This post is the fourth in a series on webinars. While it maybe elementary to many of our expert readers, we hope the series will be valuable to those of you who are considering a webinar program or just starting out. You can read the previous posts in the series: Webinars 101, Webinars 201 and Webinars 301. Maybe our experts will provide some additional tips!
Getting people to attend your webinar brings you halfway toward success. If you don't engage your participants, however, they won't get much out of the experience, and you won't convert them to clients or reach other webinar goals. Here's some best practices for engaging your participants in your webinars.
Solicit Questions Ahead of Time
Engagement begins the moment a someone registers for the event. In your confirmation email, mention that participants will have an opportunity to ask questions and begin soliciting them. Encourage participants to ask questions in advance. This gets them interested in the event before they attend. In addition, they will pay close attention during the even so that they can get their questions answered.
Create an Engaging Opening Slide
Don't just put your name and the event title on the opening slide. Instead, make sure you create interest from the moment participants log in to the event by creating a visually engaging slide. Use vivid colors and consider putting a quote or interesting image on the slide to catch their attention.
Go Over Procedures Near the Beginning
You want a dynamic opening for your webinar so that participants will sit up and pay attention. Once you've got their attention, though, you need to take a minute to do some "housekeeping." In the webinar world this means: Explain how and when participants may ask questions. People lose interest if they can't figure out how to interact with you. Tell them whether or not the webinar will be recorded and make sure participants are comfortable with your recording procedures. Explain the format of your presentation so participants know what to expect and can more easily follow what you're doing.
Present Your Material in an Interactive Manner
Don't just read your PowerPoint slides. Instead, engage all of your participants' senses by doing the following: Share your screen for an interactive demonstration of a website or application Mark up your slides in front of viewers--highlight or circle key points Have co-moderators to bounce ideas off of for a more engaging discussion Encourage questions throughout the presentation, not just at the end. Use music or video to add energy and interactivity to your presentation. Create a dialog wherever possible rather than just giving a speech.
Wrap Up With a Bang
Make sure to hold participants' interest by ending on a high note. Answer any remaining questions in the last few minutes, but make sure to leave time to give your contact information and provide a closing thought.
Looking for additional tips? Check ReadyTalk's Best Practices for During Your Webinar.