Did you know that someone searches a webinar related keyword every second of the day? That means that 86,400 times per day, people are looking to get involved with webinars, according to GrowthBar.
That doesn’t surprise us, after all webinars are an incredible way for audiences to learn new skills and get personlised time with businesses.
These also happen to be the reason webinars are such a powerful tool for any business. Webinars elevate customer branding experience, build relationships and promote lead generation. They are an integral component of your marketing activities and are an activity that contributes to nurturing clients down the marketing funnel.
And they do it pretty well that’s for sure, with 20% to 40% of webinar attendees turning into qualified leads.
But one of the key elements to hosting a successful webinar? Having a super captivating speaker.
So let’s get into how you, a soon to be webinar speaker, can prepare for a webinar. In this article we’ll give our five top tips to conquering the webinar stage.
1. Talk to your audience
We know it's exciting to present, and that you’ve got a lot to say - but before you get going think about what makes a virtual stage different from a physical one. Whether it be a product demo, a B2B business pitch or a lead generating educational seminar, your job as a presenter is to reach the audience through the screen. To do this you have to set yourself up for success, you have to write an engaging webinar script.
But how do you write a webinar script? It's simple: your audience are people just like you and I, so talk to them, rather than AT them.
Like every script, a webinar script should be written to be said out loud. It should be made for eager attendee ears and feel natural, with pauses and spaces for people to process what you’ve said.
One of the best ways to ensure that your webinar script is ready, is to read it out loud. A public speaking webinar script should sound like it's coming from you as a person, that all the great things you have to share are your own words and not that of an essay. It’s also a great opportunity to practice, the more familiar you are with your presentation, the better it will be.
A good way to frame this is to think of your favourite Ted Talks. How do the presenters talk about their subjects? How do they make new and complicated subjects exciting for audience members? They keep their sentences short and simple, integrating their knowledge and their excitement. Which brings us to our next point…
2. Get fired up!
You want to be passionate and energetic about whatever subject you're talking about. Someone who's passionate about a subject keeps people engaged and focused on the screen. Need proof? One study found that 32% of webinar attendees felt most engaged when the host is passionate and energetic about their subject.
Remember the internet is vast and full of information, but webinar attendees are there to listen and engage with YOU.
So to keep them listening, keep it energetic. No one wants to listen to a presenter that is tired and speaking in a monotone voice - especially not online. This can lead to screen time fatigue.
‘Webinar fatigue,’ a recently coined term, is used to refer to that sluggish feeling that happens when someone has been staring at a speaker on a screen for too long and finds themselves exhausted. This is the killer of any webinar.
To fight this, make sure your presentation works with how people communicate naturally, not against it. Vary your tone of voice, make eye contact through the screen by looking into the camera and, most of all, make your presentation something you’d also want to listen to and engage with.
According to experts, one great way to keep audiences engaged with your webinar is to incorporate your hands into the presentation. Dynamic movements during the presentation is a great way to bring in those non-verbal cues that mimic how the brain communicates in physical spaces. You want to captivate people, and part of that is knowing how they think and interacting with them as if you were in person.
The absolute best way to keep attendees engaged? Engage with them.
3. Encourage audience engagement
Engaging with a virtual audience means maximising the best parts of webinar engagement like Q&A sessions. In fact, Q&A’s are one of the most popular forms of webinar engagement. According to one industry poll 81% of webinars include Q&A sessions, probably because another survey found that 92% of webinar attendees say an event must include a Q&A session!
As you can see , the most popular way to engage with attendees is through a Q&A session. But the engagement shouldn't just come at the end of the event, you should be engaging with attendees throughout.
According to one industry survey, over half of presenters use chat questions to engage with audiences. Chat questions are questions asked by the presenter to an audience in order to stimulate conversation between audience members and create rapport with them before launching into longer conversations. They are a great way to make attendees feel involved and invested in your webinar.
Presenters can also engage their audiences in surveys, polls or stimulate conversation by putting attendees in breakout rooms. It’s helpful to use a platform that caters to engagement. For example, platforms with built in chat boxes, screen sharing, and speaker collaboration.
Engagement is everything, so it’s important to look out for special engagement features when choosing your webinar platform. Tools such as integrated CTA’s and on-screen content offer a uniquely amazing way to encourage an onward journey between your audience and your brand. Not only do these features build a relationship between you and your audience, they elevate your brand experience by building trust through more content engagement and maxmise your marketing efforts cross-channel.
An added bonus, being able to see how engaged your audience was during the event. Data analytics about webinar engagement tells the story of how your webinar succeeded and where it needs help, meaning you can only get better for the next webinar. Speaking of stories...
