The Components of Basic Webinar Design from Start to Finish

If you are planning to host a webinar, you should know that it requires a great deal of organization. In order to prepare yourself for your webinars, check out these key components of a basic webinar design.

 

Make Sure That a Basic Webinar is a Good Fit for Your Needs

 

Before choosing to use a basic webinar as your presentation platform, you need first to make sure that it aligns with the goals and objectives of your audience.

When you are trying to determine if a basic webinar is a good fit for your needs, you will fist want to consider the participants, your subject matter, and how long you will need to deliver the presentation.

Webinars work great for the right topic, but they are not suited to every type of presentation or training opportunity out there. Keep in mind that most audiences attending an online presentation will tend to lose interest after one hour.

If you are uncertain if a basic webinar is the right fit for you, consider contacting other experts in your field to inquire if they have conducted their own basic webinars. If they have, ask them for some advice relating to how you can maximize the effectiveness of your own.

You can also gauge the interest level of your potential audience by sending out a survey and making sure that they will be interested in what you have to offer.

Assemble Speakers and a Solid Support Team

 

If you are going to do your webinar right, it is suggested that you have at least three main people involved from the outset. This will include the organizer and facilitator of the basic webinar, the presenter, and an assistant.

Of course, the bigger the scale of the webinar, the more people you will want to have involved. Each person, however, will generally fall into one of these three categories.

The organizer of a basic webinar is the person who will develop the topic for the presentation. This individual will also locate the speaker, promote the webinar, set up the registration protocol, and communicate with each participant before the webinar and again once it has completed.

The facilitator will also introduce the speaker at the beginning of the basic webinar, and he or she will engage subject matter experts in an interview, moderate questions from the audience, and encourage the audience to participate in the presentation fully. This is a big commitment, as it can require up to 20 hours of time from start to finish.

Naturally, your basic webinar will include at least one main presenter. Many people will refer to this person as a subject matter expert. It is this person who will devote most of his or her time to the quality presentation of information.

If you are able, you will also want to have some assistants ready to help. This is particularly helpful if you plan on hosting a basic webinar that is expecting a large number of participants. Assistants can help members of the audience with any technical problems that they may encounter.

 

Choose an Appropriate Format for the Webinar

 

As you prepare your basic webinar, it is very important that you choose the proper format that works well for the topic and the audience.

There are several popular formats that you can choose from, beginning with one speaker. This is where a single presenter will speak and demonstrate the topic of the webinar. This individual will also be responsible for answering questions that the participants may ask.

An advantage of this format is that there will be fewer people involved the process that you will need to train to use the basic webinar program and online tools. A disadvantage is reflected in the lack of variety the results from having a singular voice and perspective.

Another popular webinar format is the interviewer. This is also where a moderator will come into place. He or she will ask a series of questions to a subject matter expert in a predetermined fashion. Members of the audience can also get involved by chatting in their questions during a live webinar.

An advantage of this is that the audience will stay more alert when they hear multiple voices. A disadvantage is that this format requires more people in order for the basic webinar to be scheduled properly, and these people will need to trained and well coordinated.

Two other formats that you can choose from include a moderated panel discussion and an interactive basic webinar. The former will involve multiple people participating in the online webinar at the same time, with a moderator serving as a facilitator to the discussion.

An interactive webinar will actually get the members of the audience to participate in a series of exercises and a discussion that is facilitated by the host.

 

Carefully Select Visual Aids

 

Since a basic webinar is online, you will need to make great use of audio and visual techniques in order to keep the audience engaged.

You do not have the benefit of gauging their physical reaction, so you need to do everything possible to ensure that participants remain interested and involved.

You will want to include graphics, animation, and pictures as appropriate. In sales presentations and business meetings, you can include colorful charts and graphs to illustrate your main points.

Choose Your Basic Webinar Tool

 

One of the primary considerations in developing an online presentation is the selection of the actual webinar software that you intend to use.

Within this realm, there are many aspects of the presentation itself to take into account. This begins with a determination of how many people you plan on having attend the webinar.

In determining your basic webinar tool, you will also want to consider the type of features that you require. This will determine your ultimate selection. For example, many programs will allow participants to dial in, while others will deliver the audio over the Internet. Some will even allow for a combination of the two.

 

Develop an Agenda for the Webinar

 

An agenda is a very important part of a basic webinar.

You have to remember that you need to have a hook to get people to attend the presentation, even for those who have registered long in advance.

This is often accomplished with the distribution of a detailed agenda that effectively builds the interest level in the webinar itself.

Be sure to outline the timing of the full presentation. Don’t forget to factor in any Q&A sessions you plan to host during the webinar.

 

Host a Practice Webinar

 

If you do not have a great deal of experience hosting webinars, it is important to host a practice session to make sure that everything is working properly.

This is also important just to ensure that all of the tools are working as they should and that everyone involved in the presentation understands his or her role in the process. You do not want to encounter any technical issues when the live webinar begins, so a practice session is a way to help avoid this eventuality.

A practice session should include an introduction to all of the tools and resources that your webinar platform contains.

Everyone who has a role in the basic webinar should be a part of the practice session to make sure that they have an understanding of the available features.

They also need to know who to turn to during the webinar if any issue comes up.

This is also the time to do a complete equipment check to make sure everyone has properly functioning equipment on his or her end.

Each presenter will be online from his or her own location and must attend a the practice session.

It is important that everyone has the proper equipment to perform his or her own part of the webinar well. Finally, a practice session is a way to go over the agenda, review the visuals, and make sure that everything else is in order.

 

Reserve All Necessary Equipment and Space

 

You do not want to overlook the importance of securing all necessary equipment and space to host a basic webinar. If you are in a business setting, you want to make sure that you have a quiet location free from distractions.

Everyone involved in the webinar presentation itself will need a working headset or web microphone.

You will want to avoid conducting any basic webinar using a speakerphone, as the quality of the audio is usually quite poor even if the room is quiet as a mouse.

If you are using a laptop, remember to have a power cord. Running out of battery power before the presentation ends could ruin an otherwise effective webinar.

Establish Registration Procedures and Payment Mechanisms

 

Now that you have everything in place for an effective webinar, it is time to establish registration procedures.

You will want to begin by determining if you are offering a paid or free webinar. This depends on the scope and purpose of your presentation.

Registration, at a minimum, will need to involve participants sending in their name and email address.

 

Market the Webinar

 

Marketing your webinar is a critical last step in this process.

You can put as much effort into the creation of a great presentation as you want, but it will all be for naught if nobody ever hears about it.

You can start with your existing email list.

Send out a blast that informs everyone of what you have to offer. You can also begin a social media campaign that revolves around Facebook. Digital marketing is an effective way of engaging and captivating a global audience, so you will want to put that into play as well.

As you market your basic webinar, you want to have prepared links that can take interested individuals right to an online registration form. This will increase your exposure and draw people into your presentation in higher numbers.

 

Conclusion

 

Following this suggested pattern of designing a basic webinar will maximize your chances of success.

Remember that webinars do have many advantages over in-person meetings, but must be properly executed to be effective.

Take your time in the planning process and make sure that you have all of your bases covered. Having done that, you are well on your way to an effective basic webinar, no matter if you have only two participants or thousands.

Also, sign up for a 14-day free trial of BigMarker to host amazing webinars.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

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

http://elearnmag.acm.org/featured.cfm?aid=1710034

8 Essential Webinar Features Pro Hosts Can’t Live Without

Not all webinars are created equal. One must make use of a variety of webinar features available today in order to engage and captivate a potentially global audience. Here are eight webinar features that pro hosts cannot afford to live without.

 

Ability to Customize Each Webinar

As a host, you’ll want to choose a webinar software that allows you to customize all aspects of your webinar to emulate your company’s design aesthetic.

These webinar features will enhance the overall professional image that you are trying to project. It will also help your participants feel more connected with you as the presenter.

Customizable webinar features within a quality webinar software include: the ability to add in logos/branding, change theme colors, adjust the landing page layout, and customize invitation and reminder emails in one seamless format.

These are just a few of the areas that a webinar can be customized. The more customizable webinar features a webinar software offers, the better.

Ability to Upload Handouts

Your webinar participants’ time is valuable. Preparing your attendees for your webinar ahead of time is always a good idea. This principle goes for almost every type of online meeting or webinar imaginable; from comprehensive staff training to marketing presentations and virtually everything in between.

You will spend a great deal of time and energy getting people to register and attend your webinar. You’l want to provide them with a teaser that encourages them to show up at the appointed hour. This teaser can be something as simple as a handout.

Remember that everyone likes “free stuff”. If you are hosting a webinar for promotional purposes, a handout can serve as a free enticement to get participants to join your session. By the same token, staff members who are going to attend your webinar want to be prepared for the meeting in order to maximize their time.

 

Ability to Conduct Live Polls of the Audience

Polling is a great way to increase participant engagement in your webinar. Many webinar platforms today have live polling as one of their core webinar features, and for a good reason.

A poll provides presenters the opportunity to take a quick break during the webinar and obtain some instant feedback from the participants.

This will connect the audience to what is being said while providing a valuable opportunity for the presenter to know whether he or she is meeting the objectives of the presentation. You will also find that the type real time responses received by a poll will provide some much-needed input on important topics that are being covered during the webinar itself.

