Tips for Webinar Success! by Emilymohar

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									Tips for Webinar Success!


Tip #1 – Leave the hard sell at home.
Very few people come to webinars to hear about how great you and your products are. Instead,
they come to learn about a topic that will help them solve problems they are working on. So use
a soft-sell, problem solving approach.

For example, a material supplier might do a presentation on Metal Replacement or Reducing
Cycle Time. These topics would really hit home for OEMs and Processors and position the
supplier as an expert. Or perhaps you can do a webinar on which industries are hot right now
and how they can take advantage of those industries. Helping your customers solve problems
or improve their business is the best way to sell your own services.

Tip #2 – Promote it!
You’re investing valuable time and money to put the webinar on, so make sure you utilize every
possible promotional channel at your disposal. First things first, make sure your existing
customers and internal teams know about your event including date, time, summary, length and
where to register. Your sales people should work hard to tell all their contacts. Also think about
how you can promote your event with your website, email blasts, press releases, industry
calendars, partnerships, as well as print and web advertising.

Tip #3 – Engage the audience.
Sleeping prospects rarely buy! While it’s doubtful anyone will be sleeping during your webinar,
you definitely want them to think about how the webinar applies directly to their situation. One
way to do this is to include polling throughout the webinar. This helps your audience stay
involved and gives you information about them during and after the webinar. They’re fairly
captive so it’s important to take advantage of that and learn as much as possible, and make it a
good experience for them. A post-webinar survey is another great way to gather information and
reinforce points from your presentation.

Tip #4 – Be dynamic.
Sometimes we think that because our audience can’t see us, we can sit down. You can’t! The
audience can’t see you but they can feel it, which makes it extremely important that you project
more energy. Treat your webinar like a live seminar by standing up, moving around, using
natural hand gestures, and smile while you’re talking. To do this, use a headset with a
microphone.

Tip #5 – Let content be the king of your slides.
It’s important to have your branding and corporate image on every slide, just make sure it
doesn’t overshadow the content you are presenting. We’ve seen slides where the presenter’s
branding took up more space than the content. Work to maximize the real estate for the focus of
your presentation. The persistence of your branding (in a minor way) throughout the



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presentation and follow-up items will make a much more positive impact than large, obtrusive
logos and graphics that block the real content.

Tip #6 – Bullets are for guns, not presentations.
It may seem impossible, but work as hard as you can to eliminate bullets from your
presentation. Instead, utilize simple graphics and images that help reinforce your points. Use
sites like www.istockphoto.com to find the right images for your presentations. Images will make
more of an impact than an overload text on a slide. Besides, giving the audience text to read
take their attention away from the points you are trying to make. Bullet points should only be
available for the speaker to see, so utilize PowerPoint’s note functionality to help you remember
the points you want to discuss. You can print the notes out, or if you have PowerPoint 2007 and
two monitors, you can have an audience view and a notes view to help you present.

Seth Godin, a best-selling author who popularized the topic of permission marketing, created an
excellent guide for creating remarkable communication. You can view it here:
http://www.sethgodin.com/freeprize/reallybad-1.pdf

Tip #7 – Keep it simple.
When it comes to graphics, the simpler the better. However, if you have a complex graphic that
really illustrates a point, use the drawing tools often available in the webinar software to
highlight what you’re talking about. You can also use a magnifying window to show the
audience more detail pertaining to specific areas of the picture. And go slowly! Sometimes the
presenter has so much experience with the topic that they take it for granted and forget that the
audience is seeing their presentation for the first time.

The “keeping it simple” point also relates to using video. Use video if it helps emphasize a point
or shows something you aren’t able to explain otherwise. However, if it’s just for the “cool”
factor, consider leaving it out.