4. Tell your story
Is it easier to remember a story or a statistic? Science says you’ll remember the story, and your experience probably says that too. According to Stanford University Professor Jennifer Aaker, stories are remembered up to 22 times more than facts alone.
This means that while attendees may be impressed by your numbers (and be sure to give them materials that remind them of all your great work and the info that they’re after!), they’ll remember your brand's story better than the percent of growth you had last year. Webinars are based on two-way communication, so communicate to your audience in the best way possible, tell them a story.
Whether it be about your personal expertise in a field, or a story about how your business tackled one specific problem - keep attendees engaged with you by telling them a story. Of course this will very much depend on what the purpose of your webinar actually is, but ultimately it comes down to being personable and human. That’s how we all connect with others!
Webinars are wonderful tools to grow brand awareness because they allow you to tell your brand story. They’re an opportunity to build your brand holistically. Potential leads can engage with you and your brand, ask questions and get to know the people behind your brand. These kinds of interactions build your brand's trustworthiness and value.
Qualified potential leads can be nurtured down the funnel by appealing to one of the most fundamental human instincts, empathy. Stories allow potential leads to connect with your brand, understand the way you go about tackling problems and finding solutions. A story about how your product demo came to be, the thinking behind it and trials and tribulations that went behind its creation reach the audience more than a simple outline of what your product can do. Infact, this kind of immediate engagement is exactly why 75% of marketers prefer to host live webinars, according to Webinar Software.
Stories have power, the science tells us that when someone listens to someone tell a story both the same areas of the listener and speaker's brain light up. In other words, a story tickles listeners and speakers' brains in the same way, connecting them together in that moment. And that connection is powerful.
Connecting with attendees is one of the best ways to motivate and encourage action on their part, getting them that much further down the marketing funnel. It also grows positive brand experience and will make your webinar standout from all the others.
5. Set the stage
Last but not least, set the stage. Your story needs somewhere to land, and you can do that by giving yourself the best tools.
First choose a platform that enhances your webinar. A smart webinar platform utilises every opportunity to create an exceptional brand experience, meaning you can continue to combine your marketing activities into a holistic approach to brand awareness and positive brand perception. Building your brand story within the webinar platform starts at the landing page, continues in emails and ultimately concludes with you speaking on a webinar platform, but the right platform means the journey doesn’t end there. It allows you to continue the story and conversation beyond the webinar through engagement tools and facilitating an onward journey.
You want that platform to be fully customisable so you can incorporate your brand's colours, your logos and texts that sync up what you're saying to your brand as a whole. Visually connecting your brand to your presentation makes your presentation that much effective at reaching your leads and growing your brand awareness. In fact, having brand consistency across your platforms can increase revenue by up to 23%.
You can integrate brand consistency in many ways. For example you can brand your webinar platform background, your presentation slides, and of course the downloadable material to make sure each and every brand asset and piece of marketing material aligns with your brand visually.
Not only should the platform look stellar, your setting should too. This means sitting in a professional setting, with a clean and professional background. On that note, you should have a good quality camera and microphone. For more insights on all the webinar best practises you need to consider, take a look at our article here.
It’s not just a recommendation, it’s a necessity. If your picture is fuzzy or attendees can’t hear you, they are more likely to tune out of your webinar. This means triple checking that all your tech works great before the event.
With 58% of webinar hosts having both live and on demand webinar capture, technical issues can carry further damage to on-demand viewers who will be less inclined to engage with a video that's of poor quality.
Another thing to triple check? How familiar you are with your webinar platform. As the webinar speaker you never want to be caught on mute. So make sure while you’re practicing your webinar script, you’re also ensuring that you know the ins and outs of your webinar platform.
That means knowing how chat boxes work, how your Q&A session will be hosted and how all your webinar tools will be integrated into your presentation. You don't want attendees to get distracted by technical delays, you want all their attention for yourself. After all, you are the star of the show.
So, now that you're ready to host your first webinar, let us know if you need any help getting started. Here at Tame we offer free personalised demos so you can see if we’re the right platform for you. Reach out to us and we can help you every step of the way.
- GrowthMarketingPro: “The Ultimate List of Webinar Statistics for 2022”
- ReadyTalk: “Why Webinars Produce More Qualified Leads”
- BigMarker: “12 Webinar Statistics You Need to Know”
- National Geographic: “‘Zoom fatigue’ is taxing the brain. Here's why that happens.”
- On24: “ON24 Webinar Benchmarks Report”
- LiveWebinar: “Webinar statistics 2021: 70+ webinar stats you need to know”
- Stanford University:VMware Women's Leadership Innovation Lab: “Harnessing the Power of Stories”
- Webinar Software: “80+ Practical Webinar Statistics – Optimize for Success in 2022”
- Smallbiz Genius: “50+ Eye-Opening Branding Statistics - 2022 Edition”