ClickMeeting Blog http://blog.clickmeeting.com Webinars Tips & Tricks Wed, 27 May 2015 07:04:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.2 10 Common Public Speaking Mistakes http://blog.clickmeeting.com/10-common-public-speaking-mistakes http://blog.clickmeeting.com/10-common-public-speaking-mistakes#comments Wed, 27 May 2015 07:03:46 +0000 http://blog.clickmeeting.com/?p=3995 Read more

10 Common Public Speaking Mistakes is a post from: ClickMeeting Blog

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Most of us attend more presentations than we give. Even if you’re not a public speaking professional, you can probably make a good assessment of whether someone you’re watching is doing a good job or not. However, you might not know exactly what it is they’re doing that turns you off – or perhaps you hone in on one particular thing that’s painfully obvious.

It takes a combination of qualities to make a good public speaker. Likewise, it takes several things – sometimes one big standout thing – to make a bad public speaker. Some of the most common public speaking mistakes are hard to spot, and many are difficult to overcome. See if you’ve noticed any of these – and whether you might be making them without realizing it.

 

1. Speaking Too Softly

For some people, a microphone is a must. There’s not always one available, especially when speaking to an audience in a smaller room. Enunciating your words loud and clear will ensure a message gets delivered. Mumbling and speaking under one’s breath will ensure it gets lost in translation. Speak clearly and loudly, or you may as well not be speaking at all!

 

2. Stuttering or Saying “Um”

A couple of “ums” now and then is only natural. In fact, it can make the speaker seem at ease because they’re speaking as they would in conversation. Beyond that, though, the “ums” start to make the speaker seem less confident. The more the “ums” increase, and the greater the stuttering and lack of flow, the less the audience will be captivated by the message.

 

3. Stiff Body Movements

When people come to a presentation, they expect a real human being, not a robot or a mannequin. Becoming stiff and wooden in body language is a sign of nervousness and discomfort. Not only does it seem less human, it also keeps you from really connecting with your audience. Try holding back less and letting your body movement on the floor just flow.

 

4. Poor Eye Contact

It’s common to fear making eye contact, even in everyday encounters. In front of an audience, it can be terrifying. Good eye contact is essential, though, as it’s a universal sign of trustworthiness. If someone can look you in the eye while saying something, you’re more likely to believe them. Don’t you want your audience to believe in what you’re saying?

 

5. Lack of Facial Expressions

Just like looking at the floor and standing stick-straight on stage can make a public speaker less effective, keeping a straight face the entire time or giving an awkward facial expression will also scare people off. Not everyone has an expressive face, but what a speaker is saying needs to match what’s on their face, and vice-versa, to really make an impact. No facial expression at all can make the audience bored or even uneasy.

 

6. Poor Organization

A good presentation has flow and rhythm that keep the audience engaged and move the message along at a natural pace. This requires not only quality content, but well-considered organization. A poorly organized presentation will confuse the audience, and they may give up on listening altogether if they’re unable to follow.

 

7. Low Energy

It’s not necessary to down a pot of coffee before a presentation, but it needs to pack a punch. Speakers who don’t bring high energy to a presentation leave the audience feeling just as low. An energetic speaking style – with correct pitch, speed, and volume – is a great tool for persuading audiences. Only Ben Stein can get away with being monotonous.

 

8. Bad Timing

Public speaking isn’t like talking to your neighbor. To really get your message across – and get the sales or support you seek from your audience – you have to be clever about how you say things. A lot of that has to do with the timing of your message – when and how you deliver it. Raising your voice or using silence for emphasis give a dramatic effect; preceding a point with a compelling story makes it that more important.

 

9. Reading (too much) from Notes

Even for a well-prepared speaker, it’s tempting to glance down at what’s on your notecard or your PowerPoint. A moderate amount of “cheating” from notes won’t be noticed, as long as you’re still engaging with the audience. Relying too heavily on notes makes a speaker seem unprepared, and leaves them susceptible to pretty much every other presentation no-no on this list – especially poor eye contact, body language, and stuttering.

