ClickMeeting Blog http://blog.clickmeeting.com Webinars Tips & Tricks Fri, 03 Jul 2015 08:57:57 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 Best Practices for Webinar Planning http://blog.clickmeeting.com/best-practices-for-webinar-planning http://blog.clickmeeting.com/best-practices-for-webinar-planning#comments Fri, 03 Jul 2015 08:57:57 +0000 http://blog.clickmeeting.com/?p=4079 Read more

Best Practices for Webinar Planning is a post from: ClickMeeting Blog

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Webinars or online seminars have become a staple on online business to create and develop relationships with target audience, launch products and convey important information to a target audience in any niche or industry. Big brands, corporations and even the smallest of websites and blogs use webinars to develop their brand.

Every step of the webinar planning process is important. Poor preparation can cause the webinar to fail on a technical level or delivery level. Poor delivery can be a huge turn off to the audience. Poor follow up can cost you new business. Plan for every phase of your webinar well in advance of the big day!

This is actually not as scary as it may sound; the key is organization and lists. Lists can be a lifesaver when it comes to planning, so nothing is forgotten or accidentally overlooked.

 

Preparation

Preparation is a key aspect of webinar planning, one that should not be taken lightly. Follow these steps to ensure that you are fully prepared for your event:

  • Determine the goals and objectives of your webinar.
  • Determine your target audience.
  • Choose an alluring topic. The webinar does not have to solely discuss your company or product. Rather, think big picture.
  • Create an effective marketing strategy. You will not pull in an audience without posting your upcoming webinar all over Facebook, Twitter, relevant news boards and forums, etc.
  • Make sure to take into account your target audience when planning your marketing strategy. It is a useless waste of time to target members of a diet forum when your webinar is about dentistry.
  • Brainstorm potential failure points. Place yourself in the shoes of your audience to think through everything that could go wrong.
  • Arrange for a technical expert to be on hand to support.
  • Test, test, test. All presenters should be involved in the software testing process.

Consider developing a written project plan to help guide you and your presenters through the process. Think of this plan as a technical how-to guide for everything related to your webinar. There is no such thing as too much detail when it comes to writing these guides.

 

Delivery

Your delivery is also critical. If people find your presentation boring or inaccurate, or they become frustrated by technical difficulties or poor speakers, then you’ve already lost them. Follow these steps to perfect your delivery:

  • If you are the host, make sure you have memorized your introduction for each presenter. Also, make sure that your presenters have copies of their slides and notes in case the video fails.
  • It’s a good idea to watch webinars that are led by engaging presenters to get an idea of what appeals to an audience; it also can’t hurt to hunt down a boring presentation to see the opposite.
  • If you are the presenter, remember to speak clearly and concisely.
  • Instruct your audience members on how to use the chat function and other available software features.
  • As you (or your presenters) speak, pause in between sections to ask if anyone has a question and to acknowledge any comments in the chat box.
  • Towards the end, inform the audience about how your product or service helps solve the issues discussed.
  • Open up the floor for Q&A.

People need to know that you care about them, so keep this in mind throughout your delivery. Webinars often set the foundation for new relationships, and new relationships lead to repeat business and to the development of a reputation.

 

Follow Up

In order to help secure more sales and to work towards building relationships, post-webinar follow up should definitely be part of your webinar planning.

  • Between 2-7 days after the webinar, send an email to all participants thanking them and reminding them about your product or service.
  • Attach a copy of the webinar recording to the email or include a link to a social media profile where you have posted it.
  • Two weeks after the webinar, send out a survey asking how interested they are in the product and whether or not they have already purchased the product. This helps to track sales.
  • Of course, you want to be sure to send follow up emails with sales page and/or buy links if the webinar was for a product launch.

 

Final Thoughts

A good planner is the difference between a successful or failed webinar. Common problems that occur due to improper planning include poor attendance numbers, technical problems and negative feedback. Even if you have presented dozens of webinars in the past, each one is different with a different target audience and/or objectives. Thus, each webinar requires a unique planning process.

You will reap many benefits (including a happy boss due to a boost in sales!) through a well-planned webinar. Keep in mind the fact that with practice and repetition the planning phase with become routine and much easier in the long run.

Best Practices for Webinar Planning is a post from: ClickMeeting Blog

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Add Visual Content to Drive Home Your Message http://blog.clickmeeting.com/add-visual-content-to-drive-home-your-message http://blog.clickmeeting.com/add-visual-content-to-drive-home-your-message#comments Wed, 01 Jul 2015 08:55:02 +0000 http://blog.clickmeeting.com/?p=4075 Read more

Add Visual Content to Drive Home Your Message is a post from: ClickMeeting Blog

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Although you may have your audience’s time for the duration of your presentation, you don’t have equal amounts of their attention. The attention span of the average adult is about two minutes. That’s around the same amount of time it takes to read through just one of your slides. Multiply that by twenty or thirty and the likelihood that they’ve absorbed all that text becomes very slim. Most people don’t want to have to read thousands of words to get the information they need.

