ReadyTalk’s Trainer Shares Sage Advice on Getting the Most of Your Webinars and Web Meetings

Webinars, web meetings, web conferences, webcasts…jeeesh, what’s with all these terms!? Without getting too granular in those definitions (yet), let’s just think about the ability of sharing your message, working session or training with a much wider and perhaps global audience right from your desk, or better yet a comfy home office. The audience is engaged, interactive and everyone is truly enjoying the presentation. Sounds great, doesn’t it?…BUT…on the flip side, as I’m sure know, they can be absolutely painful to plan for and execute. Oh, and not to mention the pain of the boring, monotonous presentation your audience is forced to endure…if they even show up! Is that a scare tactic, yep, is sure is, and sadly true based on the discussions I’ve had with our customers over the years. Don’t you worry, I’m here to help.

I’ve been lucky enough to be training our ReadyTalk family of customers for almost nine years. In this series, I’ll provide insight on some of the things I’ve learned over the years to help you get more out of your webinars and web meetings – let’s just keep it to those two terms for now. In my role here at ReadyTalk, I’ve probably talked with thousands of people – both new to webinars and web conferencing as well as experienced “pros.”  Heck, I may have talked with some of you reading this right now! The trainings I conduct on a daily basis range from traditional software training to webinar consulting to speaker and moderator coaching. Through those years of training, I’ve gathered a set of the tactics and advice you’ll see in throughout these posts. What you’ll learn doesn’t really don’t rely on any specific technology, although, as you might imagine I’ll be using our tools and features as examples. What I’m concentrating on is YOU, as the presenter, organizer, the moderator.  It really comes down to you. 

Enough about that…Here’s a sample of topics coming to you in the future:

  • Fear Factor: Many first time presenters or first time web presenters get pretty nervous. I’ll validate your fears and provide some guidance on how to alleviate it.
  • How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice.
  • 2-4-6-8 –  Moderate! Tips on how to be a great moderator whether you have a major role or minor role.
  • Just ask them. – Know your audience before the meeting. Ideas on how you can easily understand more about your participants
  • Tell me something I don’t know: Doing the basics brilliantly will go a long way; some easy tips  to ensure things go smoothly.
  • Don’t read your slides!!! – Need I say more?
  • Know your stuff.  Be an expert on the topic or get someone who is.
  • And more…

In the meantime, if you want to get the most of your conferencing tools view our recorded trainings or register for one of my live trainings

Use Your Webinar Invite as Framework for Webinar Content

There's nothing worse than thinking you're getting one thing only to end up with something different. This is especially true for webinars.Hubspot webinar invite example

Be sure to use the invitation as your framework for the webinar presentation. This will help you to make sure your content and flow aligns with what you promised to deliver. For each slide, ask yourself "Is this a must have or a nice to have?" Give yourself at least four weeks to create and shape the content, as well as practice with your ensemble several times until everyone feels confident and relaxed. 


A webinar is not about selling

There are two types of webinars: Informational (educational) and Sales Pitch (product features and benefits). What’s the difference? A high-impact, high performing webinar is not about selling. It’s about stimulating someone’s intellectual curiosity, teaching them something, and inspiring them to want to have a conversation. Then, you can determine how you can help them, and convert them from a prospect into a customer.


The test for high impact – high performing informational webinars:

  • Does it deliver relevant, timely, and must have business or personal value?
  • Does it tell a story, present an authentic case study, tutorial, or a new way of thinking?
  • Does it focus on solutions, rather than specific products, features and benefits?
  • Will this information stimulate the intellectual curiosity of your audience to want to learn more from you after the webinar?

Highly targeted webinar audience slideWhere do you find great content for a webinar?

People are eager to hear about best practices, lessons learned, tips and techniques, and new processes to help them solve real world challenges. Look to your industry analysts, authors, subject matter experts, tutorials (for example, teach people a way to improve a business process or reduce costs), and case studies (a case study with the following talking points):

  • What was the business or technology problem?
  • How did you solve it?
  • What were the results / ROI?
  • What were the lessons learned?

Where do you look?

Authors – Industry Analysts – Subject Matter Experts – Customers and Case Studies – Partners – Market Research – White Papers – Blog posts – FAQs – Polling & Surveys

Want to see some examples of how webinar content has lived up to the invites? View our on demand webinar recording archive.

 

BAM! ReadyTalk Wins Influitive’s 2013 BAMMIE Advocates Unite! Award

 

Bammie Award logoAdvocate marketing expert, Influitive, believes there's no better salesperson for your products and services than a happy customer. But as we all know advocates do more than sell – they make every marketing and sales program better – more efficient, more authentic and more engaging.

