Don’t ya just love webinars?
You don’t have to go anywhere or do anything. No plane ticket. No hotel room. You don’t even have to get out of your jammies. Just turn on your speakers and click.
They’re great for the presenters, too. No plane ticket. No hotel room. They can even present it in their jammies. Most importantly, they’re almost free to put together and the possibilities of attracting a huge audience is a lot better. No expensive hotel conference rooms or catering or event managers. Of course, that’s all passed along to the attendees and then some. But, I digress.
What’s not to love?
I’m glad you asked because, frankly, the more I watch the more there is tons not to love.
I used to really like a good webinar. Informative. Entertaining. Useful. Unfortunately, their popularity has also become their downfall. Now, they’re highly generalized, thinly disguised sales pitches for “How to Add 10,000 Likers to your Facebook Page While You Sleep.” or “How to Build Relationships That Lead To Really Big Bucks” or “Using Facebook/LinkedIn/Pinterest/Twitter/Yelp/Google+ (am I missing a couple?) to Explode Your Business.”
My favorite ploy are the constant reminders to “stay until the end for the special offer/golden nugget that will change your life”. God. I don’t want to miss that. I better hang in there.
Let’s face it, though. The more these webinars proliferate the less attractive good webinars will be. So I’ve come up with a few tips on creating the perfect webinar. No charge.
An Audience Member’s Guide to the Perfect Webinar:
Tip 1: Keep it short. By short, I mean about a half hour. Hour long webinars are an invitation for people to click away or, worse, start answering their e-mail or playing on Facebook and Twitter. That’s right. Your webinar is white noise in the background after about 30 minutes. If your stuff is so important it can’t be crammed into 30 minutes, do multiple webinars. You might be surprised. I might come back for your Part 2 or Part 3.
Tip 2: Start on time. “We’ll be starting in a few minutes to give all these people logging on a chance to get it.” Or anything similar. After you’ve urged me to “Come early to make sure I get in.”, I would appreciate it if you respected my time. I’m there at 1:00. Start at 1:00.
Tip 3: Keep introductions short. The presenter either has existing credibility or not. I’m not there for the presenter, per se. I’m there for the content. I don’t need to know that the presenter was interviewed by Oprah for a 5 minute segment in 2003. Get on with the webinar.
Tip 4: Keep the banter to a minimum. I already know the presenter and the “host” are buddies. I don’t care if one of you is in Key West and the other one is in Minneapolis. “Oh. I’m so jealous. It’s so cold here.” Yeah, whatever. Get on with the show.
Tip 5: Make your content relevant. This is one of my pet peeves. I can’t count how many webinars I go to that are dumbed down to the lowest common denominator and promoted like they’re the best thing since sliced bread. If you have a “beginner” webinar, say so. If it’s “intermediate”, say so. If it’s “For Geeks Only”, say so.
Tip 6: End on time. If you do a 30 minute webinar, make it 30 minutes. Not 30 minutes plus another 15 for Q & A. If you must go an hour because your content is sooooo important and timely and relevant and life changing then make it an hour not an hour and a half.
Tip 7: Keep the Sales Pitch Soft. I know. I know. 99% of webinars are really designed to sell something. A coaching program. DVDs. Umbrellas with a logo on it. Whatever. I’m on board with that and if you throw me a softball every now and then (preferably toward the end) I’ll be more inclined to check it out. Don’t keep pushing your stuff. Remember, it is better to give than receive.
So, there you have it. A Lucky Seven ways to create a webinar that will create engaged audiences that may actually become loyal to you and your shtick, whatever it may be.
When Ken Is not doing the real estate thing he can be found all over social media in places too numerous to mention and he listens to jazz, reads a little (mostly non-fiction), hangs out with a Rotary Club in Parole (Annapolis), MD and can be found blogging at MDSuburbs.com
He once dated someone named Barbie® but it ended badly. Not that he's bitter or anything.