As much as I would like to consider myself a webinar presentation expert, I am not. I study those that are smarter than me and will be happy to sprinkle a few tips along the way but I can’t emphasize this next point enough. This blog series is about getting webinar attendees that convert to revenue. While it is vital I can not overstate how important the actual webinar and its content is to your success. Here are my 4 P’s for a successful webinar on “Go Day.”
Preparing the presentation
The purpose for our webinar is to get leads and convert leads to interested contacts. The purpose for the webinar for our viewers is to learn more about a subject and decide if our solution will make them money, save them time or make life easier. These shouldn’t be competing needs and the architecture of your webinar shouldn’t compete with it either. People gave up their valuable time to be with you. Give them value throughout your webinar. When you sit down to outline the agenda keep this in mind. But it’s ok to sell too. When I do a webinar I spend 85% of my time providing actionable content and 15% selling. Find what works for your audience.
Pre-Zoom days this may have sounded like crazy babble, but people are coming to the webinar to hear from a person and not from slides. Have slides, create value and entertainment with the slides, but for the most part share your camera instead of your screen. Years ago I hosted 1-2 “tele-seminars” a month, meaning you had to call in on your phone and then watch a screen on your computer. I would have given my left arm to people able to be on camera looking “eye to eye” to my audience while I presented. We have that gift today. Don’t ignore it. Don’t hide behind your slides, hide behind your story, your product and the benefit you are providing but look people in the eye (camera) when you or others on your team present.
Pro-tip: Don’t rely on the little video shot on Zoom either. Have two monitors going on your webinar and when you are talking to your audience go camera only. When you are sharing data and details, share your screen, just long enough to make your point. Will people be saying in the chat, “I didn’t see that last slide long enough, can you put it back up.” No. But I can send it to you afterwards. wink-wink.
Have you gone to a live presentation and at the end you felt like you got everything from the presentation you desired but also felt like it wasn’t over yet? Many public speakers have learned that the live presentation is the time to build a relationship with the audience but step two is to move folks to a website where they can get their information and provide more content.
Even though you know your webinar participants I would recommend the same. Give lots and lots of links and resources. Templates, planners, how-to guides, ROI calculators. Everything you find valuable give away but don’t put links on your presentation. It’s distracting and takes attention away from you. Tell people you have found the best website in the world on ABC and you are guaranteed they have tuned you out and tuned site ABC in. Instead give them a link at the end of the webinar to a portal on your site where they can get all of the reference information.
Quick ego check. Are you the best person to present? I’m not asking if you are the most knowledgeable person on the topic or if you can answer any question an audience may come up with. Instead, are you the most entertaining and well spoken person that can focus on the presentation and not the product. If the answer is no then give up the Go Day reigns to the person who is. I work in professional services. We have a Client Partner team and a Delivery team. Is our Delivery team more knowledgeable on the technical aspects of our services? Yes. Are they the ones giving client presentations? No. Why should your webinar be any different?
Pro-tip: I believe this a requirement of every webinar. Make a client the centerpiece. My most successful webinars are webinars that I partner with a current or past client and let them “steal” the show. Including leaving ample time at the end for Q&A with a directive to the audience to direct most of the questions to the client. You may be engaging and entertaining, but you are selling something. Even a poorly spoken client is better than a well put together answer from you.
Everyone is busy. Everyone involved with your webinar has a day job. But there is no such thing as a good “off the cuff” webinar. I’ve done them, they come off just like you would expect. Your audience isn’t here to judge your webinar presentation skills but they do reflect on your professionalism and your company’s quality threshold. People don’t buy from people that do shotty webinars. Do you?
You don’t have to put weeks of prep into the webinar but I do recommend at least one dry run. A dry run is not a time for everyone to sit in a conference room and say, “I’ll do this part, you do that.” That is a planning session. A dry run is going beginning to end on the entire webinar. Screen shares, presentations, guests, Q&A. The whole deal just like it is the real deal. Things will break, things won’t work well but that is the point. Fix them before Go Day. There is an added benefit to you too. Doing a dry run drastically reduces the nerves. By Go Day you’ve done this once before. You can visualize exactly how it will go down.
Plan B, C, D…
Unfortunately it never goes exactly as you planned. Technology is unpredictable, people are unpredictable. You can’t plan for everything but you can plan for a lot of things. Have back-up presenters. Make sure everyone on your team on the webinar has the presentation and can share their screen. The presenter may lose wifi during the presentation but probably won’t lose their phone signal. Let them call in while someone else drives. But in case that doesn’t work make sure someone else can do the presentation too.
Pro-tip: Remember that dry run? Record it. If the worst case scenario happens and everything blows up. You have the dry run to send out instead of the webinar replay. Email it out with your apologies and an invitation to speak one on one to answer any questions your audience has.
Congrats! You’ve done it. You’ve knocked it out of the park and your team is feeling pretty good about themselves. Well deserved high-fives all around. Ok, now get back to work! You did all of this to this point for one reason, get leads you can nurture and convert to relationships and revenue. Now the work begins.
Next Step: The post webinar follow-up process.