Polling and other engaging, real-time webinar features are essential for pro hosts because the results they generate can be useful in a myriad of ways. If you are giving a sales presentation, the sales team can use the responses that are given when they head out to follow up on leads after the webinar is complete. Future training can be tweaked, with certain items being changed or left alone, based on the feedback that is given by participants in real time. Beyond this, people enjoy polls. It makes them feel a part of something, and it gives them a rationale for participating in the webinar beyond just being a passive listener.

 

Ability to Use a Survey to Ask for Instant Feedback

A webinar should not be considered “over” once the final participant leaves the room. A good webinar host will spend time evaluating their presentation, analyzing what went well and what should be improved upon.

In addition to the analytics you collect from your webinar software, it’s also important to gain the perspective of your participants directly. Survey-related webinar features will help you achieve this.

You should be able to instantly send out a survey that is easy for each individual to complete right after the webinar has ended. You can ask a few questions that are appropriate to the material you have covered and are unique to your organization. This will allow you, as the host, to ascertain what the audience enjoyed about the webinar. At the same time, a survey will let you know what components did not have as positive an impact as you would have hoped.

A survey is useful in so many ways.

As a host, you need to gain the perspective of your participants because that will very likely determine future attendance. This is particularly true if you are conducting a sales oriented presentation, and is especially relevant if you are charging participants to attend the webinar. Many programs will give you the ability to ask up to 25 questions on a survey. The choice is up to you how many you would like to include, but remember that your participant’s time is valuable. They also may be unwilling to complete a lengthy survey, but will gladly take the time to fill in a shorter one for you. The responses will be worth it in the end and will give you some much-needed data as you go to plan your next webinar.

Ability to Record Your Webinars and Host Recurring Webinars

Not everyone can attend your webinar live, nor do they necessarily need to. One of the most useful webinar features professional hosts require is the ability to record webinars.

As a host, you want to make it as easy as possible for your registrants to view your webinar. When schedules don’t align it’s important to share a recorded version of the webinar for those who missed out on the live event.

Recorded content also has the added benefit of being “editable”. Editing your recording helps ensure your webinar is exactly what you want, prior to publishing it online for the world to see.

Webinars that have already been recorded are also a great way to increase your subscriber base. You can offer them online as an incentive for people to visit your own website and learn more about what you have to offer.

If you are in the education business, a recorded webinar can be sold to participants to download and view at their convenience. As you can tell, the possibilities are endless for a recorded, recurring, hybrid, and anytime webinar. As a result, this is one of the most important webinar features that no professional host should be without.

 

Ability to Share Your Screen With Participants

One of the biggest advantages of hosting webinars is being able to talk to participants around the world simultaneously. To be effective, however, the host needs to be able to demonstrate what they are talking about.

This has been one of the most commonly cited drawbacks of a webinar that participants have reported through the years. They appreciate the information that is being given to them, but they often feel a disconnect as a result of not being able to see certain items that the presenter is talking about.

However, thanks to modern webinar features included with many webinar programs today, sharing your screen is now a possibility.

By sharing your screen, you will not just be telling your audience important concepts. You will finally be able to show them. At any point during the presentation, you will be able to demonstrate what is taking place on your screen and every participant will be able to see it in real time. When you are ready to take away the screen sharing feature, you can do that instantly as well. This is also a useful feature when you are recording a webinar, as you can use your screen as a type of whiteboard. This increases the retention rate of information, and it also enhances the engagement level of the audience.

Ability to Add Seamless Email Integration

Webinars are online events that need to be subscribed to. The easiest and most popular way of doing this is via email. This is why a professional host needs to be able to integrate the functionality of a webinar within the context of most popular email programs in existence today.

This is a way to increase subscriber rates, as it will be easy for participants to indicate their interest in and sign up for the webinar. This feature should allow you, as the host, to automatically add those who have registered for the webinar to your email list. This will then generate a message from you to indicate important access instructions as the time and day of the webinar draws closer.

Currently, email integration works nicely with the following programs: MailChimp, Infusionsoft, Aweber, ActiveCampaign, ConvertKit, HubSpot, ConstantContact, and GetResponse.

You can use any of these and be able to email all registered attendees at any time effortlessly. At the same time, you can automate the process to have your email sent out at set times. Simply draft what you want to say and tell the webinar to send out the email at predetermined times.

This enhances the professional image that you are trying to project, in addition to keeping the participants informed of what is going on.

 

Ability to Add Social Media integration

It is no secret that social media has invaded nearly every aspect of modern society today. As a webinar host, you will want to put this to your advantage by integrating ads directly into popular platforms, such as Facebook.

A useful feature that you need to have, as a professional host, is the ability to add a tracking pixel, connected to Facebook, which will actually link ads directly to your webinar itself. This is a great way to increase your visibility and enhance your marketing potential. You will also receive analytical information that will enable you to see how effective the campaign has become and to make operating decisions to enhance your future webinar offerings.

 

There are new webinar features being added every year that make webinars an even more effective meeting strategy than ever before. You will want to examine each available feature within the context of your unique needs to determine how best to make use of them. Remember that webinars do bring many advantages to the table in comparison to in-person meetings, but they do require an effective use of available webinar features.

 

 

Sources:

 

https://www.elegantthemes.com/blog/resources/the-15-best-webinar-software-products-from-around-the-web

 

How to Prepare a Guest Webinar Presenter in 12 Easy Steps

A webinar presenter could be a force-multiplier for the success of your show. It’s still a big decision to bring one on, though, which is why we’re going to cover this topic in detail.

Why You Should Bring on a Guest Webinar Presenter

This can be a very big step for many companies. You may have been successful at building up a decent audience for your webinar program and are, therefore, rightfully cautious about the idea of bringing in a guest to hold the reins.

If so, let’s quickly cover some of the reasons a guest webinar presenter could be completely worth it.

The first is that it’s simply nice to mix things up. You’ve probably heard that variety is the spice of life. We’re not saying your audience may be getting bored with you, but it will definitely grab their attention if somebody else will be speaking to them.

Second, the person you choose should have some kind of expertise. This means they can provide your audience with information that you couldn’t. Even if you could cover the same topic, their credentials may go a long way toward getting the message across.

Third, you can leverage the other person’s audience. This is an absolutely huge advantage and, thus, something else you should be thinking of before deciding on the guest webinar presenter you’re going to invite to host the show.

Ideally, find someone who has a large audience of their own. They’ll then tell their following about this webinar they’re doing and you’ll be able to attract more people to watch.

Down the line, you can still benefit from their name recognition when people do web searches for them. If they feature the webinar on their site, you’re going to get more traffic and a nice backlink.

 

There are countless other reasons it may pay to have a guest webinar presenter run your program, but these big ones should have you thinking about the opportunity.

 

1. Host a Dry Run

This is probably the most important tip of the list, but it often goes overlooked. If you’ve hosted a number of webinars already, it may be second nature to you at this point. Therefore, you may assume the same goes for your guest webinar presenter.

You don’t have to have them do the entire thing, but make sure that they feel comfortable with the concept and the technology. Encourage your guest webinar presenter to ask questions.

 

2. Make Sure You’re Clear About Expectations

This is another easy one to overlook. Imagine your guest webinar presenter finishes their live presentation and it’s only then that you realize they didn’t understand what you were looking for from them.

Now, you not only have to do the entire thing over, but you also have to get through a fairly awkward conversation. They might not have time in their schedule to redo an entire webinar in the near future, either.

Your list of expectations should include:

  • The topic you want them to cover
  • Any important subtopics
  • The tone of the webinar (professional, casual, etc.)
  • How long it should take
  • Any CTAs you need them to include
  • Whether or not they can pitch their own products/services

Use this list, but also feel free to come up with any other pointers that will help them.

Recognize, too, that your guest webinar presenter will probably really appreciate you taking the lead to help guide them. They don’t want to do a bad job or otherwise miss the mark anymore than you do.

 

3. Let Them Know About Your Audience

Unless your guest webinar presenter is already familiar with your audience, you’ll want to tell them what to expect from your listeners.

Presumably, this won’t be a problem for you. Nonetheless, these are some questions that it may help to answer in preparation:

  • What is their age range?
  • What industries are they in?
  • Why do they usually tune in?
  • Which parts of the world are they from (some cultural references may not make sense)?

You can also share feedback with them that you’ve received in the past. Even if you’ve already processed these critiques and made changes to the way you do webinars, this kind of information can be extremely helpful.

 

4. Sort Out the Graphics They’ll Use

Every webinar needs to have visual components aside from just the speaker’s face. Long before your guest webinar presenter takes to the mic, you should both understand which graphics are going to be used.

You may already know the ones you would like them to present. If not, make sure they know that they’ll be responsible for this vital component. Offer to help them with this if they’d like.

If they decide to provide the graphics, then politely ask to see them beforehand. This way, there won’t be any nasty surprises the first time they put one on screen.

 

5. Make Sure They’re Okay with a Q&A Segment

One other element that usually makes a webinar much better is allowing audience members to ask questions at the end. Some people even give time for them throughout the presentation.

Obviously, this only applies to live webinars. Assuming that’s what you’re doing, let your guest webinar presenter know that you’d like them to take some questions at some point. If they haven’t used your interface before, you’ll need to show your webinar presenter what this will entail.

Allow for a webinar Q&A with a guest presenter

6. Discuss the Dress Code

If they’ll be facing a formal seminar, your webinar presenter shouldn’t show up wearing a sweatshirt and hat. This goes back to the point about tone we brought up earlier. They may be a wonderful presenter and even an expert on the topic, but if they’re dressed too casually, this will throw your audience off.

