Everyone loves a good hack. B2B marketers are always looking for ways to streamline, optimize, and grow, in order to increase the output and success of their efforts.
The same applies when it comes to webinars. Simple tactics like standing while you present and polling your audience can go a long way to improving audience engagement and the overall impact of your webinar programs.
In this post, we’re sharing our best tips around increasing live engagement and perfecting your delivery.
Although your audience can’t see your physical body language during your webinar (unless you’re doing a webcam interview), it’s easy to pick up on it through your tone of voice. You should come across as energized, interested, and comfortable while presenting, which you can achieve by doing two important things: standing and smiling.
When you stand up while speaking, you sound more confident and engaged in your subject matter. If you sit down — a more relaxed position — you may come across as less interested in the topic you’re discussing.
According to a study by the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, standing (versus sitting) also increases your levels of energy and well-being.
Similarly, smiling while presenting lets you loosen up and makes your audience feel at ease. You want to convey that you enjoy speaking to them and are excited about this opportunity to interact with them on a personal level.
Since the experience of watching or presenting a webinar is largely solo, your attendees will settle into the presentation differently than they would in person.
To speed up the process, try posing a question to the audience a few minutes into the webinar to get your audience comfortable and engaged.
The question can be personal (“Where are you tuning in from today?”) or topic-related (“How are you currently measuring your content marketing efforts?”). The point is simply to get your audience comfortable with the webinar experience and encourage them to interact throughout the session. You can then display the results so attendees feel that they belong to a larger audience of like-minded peers.
Just like at in-person presentations, webinar audiences are sometimes shy when it comes time to ask the presenters questions. If this is the case, you can spark their confidence and creativity by posing a few pre-written (“seed”) questions to your speakers.
This gives your attendees more time to formulate their own questions after the presentation — while avoiding awkward silence. But make sure the question feels and sounds natural. When planted correctly, seed questions can play an important role in making your audience feel more comfortable speaking up.
Use this simple swap to drive higher post-event engagement: Instead of hosting your Q&A session in front of a slide that only says “Questions?” or “Q&A,” include your contact information (email address, Twitter handle, etc.) or a CTA to download your latest report.
Many webinar Q&As last 10-15 minutes (if not more), representing a significant portion of your webinar run time. While your speakers are answering questions, your audience’s attention will be drawn to the screen – making it an ideal location to offer them further ways to engage beyond the presentation.
While nothing will replace practice and experience when it comes to presentation delivery, these quick tips can help you create more interactive and engaging webinars that your audience will love.