your webinar marketing approach, consider the key steps to success shared in the following paragraphs.

 

Know What You Want To Achieve

Effective webinar marketing begins with detailing exactly what you want to achieve using this medium. Sure, you may have some general ideas about number of listeners, leads, and total conversions; however, it is imperative to outline your promotional purpose as well as how you will accomplish these objectives. Webinars can help achieve several marketing goals, including:

  • New prospects
  • Lead conversion
  • Strengthening of brand identity and overall consumer exposure
  • Establish industry expertise
  • Develop mailing list for advertisements/newsletters

Beyond general objectives, you’ll also want to decide in advance what services/products you want to highlight, what type of promotions and discounts you will offer, and how many deals you’d like to close to develop a concrete tracking method of what works and what may require modification in the future. You’ll also need to decide whether to host live, recorded or automated webinars (or a combination of all three) to deliver your webinar marketing content.

 

Pinpoint The Right Topic

Never underestimate the importance of finding the right topic for discussion. The first rule in determining what you should talk about? Remember it’s not about you; it’s all about your audience. In order to connect with and captivate your listeners, you must zero in on a subject that will intrigue them. Fortunately, you don’t have to unearth the ideal focus area alone. Most business owners simply ask their consumers for input when putting together their webinar marketing presentation. Send a survey to existing and potential customers asking about what they’d like to discuss or learn more about and use it for guidance moving forward.

Remember, you don’t have to talk about everything you find on a survey. In fact, you shouldn’t. Covering too many topics in one webinar marketing session can overwhelm listeners. Stick to one relevant idea where you can establish your industry expertise as well as help your audience solve a related problem to truly add value and solidify their perception of you as a go-to resource.

 

 

Topics for your webinar marketing approach

 

Leverage Partnerships And Affiliations

Another way to rely on others to help boost your webinar marketing results? Invite guest speakers to participate in your events. Leverage the partnerships and affiliations you have to broaden the spectrum and reach of the discussion. Showcasing industry thought leaders as guest speakers during your session will instantly further the breadth of your webinar marketing efforts beyond your existing customer base and help you stretch into other relevant demographics.

Of course, before you can advertise your guest presenters, you will have to convince them to take the gig. When promoting your webinars, be sure to pitch your expected audience size and how your webinar marketing can make an impact on their marketing efforts as well. In short, be ready to sell what’s in it for them.

Even if you don’t yet have an extensive network of industry-innovating partners at the ready, or if you’re working with a small marketing budget, you can still offer guest speakers at your next webinar. Nothing says that a co-speaker has to come from outside of your company. Tap into the wealth of knowledge held by your own staff members by asking them to host various pieces of the webinar. Not only can they keep your audience engaged, having them speak adds another level of familiarity/personalization between your brand and your consumers.

 

Plan Lead Time Wisely

In order to reap maximum results from your webinar marketing, you must strategically plan your lead time to optimize your registration numbers for your upcoming webinars.

As a general rule of thumb, you will not want to wait too long between your webinar announcement and actual webinar date, as it runs the risk of having registrants forget what they signed up for. Whenever possible, allow for two weeks of lead time, especially if it’s your first webinar. Having a longer registration stretch means you can utilize a comprehensive range of resources to market the upcoming event. Consider both free and paid promotional channels to give your event the publicity it deserves.

Planning your lead time wisely also gives you the ability to carefully monitor trends in your signup numbers. Slower registration spans means you will have time to amp up your webinar marketing promotional efforts before game day. Likewise, spotting surges in attendance before the webinar may mean you’ll want to break up the event into separate sessions to accommodate everyone. Remember, when first hosting webinars, initial attendance may seem light. However, don’t let this deter you; as you continue to establish your brand as an authority in your vertical, you should see overall momentum begin to increase.

 

Reward Your Participants

If you do notice a downturn in registrations, consider rewarding guests who have signed up. Offer free perks such as e-books, downloadable materials, and even a link to view the webinar again at a later date. If you have a product line you’re hoping to promote, offer exclusive samples to everyone who registers as further incentive.

You can also run a pre-event contest on your corporate social media pages to cross promote both your conference as well as your brand. Create a fun hashtag for your event and encourage those who register to post on their pages for a chance to win a special gift even before they attend your webinar. These webinar marketing tactics not only makes registrants feel valued, it also increases the odds that they will tell others about your event, driving up attendance numbers for you.