Likewise, if your webinar presenter is going to be talking about a more casual topic or their audience will be made up of people who don’t have a dress code at work, there’s no reason for them to wear a suit and tie or nice dress.

Your presenter probably has enough sense to know this, so you don’t need to make it an overt point, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Just politely tell them what kind of attire you think would be best.

 

7. Have Them Focus on Engagement

Q&A sessions are so great because they ensure there is a certain level of engagement during a webinar. Otherwise, it can be too easy for people to lose focus or drift off instead of watching your presentation.

There are other ways to engage the audience, though. Therefore, even if you’re not doing a live webinar, make it a point to stress that engagement needs to be a priority.

Your webinar presenter should be saying “you” a lot more than “I” for example. They should look for opportunities to bring up situations and scenarios that their audience will immediately find relatable. Again, this is why knowing about one’s audience plays such a big role in a webinar’s success.

 

8. Schedule a Quick Pre-Webinar Meeting

Ask your webinar presenter to either show up early or call you beforehand so you can go over the plan one more time before the show begins. This will give you both an opportunity to iron out any details that may still be in your presenter’s head.

The real reason to do this, though, even when your presenter is 100% ready, is simply to make sure the program begins on time.

If they’re coming into your office to do the webinar, they might get stuck in traffic. If they’re doing it remotely, the technology might provide a challenge at the last second. You never want a delay between the time you said a webinar will begin and when it actually does. This is especially true when you’re introducing a guest webinar presenter to your audience.

 

Schedule a pre-webinar meeting

 

 

9. Introduce Your Guest Webinar Presenter Well Beforehand

Speaking of which, your audience should be excited about this new guest. You don’t want them learning about them for the first time when they log in. However, you also don’t want your audience to have vague expectations.

Excitement is a huge advantage to have when presenting a webinar. People will be more likely to give you the benefit of the doubt and ignore small hiccups when they’re full of anticipation.

Of course, this will also help increase attendee enrollment. Long before the webinar goes live (or is otherwise published), start telling your audience why this guest is not to be missed.

 

10. Have a Backup Plan

This is another tip that isn’t necessarily about preparing your guest webinar presenter but is still crucial.

Unless your guest is a seasoned webinar professional, they might run into nerves when they realize they’re speaking to a large audience. If that happens, will you be able to step in? If they’re doing the webinar remotely and their feed cuts out, do you have a plan for running the show?

The likelihood of these things happening is small, but the fallout would be massive. Webinar attendance is already a tough thing to count on. Imagine what would happen to your numbers if your audience remembers that the last time you held one it was a complete bust? Plan accordingly.

 

11. Should You Ever Pay for a Webinar Presenter?

Finally, we’re going to close on a common question that gets asked when it comes to inviting a presenter to run your show.

Without a doubt, the presenter should get something from it. Otherwise, why would they bother doing it? Unless it’s a friend doing you a favor, they have a job and busy schedule to attend to as well, right?

That doesn’t mean you have to pay them, but it does mean you should be able to give them something in return. Maybe it’s just your large audience. Maybe you’ll be partnering with them on a project in the near future, so increasing their mindshare with your market is important.

That being said, don’t shy away from the idea of paying someone. Once you set a budget, you can broaden your horizons and may be able to choose a really impressive name in your industry simply by paying their bill.

Having a dollar sign attached to the success of this project also ensures the guest presenter takes your webinar seriously. It would be great if you could take for granted that they were going to do this, but money is a nice insurance policy.

 

12. Consider Having Another Webinar Ready

Finally, we talked about what you’d do if your presenter falls through or the technology crashes. Similarly, you should have a contingency plan in case the thing goes off without a hitch but simply doesn’t do well with your viewers.

This means having another webinar idea lined up and ready to go. By having one in the chamber you can quickly let your audience know that you’ll be doing one again next week. Doing so will limit the number of them who may detach permanently after a bad experience. You’re moving things right along and limiting the amount of time they have to solidify this new perception of your webinar as a low-quality one.

Bringing in a guest webinar presenter definitely comes with a unique set of challenges, but the result can definitely be worth it. Remember, too, that once you get your first guest webinar in the books, the others are going to be much, much easier.

This article should also help. Follow the above advice and you should be feeling extremely confident about having a guest run your show.

You can always count on BigMarker for advice, too. If you’re still nervous about the whole thing, just let us know how we can help.

 

Sources:

http://blogs.adobe.com/adobeconnect/2013/12/six-tips-for-new-webinar-presenters.html

http://blog.workcast.com/top-10-tips-for-webinar-presenters

http://blog.clickmeeting.com/10-wow-audience-tips-webinar-presenters

https://elearningindustry.com/14-tips-to-create-and-present-a-highly-effective-webinar

https://www.meetingburner.com/blog/how-to-recruit-an-influential-guest-presenter-for-your-next-webinar/

http://www.eventbuilder.rocks/5-tips-for-using-experts-as-guest-presenters-in-marketing-webinars/

http://blog.clickmeeting.com/benefits-guest-expert-speakers-webinars

Tips and Tricks for Keeping Your Online Audience Engaged Throughout Your Entire Webinar

Webinars offer an ideal way to connect with an online audience that often surpasses live gatherings, which makes them the meeting of choice for many.

This is especially true for speakers motivated to connect with as many participants as possible in a single gathering. However, keeping an online audience engaged can be tricky. That’s why we’re sharing some of our key tips and tricks for keeping an online audience engaged throughout your entire webinar.

Identifying the Challenges

Although webinars offer significant benefits over live meetings, it’s important to remember that there are some unique challenges to consider when presenting a webinar to an online audience.

With a screen (and potentially hundreds of miles) between you and listeners, zoning out during a webinar can be commonplace amongst an online audience. Simply pushing the mute button on a session is all it takes to multi-task during a webinar that isn’t completely holding your audience’s attention.

In order to avoid the dreaded webinar “tune out,” you will have to up your engagement game during the session. This will ensure your online audience remains plugged in during your entire demonstration. Implementing several proven tips and tricks for keeping your online audience engaged throughout your entire webinar can help keep everyone on task.

When planning for success with your next webinar, consider the following advice:

 

What’s Your Point?

Don’t go into your webinar with an extensive range of topics and ideas you’d like to cover during your session.

Going too broad with your dialogue can almost guarantee you’ll lose the attention of your listeners at various points if they determine that what you’re talking about isn’t relevant or interesting to them personally.

When choosing the topic of your presentation, get as specific as possible so all users logging in understand exactly what they will be listening to during your time together. Also, know going into the topics selection process that pinpointing an outline that works for everyone is virtually impossible.

It’s better to develop a webinar that makes a significant impact on a smaller audience than one that covers far too much information and loses traction with a larger one. If you’re not sure how to select an engaging topic that will resonate with your niche, ask.

Consult with your team for ideas or send along a survey directly to your demographic to ask what they want to know more about so you can focus your event accordingly.

 

Get Specific About Your Benefits

Choosing the right topic is only the first step in successfully connecting with your listeners. Beyond the points you’ll discuss in your session, you will also want to outline why it’s your online audience’s best interest to attend.

Get specific about what each listener in your online audience will reap from attending your webinar. Seeing the list of benefits offered by your conference will pique their interest and help keep them on point with you throughout the discussion.

 

Command Attention Right at the Start

Don’t rely on a long buildup to captivate your online audience.

Make it your mission to command attention as soon as you start speaking. Avoid spending too much time with introductions and miscellaneous details.

Instead, get the intros done quickly, move on to an engaging (albeit succinct) anecdote and then dig into the meat of your presentation. Keep it concise to let attendees know right at the start you won’t be wasting precious time on monotonous details and will be keeping the discussion moving forward. It’s an excellent way to keep them listening.

 

Make it a Dialogue, Not a Monologue

allow webinar participants to submit questions and responses in real time

It’s no secret that the discussions we remember most are the ones we get a chance to participate in; the same holds true for your webinar’s online audience.

As a presenter, you have options. You can choose to speak at them, droning on (and on…and on…) about countless details and facts and risk losing their attention; or, you can speak with them, continuously asking for their input, feedback and opinions to ensure they stay plugged in no matter how long the presentation runs.

You can actually use your webinar software to help with this; today’s webinar technology allows your participants to submit questions and responses in real time. As a host, make moderating and integrating these comments a priority so your attendees remain attentive.

 

Stay Charged!

Don’t underestimate your responsibility to keep everyone listening.

Rule of thumb: it’s not (entirely) about what you say…it really is how you say it. Even the most compelling presentation can have lackluster results if it’s delivered with ho-hum energy. Keeping your online audience engaged is the key to an effective webinar.

Do your part; make an effort to keep your energy level up when speaking to keep your participants connected to what you have to say.

Turn nervousness into excitement by moving around when speaking. Also, whenever possible, create natural-feeling interruptions to help break up the potential monotony of too many consecutive slides. This will help keep your participants plugged-in and on their toes.

Finally, repeat your previous point before moving on to your next one to really reinforce your message to listeners.

The best way to guarantee you have what it takes to give a dynamic speech? Practice. Do as many dry runs as needed to really nail down your delivery to resonate best with attendees.

 

Give Your Online Audience Bragging Rights

Everyone loves a chance to show off what they’ve learned. Keep this in mind during your online presentation. If you’re hosting a training session, tell your online audience that there will be a brief quiz at the event’s conclusion for them to earn professional development credits – it’s a guaranteed way to keep them engaged at all times.

