Webinars are an amazing marketing and training tool. Whether for training or sales, here are 5 things to remember when doing webinars.
Webinars: 5 Things
- Webinars should rarely be more than 60 minutes. 45 is better.
- Ask Questions.
- Control the chat.
- Adjust the humour content.
- Have something to give away.
Length of Webinars
How long should a webinar be? That varies but in most cases, try to keep it under 60 minutes. Most of us have the attention span of a gnat! When you are in a physical meeting, it’s not uncommon to see people start to hide their BlackBerry under the desk after 20 minutes or so. They have work to do and you are taking up their valuable time.
What you have to say is valuable, to you. Respect that they need to be elsewhere and gave you their attention because you promised something interesting and likely said it wouldn’t take too long. It’s also possible they were told they had to be there and resent you stealing their time.
Keep it short. A webinar really isn’t much different than a physical presentation. After 60 minutes, they probably aren’t retaining anything you say.
Do you want to keep your associates or prospects engaged in your webinar? I recently sat through a 3 hour “training” webinar. Sort of. Blah, blah, blah. I stopped hearing what they were saying after a half hour.
Keeping your audience engaged isn’t really that difficult. In the Pure Leverage meeting room, there is a poll function. You will likely find products like Webex, Adobe Connect and most of the other major providers include similar functions. You can ask a poll question like “How much humour should be included in a morning presentation? 40%, 50%”,60% and then provide the results. Make sure the question is related to your content.
Alternatively, you can open the chat room and ask for acknowledgement. For example: “Do you host your own domain? Enter Y for yes or N for no.”. This will tell you if people are paying attention.
Control The Chat Room
Although it’s great to see people interacting with each other, it can be distracting and has the risk that hecklers will derail your presentation. In most webinar rooms, there is the ability to open and close the chat function on the fly. I would suggest disabling chat during the presentation and have a moderator who “kicks” participants who only want to either promote their own product or service, or those who are just disruptive.
Chat can be a great way to “take the temperature” but make sure you don’t just let it run wild.
Adjust The Humour Content
Do you remember Mary Poppins saying “a teaspoon of sugar helps the medicine go down”? Humour is that “teaspoon of sugar” you use to get your audience to “swallow” the medicine, your message. As we progress through the day, we lose some of our ability to focus. Injecting some humour jars our senses in a pleasant way and brings our attention back to the speaker. The later in the day, the more “sugar” you need to sweeten the subject and make it more appealing. If you are not naturally comfortable with humour, don’t try to be someone you’re not. Invite a guest speaker who can do that for you.
Everyone is looking for “what’s in it for them”. Take advantage of this and have something to give away. Maybe you have resell rights to an eBook or there you have created an amazing tool that others might find useful in their day to day business, something like a spreadsheet tracking tool. Have that available for download. You can have provide a link in the chat at the end of the presentation or you can have a capture page ready for them to opt in to a news letter to get the free content. This is where auto-responders come in handy! Be creative and don’t give the gift until the end of your presentation.
Webinars are an amazing way to expand your reach in today’s global marketplace. Have some fun with them!
Make it a great day,
What are you thankful for today?