 

Optimize Your Presentation

Yes, shamelessly self-promoting throughout the entire presentation can feel forced (as well as possibly make your audience uncomfortable). However, you should still optimize your presentation materials to make the biggest impact possible on guests.

Include specific brand imaging (both for your and your guest speakers) throughout the webinar marketing materials as a subtle way to remind your audience who you are. Also, always include Q&A segments throughout your presentation for added promotional return on investment. Fielding inquiries from your audience not only keeps them tuned into your webinar, it also provides a more organic, less-contrived opportunity to endorse the value of your services and products to a live audience.

Don’t Miss A Chance To Reconnect

Many webinar hosts do a stellar job connecting with registrant before their event. However, they fail to reengage with them after the session has ended. Your job as marketer doesn’t end with your webinar. Everyone who registers for your webinar should be considered a lead worthy of follow up. Once again, planning is critical to promotional success. You and your team should go through the list of attendees to determine where each person falls in your sales funnel. Are they an existing contact? A new referral from an affiliate? An existing client? Determining the status of every registrant can help you develop a customized webinar marketing approach for next steps.

After you’ve gone through your lead list, work with your team to develop strategies on how you should engage with each prospect.  Forwarding materials, soliciting feedback, promoting future webinars and even directly marketing products and services are all ways to reengage with attendees and help convert them from webinar lead to actual customer.

 

Webinar marketing strategy lead generation

 

Picking the Right Software

Finally, you’ll want to pick a webinar software that will maximize the ROI of your webinar marketing efforts. Luckily, the choice for marketers is easy. BigMarker is the only webinar platform that comes with a complete stack of marketing capabilities that’ll provide robust solutions for your webinar hosting from start-to-finish. To get started, sign up for a 14-day free trial today, or send us a message if you have a question about getting started.

 

 

 

 

 

Sources

https://www.forbes.com/sites/drewhendricks/2015/02/19/5-killer-tips-for-marketing-with-webinars-in-2015/2/#632c0d556139

http://www.business2community.com/digital-marketing/8-reasons-webinar-great-marketing-tool-01042162#yCCJzzSyeggu0xxc.97

 

What To Expect Before, During, And After Your First Webinar

A well-executed first webinar can boost your brand exposure, inform a designated consumer group, and deliver your marketing messages to a targeted demographic. The powerful combination of content, graphics, and a live, interactive exchange of data can convert prospects into actual sales as well as grant your audience an up close look at everything your business has to offer.

Despite the many benefits offered by webinars, many entrepreneurs still hesitate to host their first webinar simply because they aren’t sure what to expect throughout the entire process. They worry they won’t know how to adequately prep, execute, and follow up, so they opt to leave webinar hosting out of their marketing mix altogether. Don’t let fear of the unknown prevent you from reaping the benefits of running your first webinar; know what to expect before, during, and after so you can prepare for optimal success.

 

Before Your First Webinar

You should expect a lot of strategic planning before your first webinar. Pre-event preparation is often the most crucial component to an effective webinar. Some key items you will want to put on your pre-event checklist include:

 

Will Your Material Work in Webinar Format?

While webinars work well to present a wide range of ideas and materials, it’s still important to determine if what you want to announce is relevant for the webinar format. In short, if you’re asking people to clear their schedule to tune into your session, you should have a fairly significant announcement or event to share. Leave minor announcements like press releases and inconsequential service updates to other mediums. Your first webinar should focus on more relevant ideas such as:

  • Panel discussions
  • Product demonstrations
  • How-to tutorials
  • Interview with industry authority / trendsetter
  • Fresh takes on current niche topics

Taking the time to identify if you have enough to share is a key first step before hosting your first webinar.

 

Set Specific Goals

Not having any outlined objectives before a first webinar is a common mistake. You should treat webinars as you would any other marketing initiative and develop a list of specific goals you’d like to achieve with each session you host. Include both general and specific targets:

  • Further brand exposure and reach
  • Launch new product/services
  • Number of attendees
  • Total qualified leads
  • Sales conversions

Knowing what you want to achieve before your first webinar can help you fine-tune the presentation as needed so you accomplish it.

Get Writing

Once you’ve determined you have something to offer as well as your marketing purpose, you’ll want to hit the keyboard to start drafting your content. A well-rounded, engaging webinar will use a solid mix of both audio and visual material to captivate listeners.

Work with your team to develop an outline of various components to include. Once you know what you want to convey, it’s time to start writing the slides and script you will need to keep the audience tuned in from start to finish.

Send and Manage Invitations

Even the most captivating webinars fail if no one knows when to tune in and listen.