The quiz approach can add value even if you’re not hosting a training event. Use end-of-sessions quizzes to encourage participants to earn points, achieve recognition or even receive discounts off of products to ensure they are encouraged to listen to your webinar.

 

Diversify Your Speakers

Know some industry thought leaders that also love to work a great webinar? Ask them to speak at yours. Creating a panel of presenters who all offer something just a little bit different than everyone else will immediately build buzz around your webinar.

Most importantly, when you do go live, changing hosts can keep the energy up in your virtual meeting room, encouraging everyone logged in to pay attention to the information being shared.

keep your online audience engaged with diverse webinar presenters

 

Test Your Audio

Audio is important during any type of gathering. However, sound quality may prove even more critical during an online session than a face-to-face meeting.

No one wants to hear the dreaded, “can you hear me now?” during a webinar.

If one segment of your attendees are struggling to hear what’s being said, you may find yourself spinning wheels trying to remedy the sound situation while simultaneously losing the interest of the attendees who actually can hear you.

Before you go live, optimize your audio input options based on the system you’re using as well as perform audio checks to ensure your online audience gets the royal sound system treatment.

 

Manage Your Time Wisely

Always consider your listeners’ busy schedules when developing your webinar presentation. No one wants to log into a conference only to feel like they’re being held hostage for the next several hours. Those who stay on at a webinar that is too long (and even those that disconnect before you end) will feel resentful and taken advantage of.

Prove that you value and respect their time by creating a conference that runs no longer than 60 minutes.

As a general rule of thumb, 45 minutes for speaking with 15 minutes at the end for questions should provide a manageable balance for participants to remain attentive throughout the webinar.

 

Set Aside a Specific Q&A Section

You should always allow for questions throughout the session to hold listeners’ attention. However, setting aside time near the end of the event for a final question and answer period can keep attendees listening for the whole webinar.

When sending out an agenda, be sure to list out the different Q&A segments you plan to host. This will help your online audience know that it’s worth staying until the very end to ask their questions. It will also let them know that they will be able to hear what others may inquire about after hearing your presentation in its entirety.

Worried no one will have anything to ask? Fret not; come prepared with some of your own relevant questions to build momentum. Chances are, the rest of your attendees will follow suit.

 

Save the Best for Last

Reward your attendees for tuning in throughout your entire presentation.

After setting aside time for a thorough question and answer segment, you may want to consider offering a giveaway of some sort.

Let participants know that at the end of the discussion, listeners will receive an added perk.  Examples include: free resources, promotional discounts or even access to exclusive products.

In short, never underestimate the power of the freebie to keep your online audience engaged throughout your entire webinar.

 

Conclusion

There are many ways to engage an online audience during your entire webinar. If you use the suggestions above, you’re guaranteed to host a successful online event from start to finish.

If you’re looking for powerful webinar software, BigMarker can help. Sign up for a 14-day free trial today. Or send us a message if you have a question.

 

12 Webinar Statistics You Need to Know Before Hosting Your Next Online Event

If you’ve never hosted a webinar before, it can be tough knowing where to start. To help navigate the webinar hosting process, we’ve compiled the 12 most important webinar statistics to know below. These webinar statistics will help guide you through hosting a webinar that attracts attendees and makes them glad they viewed your presentation.

1. Your Webinar Should Be Between 30 and 45 Minutes Long

Before you pick your webinar topic, it’s important to consider the first entry on our list of important webinar statistics: webinar audiences prefer attending webinars that run between 30 and 40 minutes long.

As shown in the above graph, webinar statistics show that 41% of attendees prefer attending 30 minute-long webinars and 44% of attendees prefer webinars to last 45 minutes.

These webinar statistics also show that only 5% of webinar attendees prefer webinars that last just 20 minutes and only 10% want to attend sessions that last one hour.

If you can’t get your webinar to fill at least 30 minutes without adding in filler content, it’s time to rethink your topic. Find one that can easily fill those 30 minutes.

At the same time, if your topic demands more than one hour, these webinar statistics should convince you that it’s best to divide the presentation into two or more parts. This will come with a couple extra challenges, but they’ll be worth it if it means that the length of each webinar fits into this ideal range.

 

2. People Will Only Commit to One Webinar Per Week

The second entry on our list of webinar statistics is all about time commitment. Research shows that people will only commit to attending one webinar per week, which means you cannot be lazy when it comes to organizing and promoting your webinar.

Your targeted webinar attendees may be interested in a number of different types of webinars, not just the ones that have to do with your industry.  Nonetheless, these webinar statistics hold: people only view one a week, on average.

What this means for you is that your webinar isn’t just competing against those from your competitors but all other webinars out there that a viewer could possibly be interested.

Keep this in mind as you put your webinar together. You have all kinds of competition vying for your market’s attention.

 

3. Morning is Best for Hosting Webinars

Next, let’s talk about when you should host a webinar. Conventional wisdom has usually been that it’s best to host webinars in the afternoon (after people are off work so you know they’re free).

Other popular webinar times are around noon or one o’clock, since it’s over the average lunch hour.

However, webinar statistics show that 10 or 11 o’clock in the morning is actually the time people prefer most.

Only about 16% of people like webinars to be scheduled at noon or later. That’s about the same amount of people who would actually prefer 9am.

Webinar statistics prove that the majority of people would actually prefer webinars to be hosted at either 10am or 11am. The latter was the preference of 26% of viewers with 11am being the winner with 32%.

 

4. Tuesdays Are Best for Hosting Webinars

With the above webinar statistics, you now know what time of day to hold your webinar, but how about what day of the week? This is just as important.

Tuesday is the big winner here. However, Wednesday and Thursday were close behind, so any of those three days should be fine.

The clear indicator here seems to be the fact that people want plenty of time to plan around attending webinars. That’s a good sign, though. It means people are taking these programs seriously.

As Monday and Friday tend to be the busiest days of the week (and the ones people are most likely to take vacation days on), it makes sense to avoid them like the plague.

 

5. You Absolutely Must Include a Q&A at the End of Your Webinar

The most lopsided of our webinar statistics is about Q&As. If you’re not already hosting live Q&A sessions at the end of your webinar presentations, it’s time to make a change.

92% of webinar attendees want a live question and answer session at the end of a webinar.

Therefore, you should factor your Q&A sessions into the overall running time of your webinars (per the webinar statistics we covered earlier). Most Q&A sessions are about ten minutes long, but you might find that the sessions typically facilitate are shorter or longer as time goes on. Simply modify the amount of time you leave for your Q&As as necessary.

When you first begin hosting webinars, it can be tough to anticipate the questions you’ll get. In fact, you might not get any questions from your audience at all. Just because they like Q&A sessions doesn’t actually mean they’ll ask questions.

As such, make sure you have a few canned questions planned and ready to go. Treat them like an FAQ, so if no one is asking questions you can simply tell your audience you’ll cover the common ones you usually get. This might also help your viewers think of some of their own.

 

6. Be Passionate and Interesting

Being passionate and interesting is always a good idea, no matter what the context.

That being said, these are still important webinar statistics to look at because they also show what doesn’t work when you’re hosting a webinar.

When people were asked about what engages them most, they reported that visual slides weren’t as engaging as one might assume. Only about 15% said they were engaged by slideshows and other visuals.

The same amount mentioned interactions between speakers and attendees. Therefore, while Q&As are still important to include, don’t spend the majority of your webinar trying to talk to your audience. It turns out that most people don’t care if you do.

Webinar statistics show that 32% of attendees said they felt the most engaged when the webinar host was passionate and energetic. Practice adding as much excitement into your voice as you can muster, as this will keep your attendees happy and engaged throughout your webinars.

Finally (and not surprisingly), interesting and relevant content won the day. Webinar statistics show that 38% of attendees cited this as the thing they engage with the most.

While these might not be shocking webinar statistics, keep this in mind when you’re coming up with a webinar title. As we’ve already covered, headlines are extremely important. Make sure the name of your webinar lets people know it’s going to be interesting and relevant.

 

7. Webinar Statistics Prove You Need to Go Long with Promotion

About 29% of your attendees won’t register for your presentation until the day of the event itself. However, webinar statistics also show that 17% of your attendees will probably sign up more than 15 days before the big day. That’s nearly half of the people who will attend.

Therefore, you need to make sure you have a nice long promotional cycle to attract every potential lead. Use everything from social media posts to blogs to emails to give yourself as much of a chance as possible to let people know about your webinar.

 

8. Send Your Emails Midweek

send webinar emails midweek

Speaking of your emails, midweek is the best possible time to send them out to your potential audience. These webinar statistics almost completely mirror the ones we covered above about when to host your event.

Tuesday is best, but Wednesday and Thursday aren’t bad. Monday actually takes fourth place as, come Friday, people just want to do what it takes to get out the door and enjoy their weekends.

Obviously, Saturday and Sunday are terrible days for promotional emails, much less webinars.

 

9. About a Third of Those Who Sign Up Will Actually Attend Your Webinar

While all of the webinar statistics on this list are important, this is the one that the majority of people tend to fixate on the most. After all, at the end of the day, one of the most important success metrics for a webinar – arguably, the only one that matters – is how many people actually attended.

The ratio of registrants to attendees is surprisingly consistent. While you can always work to improve these webinar statistics for your company, about 35% to 45% is the average.

That’s a very strong number, though, so if that’s where you’re consistently landing, consider your efforts successful and only work to boost them after you’ve optimized other features of your webinar.

If you’re falling below 35%, something is definitely wrong. The other webinar statistics in this article should give you some idea of what has to change so that the number does, too.