This came to light on January 16 for Bo Bandy, ReadyTalk's Customer Advocacy and Brand Manager, after she was presented with the 2013 Advocates Unite! BAMMIE award in San Francisco. ReadyTalk was recognized as a company that has "catalyzed the greatest advocacy momentum in support of its business." That's pretty meaningful for a company that touts its mission as "Creating WOW through service and technology." ReadyTalk's culture and innovative audio and web conferencing technology create happy employees which in turn results in happy customers.

ReadyTalk Summit Club Screen

The ReadyTalk Summit Club, launched in September of 2013 and now boasts more than 200 advocates, who are" challenged" to do everything from reading a blog post to being a referral for a potential sale. ReadyTalk advocates score points that can be cashed in for prizes. 

"Our customers are passionate about ReadyTalk and willing to share their experiences with others; they are also open to giving us feedback and suggestions–a trait we love," Bo said. Our work with Influitive has provided a platform for engaging these customers and rewarding them for the positive things they were already doing on our behalf."

If you are a ReadyTalk customer and haven't signed up to participate, you can do so here.

 

 

 

Audio Conferencing on the Go: New Mobile App

It’s a typical day in the life of Tim.

As a leading sales executive, Tim hits the road early in the morning and spends much of his day meeting with local customers and prospects. Face-to-face meetings are the most effective way for him to close deals and support existing customers. An unfortunate side effect is that he rarely meets with colleagues in-person; most meetings are conference calls that he takes from his car or, if he’s lucky, a quiet coffee shop.  When it’s time for one of those conference calls, it usually goes something like this:

15 minutes prior to meeting time: Tim's phone beeps a reminder. He dismisses the reminder. He’ll join the call from his car in the parking lot of his next appointment.

5 minutes prior to meeting time: Traffic jam. Tim’s probably not going to make it to the parking lot.

Meeting time: Still in traffic. Tim open’s the meeting invite and clicks on the 800 number. His smartphone automatically opens the phone app and starts dialing. But wait. Tim forgot to look at the access code before joining. He tries to go back to the meeting invite and disconnects from the conference bridge in the process. Sh**t.

He opens the meeting invite again. Looks at the access code and starts repeating it over and over to himself, “2091593, 2091593, 2091593…”. Clicks the 800 number and the phone starts to dial (he’s still repeating that number). As he starts to enter the number, he forgets “Was it 1593 or 1953?” He has to hang up and double check.

On the third try, Tim finally gets into the meeting. He was 5 minutes late and introductions have already been made. Tim awkwardly interrupts and the meeting continues.

For Tim, and remote employees everywhere, this is a scenario that happens daily (sometimes multiple times a day). It’s even worse when you’re a chairperson and you have to try to remember a chairperson passcode in addition to an access code.

It doesn’t have to be like this.

ReadyTalk has just released a new audio conferencing app, designed to make life a little bit easier.  With this app, you have:

  • One-touch meeting access:  Click on the meeting to either start a meeting or join someone else’s. No more pulling over to input all the data.
  • We call you: Our easy dial-out feature eliminates the need to have to write anything down (or repeat over and over). Simply click “Join Audio” and the app will call you to join the meeting. You determine the default phone number, so we’ll call you at your desk or on your mobile.
  • Notifications: A notification alert gets sent to your phone 30 seconds prior to the meeting start time, helping every meeting start on time and stay on schedule. 
  • All your meetings in one place: The app scrapes your meetings from your existing mobile calendar, allowing you to start or join quickly and easily.

From left to right: Start or join any existing ReadyTalk audio meeting from those listed in your calender, receive notifications 30 seconds prior to start time, and have the meeting call you.

Give it a try for yourself! Download it today from the App Store or Google Play. And let us know what you think by leaving a comment below.

Case Study: How Marketo Uses Webinars to Engage Prospects and Boost Sales

Marketing automation innovator Marketo knows a thing or two about how to engage with customers and prospects. They also compete in an industry that is highly competitive and filled with savvy, sophisticated marketers. Webinars play a key role in their engagement strategy.
 
When shopping for a webinar vendor, Marketo identified a few components that were crucial:
  • Customer service that was easy-to-reach and experienced
  • A platform that was easy to learn and easy to use
  • Operator support for a more polished experience
  • Integration with Marketo's own software
ReadyTalk’s technology has enabled Marketo to make webinars more effective than ever and exceeded their expectations. Find out how: marketo_case_study.pdf
 
 
“The near-instant engagement that ReadyTalk’s integration has enabled us to do after each webinar is a game-changer. This capability enables ReadyTalk to pay for itself, which is a beautiful thing.”
–  Rick Siegfried, Marketo’s marketing programs specialist