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Top 10 Tips to Delivering a Riveting Webinar Performance

April 24, 2012

In keeping up with my own professional development, I attend a lot of webinars. I’m also a frequent webinar presenter.  Some webinars that I’ve attended have been great and engaging  and others have been real stinkers.

While I’ve done well in most webinars, I sometimes find myself “winging it” when pressed for time. After my last less-than stellar performance, I got to thinking about what it takes to deliver a top webinar that will keep an audience engaged.

  1. Prepare and select your content wisely. Include facts, stories, figures and examples to make the information easy to understand and allow your audience to better connect with the content. Presenting is storytelling with a goal – so make sure you have relevant stories that will connect emotionally with your audience.
  2. Script your opening paragraphs and closing paragraphs. Start your session with a confident, comfortable introduction and finish strong with a well-planned summary and call to action. The rest of your presentation should be conversational rather than scripted. Use bullet point notes to help you remember the key talking point for each slide, and rehearse your presentation enough to feel comfortable with talking to the audience rather than reading to them.
  3. Know your environment. Whether you are using Live Meeting, GoToMeeting, WebEx,  Adobe Connect, iLinc or any other platform, learn what the tool can do and how you can leverage the features to better engage your audience. Each platform has its own benefits and limitations. Most of us wouldn’t go into a face to face training without knowing the room layout and the availability of training tools such as flip charts, white boards, projectors, screens, etc., so don’t go into your webinar environment without knowing the layout, the tools available, and how to use them.
  4. Practice!  A few days before your presentation, confirm that all of your technology is working properly and you are comfortable speaking about your topic.  This test session helps you catch any errors in your delivery, practice your pacing as it relates to available time, and determine ideal moments for audience interaction.
  5. Have a producer. The producer knows the platform inside and out and can mute participants, monitor chat, setup and start polls, and keep track of questions, eliminating distractions while you focus on presenting.
  6. Arrive early. Both the presenter and producer should arrive at least 15 minutes early to get logged in and do a final test to make sure the technology is working, and do one final review of the tools/features to be used.
  7. Review the webinar environment with participants. Spend a few minutes doing a brief review of the webinar environment with your audience.  Walk them through playing with the features that they will be using during the webinar (chat, hand raising, polling, etc.)
  8. Get engaged! Engage the audience by building in questions and taking advantage of whatever interactive features are offered in your platform. Create the expectation that your participants will not be passive observers. Polls are my favorite way to engage. It allows all participants to interact and can bring relevant information or stats into your presentation.
  9. Have a solid ending. Revisit your objectives, allow time for Q&A and have a call to action.
  10. Extend the learning. Finally, spend some time in post-production getting the recording posted along with related documents and a copy of the presentation. Let your participants know how to get in touch with you for further questions and comments.

Try these tips that next time you have an opportunity to present a webinar on a topic you love. Good luck!

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