Keeping the attention of your webinar participants can be a challenge, especially with the average attention span of a person falling thanks in part to technology. Everywhere we go, we’re constantly bombarded with click here fast ads, 30-second advertising, short videos, snippets, etc. Everything is shortened for on-the-go use and viewing, and in a world like that, it can be difficult to stay focused throughout an entire webinar.
Webinars can be excellent opportunities to teach a new skill or bring everyone up to speed on market trends, but if no one is paying attention, you’ve wasted a lot of time and money. How do you keep people focused, anyway? Keeping users engaged could mean the difference between a successful marketing strategy and a dull one.
Let’s look more closely at what it takes to spice up those webinars for maximum retention and participation.
Provide Real Value
First and foremost, your users want to gain something from your seminar; something that can be applied in real-life situations. The more value you bring to the table, the more likely your participants are to pay attention throughout the entirety of the presentation. Any content can be valuable, but your presentation needs three key factors for maximum value.
Current Trends and Future Projections: Your webinar participants will want to know the state of the industry they’re currently operating in, as well as any trends that seem to be developing or are predicted to develop in the coming months/years. What is the current status of the industry? Is it thriving? In a recession? Is new technology and innovation reshaping how business is conducted within it? What does the future look like according to experts?
Teach A Scalable And Repeatable Process: The most valuable processes you can teach at a webinar are the ones that are both scalable and repeatable. A process that grows and evolves as the company’s needs change is both efficient and cost-effective; not to mention, your participants won’t have to learn a new process every time a major change occurs in the industry or the business itself.
Provide Downloadable Content: Sometimes, it can be tough to remember everything you learned at a webinar. There should always be downloadable content available to your webinar participants; or, at the very least, a copy of your presentation. This gives your participants something to take with them which can act as a guide and as a reminder of where they got their information.
Valuable content will always hold the attention of your participants far more effectively than content that’s steeped in speculation or personal opinion. While you can certainly offer your take on trends, industry standards, innovation, and more, webinars are generally meant to be informational. This means maintaining a non-biased attitude throughout the presentation and providing the facts.
Choose an Enticing Webinar Format
The format you use to present your webinar can make a huge difference in the attention it holds. There are several formats available, but let’s look closer at the pros and cons of some of the most popular options.
The Masterclass: The masterclass; taught by an expert in the field with advanced knowledge and years of experience. Masterclasses are good for providing direct information from an expert and are usually straight to the point. They’re also usually long and can run the risk of getting boring. For instance, if a successful business owner wants to host a run your own business masterclass, they should spruce up the content with interactive exercises and encouraging questions to keep the participants engaged.
The Chat Show: If you’re looking for casual interaction, a chat show might be the right format for your webinar. This simple but effective format allows for a more conversational atmosphere, rather than having someone teach or preach at the audience. However, the casual format means sometimes getting off-track and spiraling into completely off-topic conversations.
The Product Demo: A product demo is an excellent way to showcase the best features of your company’s products or services; however, you’ll want to keep things as casual and informative as possible, because the more it feels like a hard sales pitch, the less interested your viewers are likely to be.
Create a Presentation Users Want to View
Aesthetics do matter when it comes to a successful webinar. Your users aren’t likely to stick around if you’re not keeping their audio and visual attention. Don’t just throw your slides together overnight; spend some time on their design. Make sure the designs are aesthetically pleasing as well as informational. There are plenty of tutorials available on YouTube and forums across the web on creating better PowerPoints.
Don’t be afraid to add more thematic elements such as GIFs or even YouTube links. Moving pictures or videos are often much better at capturing a viewer’s attention than a static image.
Choose the Right Speakers
If your audience doesn’t trust the person who’s speaking, you’re going to run into a problem. That’s why it’s critical to utilize only an expert in your presentation. If your customers are paying for a webinar, they’re going to expect expert-level information! Even if your speaker is an expert, they could still be unsure how to make the webinar as engaging and informational as possible. Following these simple guidelines will lead you to better speakers and also ensure the success of your webinar:
- Have a clear goal for the speaker. “I want everyone who attends this seminar to leave with x number of skills and a clear understanding of the new processes.”
- Know the audience. Who you’re presenting to matters just as much as what you’re presenting.
- Define success. How will you know that your webinar was successful? Can you gather feedback?
- Prepare questions. These will help engage with the speaker and provide a Q&A style set up during the webinar.
- Cost. Prepare to pay your speaker, but don’t settle for the first quote you get.
- Stay firm in your resolve. You don’t have to compromise the company vision or your goals for any speaker. You can always find another.
Give Opportunities For Interaction and A Reason To Engage
Getting your participants involved in the webinar ensures they won’t be snoring in the background. This can be in the form of Q&A sessions, breakout discussions, live surveys, and more. Make your participants feel like they’re an important part of the presentation.
You can also offer prizes or raffles for participation. Games can make the experience more entertaining and provide a bit more of an incentive to participate.
The Bottom Line
Keeping your users engaged starts with creating attractive presentations and choosing the right speaker. These two factors alone can make or break a webinar, but you’ll need to choose carefully and take your time. Don’t rush the creative process! Create aesthetically pleasing and interactive presentations, hire an expert speaker, and reap the fruits of your engaging and informational webinar. Your users will appreciate all of the extra efforts and you’ll be able to take pride in your work.