Including visualized content in your presentation – like infographics and images –makes the most of the limited time you actually have your audience’s attention. Visual content is stimulating and allows people to absorb much more information than completely text-based information. The brain processes visuals much faster than text – about 60,000 times faster. While text might give them more information overall, people are actually able to use a greater portion of the information when it’s visualized. That’s because 90 percent of the information sent to our brains is visual. Given that visual content can be more useful to audiences, the demand for it is high.

Take social media as an example. Millions of people use social media everyday, and they usually hop onto their accounts to quickly browse through their feed for new content. The majority of that content – around 63 percent – is made up of images. These images are easy to browse through and take in. Whether it’s because of social media (and the Internet in general) that people’s attention spans have waned, or just that these mediums cater to how the human brain naturally works, visual content has become more important than ever for presenters.

There are many different ways to visualize content. Here are some of the popular formats for content visualization and best practices for implementing them.

 

Infographics

The marketing maxim “words tell and images sell” captures the relevance of infographics completely. Infographics are just what they sound like – graphics that give the audience information. While infographics contain text, it’s broken up into bite-sized, logical chunks that make it much easier to take in and analyze.

Infographics look best when they’re organized in a grid formation. Square off distinct segments of information into corresponding text and images that collage together nicely. Have a clear header for each segment, label every key point with text and define it with a stand-out graphic. The results will give your presentation a sophisticated and professional look.

 

Charts and Graphs

The numbers related to your topic tell their own story. Highlight the facts and figures that support your claims in tightly packaged charts and graphs. The key here is to not overload your audience with statistics. Rather, create visualized data that lays out only what they need to know about the numerical evidence in a simple yet elegant fashion.

Make your minimum font size 24 and choose a legible font. While the numbers themselves are the most crucial information on a chart or graph, if an audience can’t read the labels on the x-y axis, they’ll have no meaning. Select the type of chart or graph that makes the most compelling visualization of the data – for example, a pie chart to show percentages from survey results. Use the same color palette that represents your brand to trigger an association with your brand and topic.

 

Photographs and Images

A picture is worth a thousand words, and for marketers, can be worth millions. Crisp, clear photographs and images can say in one second what text couldn’t begin to cover in an entire page. Every presentation you give should include high-quality stock photos, internal company images and/or professionally shot and edited pictures from sources like Flickr and Instagram.

Choose your photos and images carefully and make sure they really add to your presentation. Don’t just include a picture so you can say you did. The images in your presentation should match the tone, voice and message of what you say to your audience. Size your images appropriately: if you want to use an image for emphasis, make it bigger; size down for images that are meant to complement text.

 

Videos

YouTube is the Internet’s greatest gift to presenters. Videos have the ability to give more information per minute than any other medium. Simply click the play button and your audience will be captivated. Playing a video embedded from sources like YouTube, Vimeo or Wistia provides a little breather for you and breaks up the presentation for your audience.

Videos used during a presentation should be no more than a minute as a general rule. Longer that that, and we come to the problem of attention spans again – it starts to draw their focus away from your presentation. The video should be one that your company made for marketing purposes or one you found online that demonstrates a key point. Check your video and sound quality before going live with it to ensure it can be clearly seen and heard. Easily share your videos on social media as a plug for your presentation and brand.

They say the eyes are the windows to the soul. For marketers and presenters, they’re the doors to conversion. Visual content has proven to be more effective at winning over new clients than information that’s spoken or written. This doesn’t mean that the latter two have no importance – but they’re much stronger when combined with imagery. It’s time to open your eyes to how visual content can boost the success of your next presentation.

Add Visual Content to Drive Home Your Message is a post from: ClickMeeting Blog

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10 Things to Do When You Need Motivation http://blog.clickmeeting.com/10-things-to-do-when-you-need-motivation http://blog.clickmeeting.com/10-things-to-do-when-you-need-motivation#comments Mon, 29 Jun 2015 08:52:48 +0000 http://blog.clickmeeting.com/?p=4071 Read more

10 Things to Do When You Need Motivation is a post from: ClickMeeting Blog

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You thought you could escape it, but it always comes around again: it’s the slump that holds you back from excellence and achievement. Sometimes, whether due to overwork or lack of interest, you just don’t feel like giving your 110%. Whether it’s planning for a meeting, putting together a webinar, or researching new marketing strategies, both tasks we enjoy and those we don’t can at times leave us lacking motivation. Even the most accomplished and disciplined people need a push to keep themselves going.

A little boost is all you need to get back on your horse – and not just any horse, but one like American Pharaoh that’s a true winner. We all have different reasons for doing what we do that already motivate us, but sometimes we need a new perspective to get inspired again. Next time you find yourself asking, “What’s the point?” try these little motivational strategies to reignite your potential.

 

1. Read inspirational quotes.

Authors, poets, and other famous people throughout history have a way of saying things that can really resonate with you – especially if you admire the person. Open up a book of quotes and search the index for a specific topic or simply Google a word or phrase to find a quote about it. Hang up your favorite quotes in your office so you can reference them anytime you feel yourself slacking.