 

10. Using Space Inappropriately

Walking around in your presenting area, whether it’s a stage or the front of a small room, is acceptable and even encouraged. This movement can helpful to drive home a point and engage with more of the audience. However, too much moving around can be distracting. You own movement can interrupt your presentation. Moving back and forth too much looks like frantic pacing, and walking in front of your projector screen defeats the purpose of having it up. Don’t abuse the privilege of the space you have, but also don’t do the opposite and stand completely still. Again, it gives an air of discomfort and fear of failure.

No one is going to be perfect at all of the above. The key to becoming a great public speaker is to gradually chipping away at your own flaws until you’re the only one that notices them. Most people do a little bit of all of these things; it’s just that they’ve perfected the art of making them invisible to the audience. A little more eye contact here, a little less reading from notes there, and you’ll be on your way to being a public speaking star.

10 Common Public Speaking Mistakes is a post from: ClickMeeting Blog

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How to Edit Your Presentation Content http://blog.clickmeeting.com/how-to-edit-your-presentation-content http://blog.clickmeeting.com/how-to-edit-your-presentation-content#comments Mon, 25 May 2015 10:27:45 +0000 http://blog.clickmeeting.com/?p=3991 Read more

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So you’ve written the content for your presentation, and you think it looks pretty darn good. Don’t put down your pen just yet – you’ve still got work to do. No matter how good the first draft of a presentation looks, it can always be better with a little revision.

Children’s author Dr. Seuss once said about editing, in the style of his rhythmic verse, “So the writer who breeds more words than he needs, is making a chore for the reader who reads.” Editing is a daunting task, and one that most content writers don’t enjoy, but it’s necessary for making your work have the impact you want. In the first version, we tend to write down whatever comes to mind, and it’s usually filled with content that is of little relevance to the audience. Subsequent versions should work toward better connecting with that audience to keep them interested in the content and make it a more enjoyable experience.

If you find yourself struggling to cut and reorganize your content, consider some of these strategies for paring down your presentation to the bare essentials.

 

Narrow Down Your Focus

Every presentation should have a core message that can be summed up in one sentence. If yours is more than a sentence, then your presentation isn’t focused enough. You may have many great ideas, but giving a strong presentation requires focusing on just one of those. Pare it down to what you really want your audience to remember about your talk, and focus on that only.

 

Cut Out Unnecessary Content

Once you’ve determined your one-sentence focus, make sure that everything in your presentation supports that main idea. If it doesn’t, you should remove it from the presentation. Approach this step as if you were telling a story. Every good story has a beginning, middle, and end, and the progression of the plot makes sense to readers. If you come across something that makes you go, “huh?”, that’s a sign that it can be sacrificed.

 

Make Only 3 Main Points

The “rule of three” is a tried and true maxim for presenters. Keep the points you want to make to three overarching ideas. These points serve as the skeleton of your presentation – the foundation, if you will. Everything else is the meat, but it needs the skeleton for support. All three points should be unified – for example, they could be three actions to be taken to achieve a set goal, or three key themes of a business process. Presenting complex information in this way makes the meat easier for the audience to digest.

 

Group Related Content Together

Consolidate your presentation as much as possible by grouping ideas and concepts that go together in the same sections of the content. This strategy is especially helpful if you find you can’t narrow your presentation down to just three points. Put as much related content together as makes sense so that your audience doesn’t get overwhelmed.

 

Remove Excess Stories and Examples

Every point should be supported by a story and an example. It really only needs just one – a good, solid, strong one. More than that may bore your audience and insult their intelligence. The first one should have the effect of making your audience get the point. They don’t need the concept bashed into their heads. If you have two great stories or analogies you could use, choose the better one and move on.

