All too often, webinars miss the mark and leave me feeling like my time was wasted.
Let’s pretend you host a one hour webinar with 50 attendees with a billable rate of $100 per hour. For a grand total of approximately $5,000 already spent on your webinar, your attendees have high expectations to learn something by the time the webinar ends. Don’t let them down.
Lucky for you, I have a foolproof recipe to a successful, interesting, educational and EFFECTIVE WEBINAR. I could bombard you with more DON’Ts than DOs if I wanted to mirror the typical webinar but instead I’ll sandwich 2 DOs for every DON’T in part one of our three part series.
Today we are focusing on the preparation that goes into producing a legit webinar. Let’s face it, the actual one hour (hint: one hour is the ideal time limit) that you are live is about 20% of the entire process of hosting a webinar. This means you have quite a bit of work to accomplish before and after to get the full benefits you’re looking for to make your webinar worthwhile.
DO FOCUS ON THE AUDIENCE
After all, the reason for a webinar is to speak to the audience, right? You have your target demographic in the palm of your hand, so USE THEM! Ask them questions, start a poll, encourage feedback, get the conversation started.
DON’T UNDERESTIMATE THE INVESTMENT OF TIME TO PULL OFF A PROFESSIONAL PRESENTATION
Take the time to tailor your message to a specific audience. A one-size-fits-all webinar is nonexistent, and you are not an exception. It takes TIME to create a meaningful, impressionable webinar.
If you take one thing from this, make it this:
Failure to prepare is preparation to fail.
DO FOCUS ON THE CONTENT
Content. Content. Content. Stay on track by limiting distractions. A report by gotomeeting.com found interesting and relevant content is the main variable of what engages the audience in a webinar, which beats visual slides, interaction between the speaker and the attendee, and a passionate and energetic speaker. You are using their valuable time so don’t throw it away with unimportant bologna.
DO TEST YOUR TECHNOLOGY (AND LINKS)
Do a dry run with your headpieces, microphones, speakers, monitors, PDFs and software to make sure everything is working and comfortable. Find a discreet method for feeding questions or any agenda changes to the host in real time without disrupting the event. A friendly reminder … if I click a link and it says, “Page Not Found” I will never attend another webinar you host. Ever.
DON’T FORGET TO PROMOTE YOUR WEBINAR
How will people know about your webinar if you don’t tell them? Post multiple times across each and every social media channel to get the word out. Encourage people to share the event with their friends. Increase the reminder updates as the date approaches, focusing on the day before and the day of. Don’t forget to utilize your hosts personal pages to spread the word.
CREATE AN APPROPRIATE BLUEPRINT
Include all the details needed to ensure the presentation flows well and takes a definable shape. This will benefit when you begin the webinar with a clear outline of what your audience will gain from attending. A safe blueprint would include addressing housekeeping items at the beginning, presenting memorable and applicable content that sticks as the main meat of your event and close with wrap-up slides with contact information and a clear call-to-action.
You can’t throw a webinar together the night before and expect it to be successful, AmIRite?
If a healthy ratio of cooking and math is your love language, this is for you:
20% live webinar
+ 30% post event communication
100% successful webinar