 

10. The Average Number of Webinar Attendees Is 148

Another important metric to aim for from our list of webinar statistics is 148. This is the average audience size you should be looking for when you host webinars. If you apply this to the last statistic, you’ll need to have about 500 people register for yours even before you can hope to get roughly 150 people to actually attend. Of course, that’s only if you’re getting a third of your registrants to do so.

Also, if you take out webinars that only had 100 people attend from the survey that produced this statistic, the average jumps all the way up to 392. Therefore, don’t get too comfortable with 149. While that’s a good milestone to hit, there’s clearly plenty of room for improvement you could work toward.

 

11. Record and Replay Your Webinars for Best Results

Everyone is going to have different goals for their webinars. If you’re using it to set up a limited time offer or the webinar comes with a price, it makes sense that you wouldn’t want to replay it in the future.

That being said, 28% of people who watch webinars signed up to do so after registration was over. This number appears to be growing steadily, as well. The takeaway would be that people don’t necessarily care if the event is live or not. It may also speak to a growing on-demand culture that expects things like Netflix and Hulu to deliver content when it’s convenient.

Therefore, consider leaving webinars up for as long as possible to gain increased views. These webinar statistics may also identify the fact that people from all over the world want to watch webinars but can only do so when it’s convenient depending on their time zone.

 

12. The Cost of a Webinar Differs Greatly, but Almost Everyone Is Paying

Finally, it’s become clear that you need to invest money into your webinar. At the very least, it should cost $100 to produce a webinar. However, the average swings from $100 all the way up to $3,000.

If you’re currently not spending a dime and relying solely on free software for your webinars, you’re probably not getting the results you were hoping for.

Everyone’s webinar is going to be a bit different, but you should now have a much better understanding of what yours should probably entail. If you’d like more help putting on a successful webinar, check out BigMarker today.

 

Sources:

https://www.readytalk.com/blog/christine-nguyen/12-webinar-stats-you-need-to-know

http://bizibl.com/marketing/download/2016-webinar-benchmarks-report

https://www.slideshare.net/GoToWebinar/6-webinar-stats-you-should-know

Are Your Webinars Successful? Tracking and Decoding Webinar Metrics

As you probably know, hosting a webinar can benefit your company in a number of ways. However, before you put time and money into these presentations, make sure you know about the following webinar metrics you can use to judge their effectiveness.

Investment ROI

Of all the webinar metrics we’re about to list, this should be one of the most familiar. No matter what kind of business you’re in, everyone knows what ROI (Return on Investment) is and why it’s important.

While ROI can apply to all kinds of investments, we’re putting it on our list of webinar metrics as a reminder because it can be fairly easy to overlook. Depending on your setup, webinars are usually cheap to host. This is especially true if you already own some or all of the required hardware.

Nonetheless, just like anything to do with your business, you need to track what you’re spending to see whether or not you’re making a good investment. Don’t just keep the receipts from the hardware you had to buy, either.

You may also have to account for things like:

  • Webinar software (the cost may be one-time; it may be monthly)
  • The opportunity cost of you taking time out of your day to host or the amount you’re paying an employee
  • Any platforms you used for landing pages, emails, etc.
  • Any ads you used to bring in traffic

There may be all kinds of other costs involved. These should all be tracked and you should also put a system in place to take into consideration any others you add in the future.

Then, you’ll want to compare the amount of money you’ve spent on your webinars up to this point on how many conversions you’re seeing that produce actual customers.

Length of the Webinar

We touched on this to some degree, but the second recommendation on our list of webinar metrics is to track how long your webinar actually goes on for.

The reason we mentioned above was in terms of real or opportunity cost: if you’re taking time out of your day, what’s the cost of that because you’re not doing something else? On the other hand, if you’re paying an employee, what’s the cost to have them host?

However, those aren’t the only reasons to pay attention to how long your webinars are going on for.

Like all webinar metrics, the length of your webinars may influence how effective they are at converting customers.

While it’ll probably never come down to a minute-by-minute analysis, you may learn that a full hour is preferable to just a half hour. As time goes on and you do enough webinars, you might find that, for some topics, your guests are willing to stick around longer than they are for others.

At first, just get a feel for what their general preference is, but look to segment that down at some point, too, for even better insights.

Drop-Off Points

No matter what you have in mind for your webinar in terms of the format, your goals for it, the information you’ll cover, how much you’re investing, etc. you need to make drop-off points one of the webinar metrics you pay attention to.

As the name suggests, this metric refers to when people drop off your webinar. It’s almost always going to happen and a lot of times, there’s little you can do about it.

Nevertheless, you want to keep the number as small as possible and looking back on drop-off points will help you do this.

For example, let’s say you found that people were leaving within the first 10 minutes while you were still doing your introduction and explaining the goal of your webinar. This would be hugely valuable information. Up until that moment, you may have thought your introduction was not just polished and engaging but helpful for the audience, as well.

Now, you would know otherwise and could make adjustments so more people stick around for the rest of the webinar.

Checking for drop-off points can help with everything from knowing which guests are good/bad to which topics your viewers like/hate to even the type of tone they prefer.

The Optimal Time to Host a Webinar

Depending on whom you speak to, the ideal time to put on a webinar is right around noon or sometime after five. Others will tell you that Saturday morning is usually the best.

It’s not that these people are lying. It’s that they most likely all have very different types of clientele.

If you’re hosting a webinar for freelancers, just about any time during the day probably works.

On the other hand, if you’re hoping for attendance from people who work traditional 9-to-5 jobs, you could host your sessions at noon and hope to catch them on their lunch breaks, or wait until after they get home.

The only way to know for sure is to use webinar metrics. Truth be told, you can also find out when your competitors put theirs on and assume they’ve already done their research, but looking into your webinar metrics is probably still best.

Use webinar metrics to schedule webinars

Attendee Feedback

Feedback is extremely important to the success of your webinar for a few reasons.

The obvious one is that all the webinar metrics in the world may not help you with certain points that could use improvement. Maybe you’d be better off explaining certain terms in more detail or ditching a certain segment people are just sitting through to get to the good stuff.

However, feedback is also an important form of engagement. Your webinar metrics may show you a large percentage of your audience stays from the beginning to the end of your presentation. Well, that’s great, right?

Maybe, but maybe people aren’t really paying attention. They might just have it on in the background while they pull up another window and do something else. Or, people might be listening but actually have no idea what you’re talking about.

None of these would bode well for reaching your webinar goals. By keeping track of the amount of feedback you get during and after a webinar (and getting a sense for what these responses are about), you’ll have a much easier time understanding if you’re connecting with your audience or not.

Note: you do, of course, actually have to prompt your audience for feedback and enable that option in your webinars. Otherwise, your webinar metrics may be reporting depressing results simply because your viewers don’t know they can interrupt you.

Polls and Surveys

webinar polls as a webinar metric

These webinar metrics are both versions of feedback, but they deserve their own space here because of the unique insights they can provide.

Recall that a few paragraphs back we mentioned that you’d want to get a sense for what kind of responses you were receiving from your audience.

This can be kind of tough, though. One really nice problem to have would simply be that so many people are attending your webinars that you can’t possibly make a fair assessment of their responses.

Fortunately, surveys and polls not only solve this problem but are two very effective webinar metrics for other reasons, too.

You can use polls and surveys during your webinar to quickly get answers from your audience in a way that will be easy to quickly understand.

Of course, you can also use them afterward to solicit critiques from your viewers.

The great thing about organizing information this way is how easy it then is to view it all from a macro-level. If you keep the same or similar questions going forward, it will be that much easier to compare responses.

Devices Used to Watch Your Webinar

This might seem like a minor piece of data hardly worth the use of webinar metrics, but there’s a lot you could do with this information.

The most obvious is that if you know your audience tends to use smartphones to watch your webinars, you’re going to need larger graphics so they can see them on their smaller screens. In fact, that insight would be worth knowing even if just 10% of your audience preferred smartphones. You don’t want to lose 10% of the audience you worked so hard to bring in, do you?

Conversion Rate

Arguably, one of the most important webinar metrics you need to concern yourself with is conversion rate.

There are three different versions. The first we already talked about at the beginning: it’s knowing how many people attend and then convert into customers.

Aside from knowing the ROI, though, you also want to get a feel for what percentage of the total attendees are converting. Even if your ROI is huge because of low overhead, that doesn’t mean your conversion rate is necessarily where you want it to be.

The second type of conversion rate you want to use webinar metrics to monitor is the number of people who actually attend your webinar after registering for it.

Depending on the industry you work in, that number could easily be as low as 20% and yet would still be considered really good for that field.

You’ll need to figure this out for yourself and then track your ability to lock in people who RSVP.

Of course, the conversion rate of people who come to your site and then go on to sign up for your webinar may be of particular interest, as well. This is the beginning of your marketing funnel, so if it’s not serving its purpose, the rest of your efforts are also going to come up short.

Again, don’t confuse these webinar metrics with ROI. The latter has to do with dollars and cents. These are all about ratios: how many of the whole were you able to get to take a desired action?

Brand Awareness

This is a pretty tough metric to monitor no matter what kind of tools you’re using to increase your company’s brand awareness.

Perhaps the most popular way for many businesses is to watch their social media profiles and look for significant increases following webinars. You’d have to know what a normal increase looks like, but, otherwise, gathering these webinar metrics from across your social media sites could prove very helpful.

