We’ve Got Some Webinar Tips for You
Webinars can be a great way for content delivery (such as an online class), which can either be recorded or live for an ongoing program. Webinars can also be used to provide content as a “freebie” or lead generation piece.
They are a huge favorite of mine! They are inexpensive to produce, highly interactive, easily recordable, and can be reused many times. Many business owners see the benefits of webinars and neglect that their clients or prospects still want a polished product. While your prospects and clients will understand that things don’t always go according to plan, they can still laugh at you for not having a few pointers.
To set the scene, I have hosted over 200 webinars with different presenters in the past few years. I have only had to cancel one of them (which, let’s be honest, has never happened). I have learned so much along the way.
These are our top five tips for creating your next webinar.
Pray your content
I nearly wanted to write this down for all five points. Let me tell you two stories. First, I had an excellent presenter. He was so excited to share his content with the group. I loved his energy. We had planned (and advertised!) an hour-long session. I knew him well. The time allotted for discussing his content should be approximately 45 minutes. This leaves enough time to do an introduction, closing, and then Q&A. We did a soundcheck, and then it was time to get started. In 15 minutes, he covered all of his material. That was all. The result was awkward because he never practiced the content: second example, same scenario, different presenter. We ran out of time because he spent so much time discussing each agenda item. Instead of covering his top 5, he only covered three and then had to close. His prospects didn’t feel they had heard enough to make them reach out.
You should practice your content.
I was not kidding when I said that I believed this should include all five points. This is a twist on the original. Your webinar should be used as a free offer for lead generation. Please practice your content. The webinar should balance content that prospects can use immediately with the information they need. Even if the webinar is part of an online course, you will need an agenda. This will ensure that the webinar does not drift off-track. While it’s okay to share stories and take a break, your content stream should be clear, understandable, and move forward as intended.
Never do it all by yourself.
Have a moderator on the call to give technical support, moderate questions, and be there for the unexpected. Just last week, I moderated a webinar where I was introducing the presenter, and the audio quality dropped when I began recording. Although I was able to solve the problem so that the webinar could be recorded (eventually), the presenter did not need to be able to understand what was happening or get flustered. Moderators are skilled at monitoring the chat and email for any attendees experiencing connection issues. This allows the presenter to focus on their presentation. You can be prompted to mute or bark your dog, and a moderator will help you with unexpected situations.
Do not do a live Q&A without your team!
We have always done Q&A in the same way for almost all of the webinars that I have hosted. To be able to tell if the content is off-target or confusing our guests and also to determine if extra time is needed for Q&A, we ask that all questions are asked during the presentation. Your moderator should monitor the guests’ questions and then ask them during your reserved time. Your moderator can help you if they sense that guests are having difficulty understanding the content. A moderator can create a different atmosphere of conversation between you and your guests than just you. Moderators can screen questions to ensure that only the appropriate ones are being asked.
What if nobody comes?
You’ve practiced and practiced, and you have this great moderator. But no one signed up. Or they came but didn’t show up. It’s hard, I know. You might need to consider a few things. Maybe the market wasn’t available at the right time. It’s okay. You can still continue with the session. Why? It’s not known that no one was there. You can still record the webinar and make it available to others or send it out to people who couldn’t attend. You don’t have to lose anything if you repurpose a webinar. What happens to your Q&A if there is no one present? For all webinars, I suggest that you have a list with faqs. These are questions your moderator can ask. The first is that if nobody comes, no one has to know. Your moderator can then read the questions you have “sent in” in advance. The FAQ list has a second trick. Even with total attendance, there may be no questions, or people aren’t sure what to ask. FAQs provide that guidance and break the ice.