Webinars and online conferences are useful tools for generating sales leads or for keeping your existing customers informed about new products. They only work, though, if your intended audience signs up and remains online during the session.
Here are some quick tips to an effective webinar:
1. Offer something valued by the customer
If you want prospects to tune in, give them something they want, such as the opportunity to interact with a recognizable speaker. And offer attendees a prize drawing at the end of the program, or a special gift if they stay online for the entire event.
2. Remind them about the event
Webinar aren't like in-person events, where people commit to giving their full attention. People sandwich webinars into their already-busy schedules, so if you want big attendance, remind people to tune in, using emails, texts, and even voicemail.
3. Start and end on time
Live meetings often begin a few minutes late to make certain that everyone has arrived. With an online meeting, though, attendees are at their own desks, so if the meeting starts late, they'll move on to something else and assume that you're hopelessly inefficient, which is not good.
4. Check your environment
Background noises, like other phones, your computer, air conditioning, and so forth can make it difficult for your customers to hear what's going on. Also, never, never, never use a cell phone on a webinar. A land line and a good headset are definitely the way to go.
5. Set the context
Start the web conference with a welcome slide that lets attendees know what to expect. Review the ground rules, like how to use any special features--like chat and instant polls. Make the audience comfortable with the process, and they'll be a lot more likely to participate.
6. Have a conversation
Rather than trotting out the bullet points, have a conversation with a moderator that brings out your main points. (And if you're selling for big stakes, consider hiring a professional.) Prep the moderator with the right questions; this is not the time to wing it.
7. Don't talk too fast
The last thing you want is to seem like you're trying to cram information into the audience's brain. You also don't want to come off like the "fast-talking salesman" that everyone despises. Be high energy, but express that energy through tonality and word choice--not by being a motormouth.