83% of U.S. marketers find webinars effective. Unfortunately, if your webinar isn't engaging, it won't be effective at all. You need to be able to hold the interest of your viewers, and that can be a serious challenge, especially if your topic isn't exciting.
Creating engaging webinars, regardless of the topic, isn't impossible, but it is a challenge. We've come up with a few great do’s and don'ts to keep in mind when you're crafting your next webinar. Read on to learn more.
Do: Know Your Audience
When you're planning your webinar, you need to know your audience. Different types of audiences will need different things in order to keep them engaged (and to get them interested in the webinar in the first place).
Too many people try to cast too wide of a net. They want to attract anyone and everyone regardless of whether or not those people would actually be interested in the webinar. You can have the best webinar in your niche, but if you have the wrong audience, it won't actually be engaging.
For example, is your audience mostly young professionals? You may need to be more creative to keep their attention than if you were speaking to an older audience. They're more familiar with tech and used to bigger "spectacles" from presentations.
You also need to know how to talk to your specific audience. You don't want a webinar to be too dry.
Don't: Be Too Broad
Webinars should always be focused.
It makes sense that you'd have a lot to say about your webinar topic of choice. You're passionate about it, and you want to share as much information as possible in a short amount of time. At the end of the day, however, you want to keep it short, sweet, and to the point.
People are not going to stay engaged through a long and drawn-out webinar. They want to be able to learn quickly and move on to other things. They're likely surrounded by distractions, so they don't have time to devote hours to your webinar.
If your webinar is too broad, people will lose focus when you're not discussing their exact area of interest. You may even lose audience members.
Instead of having one long webinar that covers a wide range of topics, we recommend breaking it up. Several shorter webinars will be more effective and engaging, and they'll also be easier for you to plan.
Do: Pick a Good Day and Time
If you're doing a live webinar, picking a good day and time is essential. It will determine how many people actually show up and how engaged they stay during the webinar itself.
Even if you plan on recording the webinar as well, it's still good to pick a day and time that works for most people.
This is tricky if your webinar is going to be seen by people in different time zones. If this is the case, you want to make it as convenient as possible for the largest number of people.
In other words, aim for a day and time in which people would have time to engage and not too tired from a busy work day. You will want to avoid having your webinar too early in the morning or too late in the evening. If you pick a good time, your attendees will be more active and alert during the webinar.
Don't: Stick With a Basic Powerpoint
Many people make the mistake of making their webinars too basic. While Powerpoint presentations are helpful during webinars, they're not generally engaging. You need to go above and beyond if you want to keep your audience interested in your webinar.
Engaging webinars may start with Powerpoint presentations, but they also include other features. They may have videos, music, professional guest speakers, and demonstrations of your product/service.
Remember that you're putting on a "show." Give people a reason to watch your webinar instead of reading an article or watching a video on the same topic. Powerpoint presentations often come off as robotic and, frankly, boring.
Do: Encourage Participation If Possible
If you're doing a live webinar, consider allowing audience participation.
Ask questions and incorporate answers into your presentation. This will require you to go off-script, but it will also keep things interesting for viewers and they'll be able to get involved instead of just watching.
Consider having a Q&A session at the end of the webinar. Let the viewers know that you'll be doing that at the very beginning. They may pay more attention so they can come up with questions (or so they know when their questions have already been answered).
Don't: Try to Present Before Rehearsing
You should never try to do a live webinar without a rehearsal beforehand. Write a general script and do at least one full run-through of the webinar with all involved parties before you begin.
You'll be able to move through the webinar more smoothly, and you'll have more charisma because you've already prepared. This creates better pacing for your webinar and makes it more engaging.
If you're feeling too anxious about messing up during a live webinar, it may be in your best interest to opt for a recorded one instead.
Do: Work With a Webinar Pro
If you want a fantastic webinar, why not work with a professional? Professional webinar services will make sure your webinar runs smoothly and that it's engaging enough to keep your audience interested.
There's no need for you to try to create the best webinar on your own. Let the pros help you out with their high-quality webinar services.
It's Time to Improve Your Webinar Engagement
Your webinar doesn't have to be dry and boring. Keep these do’s and don'ts in mind when you're creating your webinar, and you're sure to impress your audience.
At Parasol Video, we understand the importance of a good webinar. We want to help you make yours a success.
Learn more about our webinar services and book a call with us today!