 

2. Realize that you’re needed.

Whether you’re an employee, a boss, or a one-person operation, you have a role to play. For example, if you’re an entrepreneur, the people who work for you depend on the success of your business, and your clients depend on your excellent service. Coming around to the fact that without you, things would suffer, is a sure-fire way to get your butt in gear.

 

3. Channel your personal heroes.

Growing up, we all had people that we admired and who played a role in who we became as adults. Think back to those heroes – be it a family member, an actor, or a fictional character – and consider what they would do in your situation, or the advice they might give you. Their inspiring stories will give you strength.

 

4. Do what you want to be remembered for.

It’s morbid, but everyone thinks about their death from time to time. When you leave this Earth, what do you want your legacy to be? The only way to secure that legacy is to keep going forward. When things get hard or you’re feeling weary, think about how you want to be remembered – and then be that person.

 

5. Figure out why you’re unmotivated.

When you’re feeling physically unwell, such as having a stomachache or flu symptoms, it can be unnerving to not know what’s causing it. The same goes for your mental state. If you can’t determine the source of your slump, do a little analysis on your own, or get input from a friend or a therapist. Once you can pinpoint the cause, you’ll already start to feel better, and you can start fixing it.

 

6. Visualize your success.

n the thick of things – especially in tough times – it can be hard to imagine that you’ll ever be where you want to be in life. If you can’t see it happening, who will? Work on your positivity and envision yourself finding and enjoying the success you seek. That visual will be a springboard for your future achievements. If you can dream it, you can do it.

 

7. Get yourself moving.

Our minds and bodies are closely connected. When we’re in a lackluster mental state, getting the blood flowing to the brain can be a quick fix. Step outside for a walk, hit the gym for an evening workout, or go for a jog in the morning. Staying physically fit is part of a healthy lifestyle and will keep your mind sharp and focused.

 

8. Keep score.

Games can be very motivating: not only are they fun, but they also give our actions meaning, showing us our progress by keeping score. Make a little game out of your work by giving yourself “points” for reaching milestones that you set – such as getting $100,000 in sales. Get coworkers and employees involved by encouraging them to do the same, then see who gets the most points. This strategy can help break up bigger tasks into smaller, more manageable ones and quantify your efforts. As an added bonus, set up rewards for when achievements are unlocked (see #9 below).

 

9. Give yourself an incentive.

In some ways, humans are as basic as animals. If you want to get yourself to do something, promise a reward after you’ve finished the task. It could be a cupcake from the gourmet bakery down the street, or permission to take a day off. Whatever will get going, let yourself have it – but only once you’ve earned it.

 

10. Consider the alternative.

You’ve worked hard to get where you are today. Years ago, you were less successful and had less to show for your efforts. Acknowledge that you could be in the same place now if it weren’t for your motivation. You’ll continue to see steady improvement if you just stick with it.

What strategies do you use to keep yourself motivated?

10 Things to Do When You Need Motivation is a post from: ClickMeeting Blog

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Why Offering Free Webinars Pays Off http://blog.clickmeeting.com/why-offering-free-webinars-pays-off http://blog.clickmeeting.com/why-offering-free-webinars-pays-off#comments Fri, 26 Jun 2015 07:23:15 +0000 http://blog.clickmeeting.com/?p=4067 Read more

Why Offering Free Webinars Pays Off is a post from: ClickMeeting Blog

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It takes a lot of energy and effort to deliver a high-quality webinar related to your product or service. A good webinar delivers useful, relevant information in an entertaining format. People who really wanted to know about your product or service would surely pay for it if they had to. So why shouldn’t you charge your prospects to attend?

The answer lies in the numbers. Hosting a fee-based webinar gives you a return on investment in the short-term. The direct transaction – payment in exchange for access to the webinar – looks good at first glance and provides you with monetary compensation for your efforts. If you want to guarantee that you’ll get something in return, then fee-based webinars seem to be the solution.

The error with this way of thinking is that it looks at the webinar as the product. However, what you are really trying to sell is the product or service that your company provides. The webinar is the catalyst for making that transaction happen. Like food vendors in a shopping mall giving out free samples, a webinar lures in potential customers with a taste of what’s on offer. If a prospect likes that one bite of chicken teriyaki, they’ll likely return for a whole plate. If they had to pay for the sample, it’s more likely they’ll decline to try the chicken and never become a customer. A free webinar gets you nothing at the beginning, but ensures that more prospects will be back for more.

 

Bolster Long-Term Growth

Free is not just free of cost, but also free of risk. When people have to pay for something and they’re not sure what they’re getting, they may abstain to minimize loss and the risk of disappointment. This psychology of economics explains why free webinars have statistically more registrants and attendees than fee-based webinars. Offering free webinars is a strategy to grow your brand’s following in the long-term. It’s a form of marketing that fosters relationships between your brand and potential customers. Reach more people, and you’ll get more leads. These leads may not spend money on you right away, but according to current data, about 75 percent will buy related products or service within two years of the webinar.

