Beyond the Slide Deck – The Medium (Part II )

This is part II of yesterday's post on the topic of creating and delivering content that goes beyond your slide deck to inspire viewers. The component for success that we'll address today is the medium. Content Wheel - Methods of Delivery

The Medium is your channel for conveying the content, so it's important to choose a means by which the audience can get the most out of the material. Here are a few things to consider:

  • How big is your audience?
  • What kind of venue will the audience be in? (Home at their computer? In a large conference room or event hall?)
  • What technology is available to use? (computers, sound system, projector?)

Once you've determined these factors, you can then decide what tool is best for delivering the message – live presentation, webinar, video, maybe a dramatic reenactment (or not). Basically, your medium should help communicate your message, not hinder it – amplify, not interfere.

Audience question Do you have additional resources that show how to develop an effective presentation via PowerPoint?

Jerry's answer “I wrote a blog post last year about creating presentations in PowerPoint that you may find helpful: http://blog.demandmetric.com/2012/03/08/now-presenting/. “ But here are some additional tips to keep in mind:

  1. Strive to create materials that quickly convey what you’re trying to say. If I showed you each slide for 5 seconds could you discern, at least generally, what I was trying to communicate on each slide? 
  2. Use images that support your message – the brain can process images more quickly than text.
  3. Choose font and color wisely. Be creative, but not to the point of distraction.

Audience question – What are your thoughts on using video during a webinar?

Jerry's answer  I think there are a number of ways to successfully incorporate video clips into your webinar presentation without distracting from the main point. It can keep the content engaging and gives the audience a break from the norm of a standard slide deck. Video clips could be used like mini commercials or product demos as a "trailer", so to speak, at the beginning of your event as people are logging in. It could also be used as a training tool to play briefly during the webinar and then poll the audience to gauge their level of comprehension and engagement. Also, using a short testamonial clip during a demo could help build some credibility with your prospect.

There are many ways to utilize video clips during a webinar, so I think it worth experimenting to see what works best in your organization.

Check back in tomorrow for the final component of the three legs to a successful presentation. Like they say, it's all in the delivery.

New Feature: Request Events Services Directly From Conference Center

Request operator-assisted services from Conference Center!

Scheduling an operator-assisted webinar or web event just got easier. Previously, you accessed the scheduling form from the ReadyTalk website. Now, you can access the form directly from Conference Center.

Simply click the “Request Event Services” link on the left side of the Conference Center homepage. This will take you automatically to the request form. From there, fill out the form just as you had previously.

To ensure attendees have a great experience, some webinars require operator-assisted services that must be scheduled in advance. Remember, you need an operator-assisted call if you:

  • Have more than 150 participants
  • Want to provide your participants a Broadcast Audio option, which allows them to listen to the web conference over the Internet
  • Want personalized operator services for a more polished experience, including custom greetings, Q&A support, and additional in-event support
  • Want the support and expertise of a professional Event Manager to assist on your live event

 

Learn more about our professional event services. Please keep in mind, there may be an additional cost for these professional services.

How has the assistance of a professional team impacted your webinars? Let us know!

 

Going Beyond the Slide Deck to Inspire Your Webinar Viewers (Part I)

We recently hosted a webinar on creating and delivering an impactful presentation with the talented Mr. Rackley (Jerry Rackely, that is) from Demand Metric . His emphasis was going beyond your typical deck of slides to capture people's attention, keep it and make your point. Typically, a presentation is put together to inform or persuade and hopefully steer the listener towards a decision, right? Well, if this is in fact the case, then it's imperative that your supporting material and actual presentation skills are up to par. As Jerry put it, "A great presentation should inspire; a poor one will damage confidence in the ideas and the organization behind them."

How clear is your message? And are you addressing the right pain points?

So, we dove into three critical success factors for presenting a successful webinar – content, medium and delivery – and ways to optimize each of them. This will be a three part series, broken down by each component, along with some corresponding Q&A that was submitted during that portion of the presentation.

Part I – Content is only as good as your knowledge of the audience you're presenting to – who are they, what do they know, and will they care about what I have to say? Once you've answered those questions and begin to create the content do so with your message in mind – not just the medium you'll be delivering it through. This can put constraints around your message. Don't limit your topic because of a particular means of communication. Since most of us doing webinars are probably using PowerPoint to do so, let's pause here for a moment to reiterate a best practices (most of which you're probably aware, but it never hurts): Watch your message density – more is not always better. One message per slide. Think of it as a billboard that you drive by on the interstate – you can only decipher so much at once.