Writing is a point of personal pride. Every writer has trouble letting go of the ideas that need to be cut out in the editing process (they call it “killing babies” for a reason). It took time and thought to create them, but if they’re not providing the best support for your presentation goals, they’ve got to go.

If you feel like you had to remove some good information that you wanted to share with your audience, you can always include it on a handout. An effective handout provides the audience with additional, supporting content that wasn’t in the presentation itself. Even so, sometimes it’s necessary to completely cut out some of the content you originally drew up. What makes a great content creator is the ability to recognize the not-so-good stuff and throw it out.

How to Edit Your Presentation Content is a post from: ClickMeeting Blog

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Make a Good Impression on Camera http://blog.clickmeeting.com/make-a-good-impression-on-camera http://blog.clickmeeting.com/make-a-good-impression-on-camera#comments Fri, 22 May 2015 09:38:49 +0000 http://blog.clickmeeting.com/?p=3975 Read more

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Anyone who appears on camera becomes the subject of scrutiny. Suddenly, the entire world is an expert on fashion, makeup, hair, and all other means of presenting oneself. Being on screen opens you up to whatever criticisms might pop up in the minds of viewers.

We’ve probably all criticized the way someone looks on camera (usually someone famous, like an actor or a newscaster). What we really should be concerned with, though, is our own appearance. If you’ve never had to appear on camera for a videoconference or other engagement, you may not have thought about it before. If you have, you still may not have thought about it much. When it comes time for you to be in the limelight, are you ready to make a good impression?

There’s no getting around it: video is one of the primary means of communication in the business world. Sooner or later, you’re going to be in a videoconference, or maybe a webinar, promoting yourself or your company. How you look in these on-screen moments could have a big impact on your career. People will be watching your every move, deciding whether they want to work with you or invest in your brand. Let what they see work in your favor by following these tips for making a good impression on camera.

 

Be Well-Groomed

Looking good on camera takes effort: picking out the right clothes and accessories, putting on flattering makeup (if you’re a woman), making sure your hair is tamed. But you could go to all of that effort, and still not be at your best, if you don’t do a mirror-check before the camera rolls. Take a few moments to comb your hair and straighten your clothing. Keep a small grooming kit in your office in case of impromptu videoconferences. Never let fly-aways or mustard keep you down!

 

Look Behind You

Our offices are our own personal sanctuaries in the workplace. We often have very personal things on our walls and at our desks. For that reason, before your turn your webcam on for a meeting or webinar, make sure there’s nothing behind you that you wouldn’t want others to see. Keep the view behind you clear of clutter – your rubber band collection or framed pictures of your cat can distract people from looking at you.

 

Check Your Posture

The longer a meeting goes on, then more likely you are to slouch. You’ve probably sat in a meeting before hunched over the table with your head propped up by your hand. This doesn’t look great in-person; it looks terrible on camera. Slouching makes you appear bored, and others in the meeting might read that as you being indifferent to what’s going on. Make a point to sit up straight throughout the duration of your on-screen appearance.

 

Show Signs of Life

Even though people mostly see your face during a webinar or videoconference, that doesn’t mean you can completely ignore the rest of your body. Sitting and talking straight to the camera without much movement otherwise makes you look stiff and dull – like a doll or mannequin. People would much rather interact with a real human being. Come to life by using hand gestures when you’re making a point. You can also bring in props to enhance parts of a presentation. Blink and work your facial expressions – do these things from time to time so you don’t look like a talking cadaver.

 

Be Your Own Audience

The best way to find out what you’ll look like on camera is to watch it for yourself. Make a recording of you giving your presentation or having a mock interaction with someone at a meeting. When you play it back, you can be that scrutinizing person who criticizes what the person on screen looks like – only this time, it will be to your advantage, because you can actually do something about it. Take notes on what to improve on for the real thing, and make additional recordings as needed.

