Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

November 03 2014

4 Simple Tips To Stop Producing Bad Webinars

By Mary Reynolds Kane

Your members, customers and employees are all busy. Their professional and personal schedules are packed. When they carve out an hour to keep up-to-date on the latest trends, they have one expectation: it needs to be a meaningful, valuable experience.

You’ve probably even found yourself in this situation. You blocked out the time. You tuned in to the webinar, and 10 minutes in, you realize it’s a waste of your time. It’s crucial to make sure your attendees don’t ever feel this way when they participate in your online education. As you look ahead to designing your next webinar, here are some tips to make sure that when your attendees disconnect, they’ll return to work with new insights and new inspiration.

1) Be Prepared

It’s tempting as a presenter to be a little more casual preparing your presentation because you won’t be standing in front of an audience, but consider this: a remote audience doesn’t have the same concern with being polite as a face-to-face audience does. People tune out, leave faster, and feel more comfortable complaining in text boxes than they ever would in person. Know your stuff and understand the objectives of your webinar.

2) Be Engaging

From phone calls, to co-worker drop-bys, there is no guarantee you will hold an audience’s attention with a great presentation, let alone one that you spent 4 minutes googling clip art from 1995 to add to your slides. Visuals matter to this audience. So does polling, text chat and engagement. Create moments throughout your presentation where you will encourage engagement – and don’t ask “Are there any questions?” Phrase that question differently and you might be surprised with the feedback you get.

3) Have Real Takeaways

You know your objectives for hosting this webinar. During your presentation prep, make sure you are tying your content back to your objectives. If the objective is to teach something and your description says “You will leave with a plan of how to do x and y,” you need to provide step-by-step instructions and give a resource that reinforces it. If the objective is to release new research, make sure your audience understands the implications the research has on their jobs. Always focus on the end result as you create your presentation.

4) Be Polished

Practice, practice, practice. Know how to advance your slides, anticipate questions, and smile while presenting. Your audience can hear it in your voice.

Want more? You’ll find it on November 18 in this educational session on DIY webcasting.

REGISTER: Do it Yourself Webcasting - From Planning to Playing the Part on Tuesday, November 18 

SEE ALSO: A definitive guide for interactive webcasts

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