I recently sat in on a Webinar with one of my favorite service providers, which is why it pains me to write this. IT WAS A DISASTER!
The Webinar didn’t start for 13 minutes beyond when it promised to start.
The Moderator was staring off in the distance 45 degrees from the camera.
The Chat feature kept bleeping every time someone posted (and there were 20 bleepin’ bleeps a minute)
The Chat had nothing to do with questions or comments on the presentation. They were about not being able to hear or see (or hearing those bleeping bleeps).
The presentation screen was in a grid of four and what were supposed to see as an instructional walk through was so small, you couldn’t understand what the steps were.
The presenter was in the weeds. Between Woo Commerce, Facebook Pixels, and Google Chrome, I had no idea what her point was and what it had to do with scheduling a call.
Because the Webinar started so late, the call went well over the scheduled time.
I could keep going, but I’ll just chalk it up to a major disappointment. I was distracted, frustrated and did not learn what I thought I would. If you want to keep your audience’s attention on a Webinar, here are a few tips to keep them engaged and raving fans.
1) Test in Advance – Do not wait for the day of to test your Webinar platform. Have your colleagues go through the same process as your attendees. If you can get a run through with your presenter(s), even better!
2) See it from the Audience’s Perspective – What is easy about the process? What is challenging and confusing? What annoys the crap out of you when you’re attending a Webinar.
3) Create a Day of Check List – Are you recording? Have you muted the participant lines? Have you set up your presenter with the right permissions? When are you reminding participants on the login details (also include if the slides and recording will be sent out)?
4) Turn Off Distractions – Silence alerts and announcements on the platform. It takes a split second for you to lose your audience if you can’t create a focused environment.
5) Assign a Chat Moderator – If you are moderating the call, make sure your attention is on the presenter or the presentation. Ask for a volunteer to field questions on the chat related to the basics. You can even give them an FAQ to help with responses.
6) Start on Time! Nothing irks people more than a late start time. Starting on time is a form of respect and the later you are the less your audience will trust you and the less likely they will be to come back.
7) End on Time! People have things to do. Honor their time and throw them a bone by ending a couple minutes early.
8) Keep Your Word – Deliver what you promise in your promotions. Keep your word on deadlines of when you’ll send recordings and materials.
9) Ask for Feedback and Listen to It – All feedback is useful when you’re ready to hear it. Apply what you can and communicate that you’ve listened.
I ran Webinars for trade associations for 11 years. I’ve had to deal with a complete platform shutdown, a dead phone line and a snarky audience member. These are things you can’t prepare for, but the 9 items I listed are completely in your control!
Don’t be a Webinar Wreck! You’ve got this!