Powerpoint is astonishing  2 Russell Davies flickr CC 2None of us wants to be that person….the one who bores the audience to tears, the one whose attendees drop off before the presentation even gets rolling. This series of six tips is for the presenter who wants to hone their skills and raise their game. We started off with the first tips in a previous post (if you missed them, find them here), and now we’ll finish with three final tips:

4. Encourage interaction

Lectures are boring. Dialogues are interesting. Interaction will give your content legs long after the webinar hour is over.

  • You can develop interaction before opening up to audience questions by having a dialogue between two or more presenters. As long as the discussion is natural, the give-and-take between two presenters will be far more engaging than a sustained monologue.
  • Take polls and comments during the webinar and discuss the results in real-time. This will keep your content fresh and keep the audience actively engaged not only with what you are saying, but how they and their peers are reacting.
  • Don’t rush the audience to participate. State clearly how long polling, commenting, and questioning will be, and make occasional reminders to create a sense of urgency.
  • If your webinar platform tells you when viewers are multitasking, block or tune out that information. It will only distract you. Instead, remember at all times that your top goal is to be engaging and informative.
  • Simple courtesies go a long way towards building true dialogue. When reading out a comment or answering a question, be conscious about using the audience member’s name. Genuine, personalized responses will spur more engagement.

5. Incorporate social media

Collaboration and discussion goes far beyond the sandbox of your webinar. Be open and active about embracing the opportunity to spread the discussion far and wide.

  • Social platforms such as Facebook have strong event invitation and discussion capabilities. Remain open to comments and questions on the event page even after the webinar has ended.
  • A concise, memorable Twitter hashtag for the webinar, embedded in every slide and visual, makes it easy for attendees to spread the word about the event, and opens up Twitter as a Q&A platform.
  • Some webinar platforms will allow you to incorporate a live Twitter or other comment feed directly into the webinar content. Delivering social content inside the webinar makes it less likely the audience’s attention will stray to other screens in order to find it.

6. Leverage webinar content again and again

The beauty of the webinar format is that it has the energy of a live event but can also serve as a valuable reference in the future, as well as a rich mine for future presentations.

  • Webinars should be recorded and prominently archived as a Web resource for visitors, customers, and employees alike.
  • An informative, entertaining webinar can provide education and lead generation for months or even years after the initial broadcast.
  • Q&A, polls, and comments from one webinar make excellent fodder for the next—particularly if a deep or insightful question didn’t get the attention it deserved. Knowing precisely what customers want to hear from you is unbelievably powerful.

Did you know that Act-On can manage your online event campaign from start to finish, using timed and tailored email messaging, landing pages and registration forms, trigger emails, and follow-up messages? Learn more.

“PowerPoint” image by Russell Davies, used under a Creative Commons 2.0 license.