The other way you can measure brand awareness is by tracking mentions of your company. You can set up Google Alerts for this or use software specific to social media sites. After all, some people may mention you or your webinar without actually speaking directly to your account.

Again, it can be tough to quantify these incidents in terms of brand awareness. People could be talking about your organization for any number of reasons.

Still, if you’re using webinars to increase your company’s mindshare and build its brand, it’s worth digging into these metrics.

Return Attendees

Earlier, we mentioned conversions and the importance of making sure people are RSVPing and then actually showing up.

Our last example on our list of webinar metrics you should be using has to do with retention. Make sure you’re not just looking at raw numbers when it comes to people showing up to your webinars. You also want to see how many are returning. Not only will that kind of retention cost you less, but those people are probably more likely to become customers, something that may be a major goal of your webinar.

The above information should have made it clear that webinar metrics are vital to your success using this medium, but also that you’re not lacking for options. Someday, you may come up with your own metric unique to the type of industry you’re in or customer you’re after, but for now, the above list should more than suffice.

That being said, if you have any questions about webinar metrics or hosting successful webinars, feel free to get in touch.  Also, if you need a powerful webinar platform to handle your webinar metrics and other webinar hosting endeavors, BigMarker fits the bill. Start your 14-day free trial today!

 

 

 

Sources:

https://www.slideshare.net/WebinarReady/6-key-metrics-that-impact-webinar-peformance62413

http://blog.workcast.com/5-metrics-for-measuring-webinar-success

https://venturebeat.com/2015/09/23/10-key-metrics-to-turn-your-webinars-into-a-super-lead-gen-tool/

https://www.brighttalk.com/webcast/1166/52367/6-key-metrics-that-impact-webinar-performance-before-during-and-after

The 13 Benefits of Using Webinar Software to Host Online Classes

If you have a desire to teach, then you should know that using webinar software to host online classes comes with a number of unique advantages worth exploring.

We’ve provided you with the top 13 benefits to teaching online classes via webinar below:

1. There is no limit to the number of students you can accept

While this is the type of problem most teachers can only hope for, the fact is that teaching a class in person means that you may not be able to accommodate all the students who wish to attend. After that, you just have to hope they sign up for the next time you’re offering the class or you’ve just missed out on more money. (If the class is free, you may still miss out on potential students.)

 

2. Online classes have zero room restrictions, so you’re never limited

Of course, you may decide to cut off registration at a certain point simply so you’re able to give individual attention as necessary, but the number you choose will be completely up to you.

 

3. Students can attend from anywhere in the world

The other side of benefit #2 is that you can accept students from anywhere in the world. They don’t have to be a local to become a student. They don’t even have to be a citizen in the same country as yours.

Again, this is going to mean that you can receive more students for each class you hold.

It also means that you can market your class to people from all over the world, too. You’re dealing with a much larger pool of potential students.

All this might seem obvious. What probably isn’t obvious is that by being able to market to anyone in the world, you stand a much better chance of finding potential hotspots you would otherwise have missed if you could only accept local attendees.

For example, if you were teaching a course on the history of European art, you might be surprised to learn that the topic is very popular in Asia, simply because this type of art is much less common.

If you could only teach the course to people who could attend in person in the West, you’d miss out on this very promising income stream.

 

4. You can record online classes

Use webinar software to record online classes

Live online classes are great for a number of reasons, but sometimes they’re inconvenient for some people to attend, especially when you cater to a global audience.

For this reason, we recommend you use webinar software to record your online classes so they can be watched on-demand.

Obviously, this isn’t something you could easily do with in-person classes. Even if you did, the equipment costs would be significant and you’d still need software to upload the recording to your website.

 

5. Your Online Classes Can Teach People While You’re Fast Asleep

Once you’ve recorded your online classes, you can put them online and people can watch them whenever they want. This means your students can be learning at any time, even while you’re fast asleep.

This is a far better use of your time. It also accommodates your students’ time much better, too.

Again, the end result is that you can welcome more students into your course. If you plan on charging for your classes, this is going to make a very profitable difference.

 

6. Online Classes Can Become a Source of Passive Income

As we just mentioned, you’re probably thinking about charging for your online classes. Sure, you can offer classes for free in the hopes that they work as a sort of marketing funnel, but it’s also worth thinking about how much you could make by charging people to attend your course.

If you use webinar software and record your classes, you don’t even have to work to make money. Once your class is recorded and you’re happy with it, you can share it online and charge people to watch while, once again, you’re busy doing something else.

The class can continue to make you money for as long as it’s relevant.

In fact, a lot of teachers use webinar software to record their classes and then spend their free time marketing it to increase its exposure and how many customers they can charge.

 

7. Students Can Still Ask Questions During Online Classes

Interactive webinar software for online classes

There’s no doubt that students need the option to ask questions in order to get the most out of a class. Perhaps you were thinking about this as you read our advice to record your online classes and offer them 24/7/365.

Did you wonder how students would be able to get answers to the questions they had?

If so, remember that, if you use the right webinar software, you can host a live class with students watching and make it possible for them to send you their questions, record it, and then offer it online later. Q&A sessions at the end of webinars are extremely popular.

Whether you decide to do this or not, you can also provide your students with an email address they can send their questions to. You just have to make sure you reply promptly.

Over time, consider putting together a FAQ of the questions you tend to get the most from students. This should help cut down on the number of emails you get while still keeping your students happy.

No matter how you plan to handle this matter, the important thing is that you’re still able to interact with people who sign up for your class and may have questions.

 

8. It’s Easier to Monitor Success Rates with Online Classes

Another very distinct advantage you’ll get from using webinar software to host your online classes is that it becomes much easier to monitor your success rates.

Traditionally, it can be difficult to know if you’re doing well teaching your class. There are things like attendance rate and grades, of course, but those still leave a huge gray area. Even handing out feedback forms usually won’t bring you the type of responses you can really use to improve as a teacher.

Webinar software can give you extremely helpful analytics, though.

Aside from the basics (e.g. how many people registered to attend vs. how many people actually did), you can also find out if/when people left your class from the engagement statistics your webinar software provides.

Most students can’t or won’t do this in real life. They might physically be present, but their minds are miles away. As such, you have no idea that your presentation of the material isn’t very engaging. You probably won’t find out until it comes time to do some grading and it becomes clear there’s an issue.

If you use webinar software, you’ll know where you need to improve as a teacher. As time goes on, you can expect far better engagement rates. You should also see more and more people sign up for your classes as word spreads about just how effective you are as a teacher.

For those of you who are offering a class for free as a means of marketing a product or service you’ll offer at the end, analytics are also very important. Webinar software will help you boost engagement and profitability. You can also use it to decide what your future investment will be on classes so you’re not sinking yourself with unnecessary overhead.

9. Online Classes are Great for Teachers Who Hate Public Speaking

Teaching and speaking in front of a large group of people tend to go hand in hand. Unfortunately, not everyone who loves sharing their knowledge with others also loves getting up in front of those people.

Obviously, if you’re using webinar software to host online classes, you’re not standing directly in front of a huge crowd.

However, if you’re lucky, a huge crowd will be “attending” from all over the world. The very thought of this might be enough to get your pulse racing.

As we’ve already mentioned, though, using webinar software means you can simply record your class and post it online later.

If you take this route, then there’s really no one around when you’re actually “teaching.” You’re just talking to your computer. If you don’t like how you said something, go back and redo that line. Rehearse as many times as you want without ever having to worry about messing up in front of a crowd or stage fright otherwise getting the best of you.

10. Hosting Online Classes Is Far More Affordable Than Holding Them in Person

High-quality webinar software – the kind you’ll want to use for your online classes – is going to cost money, but you’ll find it’s still more affordable than the costs that come with offering courses in person.

For one, you’d have to rent space.  You may even need to spend money on making sure that space has seating.

Then there are all the profitable advantages we’re covering in this piece. Foregoing those will definitely cost you.

Therefore, despite the fact that webinar software will actually make it easier to make money from your online classes, it’s also going to be cheaper than the traditional approach to teaching.

 

11. Online Classes Are Becoming the Norm

It wasn’t all that long ago that learning through a webinar format was almost unheard of. However, that has definitely changed. Nowadays, almost everyone has gone through some type of course online before.

Whether it was for college credits, a class their employer made them take, or something they did in their free time for their own reasons, webinars are the norm.

In fact, whole colleges have sprung up around the idea of providing courses to students from all over the world. Don’t be surprised to see this trend continue.

What this means for you is that you shouldn’t avoid offering online classes because you’re worried about what people will think. While some of your students may definitely be attending an online course for the first time, those people are in the minority. Most have already been through several.

 

12. Webinar Software Will Give Your Online Classes a Truly Professional Feel

Not only do you not need to worry about online classes being a turn-off to your potential classes, but you can actually use this type of platform to position yourself as a high-quality source of information.

Webinar software will give your online classes a truly professional feel. For one thing, as we already covered, you can wait until you’re happy with your presentation before you actually put it online, which means you can make numerous efforts to give off the professional feel you want.

The right webinar software will also help with the very presentation in terms of how it looks and how your market engages with it. You can optimize this professional feel with your entire marketing funnel, too.

 

13. You Can Use Online Classes to Boost Your Perceived Authority

If you’ve been in education for a while, you know that there are only a couple of ways to truly boost your professional profile.

The first would be to get work published in your field and have it receive glowing reviews from your contemporaries.

The other is to publish a work (usually a book) that has a decent chance of reaching potential students so they can judge for themselves how qualified you are.

