Creating a webinar can be fun, creative, and helpful to others, but there’s almost nothing worse than death by webinar — that terrible feeling when the viewers are tuned out and uninterested. No one wants to hear crickets when they’re presenting. How can the presenter avoid this? How do you create content that keeps the audience engaged? How do you even begin to create the perfect webinar — one that people actually enjoy?
First, you’ll need to choose your topic wisely. Don’t assume that you know what your audience wants to hear and learn from you. Listen to what your community is saying online and pay attention to the questions that they’re asking. Let them know that you will be addressing these soon and to tune into your webinar! Google keyword phrases that pertain to your product or service to help you see what your audience is searching for the most. Create your webinar topic based on their needs. For example, if you are a social media expert, don’t create a generalized webinar about social media and business. Focus on one aspect of using social media within a company, like managing a brand on a social platform.
Set your intentions and objectives, and choose your key points. Be clear on what you want your audience to take away from your event. Write out your main points and outline so as not to get lost in translation as you present. It’s easy to go off-topic when speaking to an audience, so keep these notes easily accessible.
Decide who will host your event online and act as a moderator. When choosing and evaluating each platform host, consider ease of use, features that you need/want, cost, and any other facets that you need to present (i.e., sound quality and tech speed). Take time to research the best fit for you and your audience. Here are a few host platform suggestions in no particular order:
Decide whether or not you’ll host the webinar alone, invite a co-host, or turn it over to a thought leader. This choice can make or break your event. If you go solo, be sure to keep your energy level up so that your audience doesn’t begin to fade out. If you choose to have a co-host, then this will help break up the monotony a bit. You two can play off of each other and have a conversation that flows more like friends. If you invite a thought leader, be sure that they’re equipped with engaging content and attractive visuals. Again, you don’t want your audience to fade out — keep it informative, lively, and humorous with tons of displays and imagery.
Decide on a date and time for your event. Remember time = money. Don’t use too much of your audience’s time. Get them in, share your content, and send them on their way with tons of useful information. As you know, this is the age of “now.” People expect immediate gratification and attention spans are shorter by the day (my scientific opinion). No one wants to be hassled into a neverending webinar; so please, keep it short! Provide an agenda at the beginning of your webinar, too. This lets your audience know what to expect.
Create your visuals or slides. Remember, no one wants to experience “death by powerpoint,” so put some effort into creating engaging and attractive slides for your audience. One of the most important factors to keep in mind throughout the process is that humans are visual creatures. When you create content, always keep the imagery aspect in mind as you add information to your webinar. You can do so using sites like Canva.com or Piktochart.com. You can also hire someone to do it for you if you feel inept in that department. Look for help on sites like Fiverr.com or Upwork.com, but be sure to look at reviews and samples of work before hiring anyone.
Practice presenting your material! Obviously, you want to be prepared before presenting your webinar. That means no hiccups, road bumps, or unnatural pausing throughout your entire presentation. Your parents were right — practice does make perfect — and you want to swoon your audience to make conversions in the long run.
Focus on these steps and you’re well on your way to creating an effective webinar event. Relax and enjoy the process!