Today more than ever, the majority of our global workforce is working from somewhere outside of a traditional office. Whereas at one time a webinar presentation was an option, now it has become a necessary part of work. How do you keep your online audience’s attention while making sure they get the information they need and expect from your webinar presentation?
Giving a webinar presentation is not that difficult, but it helps if you have some tips and tricks. Some of these include:
- Use the technologies options to connect to your audience
- Organize and stage your webinar presentation
- Structure your webinar presentation to impress and inform
A webinar presentation doesn’t have to be hard; you just need to know-how. Let’s take a look at some webinar presentation tips that will help you give a smooth presentation that will wow your audience.
The Key to an Effective Webinar Presentation
Maybe you have been asked to teach a class online. Or, perhaps, you have been given the task to deliver a sales webinar presentation to a group of potential clients.
Whatever your task, you know a few things:
- You have something important you need to say or show.
- Your audience will be online and easily distracted.
- You need to get your message across, and you need to do it in a way that is engaging and keeps your audience’s eyes on you and not on their phone or email.
The key to an effective webinar presentation is preparation. Before you start working on your webinar presentation, you need to know:
- Who you are talking to
- What you are talking about
- How to present your webinar
Now that you know the steps involved, let’s get started.
1: Knowing Your Audience for a Webinar Presentation
The first of the webinar presentation tips is to know who you are talking to.
- Are the people in your audience your peers and work colleagues or executives and VPs?
- Are you teaching a class for experienced professionals or people just starting in their careers?
Who your audience is changing the focus of the design, language, and delivery of your webinar presentation.
As an example, if you are running a workshop for a new software tool designed for IT professionals, you would use terms and language they are accustomed to. Your audience would most likely be close to the same experience level and have very similar expectations. While in general, you want to avoid jargon, this might be the one time it is allowed and even advisable.
Your webinar presentation for this audience would contain a lot of slides with graphs and data. You could possibly even have a video demonstration of the software itself. This audience wants the facts and data laid out step by step for them.
On the other hand, if you were giving a demonstration on how to make a beaded bracelet, your audience is very different. To begin with, the members of your audience could be at different levels of experience and expectations.
You may have an expert level participant who just wants a refresher and to learn a new style. You may also have someone completely new to the craft who needs to know every step. You want your webinar presentation to be equally beneficial to both and all those in between.
This first step in preparing for your webinar presentation will determine how you proceed for the rest of your webinar presentation preparation. Knowing your audience will make a difference between a webinar presentation that is dull and puts your audience to sleep, and a webinar presentation that is;
2: Knowing Your Topic for a Webinar Presentation
The next tip for a good webinar presentation is one that seems natural at first, but one that you really need to think about to be successful in your webinar presentation.
Knowing your topic isn’t just a matter of knowing the basics of what is being presented. You really need to understand what you are talking about. The better you know your topic, the easier it will be to see what is important to your audience and what is just fluff.
If you don’t know your topic well, your audience will know it and they will start to lose interest and check their emails rather than pay attention to you. You may not need to be an expert, but you need to know the points you are presenting in some detail.
You should always allow for questions during your webinar presentation. While it is not likely you will know all the answers every time, if you don’t know your topic well enough to address their questions, you will lose credibility with your audience and they will stop paying attention to your webinar presentation and go back to their phone.
3: Organizing Your Webinar Presentation
The next webinar presentation tip is to do an outline of your webinar topic. You should not write your whole webinar presentation out. While that may be tempting and seem logical, when you write your whole speech or presentation out in detail, you tend to read your presentation rather than present your topic. As a result, you come off sounding like a robot. Not a good way to keep your audience’s attention!
Instead, an outline lets you organize your thoughts and put them in order. When you are doing a webinar presentation, one of the reasons it is so important to know your audience, is because you want to focus the information you are giving on what the audience really wants and needs. Putting that information in an outline lets you see what is essential and what is unnecessary.
There are a few ways to think about why you are presenting your information to your audience.
- Do you want to change how something is done? If so, show how things are being done today and how they can be done better in the future.
- Do you have the answer to a problem? Describe what the problem is and how the steps in your webinar presentation will solve that problem.
- Do you have suggestions on how the current situation can be incorporated into a new situation? Show what is being done correctly, what could be done better, and what the future state can be.
Once you know
- Who you are talking to
- What you are talking about
- How to present your webinar
The next step is to design your webinar presentation.
Designing a Webinar Presentation That Will Wow Your Audience
While the majority of your presentation will probably be slides of some sort, to really give a webinar presentation that wows your audience, you need to add a few more tricks. The next few webinar presentation tips will keep your audience awake and involved.
- Create an Agenda for Your Webinar Presentation
- Keep Your Webinar Presentation Interesting
- Make Your Webinar Presentation Relevant
- Involve Your Audience During and After Your Webinar Presentation
Create an Agenda for Your Webinar Presentation
Having an agenda for your webinar presentation is one of the most important steps you can do to ensure a successful performance. Not only does an agenda help you organize your thoughts, but it will also help you adjust your timing.
As you work on the rest of your presentation, your agenda will change. You’ll adjust it as you realize some topics are more important than others and some need more explanation. If you know the topic well and your presentation is less formal, you may think you can skip this step. However, it is strongly advised to have a good agenda in place for a great webinar presentation.
- Start with an outline and list out all the topics you want to cover. No need to go into too much detail here.
- Next, think about how you are going to present your ideas.
