10 Tips to Take Your Webinars to the Next Level
As a marketer you work hard every single day. There’s always another blog post to write, another campaign to send, and another presentation to practice for. We work around the clock to help drive our business forward – and we do it because we honestly love it.
It’s a fun challenge as the market changes, as your audience changes and as your strategies change. At BrightTALK, we connect with marketers to help them catapult their business forward through the power of online presentations. Thought leaders, analysts, marketers and the likes are able to connect and debate with prospects around the globe on our platform.
This past year our team produced over 65 webinars out of the United States and UK on the BrightTALK Academy. Whether you’re new to our platform or not, here are 10 great reminders when it comes to planning, executing and delivering online presentations to make them successful and generate revenue.
1. Repurpose live events for maximum ROI on time and money invested. Live events are extremely expensive. From booth costs, to travel expenses, to time spent, you really want to maximize what you’re receiving out of the output. One of the best ways is to repurpose content from a live event into a webinar.
On the web you’ll be able to reach a larger audience and those who weren’t able to attend the live event. In this year’s B2B Content Marketing Report, CMI and MarketingProfs found that live events and webinars were rated as the top two effective tactics – so why not combine them?
One of our most successful webinars, How to Run 85 Webinars a Year Without Losing Your Mind, was a repurposed presentation from an in-person event earlier in the year. By updating and shifting the content to fit the online format, EXFO and our team were able to conduct a great webinar with minimal effort.
2. Balance your speakers’ dynamics. Having a skilled speaker is extremely important to the success of a presentation – especially a live presentation. You’ll need complementary speaking styles of your panel, your moderator/speaker or co-presenter.
Keeping an audience engaged is all about being enthusiastic and changing the style to keep them entertained and off of Amazon. If you have two speakers who are energetic then your audience might become exhausted, but if both speakers are having a fire-side chat it might be too laid back. By balancing the styles you’re able to connect with everyone who attends your session.
3. Designate a webinar quarterback early in the planning stages. This is one of the most essential parts of a successful webinar program. Webinars are an effective lead generation tool, but there are a lot of puzzle pieces to keep track of. Create a repeatable process to outline what you need and when you need it. Identify someone who is familiar with the process and will ping responsible parties if anything is running behind schedule. Check out our Ultimate Guide to Co-Presenting for quick ways to make partner webinars effortlessly victorious.
4. Pepper in your offer messaging throughout the entire presentation to gain the most traction. Audiences despise product pitches. Professionals join webinars to learn how you can help them in their job but they don’t want to join a sales call. While our data shows that most viewers watch for 36 minutes, there will be those busy executives that jump on early or late. To maximize your product/service exposure make sure to incorporate how you solve the problems throughout the presentation rather than at the end.
5. Minimize the number of words you use in a slide and eliminate the use of bullet points (if possible). Death by PowerPoint is a real thing, especially when viewers can read words faster than you can speak. Minimize the text you use and leverage images and diagrams to enhance your presentation – not as your visual cues. Your presentation deck should leverage visual stories to help get your point across more effectively.
6. Tee up a handful of exceptional internal go-to speakers. If you’re running more than two webinars a month, having a variety in speakers is essential. This means that you’ll need an all-star team of internal go-to speakers. As a marketer you have an idea of the content and stage of the funnel you’re looking to address, but your speaker will carry the weight of the presentation. You’ll need a team who can captivate and engage the audience for 30-45 minutes. Make sure you have a good rapport with them, invest in the relationship, make the process as easy as possible and appreciate their time and contribution to the success of the business.
A big shout out and thanks to my team of presentation gurus: Cameron Jahn, Val-Pierre Genton & Morgan Cantrell.
7. Book 15-30 minutes before the presentation to clear your head. Time is valuable and since we are more connected to everything than ever before it’s essential to clear your head before presenting. Always make the calendar invite start 15-30 minutes before the presentation to allow all the speakers to join the call, check for any technical difficulties and detach from all other work pressures. There’s nothing worse than a frazzled speaker jumping on the line two minutes into the presentation.
8. “Houston, we have a problem.” Always plan for error – speakers and technology alike. You should always be familiar with your webinar technology before going live and know how to handle errors before they happen. Having a dedicated live support team is a must for any technology. I’ve never had to use it but I don’t lose sleep because I know that I have someone to help immediately if something goes wrong during a presentation with a click of a button.
Another component of preparing is making sure that you have a backup plan if a speaker is MIA. I was recently watching a presentation where the first speaker wasn’t able to join right away. The moderator and other presenter were able to handle the hiccup and deliver part of her presentation because they had synced, planned, prepped and knew what she was going to say. Eliminate all possible routes for error to make sure that you don’t sweat the small stuff.
9. Leverage your own data to really make a loyal viewer (and potential customer). People watch presentations to hear from the experts. They’re looking to solve project specific obstacles or hurdles they face every day. This is why case studies and customer testimonials are so important in marketing. By providing real life data points on why the information is relevant helps viewers evaluate you and your solution. Every year, our webinar & video benchmarks report highlights and analysis is highly attended due to the first hand insights on the topic to help viewers get the most of their webinar and video efforts.
10. Listen to your presentation afterwards – ALWAYS. As someone who has been presenting live and online for over ten years, I cringe when I say this, because I know that I myself dislike listening to my voice. However, listening to yourself is the only way you’ll improve your presentation style and content.
By evaluating your speed, tone, inflection, rhetoric, etc. – you’re able to identify where and when the content may not have resonated with your audience. When your audience enjoys your presentation, your sales representatives will have an easier time connecting with them.
Webinars are an extremely successful way to reach better prospects and engage with a larger audience more frequently. Join us on the BrightTALK Academy to learn more about how to maximize your webinar programs.