Last year I attended 318 webinars, and guess what?
I hate to say it, but for the most part they were really…really boring…
…and even sadder to say is that the people who attended them didn’t get much value, unless you count zzzz’s.
Where are we going wrong with webinars?
I’ll show you EXACTLY how to fix one of the most “boring” problems in our increasingly virtual world in this article…
…but first, a question for you…
Can your webinars go beyond boring?
I’ve been getting a lot of questions lately about how to do successful webinars and web meetings…
…so this post is dedicated to giving you practical tips you can use immediately to improve your webinars and web meetings.
It seems that many presenters think learning is just about delivering information to people so they can parrot it back or pass a test.
My notion is dramatically different.
I believe when you convey your points successfully, the people you teach act differently.
In other words, when learning takes place a change of behavior follows. You get RESULTS.
Adopt this perspective, and change the way you approach your webinars, (knowing your audience will respond in kind) — from how you create them to the way you market them.
To get you started, here are my top 3 tips for successful webinars and web meetings:
1. Identify WHAT Your Audience Wants
Engaging topics relate to people’s lives and are in line with their goals.
If you really want your webinar to hold the interest of your audience, you need to start by asking them what they want to know.
Here’s what I wrote when I was preparing a webinar for corporate managers about how to give an effective webcast:
You may receive hundreds of responses like this one… but all you need to do is glance through the replies…
And then you can group each of their responses into their natural categories…
…and look at the topics that show up repeatedly…
These are the topics you need to include because these are what they want to know.
When you can’t send emails to poll your audience, talk to a few individuals with a similar role to the group you’re addressing.
You’ll be amazed at the success of your webinars when all of your topics align perfectly with what your audience wants to know.
“Identifying what your audience wants” is also something I cover extensively in Deliver Money-Making Webinars.
2. Create the Right Number of Takeaways
In his book “Brain Rules,” author John Media says that most audiences have only about a ten-minute attention span before they “drift.”
That means you have to re-engage them about every 10 minutes or so.
In a one-hour webinar you should prepare to talk for about 50 minutes, and leave 10 minutes open for questions.
That means you can cover about four to eight topics per hour: (a minimum of 6 minutes and a maximum of 13 minutes per topic).
For a 30-minute webinar (25 minutes of talk, 5 minutes of questions), you should have no less than two and no more than four takeaways.
For a 90-minute webinar (75 minutes of talking, 15 minutes of questions), you should have no less than six and no more than twelve.
For multiples of an hour, use the formula of no less than four and no more than eight takeaways for each hour.
Here’s a handy table to help you figure this out:
That covers the first two steps, but the next one gets into how we transform traffic into attendees…
3. Make Each Takeaway PRACTICAL
During my research this year, I made an analysis of the very best webinars in the world.
I noticed a striking similarity among them.
Every single one promised to give the audience very specific, practical advice.
For a topic to be practical, it has to be actionable and of immediate value.
Knowing WHAT your audience wants is only the beginning.
After that, you have to deliver your topics in the right form – what I call the takeaways.
These takeaways have to be practical.
When it comes to takeaways people all tune to one radio station:
WIIFM – “What’s in it for me?”
Your takeaways must show your audience what’s in it for them or they will tune out.
To create the agenda of takeaways for your next webinar, ask yourself this question for each topic:
When you answer it, use this formula to write the takeaways for your agenda:
1. Start with an action verb.
The trick to doing that is to mentally insert the words: “As a result of my webinar, you will be able to…” at the beginning of the phrase.
2. Use seven words or less
A string of seven items is the maximum number people can hold in their short-term memory.
3. Use familiar words.
Avoid what I call “cliquespeak” — using words or assuming a grasp of concepts that people new to or unfamiliar with your field won’t understand.
Mark Twain once said,
To complete the sentence, “As a result of my webinar, you will be able to…” in seven words or less in simple, familiar language takes much more time than you might expect…
…but when you do it, you can follow through with real anecdotes that work.
Time for you to create a money-making webinar…