Audience question – "You've talked about minimizing the message and even your deck to 10 slides or less, 20 minutes etc., but what about business proposals where there is a LOT of content that needs to presented i.e.: business model, partnership details, financials, product offering, and so on. In those cases we usually present to executives who are looking to make a decision based on the presentation."

Jerry's answer"In my experience, what generally isn't helpful is a presentation that covers the entire business proposal. When I have done this, I've had a presentation that is what I'd consider an Executive Summary of the proposal.  I would take each section, such as Business Model, and have one, perhaps two slides that share the conclusion I need the executive to understand. The same is true for each section.

What I think you need for a presentation like this is not a  strategy that says "We're going to try to condense the whole proposal into 10 slides,"  but instead, lead the executive down a path of asking you to right questions, and drawing the conclusions you want him or her to draw.  You understand that the presentation leaves some detail out – and this is by design.  But you've left material out in a strategic way. And of course, you always reference that the complete set of detail is in the proposal, and encourage them to read it.

Audience question"How do you balance education vs. sales in a webinar presentation? The webinars we put on are very educational but, at the end of the day, we are looking to at least get demos of our own product if not subscription signups." 

Jerry's answer "What I recommend is looking at all your content – webinars included – to see how it maps to the sales cycle for your solution. Earlier in the sales cycle, you'll want informative, educational content that isn't hard selling. Later in the sales cycle, you'll need content that works differently.  I think you have to understand how prospects move through your sales cycle and what their informational needs are in each stage.  Then, create or refine your content to help push them through the cycle faster.

Check back tomorrow as we address the next critical factor in a successful webinar presentation – the medium.

ReadyTalk in the Community: Update from Our Charitable Contributions Committee

2013 has been a busy year at ReadyTalk. We’ve made enhancements to our awesome productivity tools, kicked off exciting new partner integrations, and we recently launched one of our largest product releases ever – desktop video conferencing. I’m happy to report that ReadyTalkers have not only been hard at work in our office, but in our community as well. Our employees volunteered at several fundraising events in Q1 coordinated by members of our dedicated Charitable Contributions Committee.

Brown Elementary StudentsOn a chilly day in February, many of us shuffled in to work in our slippers and pajamas to participate in the 8th Annual PJ Day for Denver’s Road Home, a local charity working to end homelessness in the metro area. Almost $500,000 was raised this year in cash and in-kind donations from around the city, and ReadyTalk was proud to be part of this event.

In March, ReadyTalkers spent the day at Denver’s Brown Elementary School as part of Junior Achievement’s JA in a Day program. We spent the day with 2nd and 3rd graders teaching curriculums and leading activities focused on economic development and responsibilities, local businesses, and careers within our community and city.  The kids were smart, enthusiastic, and fun, and we all enjoyed stepping out of our comfort zone to go back to school for a day.

Forzability Riders

ReadyTalk was also a sponsor of the annual Forzability Ride at Forza Fitness and Performance Club. Our active employees sweated it out in a spin-a-thon to raise funds for the National Sports Center for the Disabled. Way to go guys!

Speaking of riding, our committee is also gearing up to sponsor some great outdoor charity rides for our employees this summer. Stay tuned for an update on that in Q2, and thanks to all of my fellow employees who volunteered their time so far this year!

 

ReadyTalk Heads to the Big Apple for B2B Content2Conversion

ReadyTalk will be exhibiting at the B2B Content2Conversion conference next week to discuss the role that webinars have in a contenOne Does Not Simply Do Webinarst marketing strategy.

Webinars you say? What do webinars have to do with a content marketing strategy? Plenty!

What marketers are now calling content, readers refer to as information. And our users are looking for plenty of it. A webinar can be a time-consuming piece content that disappears into the ether after the event. But if executed correctly, it can provide the foundation for effective content (or information) – from blog posts to whitepapers.

You can also:

  • Distribute the slide deck on SlideShare
  • Share the recording on YouTube or embed it on your website or blog
  • Promote the recording as an on-demand event in a future campaign
  • Divide your recording into easily digestible sound bites and include them in nurturing emails
  • Write a blog post sharing key takeaways or highlights from the Q&A
  • Transcribe the recording and use it to help drive organic search
  • Create an infographic that highlights key data points from the webinar
  • Transform the transcript into an e-book covering the topic (see our link to an example)

Remember, as marketers we do not simply “do” webinars – we create purposeful information.

The organization that is not including webinars in their content marketing mix is forfeiting one of the most effective forms content creation.

If you’re in NYC for the conference stop by and share your ideas for creating content through webinars.