// Heidi McLean // Webinars
Being able to communicate and interact with multiple people in multiple locations at the same time is a beautiful thing. But when it’s done poorly, your webinar might just multiply the misery of a bad experience.
Four tips to make your webinar worth texting home about
Be a speaker first and a teacher second
I don’t care how important and well-researched your material is. If you’re standing behind a computer reading from the screen, you may as well be saying “Bueller, Bueller?” Your attendees will gone by the first slide. While they may do you the courtesy of keeping your webinar on the screen while they scroll through Facebook and Twitter, they’re not really with you.
Have a thoroughly-planned outline and know it well enough that you can speak conversationally instead of just reading it. You can’t make eye contact over the Internet, but you can smile while you speak so people can hear that you’re happy to be there.
We know you have a personality. Don’t be afraid to use it.
Use all your resources, including other team members
Familiarize yourself with the webinar platform you’re using until you feel comfortable with its features. Group chats and polls are a great way to engage people, but if you fumble through them, they’ll end up as a distraction.
Bring in a producer or co-presenter and practice effective ways to manage behind-the-scenes details. You don’t want to be scrambling to read and respond to people while you’re speaking.
If you want people to pay attention, give them content they can’t ignore. Making content compelling and relevant to attendees’ lives is the best way to engage them.
While contests and giveaways may encourage people to stick around until the end of the webinar, there is simply no replacement for content that adds value to attendees’ lives. In the same vein, refer people to your resources, but don’t use webinars just for sales. Your attendees will see through it and it will leave a bad taste in their mouth.
Make it easy
Don’t send attendees out to watch a video on YouTube and expect them to come back in. Make sure any elements like recorded scripts and videos are inside your webinar. Consider the time of day that is most appropriate for your audience and keep webinars under an hour. A good mix is 30 minutes of content and 15 minutes of questions. Record the material so people can easily listen later or again.
Webinars are an easy way to accomplish a lot. They’re also easy to screw up. These four tips will ensure people don’t approach your webinar as a chance to leave their computer open for appearances while they run out to catch a Pokémon.
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