Before hosting your first webinar, you will want to develop a strategy to invite your targeted demographic to your session. Start by choosing when you will host your first webinar, remembering to consider various time zones so as many prospects as possible can check you out.

Once you’ve identified your date and time as well as desired audience, you will want to get the word out by using as many resources as possible. Emails, your website, a press release, and social media pages all prove an excellent way to help spread your announcement.

No matter what invitation forum you use, be sure to include ways to RSVP so you can manage attendance totals as well as field any necessary questions in advance.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Setting aside enough time to rehearse your session is quite possibly the most important thing to expect before hosting your first webinar.

You should host dry runs on every component of your webinar, beginning with the technology you use. Practice using the webinar software before going live to guarantee everyone involved understands all the needed functionality in advance.

You will also want to rehearse the presentation itself. Copy that reads well may not have the same desired impact when spoken. Gather up a makeshift audience to listen to your material before going live so you can adjust and edit as needed before guests beginning logging in.

Finally, as part of your practice session, you will want to setup your meeting space for optimal results. If you’re hosting from home, ensure that everyone you live with knows to not interrupt you during the conference time. If you’re hosting from the office, you should sign out a quiet room where you won’t have to worry about disruptions.

Your immediate space should be organized and clutter free to eliminate the risk you will knock something over when you do go live.

Last thing on your checklist – turn off your computer notifications and put your cellphone on Do Not Disturb.

 

Before hosting your first webinar

 

During Your First Webinar

You will want to prepare for what may occur during your first webinar. The first thing to expect during a webinar? The unforeseen can (and often does) happen.

There’s truly no foolproof way to plan ahead for the limitless possibilities of “what ifs” that can occur throughout your presentation. However it’s still important to understand some of the basics of what may go down when everyone starts logging in:

Dealing With Nervousness

Even if you are reading everything from a script, there’s still a chance that you may find yourself battling butterflies and nerves when going live. It’s perfectly natural.

Walking in place and moving a bit (as much as your webinar setup will allow without compromising the quality of the demonstration) whenever you start to feel tense can help relax you so your listeners never notice your anxiety.

Show-Up Rates

As with any audience-centric event, some of your participants will simply not attend your first webinar, for various reasons. Illness, changes in schedules, forgetting about the event, and a simple loss of interest can all play a role in guests not attending your presentation.

The key is to not take their absence personally – track those who don’t attend so you can develop a plan to remind and encourage guests to tune in on your next session.

Timing is Everything

No matter how many times you’ve rehearsed your presentation, you may still find that your live execution is off. Some newbie exhibitors run too long and risk people having to leave the demo before it’s finished; others finish up too quickly and experience the awkward tension of “dead air.”

If you do start to notice your timing is a bit off, plan accordingly. If you’re going over the planned time, you may have specific sections you can omit in order to focus on the most crucial elements of your expo. Or, if you feel like you’re racing through your delivery, slow down and insert some ad hoc Q&A sessions with your audience.

Stopping for inquiries not only gets you back on schedule, it also instantly adds an interactive component between you and your audience as well.

 

What to do during your first webinar

 

After Your First Webinar

When you finally log off and think your webinar work is over…it’s not. Managing the aftermath of your event is critical to help you achieve all those goals and objectives you identified before your first webinar. After every session you will want to:

Follow-up

Far too often, newbie presenters fail to follow-up with the leads garnered during the webinar. As soon as possible, you and your team should work through your entire list of webinar attendees to identify what type of lead category they fall into. For the most part, these lead categories will include:

  • Invited
  • Signed-up but didn’t attend
  • Attendees
  • Conversions

Once you’ve identified lead type, you will want to develop a follow-up specifically designed to bring them to the next level in your pipeline. Emails, sales links, freebies, and exclusive opportunities are just some of the many ways you can connect with and further nurture your leads.

 

Analyze Data

After hosting your first webinar, you will have access to a wealth of critical data and information. Analyze some key facts such as:

  • Attendance levels
  • How long session actually lasted
  • How many attendees stayed until the end
  • Technical difficulties
  • Areas for improvement
  • Negative feedback
  • Most powerful segments
  • Questions asked by audience

No detail is too small for consideration; gathering up everything you can will help you identify trends in your performance, what worked, and what didn’t.

Get Ready For Round Two

Armed with your newfound webinar experience and careful data analysis, you are officially ready to get started on your next live webinar.

