I was recently featured in an article called, “How to Give a Killer Webinar: Tips from the Pros,” by Michael Ventimiglia, who asked a dozen marketing, presentation, and webinar experts, “What are your best tips for giving a webinar?” I share a few of the very useful strategies Michael gathered from the pros:
Before Your Webinar
According to marketing and communications expert, Gini Dietrich, you should start marketing your webinar at least six weeks in advance. In addition to announcing your webinar on your website, Gini recommends that you should, “Send a postcard to your mailing list. Write a news release and send it to trade reporters. Start your email marketing campaign. As the weeks go by, begin social media efforts and keep your email marketing campaign going. Then use your blog, if you have one, to make a final push in the last week. While most of your registrations will come in during the last 10 days, people will be expecting it and pencil the time in their calendars.”
Tom Treanor of The Right Mix Marketing blog, says it is a mistake to be stingy with webinar invitations. If you reach your attendance limit, anyone who was not able to sign up can be offered a priority sign-up for your next webinar. Tom suggests that in the event of too few sign-ups, rather than cancelling your webinar, you should take the opportunity to practice by continuing with the webinar and making sure you get feedback afterwards – an excellent suggestion!
Christa Freeland, Marketing Specialist for the Powershift Group, had this great tip for making sure everyone who has signed up for your webinar actually attends, “To increase your attendee numbers, send an email out with login data an hour before the event to remind the registrants of the webinar. Sometimes they get busy with work and forget…”
Brittny Peloquin, Marketing Coordinator at Experts Exchange, reminds us to perform a trial run. Rehearse your presentation. Make sure you familiarize yourself with the system you will be using to deliver your webinar.
During Your Webinar
Digital strategist, Aliza Sherman, advises webinar leaders to stay focused and keep the presentation moving. She says, “Don’t apologize and don’t stop. Webinars involve technology and technology can fail. If your slides stop advancing, point that out quickly, then move on and promise to send the slides to the attendees. If you are bumped off the line, go straight back to your presentation when you get back online without belaboring the tech hiccup. Everyone gets the tech issues – don’t make a big deal about them.”
The virtual nature of webinars overthrows traditional speaker/audience dynamics – including eye contact, body language, and audience camaraderie. It is my advice that in addition to polishing fundamental presentation skills, webinar presenters adapt new strategies to keep their remote attendees engaged and involved throughout their presentations. For example, stop and ask, “Based on what you have heard so far, what are your questions?”
Speaker and author, Cathy Moore, reminds us that this is the best use of chat. She explains, “The chat is where it’s at! Your commitment to ask a ton of thought-provoking, open-ended questions — means that you’ll design a series of mini-activities instead of an information dump. Your participants will stay with you, thinking and participating, instead of clicking away to plan their Bali trip while you talk to an empty room.”
David Strom author of, Internet Messaging and Home Networking Survival Guide, reminds us that webinar attendees still want to connect with a real person – that person is you. As webinar presenters, we need to deliver our presentations with the same energy and professionalism we would give to an in-person presentation. David says, “Don’t read bullet points on slides. No one likes being read to, unless it is a bedtime story.” If your attendees could experience your presentation without you, why are you there?
After Your Webinar
Jill Bastian, training and education manager at the Vertical Marketing Blog, says, “Once your webinar is over, follow up! Some webinar hosting services will automatically send out a follow-up email, which is handy, but you’ll want to edit the message to give it your own voice and include a link to the recorded version if there is one.” If the purpose of your webinar to promote your product or service, your follow up is your opportunity to turn attendees into clients.
Portions of this post originally appeared in, “How to Give a Killer Webinar: Tips from the Pros”
Thank you to Michael Ventimiglia and GetVoIP.com!
If you want to become a great speaker easily, conveniently, and quickly, Fripp Virtual Training can help. Enjoy three free chapters on Stories, Openings, and Sales: http://frippvt.com
“Patricia Fripp’s ability to teach presentation skills is astounding. She continues to set high standards when leading our APA speakers to excellence. FrippVT is a valuable resource I recommend to all APA leaders, speakers, and members. Since 1996 Patricia Fripp has been a valued partner to APA.”
– Dan Maddux, Executive Director, American Payroll Association.
Take your complimentary trial of FrippVT.
Executive Speech Coach and Hall of Fame Keynote Speaker Patricia Fripp works with individuals and companies who realize that powerful, persuasive presentation skills give them a competitive edge.