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What All Engaging Webinars Have in Common

No one is paying attention to your webinar—and that’s OK. Attached to your grand presentation idea and all the planning you’ve put into it, you have big dreams for your web event, but it’s only sensible to accept that webinar attendees will hardly ever give you their full attention.

If they’re not chatting or eating, they’re checking Twitter, emailing or even registering for other webinars. It’s not ideal, but it’s the reality and challenge that webinar hosts must acknowledge. Despite the competition for screen time, it’s not enough just to get them to register and log in to your event.

Engaged attendees are more likely to follow your call to action to learn more or sign up for another webinar. They’re more likely to digest, comprehend and internalize your message, which could mean better quality leads for marketing and sales or better employee engagement for corporate communications.

Your webinar software may have all the bells and whistles to pull off a polished, professional presentation, but if your attendees aren’t lasting at least three-quarters of the way through, then something’s got to change.

So how do you occupy someone’s attention during a web event? Here’s what all engaging webinars have in common:

·Compelling Content: Your webinar presentation is only as engaging as your content. By far, the substance behind it all will be the difference between engagement and high drop-off rates, but style counts, too. Original data, unique insights and surprising facts are the goods you need to deliver, but they also need to be presented with a storyteller’s voice. Instead of being overly promotional, you need to put the attendee first, immediately establish your content’s value to them and make everything relatable.

·Captivating Speakers: The right speaker will have the ability to grab attention with humor, credibility or inspiration, and this may not be limited to a single person. Engaging webinars may also include a co-host that balances perspectives or a roundtable of speakers that turn presentations into a dialogue.

·Stimulating, Simple Visuals: The majority of webinars include a solid set of slides that help pace the presentation with titles and chapters, cement ideas with sparse notes and guide attendees through the material. Well-designed slides include strategic use of colors, font and images, without overwhelming attendees. Engaging webinar visuals also extend to streaming video and screen sharing.

·Interaction: Polls, surveys, Q&A sessions, live chat and similar webinar software features serve a dual purpose: they facilitate participation and simultaneously measure engagement as a tool to see who’s actively listening. Often, these tools are reserved for the end of webinars, but start early and use them often to really spark engagement from the beginning.

When you look at attendance duration in your post-event reports, you can use these numbers to assess what you may need to change based on when attendees leave the event. However, don’t forget to also assess your webinar recording’s attendance.

Many registrants may miss your time slot, prefer to view the event at their own pace or want to skim your content on demand. Even though they’re missing that interactive element, your webinar still has the opportunity to engage them based on your content, speakers and visuals.

It’s not enough just to get them there. Putting on a good show matters just as much, too. Here are 13 presentation tips for unforgettable webinars to get you there.

Image Source: Flickr

About Ashley Speagle

Ashley Speagle is a Florida-born, Georgia-raised communications specialist, couch movie critic, dream interpreter, acrophobic adventure seeker, outdoors enthusiast, and easy-going introvert.

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