Reevaluate your initial presentation to pinpoint how you can strengthen your brand messages and further your promotional objectives in the future. You may find there are pieces of the original presentation you want eliminate for upcoming conferences. However, you may still identify a use for relevant materials.

Go through your demonstration to determine if you can repurpose content in other campaigns and strategies.

Finally, you may also want to develop a method for storing your first videoconference (and any other subsequent sessions that follow).

Offering access to your specific demographic after the live event is an excellent way to optimize long-term marketing momentum. Live links on your website and social media pages give interested consumers a chance to review your demo at their convenience. Online access to your presentation increases total promotional impact for maximum overall return on investment.

 

Start hosting!

In order to host your first webinar, you’ll need to start with great webinar software. Check out BigMarker for modern, no-download webinar technology you and your audience will love. To get started, sign up for a 14-day free trial or send us a message to learn more about the hosting experience on BigMarker.

 

After hosting your first webinar

 

 

 

Sources

http://www.techsoup.org/support/articles-and-how-tos/10-steps-for-planning-a-successful-webinar

http://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2014/08/26/how-to-do-a-webinar

How to Deliver Effective Marketing Presentations During a Webinar

Effective marketing presentations are the backbone of most companies’ sales force, especially in the B2B world. Organizations rely on these presentations to get their markets excited about the services and/or products they have to offer.

Nowadays, many of these marketing presentations are given over webinars. While these can prove to be very effective mediums, you need to make sure you understand what it takes to make the most of them.

In this article, we’re going to discuss some of the differences between traditional and webinar presentations and also give you lots of tips specific to the latter.

 

Consider the Differences Involved in Hosting a Webinar

When most people are worried about putting together effective marketing presentations, they’re thinking about the kind you do in person.

A webinar is going to be much different. Even if it’s live and you’re allowing people to message in their questions, this is going to be a lot different than an in-person presentation.

Among other things, you won’t get the same kind of feedback you would from an actual audience. Many people simply won’t ask their questions or may save them for later.

If you’ve done presentations in the past, then you may not have too much trouble making this transition. You may simply need to practice as you would when preparing for any other effective marketing presentations, just with someone viewing elsewhere so they can give you feedback.

 

Market Your Webinar to Build Your Audience

Another big difference between traditional marketing presentations and the kind done over webinars has to do with the audience.

Obviously, all effective marketing presentations rely on receptive audiences, but these are much easier to come by with the traditional route.

It involves setting appointments with potential customers – at your venue or theirs – and then putting on the presentation for them. While getting the appointment can sometimes be tricky, once you show up for the presentation, you should most likely have a captive audience.

If you don’t, there are many ways to help rope them in and grab their attention early on before getting to the meat of your presentation.

Unfortunately, this is much harder to do with a webinar.

First of all, you won’t really be setting appointments with people. Instead, you’ll be trying to get them to set the appointment by signing up to attend your webinar.

To do this, you’re going to need to invest in ample marketing. Even once you get someone to sign up, you’ll have to remind them through email to make sure they attend. (Generally, it’s recommended to do this three times, including an email on the day of your presentation.)

Give yourself lots of time for this. Conventional wisdom is that you should spend a month marketing your webinar before you actually go through with it.

 

Make Sure You Focus on Your Audience

All effective marketing presentations are built around the people actually watching them. However, the instinct most people follow is to make it solely about themselves or their product. This is something you must absolutely be sure not to do or your presentation will be lackluster.

People want to hear about themselves. Tuning into your presentation means they’re also interested in your product or service, but keep in mind this is only relative to how it will affect them.

In other words, effective marketing presentations are the ones wherein you’re talking about what your product/service can do for the people on the other side of the screen.

Many successful salespeople understand this as “benefits vs. features.” The latter is what most people talk about. They explain to their audience about all the different bells and whistles their product/service can offer.

While this can work to some degree, it certainly isn’t the hallmark of effective marketing presentations. Instead, you should be explaining the benefits of your product/service. This refers to the effect a certain feature will have on the customer.

For example, if you were selling a new model forklift, you could explain all about its engine, MPG, wheel size, etc. These would be features. On the other hand, you could explain to your audience that this new forklift can do twice as much work as competitor models in half as much time (which is because of the aforementioned features).

Effective marketing presentations focus on the webinar audience

 

Make Sure You Know Your Audience

Along the same lines, be very clear about the types of people you’re going to be speaking to.

This is another example of how effective marketing presentations are different depending on how you’re hosting them. With the traditional version, you generally have a very good idea of whom you’re speaking to because, as we mentioned already, you set up the appointment with them.