While it might still be worth chasing these options, neither can compete with using webinar software to create online classes and then marketing them online.

Again, as people can attend your course from anywhere in the world, you can use everything from social media to PPC to guest posts to grab your market’s attention.

Aside from giving you a shot at far more students, being seen all over like this can dramatically increase the authority you’re perceived to have in your field. Obviously, this could be worth a lot of money.

Webinar software isn’t just user-friendly; it also comes with all the benefits we just covered above. Still, if you’d like help making the most out of one of these platforms, contact BigMarker for help.

 

 

 

Sources:

http://blog.yondo.com/2016/01/07/how-to-make-money-online-by-selling-webinars-and-live-broadcasts/#

http://oedb.org/ilibrarian/10-advantages-to-taking-online-classes/

http://www.megameeting.com/Benefits_to_holding_a_webinar.html

https://elearningindustry.com/top-7-benefits-web-conferencing-software-elearning-professionals

http://www.efgp.org/newsletter-articles/832-why-host-a-webinar-9-fantastic-webinar-benefits

What’s in a Webinar Title?

A lot goes into hosting a successful webinar. While there are a number of important elements to cover before, during, and after your webinars to ensure success, it’s critical to start with a winning webinar title.

Below, we’re going to cover what you need to know in order to come up with an attractive, high-converting webinar title.

 

Think About Your Audience Before Choosing a Webinar Title

Think About Your People and Webinar Audience Before Choosing a Webinar Title

This might seem like pretty obvious advice. Of course, you want to think about who might be attending your webinar before you come up with its title. That’s why this tip comes first on our list of webinar title advice.

However, let’s dig a bit deeper.

When you understand your market and what they’re looking for, you’ll have more freedom to make the most out of the advice below.

One thing to think about is tone. It has become very popular for people to give the titles of their webinars, blog posts, and other forms of marketing some kind of humorous or witty bend.

This can definitely increase your clicks, but before you do something like this, consider if the tone would be appropriate.

If your webinar is on something like estate planning, dealing with depression, or any other subject that might carry a somber feel, it probably isn’t a good idea to try to inject humor. People might not think you’re taking the topic very seriously or they may simply wonder if you are truly a professional.

Finally, take a look at what your competitors are doing. There’s no shame in trying to improve on what’s clearly working for them.

 

Turn Your Webinar Title into a Provocative Question

No matter what kind of marketing material you’re trying to come up with a title for, asking a question is almost always a sure bet.

For one thing, a question demands an answer. Therefore, by making your webinar title a question, you’re setting yourself up for instant engagement. This doesn’t guarantee someone will sign up, but it ensures that most people will take an extra second because of your title.

For best results, make the question a provocative one.

“How would you like to increase your sales?” is definitely a question that will probably gain decent engagement.

However, a far better one would be, “Would you like to improve your profits by 200%?”

See how that gets the mind going? A provocative question must be specific in order to get the desired reaction.

 

Use a Powerful Verb in Your Webinar Title

Use a Powerful Verb in Your Webinar Title

Rephrasing the above provocative webinar title into a statement would be to say, “Start making 200% more today!”

Obviously, it’s still provocative. It also carries a certain amount of power with it. The title doesn’t just hold a promise. It’s literally telling you to begin doing something.

However, an even more powerful verb would go a long way toward boosting your webinar signups.

“Accelerate your profits by 200%!”

“Boost profits by 200%!”

“Generate 200% more with your business!”

These stronger, more powerful verbs all help get the blood pumping a bit more. This is what you want. Before someone decides to invest time and perhaps even money into your webinar, you’d better get them excited.

Use verbs in your webinar title that will spike their emotions and have them full of anticipation so they can’t wait to get started.

 

Turn Your Webinar Title into a Listicle

If you know anything about writing blogs, you know that “listicles” (list-based forms of content) make for fantastic content. Aside from the fact that they are inherently better for organizing information, the titles tend to outperform others in terms of gaining clicks.

You can leverage the same power by coming up with a webinar title that begins with a number.

Of course, you only want to do this if your webinar will actually follow the same format. However, if you haven’t picked said format yet, it might be worth reorganizing things a bit so your listicle title becomes an accurate choice.

Combine this titling tip with the others from this piece and you will come up with a real powerhouse for your webinar.

 

Don’t Forget to Use Keywords in Your Webinar Title

Use keywords in your webinar title

While we’re not going to take the time to explain the intricacies of SEO (Search Engine Optimization), the following should suffice for a definition: SEO entails a number of different methods that help your site earn traffic by getting better ranks with search engines, especially Google.

Keywords play a big role in SEO. They’re the words or phrases people type into a search engine when they’re looking for something.

For example, if you were car shopping in Miami, you might type, “car dealerships in Miami.”

If you run a car dealership in Miami, that phrase is definitely a keyword you would want Google to associate with your site, so you’d stand a better chance of ending up high on the first page of the search results for it.

Again, we’re not going to get into all the details here, but having a keyword in the title of your content is always helpful. It tells Google that this keyword clearly plays a big role in the content you’ve posted.

Therefore, when you’re trying to come up with a webinar title, consider what your audience might search for to find it. This goes back to understanding your audience.

For best results, use SEO software for this or hire an expert to help you come up with a title based on available keywords you stand a good chance of ranking well for.

 

Make the Outcome Clear in Your Webinar Title

Above, when we were coming up with webinar title ideas about a program that would help viewers boost their profits, we did more than just make it into a question or use powerful verbs.

Those titles would also work because they imply or make an explicit promise to potential viewers.

This is always a good idea. It tells your would-be audience exactly why they should tune in.

Remember: people are busier than ever before. Therefore, even if you’re not charging for your webinar, you still need to convince them that it’s worth setting time aside in their days to tune in.

If you make the title of your webinar something like “The Acme. Co. Webinar”, you’re leaving too much to the imagination. What’s it about? What’s it going to cover? What do I get out of it?

You don’t want to hope that people will simply answer these questions themselves and give you the benefit of the doubt.

Something like “The Acme. Co. Profitability Webinar” is still too vague, though. Sure, people now know you’re probably going to talk about profitability, but that could still cover a wide range of topics.

Going back to what we talked about earlier, it’s also not very provocative or exciting.

You’d do much better with, “Drive Sales Up 200% in 10 Days.”

Now people know exactly what you’re promising. They still need to tune in for the details, of course, but they’ll be far more likely to do so because you’ve made a clear promise: If people join your webinar, they are going to make 200% more sales by the time 10 days go by.

If you want to double-check how well you’re doing with this strategy, try writing one out and asking somebody who knows nothing about your webinar what they think you’re going to deliver. The closer they get to the exact answer, the better you’ve done.

 

Are You Giving The People What They Want?

One last note regarding the outcome you promise in your webinar title: it better be one people would actually want.

This is similar to our recommendation about being provocative, except we’re not referencing style here. We’re talking about the actual substance of your webinar. While that topic is a subject for another blog post, the point is that if it doesn’t sound compelling in a title, it’s not worth going through with the webinar.

If you can’t completely overhaul the topic you’re covering in your webinar, at least do your best to repackage the subject so people can’t wait to reach the goal you’re promising.

 

Can You Make Your Webinar Title Timely?

Sometimes, this simply won’t be possible, so don’t try to force this tactic where it clearly won’t work.

That being said, timely titles almost always do better than those that seem like they could’ve been used at any time.

This is true for a couple of reasons worth exploring.

The first is simply that they do better with keyword research, which we already touched on. If someone looks up a certain recent event and you used it in your webinar title, you now have the chance to win over a new viewer you may have otherwise missed.

The second advantage is that a timely title often seems as though it’s a short-term offer, as fleeting as the event it references.

Even if this isn’t actually the case – perhaps you plan to leave the webinar up indefinitely – it still encourages people to take action when they think they could miss out if they don’t click now.

Again, don’t be sloppy with this method. When it isn’t an option, there’s no point in shoehorning it in.

Furthermore, you don’t want to attract people who would never be interested in the actual subject matter you’re covering.

For example, if you were to use a recent celebrity’s dramatic weight loss in order to pitch a webinar about self-management, goal-attainment, or a nutrition plan that the celebrity didn’t actually use, you might get people to sign up, but they’ll quickly lose interest.

 

Keep Your Webinar Title Nice and Short

Don’t get carried away with your webinar title to the point that people have to spend a good amount of time simply to read the entire thing.

A good webinar title length is between 50 and 70 characters.

While you certainly want to be descriptive, the problem is that most people associate long titles with boredom, which is definitely not how you want them to think about your webinar.

Furthermore, shorter titles are better for search engines and most social media platforms because they won’t be cut off due to length.

Again, descriptive titles are best. You want your potential viewers to understand what they can expect from your presentation. Ideally, they should be excited about this promise, too.

However, once you have an idea for your title, try to pare it down to make it as short as possible without losing its punch.

 

Will Your Brand Name Help Your Webinar Title?

If you have a notable brand, it’s not a bad idea to include it in your title.

People are busier than ever before. A link to your webinar on a social media page or some other site besides your own could be easily overlooked.

However, if your webinar title references the name of your company, you’ll probably have a much easier time getting the attention of your targeted audience.

 

Consider Using A/B Testing to Evaluate Your Webinar Title

A/B Test Webinar Titles

If the above seems a bit overwhelming, rest assured that picking a good title gets easier with practice.

At the same time, one really easy way to “hack” the process is by using A/B testing. While there are a number of platforms you can use to do this, the idea is simple: you test two different titles and see which one gets the most clicks.