 

Get Greater Returns Per Webinar

While it can be argued that prospects who are willing to pay for a webinar are more serious about becoming customers, it’s never a guarantee. These types of prospects are a rare breed – most, even those who pay, still have to be persuaded. Free or fee, a good webinar will succeed at that. With fee-based webinars, some of those who attend will become customers. You’ll have fewer people in that pool, however, than if you offered it for free. To get the same amount of clients, you have to offer that webinar again, and this time even fewer people may be interested because you’ve tapped out your resources. Showing the same webinar over and over can make your brand seem dull, so eventually you’ll need to make more webinars. Offering a free webinar will not only increase your prospects, but it will also require less repeats.

 

Spread the Word Further

Boil it down, and a brand webinar is an advertisement. It’s a visually and contextually appealing presentation created for the purpose of selling your product or service. You wouldn’t charge a prospect to view one of your advertisements. The same rule applies to webinars – but webinars can be even more effective than ads. Webinars have the potential to spread your brand far and wide across the vast Internet. They’re an opportunity for you to showcase the value of the products and services you offer and engage with your potential customer audience. Ads, on the other hand, are static and easily overlooked. Even if a prospect only stays for part of the webinar, they’ve learned more about your brand than they ever would have from looking at an ad.

 

Enhance Your Reputation

What do big brands like Apple, Toyota, and General Electric all have in common? They’ve garnered a reputation that exceeds other companies in their niche. Part of what has earned them that reputation is their knowledge of the industry and their customers. In your webinar, you can show your customers that you’re an expert in the area of your product or service. Perhaps you’re the whiz kid of team training because you understand human work patterns; or you might be an expert about what active mothers want from a jogging stroller. In order to provide a great product or service, a brand has to know what their audience wants and be able to deliver it in an appealing package. A webinar is your platform for delivering the message that you’re capable of that, and leaving your audience with a sense of trust in your brand.

Why Offering Free Webinars Pays Off is a post from: ClickMeeting Blog

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Breathe New Life Into Your Blog with a Webinar Presentation http://blog.clickmeeting.com/breathe-new-life-into-your-blog-with-a-webinar-presentation http://blog.clickmeeting.com/breathe-new-life-into-your-blog-with-a-webinar-presentation#comments Wed, 24 Jun 2015 07:20:47 +0000 http://blog.clickmeeting.com/?p=4062 Read more

Breathe New Life Into Your Blog with a Webinar Presentation is a post from: ClickMeeting Blog

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There are more than 100 million blogs online. Most have little traffic and subscribers because bloggers overlook critical marketing mediums for growing their audience. A blog without regular readers and a steady influx of traffic is a dead blog. Remember that unlike static websites, blogs are dynamic and are often viewed as an exchange between blogmaster and reader.

There are many ways to promote a blog and grow its subscriber base. Some great ideas include, social media, guest posting on other relevant blogs, article marketing and of course webinars.

Have you ever considered embedding a webinar presentation within your blog to help drive traffic to your site and build a reputation? Or how about promoting your blog via a webinar? Read on to learn more about why webinars are important for your blog and unique ideas for using them.

 

The Power of Visual Effect

In a day and age where the majority of people have a computer, Internet connection, and/or a smart phone, visual media is being used everywhere. The written word is dying out – well, not entirely. If you are still reading these words and not just skimming through, then this is proof that words still have power. However, many blog owners are turning to webinars and videos to liven up their blog, and here’s why:

 

  • Video holds attention much more effectively than writing. Case in point: Why do more people choose to watch television in their free time than to read a book?
  • Webinars have a greater degree of authenticity. Anyone could post information in a blog – they simply have to do a little research and can easily sound like an expert. However, people who present in a live webinar must actually be knowledgeable about the specific topic.
  • Live webinars have a start and end point, and then they’re gone. Most people do not assume that a webinar will be recorded and shared, and thus they feel a sense of urgency to attend the live webinar so that they do not miss out on important information. With a written blog, it’s always there, so people feel no urgency in reading it, and many never do.
  • People believe that webinars contain important information. This is not to say that written posts are not important, but viewers see a webinar as “special” and “unordinary” and are more likely to pay attention to it. Of course, if you post a webinar or video in every blog post, then it may lose some of its glam.

 

Ideas for Using a Webinar in Your Blog

Webinars are informative tools that draw in an audience and drive them to your site. They are proven highly effective at building relationships and increasing conversion rates. So, how exactly should a webinar be used to promote your blog?