When marketing your webinar, you want to do as much as possible to get hyper-specific about the people you’ll be attracting.

That could mean doing different versions of the webinar for different segments of your market. You’d just have to make sure you correctly market these different versions to their appropriate audiences.

If you’re able to understand the type of people on the other side of the screen, you’ll also have a much easier time speaking to their values and focusing on what they want. As we just covered, this will go a long way toward crafting an effective presentation.

Get to the Actual Value Quickly

People who give effective marketing presentations know how to get to the value of their product/service quickly. They understand that their audience will quit paying attention early on if they don’t see a compelling enough reason to keep listening.

There are many ways you can do this, but one of the best is to hit the benefits early. You don’t have to fully explain them right way, just make sure your audience has a reason to pay attention now. They should be interested in finding out more about how it’s possible that your service/product can live up to this promise.

This is even more important to do well when trying to give effective marketing presentations during webinars.

Since your audience isn’t right in front of you, nothing is really keeping them from simply getting up and walking away. They could open up another browser window, jump on their phone or just decide it’s not worth it anymore to listen to your webinar and close out the window altogether.

Just because someone has signed up for your presentation is not a promise they’ll actually attend. And just because they attend is no promise they’re actually going to pay attention or stay.

Don’t take this for granted. Effective marketing presentations work because they get the audience’s attention immediately and keep it.

 

Consider Telling a Story

Another way you can get your audience to sit up and pay attention is with an engaging story.

As humans, we naturally love stories. They can even be quite effective as sales tools.

Just be sure you give people reason to listen. Before beginning the story, give them a hint of what to expect or, once again, make a promise.

“I want to tell you about how I was able to pay off all my debt and become a millionaire in just five years” would be a great way to begin your webinar presentation. It’s certainly a compelling story, but you also told your audience exactly what they have to look forward to by sticking around.

Be careful with stories, though. If your story drags on and on, people may become bored and quit paying attention. Keep the narrative lean and tight.

Also, don’t exaggerate when making your promise. If you get to “The End” and your story was clearly didn’t live up to the hype, why should people keep listening?

Don’t Rely Too Heavily on Your Slides

One reason webinars can make for such effective marketing presentations is because you can use visuals. Slides are often very popular for this. You can display anything from photographs to charts.

However, you need to be careful not to overdo it. Think about how traditional presentations work. They generally involve visuals, too, but the presenter still needs to say plenty.

Visual after visual is going to be boring. This is especially true for graphs and charts where the viewer may have to do a lot of the work to decipher them.

Whenever you use visuals, make sure you add plenty of context through your narrative. This will keep them interesting and ensure your audience pays attention.

 

Make Sure to Include a Call to Action

A call to action (CTA) is how all effective marketing presentations end. That’s because you need to literally tell people what you want them to do next.

This might seem like odd advice. You might think we’re not giving your audience enough credit.

The evidence on this subject is quite clear, though.

When you don’t end with a strong CTA, you risk people simply logging off your webinar page and returning to what they were doing. They may go to your website and look around a bit but not make a purchase like you had hoped.

They might like your webinar but not think to share it because you didn’t bring it up with a CTA.

Again, it might seem odd to get so specific with your audience, especially after you may have spent 30 or more minutes trying to sell them on your product or service. Shouldn’t they know you want them to buy?

Maybe, but why risk it?

Furthermore, you want to make sure they know exactly where to go or click to make sure this happens. Effective marketing presentations that convert don’t leave anything to chance.

 

Record, Edit and Republish It

Now, an advantage you have over “traditional” or in-person marketing presentations is that you can record your webinar and then use it again and again. This is especially good news for people who don’t like getting up in front of people and giving presentations.

To really make the most of these effective marketing presentations, though, you may wish to consider editing them. This could entail anything from sharpening up the audio levels to simply cutting out any dead air or slips you made.

Follow Up with Your Audience

Another reason to love webinars for marketing presentations is because of how easy it is to follow up with your audience. In order to secure access to your program, you should have required that a viewer supply you with their email address.

After your webinar, you can then follow up with them for any number of reasons. It might be to reiterate your CTA after a day or two. You might want to see if anyone has any questions. You could decide to offer them a special deal.

Down the line, if you host another webinar, you can email your former audience members and let them know about your new one coming up. Remember: half the battle involved with effective marketing presentations is making sure people show up, so this can be a huge help.

