Following are answers to questions posed during the webinar “How to Engage the Invisible Audience” I presented along with Jamie Wallace of Suddenly Marketing. This was a truly engaging and fun webinar, and I would like to thank Jamie for the time she spent preparing with me for this event. You can view the recorded version here.
Q: If we want to send the viewers a URL to request an appointment, would you provide that before, during, or after the question/answer portion?
I would say it depends on the goal of the appointment. If it is sales-oriented, I would suggest providing it at the end of your presentation. Often times, if a webinar begins with a “salesy” pitch, your audience will zone out or disconnect – unless they know upfront that it is a sales-oriented webinar.
Q: What post-webinar metrics can be used to gauge the success of a webinar?
The single best way to measure the success of a webinar is to use a post-webinar survey. Word of caution, if you send out a survey hours or days after a webinar, you may see a lower response rate. There are sites such as zoomerang.com or surveymonkey.com where you can create a personalized survey to send out after the webinar. ReadyTalk also offers a standard survey template that can be tailored with specific questions for your webinar.
Another way to gauge success is to review connect and disconnect times of your participants. Your webinar provider should be able to give you a report with this information. With this, you can see if you kept your audience for the duration of the webinar or if they dropped off early.
Q: How do you measure engagement?
You can measure the level of engagement during a webinar by using poll questions and encouraging questions to be entered via live chat or even live questions when/where appropriate. When using poll questions or even some fun quizzes you will immediately see how many participants respond. This will show you how engaged your audience is up to that point. I would suggest doing something like this every 10 minutes to keep that engagement going.
Q: When doing a demo of new software, do you recommend recording the demo and narrating it live — then switching to live presentation when answering questions about the software?
There are several options that work well. One option available allows the speaker to share their screen and the application with participants. The demonstration is “live” with their audience and questions can be posted through the chat option at anytime during the demonstration. Once the demonstration is over, questions are reviewed.
Recording the demonstration is certainly an option. You would simply run the pre-recorded video, and have a discussion after the video. Recordings can limit the ability to interact with your audience – I think the ability to do it live is far more effective for participants.
Q: Our teams are sometimes in different countries. Any tips for coordinating when the joint speakers can’t see one another?
I would encourage speaker dry runs in advance of the live webinar. This is done via phone lines and web. On the day of the live webinar, plan on at least a 30 minutes speaker pre-conference leading up to the webinar. It is beneficial to have a phone line for only speakers, so it is private and they can talk and interact leading up to the live event. On the web portion, there is a chat option for speakers to engage each other as needed throughout the presentation. They cannot see each other, but the audio and chat options are the next best thing!
Q: How do you keep track of questions as they come in? Which ones you’ve answered, and which you still need to answer?
Generally speaking, webinar platforms have a chat function speakers see throughout the event. Ideally you should hold all questions until the end of the presentation. I find that having a helper assist with chat makes for less confusion while presenting. The helper simply does a cut/paste from the chat box into a Word document to track the questions. The moderator then asks questions of the speakers during the Q&A segment.
In addition, speakers are provided with a log of all chat questions once the webinar ends. This allows them to follow up and answer any questions that weren’t addressed during the live webinar. In fact, that is what I am doing to answer these questions!
Again, I hope you enjoyed learning about audience engagement, if you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I also invite you to take a look at Jamie’s Q&A, she has follow up to several other questions on her site at suddenlymarketing.com.