For example, you can launch a Facebook ad that uses two or more titles and then see how many of your targeted customers click on them.

It will quickly become obvious which title is the best to use.

Nonetheless, we still recommend using the above advice and practicing your title-writing as much as possible. A/B testing will only be as productive as the quality of your titles.

 

If you’d like help crafting your webinar title, BigMarker is here to help. Contact us today to chat with a webinar expert.

 

 

 

 

Sources:

https://virtualvenues.com/are-your-webinar-titles-falling-flat-create-webinar-titles-that-sing

https://business.brighttalk.com/blog/webinar-titles-neednt-be-boring/

http://wsuccess.typepad.com/webinarblog/2010/07/does-your-webinar-title-work.html

http://info.infiniteconferencing.com/bid/91535/How-to-Attract-Attention-to-Your-Webinar-with-a-Catchy-Title

https://blog.webinara.com/creating-a-webinar-title-5a5722828b42

http://likesup.com/7-ways-to-create-a-seductive-webinar-title/

https://www.koozai.com/blog/content-marketing-seo/10-tips-for-creating-catchy-headlines/

Hacks for Crafting a Killer Webinar Presentation – Part 2: Webinar PowerPoint Design

This blog is “part two” of a two-part series that details steps to take to develop a killer webinar presentation. Part one covered best practices for developing the content for your presentation, and this blog will include hacks for designing the webinar PowerPoint presentation, best practices for placing your content on slides and then tips for adding images.

If you haven’t read part one yet, check it out here. I will be referring to it often.

 

Designing your webinar PowerPoint Presentation

PowerPoint is a powerful tool and has more features that you probably ever considered.

You don’t need to be a designer to build a professional, sleek webinar PowerPoint presentation. You just need to have a little bit of creativity and patience. If your company doesn’t have a corporate PowerPoint template that you must use for your webinars, you are lucky enough to have the chance to develop a presentation that mirrors the tone of your webinar.

Before you start designing your webinar PowerPoint, decide what that tone is. Is this a serious webinar? Or maybe it can be a little playful, or have a modern take to it. Think of who your ideal audience is that you will try and get to register, that will be your first clue for selecting the design of the webinar PowerPoint.

 

Steps for Designing a Webinar PowerPoint

  1. Open your PowerPoint program; you should see a list of ready-made templates you can use. Such as below. Select the template that best fits the look you are going for. Note – we will review below how to change the colors of the template, only pick a template based on the design for this step.
webinar-presentation-1
Pick a webinar PowerPoint template
  1. Once you select your template, you can choose your colors. There are a few options to do this:
  • Under the Design tab, you can immediately choose different colors for your template, like the blue, brown or green. Look at the screenshot below for example.
webinar-presentation-2
Choose your color palate

 

  • OR if you have corporate brand standards, you can customize the background color and font size to your company’s colors. To customize the background, in the Design tab you will select the ‘Format Background’ button, make sure ‘Solid Fill’ is selected, click the color bucket to the right of ‘Color.’ A pop-up will open, and you can then input your corporate colors using the RGB sliders or Hex#. Notice the screenshot below. The slide is now gray!

 

webinar-presentation-3

 

  1. The next step is updating your font colors. You can, of course, select from any of the available colors, but if you’d like to use corporate colors or custom colors, go back to the Home Tab, select some text on a slide and then select the Font Color button – click on ‘More colors.’ Again, a pop-up will open, and you can use the RGB sliders or Hex# to find your colors. These colors will be saved in PowerPoint in the colors section under ‘Recent colors’ to select from again as you build your webinar PowerPoint.

webinar-presentation 4

  1. Logo – if you want to promote your company via your webinar PowerPoint, there are two easy hacks to get your logo on each slide.
    1. Add the Logo on the Slide Master – detailed instructions here.
    2. Or you can add your logo on the first slide of your webinar PowerPoint, typically your Title Slide. Once you place the logo in the spot you prefer, right-click on the logo and select copy. Go to each of your slides in your deck and press Paste. This will place the logo in the same spot for each of your slides.

That’s it! Now you have your PowerPoint design and colors set.

 

Placing Content in the Webinar PowerPoint

Some may not realize this, but you can find multiple slide layouts for PowerPoint templates. You can find these by being in the Home tab – click on the ‘layout’ button. As you can see in the below screenshot, there are a variety of designs to choose from to get your message across. Whether it’s a section slide, a two image slide design, captions, or even a vertical layout.

webinar-presentation-5
Pick your slide layout

In the part one blog, I had you highlight the most important elements of your webinar script. This highlighted content is to be the foundation of the content you place in your webinar PowerPoint slides.

Please do not copy and paste your script content directly onto your PowerPoint slides. There will be too much text, and then what is the point in you even talking if they can just read your entire presentation on your webinar PowerPoint?

You will want to break-up the content from your webinar script in short, digestible bites – this will allow your webinar attendees to listen to what you are saying rather than reading a story from your PowerPoint slides. Let’s break up the parts of a webinar PowerPoint piece by piece.

 

What content to place on the first 4 slides:

Title Slide: Put the title of the webinar, speaker(s) name, date, company logo.

Bio Slide: Picture of webinar speaker(s) and short bullets on who they are.

Agenda Slide: A Short-bulleted list of what will be discussed. (I used the agenda example from part-one of the blog series!)

Objectives Slide: Another short-bulleted list of what webinar attendees will take away from attending this webinar (example: 5 Hacks for Crafting a Killer Webinar Presentation)

 

These first 4 slides are the easiest to build, and should be the shortest. Don’t overthink these slides. They should be simple to follow and let your attendees know their purpose for being there the next 45 minutes to an hour. Check out the below 4 screenshots for examples of these slides.

 

Sample Intro Slides 

webinar-presentation-6

webinar-presentation-8

webinar-presentation-9

Typically, each webinar has a few main points to make or a couple of different sections. Please refer to the part-one blog for more information on writing these different sections. For this blog, I am going to again assume you have 4 sections of content called the what, why, how, and when.  We will call this part of the webinar PowerPoint the “body” – think of when you were school and the elements of an essay, this is the meat of your webinar, and you’ll have most of your slides in these sections.

For each of your 4 sections, you should have already highlighted the most important parts. You likely highlighted whole sentences. You will want to turn those sentences into short, digestible, easy to read bullets to illustrate your point or argument.

Once you have gathered the summarized text for each of your sections, I recommend you write a very short intro for each of your sections, and then 3-5 highlight bullets for what will be covered in this section. Almost like your agenda. You don’t need only to list what will be covered. You could instead name 3 important stats, a quote from an expert, or list of qualifications.

For each of your bullets, you can create a separate slide for each that dives deeper into the content. The below (some are silly!) screenshots will make this clearer. Start each section with its own sub-title slide to introduce each section. This will help let your attendees know that a new section of the webinar PowerPoint is starting as well.

webinar-presentation-10

webinar-presentation-11

webinar-presentation-12

 

The last slide (above) is a great example of a time to put in either a relevant image, call-out a quick stat, quote or comment. You could still list few short bullets on this slide to further illustrate your point too. The goal is not to overwhelm any of your slides, but to break up the content from your script. In these slides, you can also highlight a short snippet of the stories or examples you share from your webinar script.

Each slide should only be filled with 30-50% of text. If you’re covering a complex topic, think of a way to break it down without having to type it all out. A webinar PowerPoint should be a reference tool, not a script or a book. That is where your webinar script comes in handy, you’ll have all the points handy that you want to make, without having to remember it by just looking at a slide.

Now that the “meatiest” part of the webinar PowerPoint content is complete, you will create a ReCap or Takeaway slide. On this slide, you will pull out a few main bullets that you’ll want your webinar attendees to remember if nothing else. After this, you should proceed to your Q&A session (if this is part of your agenda).

Never leave your webinar attendees hanging, provide them information on a slide with the next steps you detailed in your webinar script. By sharing the information, it will give them time to screenshot the slide or write it down.

Finally, place your contact information on the last slide so that your webinar attendees can reach you, and you’re done with the content piece.

webinar-presentation-13

webinar-presentation-14

webinar-presentation-15

webinar-presentation-16

 

Using Images on your PowerPoint Slides

Slides looking a little bare? Jazz them up a bit with some images! Use images to illustrate each of your sections for your webinar PowerPoint. Ensure that your chosen images are relevant and drive home the point you are trying to make. Or add a little humor, it will keep everyone awake during the presentation.

There are a couple of free image websites I love to use. Check out the full list here. I recommend starting here to find images to ensure you are not infringing on any copyrights. Check out this blog for more information on copyright infringement.

My last tip for images is to use the ‘Design Ideas’ function in PowerPoint. It will offer a variety of ways to design your slide based on the image you drop in the webinar PowerPoint slide.  Check out the below screenshot for examples. It’s a quick, sure way to make your webinar PowerPoint look better in no time. You can find the ‘Design Ideas’ by selecting the Design tab at the top and then click on the ‘Design Ideas’ button. Note, this feature will usually only work if you have an image already on the slide. Or this feature will sometimes automatically pop-up when you drag an image to a slide from your desktop.

 

webinar-presentation-16

 

 

With this blog series, you have a variety of tips and tricks at your fingertips to develop a professional, branded and fun webinar PowerPoint. Give these tips a go, and have fun. Use this template as your foundation to begin building your own webinar PowerPoint presentation.

 

Get started!

To host amazing webinar PowerPoint presentations, you’ll need premium webinar software.

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

 

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

 

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