 

  • First, design a webinar to promote your blog/company as well as any products or services that you market. Advertise your webinar as a LIVE webinar and highlight the major topics you will address in the presentation (make sure the topics are attractive so that you draw an audience). You can advertise it through email by using existing email marketing lists, advertise it on your blog and other social media sites, and advertise it on relevant event boards and discussion boards online. Get other bloggers involved in the promotion process as well to create buzz that will bring more interested parties to the table.
  • Next, host the live webinar and record it as you present. Afterwards, review and edit the recording as needed. Be sure to send a follow up email to everyone who participated in the webinar to thank them; include a link in the email that drives them back to your site.
  • Lastly, break the webinar into segments so that you can post it to your blog as a series. This will create an incentive for people to keep returning to your blog each week. Write a little teaser at the end of each blog post that gives an overview of next week’s video.
  • Remember, people like to have options. Not everyone likes to watch a video, and not everyone likes to read words. Thus, include both in each post. Place your webinar video at the top of the post, followed by a written description underneath that summarizes the points in the video.

Merely seeing a webinar video posted on a blog is enough to spark peoples’ interest. Even if they do not watch the video, they will be drawn in by thinking that the post must be an important one. They may simply scan the words underneath the video, but regardless, this method has helped to drive people to the site and build followers. Breathe new life into your own blog by hosting a webinar and posting it as a series to your site!

Breathe New Life Into Your Blog with a Webinar Presentation is a post from: ClickMeeting Blog

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7 Ways to Overcome Writer’s Block http://blog.clickmeeting.com/7-ways-to-overcome-writers-block http://blog.clickmeeting.com/7-ways-to-overcome-writers-block#comments Mon, 22 Jun 2015 06:49:24 +0000 http://blog.clickmeeting.com/?p=4056 Read more

7 Ways to Overcome Writer’s Block is a post from: ClickMeeting Blog

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Have you ever had a great idea that you just can’t seem to bring to fruition? The minutes crawl by at a glacial pace as you stare at your computer screen and fail to write anything coherent. When you’re writing content for a webinar or presentation, it needs to be clear enough for all audience members to grasp and interesting enough to keep their attention. Writer’s block keeps the words and sentences from sounding the way you imagine them in your head.

Even the best writers get to a point where they can’t think of what to write or how to write it. Maya Angelou, Neil Gaiman, and Ray Bradbury are just a few of the famous authors who admit to experiencing writer’s block. As professional writers, they have had to come up with a way to get past it. You can, too. Here are some writer-approved ways to get your brain going and the words flowing.

 

1. Just write something. Anything.

Fantasy writer Philip Pullman has notably said that writer’s block is simply an excuse not to write. Instead of sitting there frustrated that what you want to say isn’t coming out perfectly, do some freewriting so you at least get some words on the page. Sometimes just the act of writing – even writing badly – can get you past the block. Choose a freewriting exercise, or simply write whatever comes to mind. Throw perfectionism out the window.

 

2. Talk a walk (or other physical activity).

When the body gets active, the mind will follow suit. Taking a break to walk outside, do chores, or dance to some music will get blood pumping to your brain and reenergize you from hours of sitting and trying to write. Movement will also get your mind out of the frustration zone and give you some endorphins to cultivate a positive attitude.

 

3. Read something you admire.

Well-written works of fact and fiction can provide inspiration for your own work. Pick up a favorite novel or non-fiction title by an author whose style you’d like to emulate. Like you, they had to start from scratch and probably went through many drafts, but the end result was a masterpiece. Reading something that is well-written will give you hope and an example to follow.

 

4. Start writing when you’re most productive.

Some of us believe in the maxim, “the early bird gets the worm,” while others are natural night owls. Whatever time of day you have the most energy and focus, start writing then. It’s best to begin when you feel bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready to take on the world.

 

5. Do some writing before bedtime.

Even if you’re tired, writing for 15-20 minutes before bed will put your writing topic fresh in your mind. When you wake up, it will likely be the first thing that you think of, and you’ll be able to view it in a new perspective. You may even find the solution in your dreams.

 

6. Write about something else.

If you really can’t think of what to write, it could be that you’re writing about the wrong topic. Writers find the most success when they write about a topic they know a lot about or a topic they’re passionate about. If you don’t know enough, do some more research. However, if you’re knowledgeable but still can’t find the words, you might need to turn down a different path.

 

7. Do something else that’s creative.

Put your mind in creative mode and forget about writing for a while by doing another activity that exercises your right brain. Maybe you’re not great at painting, drawing, or sculpting, but do it anyway. Whatever creative activity you choose to partake in, it will be low-pressure because it’s not required. Your ideas will be able to flow freely, unlocking your potential and relieving the stress of writer’s block while fulfilling your need to create.

7 Ways to Overcome Writer’s Block is a post from: ClickMeeting Blog

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Engaging A Virtual Classroom Audience http://blog.clickmeeting.com/engaging-a-virtual-classroom-audience http://blog.clickmeeting.com/engaging-a-virtual-classroom-audience#comments Fri, 19 Jun 2015 08:30:55 +0000 http://blog.clickmeeting.com/?p=4047 Read more

Engaging A Virtual Classroom Audience is a post from: ClickMeeting Blog

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Today, online classes are becoming more and more popular. The efficiency of this option allows students to get their education from just about anywhere whether it’s at home or in a coffee shop. While online classes and webinars are highly useful, there are still some facilitation tips you need to know to keep the attention of your audience.

