We’ve all had to sit through an ‘engaging webinar’ just to realize that the only interactive thing about it is that you have to answer a few polls during a 60-minute session. After enduring a boring and monotonous slideshow for long enough, you’d be forgiven for deciding to leave the webinar before it ends. You’re not alone – around 66% of webinar attendees leave early.
Getting people to attend your webinar is hard work. So it’s natural that you want to make sure you leave a good impression on your audience and keep them hooked until the very end. But holding viewers’ attention is only possible with interactivity, as people are usually too busy to sit through a boring webinar. In fact, 67% of attendees say that the most important thing is for presenters to be passionate and engaging. But how do you do that?
Have Webinar Facilitators
Webinar facilitators are people who help you host webinars. It’s possible to run a session on your own, but having co-presenters, chat moderators, or someone to help you with the technical stuff makes the job much easier. By having this kind of help, you can focus on the presentation and your message. This also allows you to host your webinar standing up, giving you more room to express yourself.
Another idea is to have a panel of people with different points of view. This is the perfect way to get a conversation flowing and allow the audience to share their own ideas about a subject. Livestorm is perfect for large discussions, as it supports an unlimited number of hosts with up to six active cameras and microphones.
Cut to the Chase
We have to be honest – unless you’re hosting a webinar specifically about your company, no one really cares about its history. It’s a good idea to avoid starting webinars with a long introduction about the business or product you’re selling and instead get straight to the point.
Of course, you still need to promote yourself, but a short description of your skills and personality is more than enough. We recommend throwing in a fun fact about yourself to start the webinar off on a light note. Getting your audience laughing and enjoying themselves early on is the perfect start to a successful webinar.
Take Advantage of Breakout Rooms
It’s a bit intimidating to interact with thousands of people online during a live webinar – that’s especially true for your attendees, as not everyone is a natural speaker. But sometimes, it’s a good idea to have your audience interact with each other. That’s why we recommend utilizing breakout rooms to split your attendees into smaller discussion groups.
For example, you can ask each group to solve a case study together based on everything they’ve learned throughout the session. Just don’t forget to appoint leaders for each breakout room, as it’s easy for people to fall into an awkward silence when they don’t have any direction. Not every webinar solution offers this, but LiveWebinar allows for breakout rooms as an add-on feature.
Save Your Sales Pitch for the End
Let’s face it: if you’re hosting a webinar, it’s because you want something from your audience. But attendees join because they want to learn more about the topic you’re presenting. That’s why it’s better to come up with solutions for a specific problem instead of hard selling your product. So, save your spiel until the end of your session with an effective call to action. Of course, you can also include pop-ups with calls to action for people who leave early to maximize your conversion rate, which is something that BigMarker is especially good at.
Don’t Overdo Slideshows
This suggestion applies to any presentation you make. Slideshows are perfect for helping you remember what you need to say, but they shouldn’t serve as a teleprompter where you read everything off the screen. Instead, design your slides to be concise and straight to the point. As the saying goes – a picture is worth a thousand words – so it’s better to have a fun image that reminds you of the next section of your presentation than a rundown of what you’re going to say. Plus, you can always share well-written handouts at the end of the webinar that recap everything you said. GoToWebinar is perfect for interactive presentations, as it easily embeds video, images, and other types of media.
Ask for Feedback
You can only truly know whether your webinars are engaging if you ask your audience. So, it’s a good idea to ask attendees to answer a brief feedback form at the end of the webinar, where you can find out whether your audience had a good time, if there’s something you could improve, and what they would like to see more of. For example, you might have too many polls and not enough direct audience participation. ClickMeeting helps with this by letting you create surveys and easily export reports in PDF format.
Coming up with engaging webinar content can be quite daunting at first. But by following all of these tips and making the most of what webinar software has to offer, you’ll be hosting unforgettable webinars in no time.
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