 

Make Sure You’re Using the Best Possible Tools

While your budget will definitely be a factor here, it’s important that you use the best possible hardware and software for your webinars. You’ll have no shot at creating effective marketing presentations if the people on the other side of the screen can’t hear you or make out your visuals.

The good news is that these important tools are extremely affordable these days. Even the webcams required for webinars can be purchased for less than $100 to $150 (you can spend a lot more, too).

 

Effective Marketing Presentations

Effective marketing presentations are important for the ongoing success of your company, as either a sales tactic or simply a means to increase your company’s mindshare.

Whatever reason you have in mind, if you’re going to be doing these presentations through a webinar, make sure you use the above advice to do so. BigMarker would also be happy to help. Check out our website or send us a message to get in touch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

http://www.businessknowhow.com/marketing/sales-presentation.htm

https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/inspiring-slideshare-presentations-for-marketers-list

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/234832

https://www.customshow.com/marketing-strategy-presentation-ideas-that-work/

http://blog.gotomeeting.co.uk/2017/03/08/a-guide-to-building-effective-marketing-presentations.html

https://www.searchenginejournal.com/winning-webinars-13-tips-producing-effective-webinar/141732/

http://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2014/08/26/how-to-do-a-webinar

Why and How to Host a Q&A Session During Your Webinar

Live webinars offer a model forum for speakers to deliver information and innovation to the masses, all in a single online session. However, many webinar presenters miss out on one key advantage of real-time communication: audience interaction. To avoid losing the interest of your participants, hosting a webinar Q&A session is an excellent way to engage your audience.

 

The Why: Benefits Of Hosting a Webinar Q&A Session During Your Webinar

 

More often than not, webinar hosts simply run through their slides and notecards, hoping that their message somehow sticks without encouraging a dialogue with listeners. In other words, they talk at the audience, rather than with them. As a result, they miss out on the chance to make a meaningful connection with the listeners and may risk losing their attention before the presentation ends.

 

Benefits Of Hosting a Webinar Q&A Session During Your Webinar

 

Generating an intentional webinar Q&A dialogue between you and your audience that yields sustainable impact can be a surprisingly straightforward fix. If you feel like you’re simply racing through a planned itinerary without actually connecting with your crowd, using a webinar Q&A in your next live session can prove an easy solution.

In this section, we’ll share the reasons why you should start integrating webinar Q&A sessions during your live webinars. Beyond enhancing interaction and engagement with listeners, allowing for a question and answer segment in your conference yields a wide range of benefits, including:

 

Hold Attendee Interest

Hosting a webinar means working hard to command and hold audience interest from start to finish. Allowing for inquiries throughout your session via webinar Q&A can pique guest interest and encourage listeners to stay tuned in so they don’t miss an opportunity to ask for the specific information they need.

Boost Energy Levels

Not only can a webinar Q&A hold audience interest, it can also prove a major mood boost throughout your session. As you hit various time milestones in your web conference, you may find that energy levels take a dip. However, you’ll notice an instant upswing in energy levels when you take a break from speaking and ask others for input.

 

Watch the full Wednesday Webinar Wisdom episode on hosting a webinar Q&A session 

 

Personalize Your Brand

Webinars provide an excellent way to help your listeners put a face to your brand…without an actual face-to-face meeting. Fielding questions via webinar Q&A is a great way to humanize the session and achieve a more personal connection with your audience. The audience collaboration can ultimately further strengthening brand identity and exposure.

 

Establish Industry Authority

Anyone can read a script. However, subject matter experts can effectively answer most ad hoc inquiries. Providing information during a webinar Q&A can establish your credibility on any given topic as well as build trust (another key ingredient to developing brand identity) with your participants.

 

Emphasize Message / Promote Brand

Every question you take acts as another opportunity to reinforce your message and most salient selling points. Directly promoting your specific products/services in the presentation segment can feel forced and set an awkward vibe. However, during the webinar Q&A section, with its more informal tone often lends itself to a more comfortable way to market your brand.

Best of all, every audience member will have a chance to hear your answers, further reinforcing your overall speaking objectives.

 

Strengthen Your Future Webinar Presentations

Most importantly, including a webinar Q&A segment in your presentation can deliver a major return on investment for future webinars. Write down every question you field; each inquiry grants you invaluable insight on information that interests your audience. Additionally, writing down the questions you receive will help you strengthen your delivery the next time someone asks it.

 

The How: Optimize Results With Your Webinar Q&A

 

Now that you understand why you should include a webinar Q&A segments in your webinar, it’s important to know how to effectively implement them throughout your conference. A successful inquiry session requires strategic planning and preparation. However, don’t let the process intimidate you. Knowing a few easy-to-implement tips can help maximize impact with your webinar Q&A.

