Done well, webinars deliver informative, entertaining content along with legions of potential clients. Done poorly, they can be tedious sales pitches with monotonous presentations and drab graphics. A great webinar can boost your brand while a terrible one will do more harm than good.
Don’t worry. Few people are awesome at webinars from the jump –– I know I wasn’t. Like podcasts and video conferences, their popularity keeps climbing partly due to 2020’s lockdowns and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Just don’t count on a captive audience. You have to put in the time to shine. So, here’s how to create a webinar presentation that rocks!
Make Sure You Really Need a Webinar
Not everyone with a product or service should create a webinar. If your only goal is to generate leads, you probably won’t inform or entertain the audience. Focusing on a minor product release or creating a webinar with little new content isn’t going to help. Neither will creating little more than a sales deck disguised as a webinar.
You’re more likely to succeed if you are offering a how-to presentation or a fresh perspective on a familiar topic. Similarly, if you’re uncomfortable giving presentations, perhaps taking a public speaking class is a better use of your time. The old saw about not getting a second chance to make a first impression really applies here. Alienating online viewers is no way to develop your business.
Preparation and Perspiration
Statistics from 2020 showed that as live events disappeared, webinars filled the void. According to the Demand Generation Benchmark Survey Report, over half of all business-to-business marketers viewed webinars as one of their most successful tactics for generating qualified leads. So, if you’re wondering how to create a webinar presentation, start by thinking about your potential audience and how you’ll reach them. This is not the time for winging it. Instead, brainstorm suggested topics and points you’ll want to make. You’ll want a compelling headline. From there, build an outline and use it to write a script. Ideally you’ll have a locked script before setting the time and date for your webinar. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with making adjustments. In fact, I encourage it.
Promote, promote, promote
I like to shoot a short video that covers what the audience will learn from the webinar. Then I start advertising across multiple social media channels. You want to emphasize that while the presentation is free, it’s also a limited-time opportunity. You don’t want to schedule a webinar in three days and hope blasting social media or flooding your contacts with emails will provide an engaged audience. Instead, you want to build excitement the way Hollywood builds it for movie premieres. You should have at least one month before your webinar “opens.” As you approach D Day, keep up a countdown letting everyone know that the date is fast approaching.
Most importantly, set it for a convenient time where the highest number of people have the fewest conflicts. In other words, seven p.m. on a Tuesday will draw a larger audience than Saturday at eight a.m.. Avoid major holidays or the playoffs of sporting events. Generally the best attended webinars are in the middle of the week.
Make Sure it Has Sizzle and Flash
No one wants to tune into a droning talking head. Incorporate graphics and a distinct background. Use dynamic PowerPoint slides –– because when they aren’t looking at you (or their watch) they’ll be looking at your deck. The key is using well crafted slides to deliver as much data as possible while keeping it entertaining.
Before the day arrives, perfect your presentation by rehearsing with a few trusted friends. You should also pre-record a section of your presentation and listen back. However, avoid rote memorization which can not only throw you off if you forget a few lines but can also make you sound overly rehearsed. The key is sounding conversational.
Yes, your webinar is partly a tool for lead generation. That doesn’t mean your audience wants a hard sell for your product or service. You should be offering them vital information –– even if they don’t convert to buyers they should still believe their time was well-spent and they got something out of your webinar. In other words, strive to be transformational not transactional.
Your presentation shouldn’t run over an hour. In fact, thirty minutes is darn near perfect. Few people have an attention span longer than 60 minutes when they are viewing an online presentation. If your practice sessions indicate the webinar will run longer, then start trimming. With some time and effort, you too can produce a webinar presentation that entertains, informs, and inspires.
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