Because your webinar is online, it is highly likely that your participants are doing more than just watching or listening to your webinar. They could be checking their email, doing other work, and many are probably on social media sites. While online classrooms allow for multitasking, if you know how to handle you classroom, captivate your audience, and make your material exciting, you won’t have to worry about wandering students.
The Difficulties Ahead

You have a lot to compete with: the noise around your participants from their surroundings, other work they may have to do, and worst of all, the internet. While there are many things vying for your students’ attention, it does not mean that your message will get lost or that their minds will wander.

When you know what the challenge is, you can easily find ways to overcome it, which will also help your message, become more impactful. When you have your participants hanging on your every word, they’re less likely to allow their attention to stray.

In addition to this problem, you’ve also go to factor in technical difficulties that may arise when conducting a class virtually. Server issues, difficult chat features, and confusion about how to use other features for your online platform can happen to you or the students, slowing things down significantly.

 

Establishing Your Presence and Commanding Attention

The best way to establish your presence in a web-based seminar is to be interesting, engaged with your students, and to use a few techniques that will work in both a physical classroom as well as an online one. To achieve this, you may want to recall the things you learned in your last public speaking course, such as vocalization, transitions, hooks, and of course, relaxed conversation speech.

The best way to enhance your speech skills is to remember the following:

 

Avoid Sounding Monotone: When you’re talking with friends or family, you don’t speak in a flat voice. Instead, you use inflections, emphasis, and gesticulation to tell a story or engage in a conversation. We do this naturally to catch interest and attention when talking to others and this natural behavior is necessary when it comes to facilitating a classroom. Talk to your students and participants as if they’re actual people-because they are—and they will be more likely to engage.

Know Your Material: One of the main rules of public speaking is to know what you’re going to talk about before you deliver the speech. As long as you know your subject inside and out, you should be able to deliver a coherent lecture that keeps the attention of your listeners. Outline your main points and be sure to hit all of them in your delivery. As long as you do this, it doesn’t matter that you memorize a lecture—in fact, it’s better and comes off much more natural if you don’t.

Avoid Pauses and Fillers: We tend to pause and use filler words when nervous or unsure of what we’re saying. While this is common and can happen to anyone, it can cause participants to lose interest and check out completely. Plan ahead and come up with transitions between your topics and remember that not every moment needs to be filled with words. A quick pause to take a breath is better than an ‘um’ or ‘uh’ and allows participants to catch up on notes or even take a mental pause.

Make Your Participants Participate: Sitting and listening can get old pretty quick. A great way to ensure your participants are engaged and listening is to get them to become a part of the lecture. Do this by asking trivia questions and revealing the answers later on in the lecture, taking polls, or even surveys. When you students know that more than just listening is expected of them, they’ll be more likely to engage and stay focused on your lecture.

Virtual learning is become more and more common, which means that you may find yourself either teaching a web-based or taking an online class. Whichever you end up doing, remember that engaging a virtual classroom relies on you and your understanding of the subject as well as your participants.

Make sure to choose a reliable and efficient webinar platform that offers world class support. Services, like ClickMeeting and ClickWebinar offer the peace of mind that every virtual classroom deserves with a variety of great features and the value of indispensable support when it is needed.

Engaging A Virtual Classroom Audience is a post from: ClickMeeting Blog

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5 Persuasive Words to Use in Your Webinar http://blog.clickmeeting.com/5-persuasive-words-to-use-in-your-webinar http://blog.clickmeeting.com/5-persuasive-words-to-use-in-your-webinar#comments Wed, 17 Jun 2015 08:54:41 +0000 http://blog.clickmeeting.com/?p=4043 Read more

5 Persuasive Words to Use in Your Webinar is a post from: ClickMeeting Blog

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Language is powerful. If you’ve ever been moved by a speech, whether it was MLK’s “I Have a Dream” or a toast at a wedding, you’ve felt how language can inspire emotion. Some messages not only resonate in the moment, but echo through the annals of history. The words of Jesus Christ in the Bible formed the basis of a new religion and continue to guide the lives of millions.

One of language’s most sought-after qualities is the ability to persuade. When the right words are used, people’s opinions can be swayed and listeners can be called to action. As it turns out, some words hold more power in this respect than others. Linguists and speech experts have sought out the most persuasive words in the English language. Through years of study, they’ve been able to identify which words are most likely to convince and change minds.

If the goal of your webinar is to increase sales and customers, you’ll have to do some persuading. This list highlighting some of English’s most persuasive words will come in handy when writing your content. On their own, they might not seem that powerful. Yet when inserted into key sentences, they can influence your audience’s decisions.

 

1. You

It’s human nature: everyone loves hearing themselves talked about. Hearing the word “you” when spoken to is the next best thing to hearing one’s own name, which according to research, makes our brains light up like a Christmas tree. Addressing your audience as “you” in your presentation gives it a more personalized feel, which is something that makes everyone automatically more interested in what you have to say.