 

Optimize your webinar q&a session

 

Put Inquiry Segments On The Agenda

Don’t simply verbalize you’ll allow for questions; list these segments on your webinar agenda or on one of your introductory slides for all participants to see. Putting the webinar Q&A session in writing lets them know what to expect during the presentation. Knowing when you’ll pause for input can encourage your attendees to stay focused on what you have to say until it’s their turn to speak again.

 

Know Your Audience

Every webinar has a specific targeted audience. Knowing who’s tuning in allows you to modify your presentation for your participants. There are many factors to consider when customizing your session for each individual listener. Think about details such as:

  • Attendee demographics (geographic location, age, etc.)
  • Degree of formality
  • Relationship to attendees: Peers, clients, students, etc.

Knowing this information prior to your live webinar can help you create a final session that truly resonates with your guests and prompts thoughtful inquiries.

Also, when speaking to multiple people at a single company, you will also want to customize your online conference to suit each individual organization. Modify your template to include brand-specific information; tailoring every webinar will provide a comfort level to listeners and encourage them to participate in the webinar Q&A segments of your presentation.

 

Come Prepared

If it’s your first time hosting a webinar on a specific subject or topic, you will want to proactively anticipate some potential questions so you can come prepared with articulate answers that help further emphasize your main points. Similarly, if you’ve presented on an upcoming topic before, you should think about questions that have been asked in the past. Use any notes as a guide (and not as a script) so you sound natural when answering.

Going forward, put a plan in place to have someone take notes of all questions asked during the webinar. Tracking trends in what people want to know more about can give you insight on tailoring your exhibition in the future.

Pro Tip: Come prepared with a few relevant questions you think your audience would likely ask. Then, if none of your attendees ask questions at the beginning of your webinar Q&A, you’ll have a few backup questions to share to keep the momentum going. Oftentimes, webinar Q&A sessions are slow to start, so preparing a few canned questions will help break the ice.

Include Panelists

Nothing says a live webinar should only have one speaker throughout its duration. In fact, adding panelists into the discussion can have a significant impact on the session’s results, particularly during the webinar Q&A segments. Co-hosts with unique areas of expertise can offer invaluable insight to listeners beyond the basic scope of your demonstration.

Guest speakers can also deliver an added dynamic to the webinar Q&A session, further entrenching your brand with everyone who has tuned in. Finally, adding panelists during the questioning can add a very practical perk; it can provide an opportunity for you to rest and catch your breath a bit before you have to start presenting again.

 

Offer Instructions

Yes, really.

If you’re hosting a webinar Q&A session via chat submissions, you’ll want to tell your audience how and where to submit their questions.

If you opt for a live audio Q&A, sharing instructions is even more critical. You may be surprised to learn just how often background noise and the inability to un-mute a microphone adversely affect a webinar. Fortunately, high-performing software programs make the entire process fairly intuitive; however, you always run the risk of barking dogs and unplanned “dead air” silence ruining the flow of your speech if users aren’t given a little advance instruction. Give your participants a quick tutorial before beginning the session so they will know how to quickly go from listener to speaker when the time comes for inquiries.

 

Set Time Limits

It’s important to set upfront time limits with your webinar Q&A sessions. You have limited bandwidth to get your information to the group. Fielding questions for an extensive stretch not only gets you off track, but you also run the risk of losing the attention of audience members who simply want to keep moving forward with the demonstration. Worried of having to cut questions short? Don’t be; tell listeners who haven’t had a chance to ask their questions that you’ll happily connect with them after the webinar.

 

Offer Topic Suggestions

If you distribute webinar Q&A sessions throughout your presentation, you may want to offer topic suggestions for each segment so it’s relevant to what’s been most recently outlined in the demonstration. Also, when giving your audience a focus, it’s okay to also outline subjects that will not be discussed, such as confidential information or products/services not yet available.

 

Expect The Pregnant Pause

Sometimes a crowd needs a little push to actively participate in your Q&A. Nerves and fear of asking something irrelevant can prevent people from speaking up. Make it as easy as possible on them; combat the prolonged pregnant pause by proactively offering up various topics that often warrant questions. They will welcome you getting them started. Even a gentle nudge can encourage them to keep the momentum going.