- Will you do a series of slides?
- Have a speaker pop in?
- Show a video?
- Quiz the audience to see how much they know about your topics?
- Lastly, you need to work on your timing. Your presentation must have a beginning and an end. Now is the time to plan out all the information in between. Don’t forget to schedule breaks and time for questions!
Keep Your Webinar Presentation Interesting
Remember, unlike an in-person presentation, have a lot of competition in little distractions like email, texts, and the internet. Not to mention kids, pets, and snacks if your audience is working from home. No one wants to read a boring slide with a lot of words and no white space or listen to someone drone on endlessly.
Here are a few webinar presentation tips to keep your audience awake and attentive.
- Stick to one topic. Your webinar presentation should be about only one subject. It may be tempting to cover many different topics at once, but that much information can be overwhelming. Stick to one topic and one topic only.
- Tell a story. Anecdotes and real-life examples are a great way to get your point across. They connect what you are talking about to the participants.
- Keep it Simple. Obviously, some topics require more detail than others, but to keep your audience engaged in your webinar presentation, you need to keep it simple.
- Make your slides attention worthy. Limit the information on your slides. Keep each slide focused on one relevant topic.
- Change it up a little with
Make Your Webinar Presentation Relevant
You have a job to do. You want to get your point across and achieve your goal for giving your webinar presentation. You need to make sure your slides, as well as your whole presentation, achieves your goal of selling or teaching your topic.
- Don’t be too wordy. Try for the fewest words needed to drive home your point, especially when you are laying out your slides.
- Don’t sell it too hard. People know when you are selling them something and most will tune out.
- Don’t talk above their heads, but, at the same time, don’t talk down to them.
- Make it actionable. Your audience should know what to do at the end of your webinar presentation, whether it is making a bracelet or buying new software.
If you want to make sure your slides are webinar-ready you should check out my post on that here…
Involve Your Audience During and After Your Webinar Presentation
When you are planning your webinar presentation, your challenge is to make it so interesting, that no one wants to take their eyes off their screen. This may seem like a rather large challenge, but it is not impossible. The trick is to keep them involved so they have to pay attention.
How do I do that you ask? Here are some webinar presentation tips to keep your audience engaged.
- Interact with the audience: There are always early birds. Log into your meeting a few minutes early and take the time to greet people as they come on.
- Introduce yourself: Don’t be a stranger! Surveys have shown that most people like to have the speaker tell a little bit about themselves. It gets them to open up during the webinar and ask questions later.
- Use Chat during the webinar: Most webinar presentation applications have a chat or instant message option. Some presenters keep the chat open on the side of the screen so everyone can see the questions. Others keep the chat going on a separate screen and respond to the questions as they come up. It is up to you to decide which works best for you.
- Schedule question breaks during the presentation: This gives you some feedback on how your webinar presentation is going and allows you to adjust where needed.
- Ask your audience questions: Use polls and quizzes to gauge the understanding of the audience.
- Close with a Question and Answer session: This gives one more chance to make sure you have covered your topic.
- Say “Thank you”: Your mom was right, good manners go a long way. A nice “Thanks” gracefully closes your webinar presentation.
The Technology Behind a Good Webinar Presentation
Now that you have done the hard part and your webinar presentation is ready, you need to figure out how to present it to your audience.
Technology can make or break your webinar presentation. In the not so distant past, someone presenting online was a challenge. You had to worry about the stability of your internet connection and which software would work best.
Today, internet connectivity is not a problem for most people. Also, since a large majority of people are working from home, most people are familiar will many types of software for online meetings. Your job as a presenter is to make sure you are comfortable with whichever platform you choose.
Your computer is important. It is the most vital part of the technology that allows you to give a webinar presentation in the first place.
- Make sure your computer is connected to a power supply. There is nothing worse than having your computer die in the middle of your session.
- Check your camera. Not only does the camera work but is the angle good. Nobody wants to see up your nose.
- Check your sound. Can everyone hear you clearly? Are you close enough to your mic? Can you hear everyone else?
- What is showing in the background? Is the place you are presenting from clean and neat and professional? Many meeting applications have the option to choose a background. If you are short on office space, that might be a good choice.
- How’s the lighting? Avoid sitting in front of a window or shining a bright light on your face, but don’t sit in the dark.
Knowing your hardware and technology will ease some of the stress of giving a webinar presentation and it will make your meeting go much more smoothly.
A Few Last Webinar Presentation Tips
The basis behind any lesson or presentation is simple:
- Tell them what you’re going to tell them.
- Tell them.
- Tell them what you told them.
Hopefully, these webinar presentation tips have helped you focus your message and you are ready to go. Before you turn on that mic and start to share your screen make sure you have done the following to make sure your webinar presentation goes smoothly and without a hitch.
Prepare for Your Webinar Presentation
Using the tips in this article, you should be able to prepare to give your presentation with confidence and style.
Practice Giving Your Webinar Presentation
Talk through your outline. Make sure you have a flow and a rhythm to your words.
Rehearse the Technology
Preview your camera. Learn the presentation software. Have a backup plan if you can. These are all little things that people tend to forget about until the last minute.
Doing a webinar presentation can be very nerve-wracking if you are not comfortable with speaking in front of people. A webinar presentation lets you give your presentation in a more comfortable space and you have the option of turning the camera off if you don’t need it. Using the webinar presentation tips given here, you should be able to feel confident in not only what you have to say, but how you are able to say it.