Lately we’ve been part of some amazing webinars that kept us engaged, laughing, and smiling throughout. So what makes a really successful webinar, workshop or MasterClass? Here are 5 best practices when creating and hosting a successful webinar.
1. Create an Engaging & Interactive Presentation
You can create an amazing presentation for your webinar using easy to use tools available online and for free. To keep your audience engaged online, it’s very important to create a presentation that is visually appealing and not too long! We recommend you include graphs, photos, diagrams, video clips, and other design elements to break up the text. You can use traditional and online programs like PowerPoint, Canva or Google Slides to create an engaging webinar for your audience.
- Keep the webinar short. We recommend 30 minutes for presenting and leaving 15 minutes for questions at the end.
- Introduce yourself at the start of the webinar and share your contact details.
- After welcoming all participants to the webinar, explain how the technology works (polls, questions, chats).
- Create and use a unique hashtag for your webinar and encourage participants to use it on social media.
- Share your social media handles with the participants in advance of the event.
- Include a clear agenda from the start.
- Use graphs, charts, statistics, videos, GIFs, or images.
- Avoid heavy text (no one wants to read off of numerous slides).
- Record the webinar and share it with all the participants after the webinar.
2. Choose the Right Topic for Your Audience
Focus your webinar on a central idea or topic that ties together your entire presentation. To really engage with your audience, start off by telling a short story that illustrates the main point of your presentation. Use supporting data and analytics to support your theory or points. Avoid going off on tangents of losing the central thread of your presentation. Choose the right specific topic for your audience. For example, if your webinar is about Leadership, zero in on what kind of leadership, and focus on 3 main principles that reflect this type of leadership that speaks to your specific audience.
- Consider your audience’s needs and demographics. Are they young, older or a mixed crowd? What are they interested in learning? What do they already know? What are their pain points?
- Choose a topic that is relevant and relatable to your audience.
- Tell an engaging story. Stories are more memorable and impactful than pure data.
- Think about what you want your audience to walk away with in terms of key takeaways.
3. Make the Webinar Interactive
In order to make the webinar more interactive consider asking your audience questions throughout the presentation, or running a poll halfway through. Instead of allowing Q&A at the end of the webinar you can engage your audience through the presentation using interactive tools live with virtual whiteboards, polls and live chats.
- Consider how interactive you want the webinar to be. Do you want to run polls throughout the presentation?
- Do you want to see all the attendees or just allow for a chat function?
- Interactive webinars keep audiences engaged – so mix it up with fun video content, animations, social posts, and other fun features to make your webinar more interesting.
- Don’t read the copy off of your presentation.
4. Choose the Best Technology for Your Webinar
It’s important to choose the right webinar technology for your event. Ideally it works so well that it’s not distracting or overwhelming – it runs more in the background so the content and interactions are in the foreground. There are many great options available, so it will depend on the type of webinar you will be hosting, security concerns, your budget and personal preferences. A few successful programs we’ve seen have run on Zoom, GoToWebinar, or Adobe Connect. Ensure you test this technology a week before your event to ensure the audio works correctly and you can comfortably use all the features including presentation mode, chat, and polling.
- Consider the size of your audience and how interactive you want the webinar to be – some tools offer more features.
- Consider the cost of the technology. Some are free like FacebookLive or LinkedIn Live, others require accounts like Zoom or Adobe Connect.
- Speak to your event planner/organizer to decide on the right technology to use for your webinar.
5. Prepare a Script & Practice your Virtual Presentation in Advance
It’s very important to write a script for your webinar so that when it’s time for your event you will be ready and comfortable. Be sure to practice your webinar multiple times with a small test audience. Record your practice session and watch it and ask for feedback on how to improve your webinar.
- Practice, Practice, Practice and practice some more!
- Write out a script and print it out so you have it in front of you for your presentation
- Test your technology in advance to ensure it is working correctly
- Review your own recording afterwards to see where you can improve next time
Holding your next conference or event virtually or as a hybrid & looking for speakers and compelling content?
Connect with us and we’ll be happy to recommend speakers we’re confident are effective both live and on virtual platforms.