By Lady Miah Kane, Webinar Specialist
“Let me tell you a little story,” “Here’s what really happened,” and “Once upon a time” are opening phrases we may have heard from time to time. And as audience members, we knew right away what type of story it was. But why did we stay to listen? What kept us engaged in the same fable over and over?
Why didn’t we experience fairy-tell fatigue like we experience webinar fatigue? After all, salesperson, fact-checker, and storyteller are all synonyms for webinar speakers. Audiences gather around to hear you speak for 30-minutes or more, but audiences don’t remember your webinar points like they remember the facts of their favorite story. The not-so-secret solution is creating engagement within webinars. The actual secret is how easy it is. Here are five ways to engage a webinar audience and enrich your brand.
1) Keep all Eyes Browsers on You: Engaging Slides
Engaging slides can retain audience attention and be re-purposed for social media. One of my favorite ideas is including video and animation to break up the monotony of words, pictures, and slides. There’s a saying in film production, “Show, not tell.” If you’re selling a form of automation, include a video of the machine; show what has changed or improved. If the product is in a beta stage, show a video of older ideas and markup what will change. Audience members are less likely to switch to a different browser if visual aids are a key to your webinar.
Easy first step: check with your marketing department to see if there are pre-existing videos that you can include (content or company-related). Even something as simple as a company logo swooshing through a field of white.
In a recent webinar, an automation company included a video of their machine, and while it played, the presenter detailed what the audience was watching. That 30-second video can be turned into a social media post, “digital update” for client newsletters, or a hyperlink on a registration page. Pulling snippets from webinars can be a fast and easy way to attract new clients.
2) Read Hear Me Out: Simplify Your Slides
Presentations are not for reading. Direct the lengthy details to the resource section. Presenting small print to attendees is visually straining and overwhelming. Keeping the slide simple will cause the audience to focus on what you are saying (continued engagement) to gain further information. Refined information can also prompt attendee questions, which increases chat and Q&A questions (enhanced engagement).
Easy first step: Present two versions of the same slide to a non-expert. After each slide, ask the non-expert to reiterate the main points to see which slide was more effective in retaining information.
3) Revamp the Resources Tab
If your goal is to provide your audience with as much data as possible, present an abbreviated deck and include the full detailed deck in the resources tab. This option keeps your presentation visually simple without neglecting essential data.
Easy first step: Include a one-sheet with your contact information and social media handles. Don’t wait until the end of the webinar to grow your following. But if you do, offer a branded giveaway to new subscribers.
4) Get to Know Them While They Get to Know You: Polls
By far the most engaging tool of them all: polls. Polls are excellent tools for presenters, attendees, and sales departments. For the presenter, polls can be timekeepers, time markers, and provide a natural pause for a sip of water. Presenters can take this time to readjust notes or glance at questions. For attendees, it calls for their engagement and redirection of focus.
Easy first step: Ask (1) informal question, (1) content-related question, and (2) survey questions. The informal poll is my favorite. As an attendee, I get a glance into the personality of the speaker/company. Who doesn’t love voting for their favorite superhero?
For the sales team, poll questions are an additional way to assess attendee demographics. Examples include: “Are you interested in growing locally, regionally, or globally?” “How many people are within your company?” and “Who makes the purchasing decisions?” They’re an excellent tool for immediate insight. Always include a “N/A” version of an answer to respect attendee privacy.
5) Chat with Your Tech!
We, too, go by many names: Technician, Specialist, Moderator, Magician, and we are always happy to consult with you on how to enhance your webinars. Always ask to speak to the techie on board whenever and wherever you book a webinar. You may be surprised with how quickly and easily you can enhance your webinar and enrich your brand after one meeting.
Easy first step: Ask to meet with the webinar tech and the sales rep during your initial meeting. The webinar technician can provide immediate guidance for shaping your event and presentation.
My last piece of advice: animated transitions are not engaging; they’re troublemakers.
Take these suggestions and your webinar will be sure to thrive. Interested in hosting a webinar with AspenCore? Being the voice of record for the electronics industry, we reach over 15 million technologists, designers, engineers, and managers. Contact us!