 

Value Attendee Input

Your audience wants to feel like you actually value their input. Go beyond just answering what they ask. Give them encouragement by thanking them for their inquiry and showcasing to the audience the thoughtfulness and insight behind the question. Not only will valuing their input encourage them to ask again during other webinar Q&A segments, it will also inspire others to get in on the conversation as well.

 

Be Honest

Honesty is always the best policy when managing your webinar Q&A. Many speakers feel tempted to embellish or over-promise as a way to captivate the audience. While you may gain some momentary attention during your webinar, exaggeration will generally bring backlash. Always give straightforward, honest answers to establish credibility and build trust amongst your audience. Additionally, don’t be afraid to let a questioner know if you didn’t understand what’s being asked.

Whether you need further clarification or it’s simply a technology issue hindering your audio, take the time to let listeners know you didn’t quite catch what’s being asked. Most importantly, if you don’t know the answer, say so. Not only will your guests appreciate your honesty, it also gives you a reason to follow up with them once you have an answer, for future conversations, the ultimate webinar win.

 

 

Get started!

To begin hosting your own amazing webinars, check out BigMarker.

Sign up for a 14-day free trial today! Or, send us a message if you have any questions.

 

 

 

Sources

http://blog.clickmeeting.com/10-ways-to-make-your-webinar-qa-rock-the-house

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/8-benefits-having-qa-session-during-your-webinar-karen-repoli

BigMarker Partners With Drip to Bring Email Marketing Automation to Webinar Hosting

If you're looking for a marketing automation tool to help you create and send custom email campaigns with ease, Drip fits the bill. If you're looking to integrate Drip with your webinar software, you can have your cake and eat it too. BigMarker now integrates with Drip. bigmarker-drip-integration

Why Drip?

  With all of the hard work you put into setting up a high-converting webinar, reaching your audience should be the easy part, right? Unfortunately, this isn't always the case. Oftentimes, marketing efforts can become disjointed when using several different tools. A problem that many marketers struggle to resolve. Luckily, BigMarker and Drip have partnered up to streamline email marketing and webinar hosting into one simple process. Drip's easy-to-use email software not only allows you to create beautiful, custom emails, but also helps you segment your email lists into different funnels to help you target your messaging even better. Leveraging Drip's integration with your BigMarker webinars will help you trigger email workflows based on your webinar registrants’ and attendees’ behavior. And the best part? The integration is automated. Simply walk through the steps below and you'll be ready to go in just a few minutes.

How to Integrate With Drip

  1. Log in to your BigMarker account and go to the Promote & Manage section of your webinar. Click on “Drip” under integrations. Screen_Shot_2017-03-27_at_5.12.29_PM.png   2. Click on “Authorize with Drip” This will redirect you to Drip’s website, where you can authorize BigMarker to access your Drip accounts. Click “Authorize” to continue. Screen_Shot_2017-03-27_at_5.14.12_PM.png   3. First, pick which Drip account you want to access. This will give you access to all contacts, workflows, and campaigns in your Drip account. Screen_Shot_2017-03-27_at_5.15.37_PM.png   4. The following steps are all optional. If you would like to add webinar registrants to a campaign in Drip, choose an item from the “Campaign for Registrants” dropdown list. To add webinar registrants to a workflow, select a workflow from the dropdown menu. To apply a tag to registrants, enter a tag in the “Add Tag for Registrants” field. Press Enter to apply multiple tags. If you want to add registrants to your Drip contacts without doing any of the above, check the “Add New Registrants Automatically?” box. If your workflows or campaigns were just added and are not showing up in the dropdown menus, try refreshing the page. Screen_Shot_2017-03-27_at_5.16.25_PM.png   5. The next section is for webinar attendees.If you would like to add attendees to a campaign in Drip, choose an item from the “Campaign for Attendees” dropdown list. To add webinar attendees to a workflow, select a workflow from the dropdown menu. To apply a tag to attendees, enter a tag in the “Add Tag for Attendees” field. Press Enter to apply multiple tags. If you want to add attendees to your Drip contacts without doing any of the above, check the “Add New Attendees Automatically?” box.  Refresh the page if your campaigns or workflows are not listed. Screen_Shot_2017-03-27_at_5.17.20_PM.png 6. Finally, click Save at the bottom of the page to submit your changes.     BigMarker also integrates with Salesforce, Infusionsoft, HubSpot and over 500 other marketing tools. Any activity or action around your BigMarker webinars can trigger tagging prospects, adding data to customer records, or logging activity in whatever platform you use to manage customer relationships. Don't have a BigMarker account yet? Sign up for a 14-day free trial today.