 

2. Free

Who doesn’t like free stuff? When offered something for free, with no strings attached, most people won’t turn it down. People sometimes go to great lengths to get free stuff – like sharing links across social media for a web contest or participating in a dare. Freebies are the ultimate lure for getting people interested in your product or service. However, be sure that you’re using “free” in the right context, and that you mean what you say. You don’t want to give customers the wrong idea, and you can only give away so much free stuff before it doesn’t make financial sense.

 

3. Easy

Life is hard. So is keeping is simple. When someone else can make life easier, with little to no effort on your part, it’s a relief. Many people will attend your webinar wondering what you can do for them. They’ve likely tried some products and services that turned out to be more of a hassle than anything. Inserting “easy” to describe how your product or service works will not only put them “at ease,” it will also get their attention. Everything in the world is complicated, but perhaps you have a way to make it a little less so.

 

4. New

It’s been established that a natural tendency towards novelty seeking makes the human brain susceptible to marketing tactics. We’re frequently on the lookout for the next big thing to stimulate our sense of adventure. Much of the time, when people hear the word “new,” their ears will perk up. People especially want new experiences that will have a lasting impact on their happiness. Offering products and services that bring something different and exciting will garner more curiosity than something that’s been seen and done before – so be sure to highlight what makes your brand novel and innovative.

 

5. Save

Any time we can save money, time, and effort, it reserves more of those precious resources for other things. The word “save” is most powerful when it can be contrasted with something that you point out as wasteful. As a basic example, cleaning the house wastes time you could otherwise spend with your family, so investing in a cleaning service would save you that time. The contrast highlights the better overall outcome of the solution you’re proposing. It also associates you and your brand with being someone who saves – a savior, in essence, and someone your audience can count on.

Writer’s block gets the best of us. Next time you’re putting together a script and it just isn’t coming out how you want it, see if it might be missing one of these persuasive words. If you still need more convincing, next time you’re listening in on a presentation that gets your attention, think about what words they used. There’s no doubt one of those five words in there, probably more and used multiple times. Don’t underestimate the strategic use of these simple words – your audience is listening for them.

5 Persuasive Words to Use in Your Webinar is a post from: ClickMeeting Blog

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Keys to a Collaborative Virtual Work Environment http://blog.clickmeeting.com/keys-to-a-collaborative-virtual-work-environment http://blog.clickmeeting.com/keys-to-a-collaborative-virtual-work-environment#comments Mon, 15 Jun 2015 11:43:00 +0000 http://blog.clickmeeting.com/?p=4040 Read more

Keys to a Collaborative Virtual Work Environment is a post from: ClickMeeting Blog

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There are many benefits to collaborating virtually – whether out of choice or necessity. Team members and business partners can work together from their home base, allowing organizations to tap into knowledge and skills regardless of location. Virtual collaboration embraces the potential for greatness that our global market affords.

At the same time, collaborating virtually has its own unique challenges. Schedules must be coordinated, misunderstandings occur more frequently, and forming a true team that shows mutual respect and admiration can be difficult. Virtual collaboration takes a little more effort in areas that we’re used to being par for the course. But it’s well worth it, and here’s how you can make it happen:

 

Meet Face-to-Face Initially

In general, people tend to connect better when they communicate in-person. Especially for people who are not used to meeting virtually, being introduced to a team member or business partner online can be jarring. If possible, make the first meeting a face-to-face one. Being face-to-face allows people to take in and process nonverbal communication and make a better connection with others. An initial face-to-face meeting can make collaborators form stronger bonds and set a positive tone for the remaining, virtual meetings.

 

Solicit Input for Rules and Expectations

Setting ground rules is one of the first things that a group must do before proceeding with a project. This is usually something that the group leader handles. However, allowing all group members to contribute to the list of rules and expectations can make major strides in forming a real team. By asking for input from everyone, it ensures that all viewpoints and concerns are considered when forming the procedures and policies that will affect the entire group – which will make everyone more comfortable and confident when working together.

 

Build Trust Among Team Members

All positive relationships are built on a foundation of trust. Only with trust can a group of virtual collaborators hope to form a committed and engaged team. Virtual teams lack the shared experiences that coworkers who are face-to-face have on a near daily basis. Your group will have to put in extra effort to get to know each other and simulate the experience of being physically in one another’s presence. One way to do this in a videoconference is to show pictures of each participant alongside some interesting facts about them, or to include this information on a shared collaboration website. You can also use the power of physical objects by making team “swag,” like coffee mugs and T-shirts with a team logo, and sending them to each group member. Anything to get them feeling more like a cohesive unit and less like a dispersed set of individuals will be an asset to the project.

 

Consider Cultural Differences

Many virtual collaborations are formed by international teams made up of people from across the globe. For this reason, it’s important that all team members are sensitive to cultural differences that may exist among them. It’s good practice to have open discussions about any miscommunications or misunderstandings that may occur due to cultural nuances – differences in communication styles, expressions, or customs, for example. Otherwise, bad feelings surrounding these differences can pose a threat to the team’s progress.

