If you’ve only recently started preparing to hold your first webinar, you might be convinced that the simple process of trial and error would enable you to learn the dos and don’ts of webinar delivery.
However, you should heed the words of one former First Lady of the United States, Eleanor Roosevelt, who warns that you must “learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.” So, what have other people learnt you shouldn’t do in a webinar?
Disrespect your audience’s time
You have to remember that your webinar’s registrants have set aside a specific amount of their time in order to attend. Hence, you should respect their time by starting and ending the webinar at exactly those times previously advertised.
As research mentioned by marketing expert Jeff Bullas reveals that 58% of webinars run between 45 and 60 minutes, it would be ideal for your own webinar to last a similar duration. Don’t forget to include the Q&A section in the runtime, too.
Get too ‘salesy’ during your presentation
Yes, your webinar is probably intended to help you sell something – but you don’t want the webinar to actually come across that way. People will only sign up as attendees if they reckon that the webinar will, in itself, be genuinely helpful and informative.
This is why, as you put together your webinar, you should primarily target your audience’s needs – not least as doing so would help you to portray yourself as an expert in your field.
Fail to engage your audience
While webinars are beneficial on account of being easily accessible, they are also easy for attendees to abandon if they find the webinar content increasingly dull. All they would have to do is minimize or close the webinar.
However, Erika Maguire – Executive Director of Forbes’ Content Studio – points out that an online webinar platform like that offered by ON24 would come with various audience participation tools, like polling and surveys, you could use to help prevent attendees’ attention from flagging.
Omit to utter attendees’ questions out loud
During the Q&A section, you should make sure any questions put forward by attendees are spoken out loud, for everyone else to hear, before those questions are answered.
This is “so that the audience understands the context of the answer”, Steve Linton of LamCap Partners explains in a LinkedIn article – though you should always keep the asker’s name anonymous unless they have requested otherwise.
Neglect to consider how your presentation looks
In your attempts to be informative, you could risk bewildering your audience by giving them too much information at once. This could happen if, for example, you fill a lot of your slides with text and bullet points rather than break them up with visuals.
It would also be wise for you to ensure that the user interface for your webinar aesthetically aligns with your company’s branding. That way, you can encourage attendees to see your company – not just yourself – as the source of the webinar’s valuable content.