Ace your next webinar with these five handy tips.
By Liz Lemarchand, MediaDev
Speaking in front of a crowd is not easy. Speaking in front of a virtual crowd can be just as difficult. While webinars are a great marketing tool to enable you to speak to big and small groups alike, it’s not always simple to find ways to engage your crowd when delivering an online presentation.
One of the traps that webinar presenters make is that they read a script and end up sounding like robots. Sounding robotic will disengage your audience, and you risk not getting your message across. Listeners will lose confidence because no-one wants to buy a solution from a machine with an automated sales pitch.
We often generate traffic to webinars and we usually call-back prospects after the event is over in order to get an idea about how the webinar went.
Here are some straight-forward ways to win-over your audience before, during and after your event:
5 Ways to Make your Next Webinar a Success:
1. Make sure you prepare and practice
As for any speaking engagement, preparation is important in order to ensure that your key messages come across clearly and effectively. Natural and casual delivery is the best way to be sure that your audience will feel comfortable with you, which will incite them to ask questions and participate in the discussion. A dry delivery will push your listeners to check their e-mails, chat on Skype or have a look at Facebook during the webinar event. Or worse yet — they’ll just disconnect.
Informing your audience and knowing all the in's and out's of your product or service will give you the confidence you need in order to speak naturally. Practicing with friends, co-workers or family will help you to pinpoint areas that need improvement; each time you rehearse, you’ll need your notes less. You’ll also be less inclined to rely on reading a piece of paper. Once you feel comfortable with your content, you’re halfway there!
2. Ensure presence through power posing
If you have ever watched a TED talk on motivational speaking, you know that one of the most important things that you can do when giving a presentation is to “be present.” According to Amy Cuddy (an expert on the subject), presence is “the state in which we stop worrying about the impression we are making on others, and (instead) adjust the impression we’ve been making on ourselves.” What that means is if you stop worrying about what people are thinking and just focus on yourself, you’ll be a better speaker.
So how do you do that? Well, Amy Cuddy says that one of the ways to ensure effective communication is through power poses. What’s a power pose, you ask? A power pose is a stance which your brain triggers to feel power, confidence and authority.
It may sound hokey, but it’s proven to work. Use power poses to get yourself ready 20 minutes before the webinar starts, and you will find that you will be a more effective speaker.
3. Don’t start SPAMMING your registrants
Once people start registering to attend your webinar, don’t start sending them 7 e-mails a day about your offers and services. No-one likes being spammed and if a prospect gives you their e-mail address, that doesn’t mean you should start sending them messages that are unrelated to the webinar itself. You don’t want to scare your prospects away, push them to unsubscribe, or give them a reason not to attend. Hold off and add them to your mailing list once you have qualified their interest a bit more – and preferably after the webinar has taken place.
4. Use the right tactics to attract the right prospects
We get contacted all the time at the very last minute by clients saying, “Help! We’ve got a webinar and no-one is registered! Can you help us drive traffic to the event?”
Last minute planning is a sure-fire way to lose out on the best prospects. The number one reason why people don’t attend a webinar is not because the topic doesn’t interest them; it’s because they have something else scheduled on that day and time.
By following our Best Practices Guide for Events, you can execute the right tactics ahead of time to ensure that you reach the right prospects before their calendar is fully booked.
5. Get personal
Everyone loves a good story, and being too formal with your audience will turn them off. Webinars are informational, but they can also be fun. It’s a way for your prospects to get information, but it’s also a way for you to make your company stand-out. Using familiar language instead of highly technical industry terms that your audience may not know is a better way to get your message across to prospects that may not be experts in the topic.