Tip #8 – Ask only what you truly need.
When it comes to the registration form, ask for the bare minimum. Remember, you’re not
checking credit here, you only want to ask for information that will help you contact them later so
that you may trade more value for more data from them. Your follow-up plan (next tip) begins to
define what you’ll ask for first. We all want to get a full customer profile, but we have to
remember that our chances for getting that information increases as we build trust and show
value to our prospects.

So have a plan to build customer profiles over time rather than scaring people away at the start.
And remember that the webinar is a good place to begin to gather more information. Use polling
and surveying to gather data during the webinar rather than at registration.

Tip #9 – Have a follow-up plan.
Follow-up is the key to turning your contacts into prospects and prospects into customers.
Having a follow-up plan from the beginning is very important so you don’t have to scramble after


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the webinar. A key point to remember is that you’ll have different types of contacts after the
webinar and you’ll want to follow-up with them in different ways. At a minimum, you’ll have the
people who registered but didn’t show up and another group of people who attended your event.
The messaging to each of these groups should be different.

For example, you might want to send the no-shows a link to view the recorded version and send
the attendees something as a “thank you for attending.” The thank you gift could be a
supplementary document, like this one, or it could be a special offer for your products and
services. The key is to segment the groups and connect with them in an appropriate way to help
move them further into the sales funnel.

Tip #10 – Practice!
Whether the saying goes, “Practice makes perfect” or “Perfect practice makes perfect”, the key
is to practice! Here is a practice plan you can start with to make sure your presentation is the
best it can be. Start by walking your team through the slides and getting their feedback on the
content and the points to emphasize. After integrating their input, do some practice runs by
yourself. Next, do an in-person presentation with your team in the room. Integrate comments,
and do a full dress-rehearsal using the webinar software, headset with microphone, and any
other tools you need from the location where you’ll perform the actual webinar. It’s important to
mimic the conditions as closely as possible so you can deal with any bugaboos before the day
of the webinar.



Bonus Tips!
Tip #11 – Use technical and business presenters.
Utilize the unique skills of both business and technical folks to make your presentation more
credible. Sometimes the business team is good at painting the broad picture or talking about the
marketplace, but not as comfortable (or credible) talking about the specifics. It’s a good idea to
bring in the appropriate people for different parts of your webinar. This can be especially nice in
the questions and answers portion of your webinar. It allows you to handle more questions and
give great information to your audience.

Tip #12 – Make use of existing content.
Starting a webinar from scratch can be daunting. But chances are you have a lot of great
content that you can use from existing customer presentations, technical bulletins, and other
marketing collateral. Combining the existing content with some new ideas from your team is
really all you need to create an impactful webinar.

And don’t be afraid to deliver a “blocking and tackling” webinar. Sometimes that basic,
foundational information is exactly what your customer needs and wants. Everyone likes the
reinforcement and many times we get something new out of even the most basic topics.



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Tip #13 – Re-runs aren’t just for TV.
Doing the same webinar again after 3-6 months is a good idea because you can reach out to
new people, get those who weren’t able to attend the first time, and you’ve already done the
prep work so it makes it easier from a resource perspective. As long as the information is still
valuable, there are many benefits from doing it again.

Tip #14 - ¿Hablas español? Sprechen Sie Deutsch?         ?文中讲你
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English covers a lot of bases, but consider doing a webinar in your target customers’ native
language. The other thing to think about is the timing for your webinar. A live event at 2pm
Eastern time is 2am in Shanghai. Consider setting varying times for your different audiences.

Tip #15 – Assume your competitors are there.
There are steps you can take to keep them out, but it’s almost impossible to completely block
them. And every step you take to block them is another step that a prospect has to go through
to attend. In nearly all cases it’s better to make it easy on everyone and just realize that
competitors might be there. That means that you’ll want to tailor the content so you don’t give
away any secrets, but that shouldn’t be much of an issue in a typical, public webinar.



IDES offers a service to help companies successfully present webinars. To learn more, I invite
you to contact me:




Josh Dorrell
800-788-4668 or 307-742-9227 x220
dorrellj@ides.com




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