One of the biggest fears to overcome as an online marketer is to host your own live webinar. First, remember that fear is just something your mind manifests when it doesn’t know how to handle a situation. Second, you can’t expect to know everything about getting in and hosting your own webinar so of course your mind has a bit of fear take over! My objective here is to outline steps you can take to help remove the fear and run just a killer webinar!
A few weeks ago, I ran my first live webinar as an online marketer. In my corporate experience, I had run many webinars and spoken at live events. I knew most of the basics about how to keep an audience interested, but I never really learned how to convey the best value to my audience. I was simply an ‘information passer’.
When preparing for my live webinar as an entrepreneur, I felt there was a lot more riding on the event than passing along information. I knew that people were voluntarily taking time out of their busy day, away from their families, Game 1 of the World Series, and I knew that I had to make it worth their while. Really give them something to take away and be able to say “Hey, that was a KILLER webinar!!”
The webinar was a huge success – big turnout and lots of interaction. Many people that could not catch it watched the recording afterwards. Feedback from everyone was that it was a great, entertaining webinar with lots of value. I thought it would be helpful to share the top things that YOU need to do to run a killer webinar.
- Determine software and run at least one practice session. GoToMeeting or Fuzemeeting will let you have a free trial for a month to get your first one done. During the practice session, you will want to run through your presentation. I did this by starting a practice webinar and joining the webinar from a different computer and practiced by myself. Practice talking, recording, switching between slides and browsers, and handing control to another person. You may want to ask the audience questions or take polls. Test those features out. Record a session, save it, and play it back to ensure you can capture your webinar when it is live. Practice all of these at least once – preferably twice – so that when you are running the webinar AND trying to deliver your content you are not bogged down by the software.
- Brainstorm, outline, and first draft your content. Use pictures, and plan some interaction (questions, polls). Remember that webinars traditionally give LOTS of information, so keep it to the basics, keep your content on each slide as light as possible – remember people will be taking notes and hearing most everything for the first time. Keep the total content time to about 40-45 minutes. Your content should have an opening, an agenda, identify the value your viewers will get by sticking around, logical flow of detailed content, the reminder of the value you just gave, next steps with a specific action step.
- Before your live event, rehearse your content. Remember preparation, preparation, preparation is the key. You should know the content well – but more important is what and how you want to deliver each slide.
- Presentation skills are as (if not more important) during a webinar than face to face. Think of how you feel attending the webinar. You are engaged if there is good content and the speaker is energetic and engaging. You need to become that. Your passion for the content will come through because of the topic. But you can improve your energy by just a couple of tricks. First, setup your computer so that you can stand up during the live session. Standing gives you more energy and better breathing and this really comes through for the audience. Also, remember that pauses are good – in an online environment, you catch viewer’s attention with a pause – just don’t make it too long! Pause for 5 seconds after turning a slide and be deliberate with how you deliver each slide.
- Keep the webinar interactive – be sure to welcome attendees as they join, ask where they are from, give them questions and polls, have a guest that you can bring on to change things up for the viewers. And don’t forget to press the record button before you start!!!
- Store the recorded webinar either on Viddler or Screencast (both free) – these will both take larger files to accommodate a longer webinar.
OK, the webinar is over! Now what? Don’t forget to thank them for attending, follow up with a thank you and a link to the recorded webinar. And congratulate yourself for running your first live event – capturing people, their attention and interest, and providing them value they otherwise would not have gotten during that hour.
I’d love to hear from you before or after your first webinar – let me know how I can help or how it went! If you found value with this post, please share with others that may be interested in tips for running a killer webinar.