 

Give Your Team the Tools They Need

Virtual collaboration doesn’t require anything additional in terms of demands from the team – but it does require special digital tools to get the job done. The tools you’ll need will depend on the objectives of the project and nature of the work. As an example, sharing documents will require a shared online drive or website, and holding real-time meetings necessitates a videoconferencing platform. A virtual team can’t be effective without the necessary technology, which includes software and online resources as well as equipment. Before starting any collaboration, these should be set up first. If you find out your team is lacking something, make sure they get it quickly so word isn’t delayed.

Between the need for mutual understanding and the need for technology that works in a pinch, working on a virtual team can be take a lot of effort. Perhaps that most important skill or tool for a virtual collaborative team is patience. Your moments of frustration with software platforms and instances of cultural miscommunication are things to laugh at and share in, not to disdain. Make the most of your time together by enjoying the process as it comes. Address any issues you encounter with humility and respect for your teammates. Even if everything else is imperfect, a good attitude will help the project go swimmingly.

Keys to a Collaborative Virtual Work Environment is a post from: ClickMeeting Blog

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What To Do If Your First Webinar Was Not A Success http://blog.clickmeeting.com/what-to-do-if-your-first-webinar-was-not-a-success http://blog.clickmeeting.com/what-to-do-if-your-first-webinar-was-not-a-success#comments Fri, 12 Jun 2015 11:40:46 +0000 http://blog.clickmeeting.com/?p=4035 Read more

What To Do If Your First Webinar Was Not A Success is a post from: ClickMeeting Blog

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You have heard all the hype about why webinars are fantastic, how they help businesses to grow, build brand, connect with a target audience, and yet your first webinar was a disaster.

Do not be discouraged!

Whether no one showed up for the event, you received lots of negative feedback, or you experienced horrible technical difficulties, all hope is not lost.

 

You are not alone!

This has and can happen to even the most successful marketers. The key is to not let this stop you from learning and doing better. One thing is sure, you must have a thick skin to do any type of online marketing, and webinars are no different. Learning to roll with changes is an essential skill in online business and pitfalls need to be seen as stepping-stones to learning and success rather than discouragements.

Use this information to learn from the problem and do better next time, and even better the time after that.

 

Not Enough Participants

This can be quite discouraging, but it simply means that you did not market your webinar well enough. You might believe that your product or service is not attractive enough, but in today’s market, you can sell almost anything with the right strategy. Your webinar failed because the webinar itself was not attractive enough, not the product or service.
First, choose a topic for your webinar that draws in the audience just from the title alone. For example, “Hot Trends in Atlanta’s Food Scene” is more attractive than “New Food Truck Opens in Atlanta.” Next, think about your target audience and develop a marketing plan.

Pull together a mass email list of everyone you know of who might be interested in the webinar. Ask others in your company to provide contacts or to send an email to their contacts directly.

Post frequent announcements on social media to announce it. Scour the Internet for event boards and industry news websites related to your topic; some are free to post on and others cost money. With enough advertising, you should have no trouble finding participants.

Recruit affiliates and pay them a commission to send announcements to their lists. Affiliates are invaluable assets when it comes to promotion and they can grow your audience base exponentially.

 

Learn From Negative Feedback

You might be ready to give up after receiving survey after survey full of negative feedback.

Do not let this discourage you. Read the feedback closely to figure out what went wrong.
Did they leave advice on how to improve the webinar?

Do they have a problem with your product or service? If the issues are with your product and not with the webinar, then work with someone on your team to create a new product brand.

You may not have used the best language to promote the product, or you may be reaching out to the wrong target audience. Work with a marketing expert to figure out what is wrong and how to improve.

If the negative feedback is due to the webinar, try taking a different approach in your presentation. Perhaps cultural sensitivities were involved or other offensive language used. The more diverse your audience, the more issues you will encounter, so be sure to review your presentation language for anything that might have offended.

Was your presentation extremely boring? Try to liven up the language and incorporate humor as much as possible. Practice public speaking as often as you can in order to improve these skills. Watch as many webinars as you can, and see what others are doing right and wrong in this regard. Monitor the audience’s reactions to the presenters to see what works and what does not.

 

Technical Problems

The importance of a technical specialist cannot be stressed enough. You should always have tech support on hand in case something happens. Even though you use a computer every day with no problems, problems tend to hit at the most inconvenient times. Do your audience and yourself a favor, by hiring someone to help, or using someone within your company. You can find many inexpensive webinar assistants online who are highly experienced in webinar support.

 

Room To Improve

Like anything other skill, a masterful webinar presentation takes time to learn, and master. There is always room to improve, especially for first time webinar hosts. Your problems are not unique, and they are not as extreme as you may fear. Take the time to research this topic online, learn from other people’s experiences, and keep perfecting the craft.

There will always be people out there who are interested in what you have to say. Your recovery from a failure is simply a matter of being more prepared for the next round; and remember, failure is simply a stepping stone to success!

What To Do If Your First Webinar Was Not A Success is a post from: ClickMeeting Blog

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