Leading Effective Webinars

Leading Effective Webinars

Web conferencing or webinars are virtual conferences made possible through Internet technologies. They are used for meetings, training events and presentations. Webinars require careful planning and effort, but it’s not rocket science to deliver successful ones. Herein we’ll explore a few efforts that will prime you for successful webinars.

Administrative

Much like a meeting requires a reminder email with details and action items, so too a webinar. Attendees should have an agenda and details of the webinar you plan to deliver. Additionally, you should create a landing page for the event itself which has all the information on the date, time and requirements of software/hardware.

Know the Audience

Knowing your audience is critical in crafting successful & compelling webinar content. Any successful speech, presentation or communication is made more powerful when one understands one’s audience. We can gain this understanding a variety of ways such as online research, connecting with decision makers, audience member or experts. Whatever way we gain this understanding it will inform and focus our message and its delivery will be more well received.

Content is Key

Your content should be tightly focused on your core webinar objectives. As time is limited, we should be razor focused on our key objective or takeaway. There should be nothing superfluous or non-essential in our content. Additionally, our content should give space and time for the questions and attendee interaction we want to encourage.

Use Visuals

Visuals often communicate more effectively than any other form. When we communicate our essential goal is that our listener or audience retain our message above all else. Visuals in the form of graphs, maps, tables, photographs, drawing or diagrams quickly convey a memorable message to our audience. Whenever possible we should use visuals to powerfully convey our message to our audience.

Mind Your Time

Time management is of the essence in a webinar setting. Much like a meeting or public speaking scenario we have a scheduled period of finite time for the webinar. Only practicing our webinar while being mindful of our timing will enable us to be on target when it comes to our timely webinar delivery.

Practice

Practicing your webinar will help your performance just as it does in public speaking. Practice also allows you to be more familiar with the content and technology required of your webinar. During your practice run is a perfect time to ask for a friend coworker or presentation coach to review your delivery and content. These feedback and insights will be critical to your future success. A proper practice run will provide you with more confidence in your final delivery.

Mind Your Tech

Technology aids in the delivery of your webinar so it is best you make sure everything is working prior to your live delivery. Prior to your delivery you should:
Know the webinar tools & features – Webinar tools allow a staggering array of features which are helpful to the presenter — but only if you have mastered them. Spend time learning them and you’ll be glad you did.

Check Your Equipment

The more tech you use the more opportunities there are for technical issues. A webinar involves a wide array of technology you must validate is in a working state prior to your delivery. At the very least, you should validate your Internet connection, your computer, microphone, phone, etc. You should have some form of backup if need be so you can continue should there be technical issues.

Enliven Your Voice

Most webinars don’t show the presenter but instead only deliver audio to your audience. Unlike a variety of in person communication scenarios (speeches and presentation) where we have the ability to show non-verbal body language along with our verbal content. Without the powerful aspect of body language, we have to put increased focus on our vocal delivery. It must be that we use the power of our voice and deliver with vocal vigor to engage our audience.

Interaction

Engaging your audience is critical to a successful webinar. Just like a speech or presentation in person your audience requires interaction in order to achieve active engagement with your message. You should use questions to interact with the audience and connect them to your message. Most webinar software also offers an ability to offer surveys and questionnaires, a feature that can be helpful in engaging an audience.

Call To Action

All presentations should have some form of call to action. A call to action is a takeaway, message or idea you’d like your audience to walk away with. This call to action is not only the fundamental message but it also incites the audience to take some action as a result of this message. This can be that they buy, learn, connect more deeply with your brand, etc. If we don’t make this call to action clear, we leave our audience with confusion over our message and intent. Our CTA (Call to Action) should be absolutely clear, memorable and compelling.

Follow-up

Your webinar may finish without a hitch and be an outstanding success but your work is not done. A webinar isn’t a one-off communication but it should be an effort to expand the relationship you have with your customers or constituency. Your follow up will cement your webinar efforts and make them all the more successful.

What is your experience with webinars? Please do leave your comments and questions below, we love to share our expertise. If you enjoyed this post please feel free to join our newsletter for more tips like this in your inbox. Until next time, here’s to successful webinars.

Joseph Guarino is a professional public speaker, trainer and owner of the Institute of Public Speaking a Boston based international public speaking & leadership training organization. As a seasoned public speaking trainer & professional speaker he enjoys helping other succeed in this worthy and rewarding craft. The Institute of Public Speaking offers a variety of public speaking courses for individuals (1 on 1 training), executive speech coaching, one day public speaking bootcamps, advanced public speaking bootcamps and public speaking seminars for corporations & groups of any size.
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