Make a Good Impression on Camera is a post from: ClickMeeting Blog

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Focus On Your Best Qualities When Presenting A Webinar http://blog.clickmeeting.com/focus-on-your-best-qualities-when-presenting-a-webinar http://blog.clickmeeting.com/focus-on-your-best-qualities-when-presenting-a-webinar#comments Wed, 20 May 2015 09:35:07 +0000 http://blog.clickmeeting.com/?p=3970 Read more

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Webinars can quickly turn dry and dull due to a lack of personality from the presenter. Even the most boring topics on the planet (yes, even weather) can be spiced up and made interesting. Think back to when you were in school, you likely remember those teachers who were interesting and animated even when the class took place 15 or 20 years ago.

Participants want to connect with the presenter just as much as the webinar content, so use these suggestions to utilize your best qualities as much as possible.

 

Qualities To Focus On

Although you certainly want to be yourself as much as possible, there are a number of traits associated with successful webinars. If you embody any of these traits naturally, try enhancing them as much as possible, and if you do not embody them, then do your best to develop them.

If some traits continue to feel forced and unnatural as you work to develop them (not everyone has a natural sense of humor, after all), then move on to something else – the traits will likely come across as unnatural to your audience as well. You want to smoothly and comfortably embody these traits in your presentations, as much as possible. There is always the option to recruit someone else to present the webinar if you feel that the endeavor is beyond your reach. Some companies hire professional presenters to lead their webinars, so these options are certainly available.

Enthusiasm – Show your audience that you care about the topic you are presenting. This requires a degree of passion about the topic, and certainly a heightened sense of energy. Enthusiasm is infectious, and it will noticeably rub off on your participants. Conversely, if you present the content in a monotone voice, you will likely find your audience drifting in their attention and leaving the presentation, the worst possible outcome for any type of webinar.

Authenticity – You cannot have enthusiasm without authenticity. Authenticity is about being genuine. It is about conveying a sense of honesty, about the content of the presentation, as well as who you are. Authenticity is most important in a sales presentation versus “over-hyped salesy” sounding content. The audience wants honest feedback so that they can make an accurate decision about whether to invest in your product or service. Authenticity is not easy, especially if you have no personal attachment to the product and have to “fake” your authenticity to a degree. Spend time practicing this trait, because with enthusiasm and authenticity combined, there is nothing you can’t sell.

Humor – Break up the tension with a laugh every now and then. The audience likes to know that you are not just a stuffy businessman or businesswoman. Set yourself up with some pre-determined jokes that you can naturally slide in on certain slides.

Authority – People will only take you seriously if you take yourself seriously. Convey a sense of authority in order to keep participants interested in the product.

Confidence – Confidence is different from authority in the sense that you need to be able to remain calm when people throw unexpected questions at you or when you suddenly forget your point. Confidence involves the ability to speak smoothly and continuously, without “ums” and other unnatural breaks in thought. Confidence is the ability to maintain conviction when the audience challenges your points, your product, or any part of your presentation.

 

Determine Your Own Personality Traits

Although the five traits highlighted in the previous section are very important, everyone has their own unique characteristics. In addition to working on the aforementioned traits, work on highlighting your own personality. Take a personality test to determine your strengths, or give a sample presentation to a co-worker and ask for feedback.

If you are a very candid, cheerful person, let that shine in your presentation while also focusing on the five traits above. People can quickly detect when you are not being yourself, so it is important to be natural and to regularly practice your delivery.

 

Tailor Content To Fit Your Personality

Structure your slides to complement your personality. If you’ve always been the class clown, insert funny images, quotes or video clips into your presentation. Feed off of the presentation content with funny jokes when you can, setting yourself up with what to say.

If you are sarcastic in nature, you could poke fun at competitors’ products, although be careful that you are not creating a negative image of your own products. By tailoring your delivery to match your own style, you have sold yourself to the audience, which is half the battle in selling your product.

 

Get Feedback

Nothing is more effective than doing a mock up presentation and asking your test audience for feedback, this can help you identify and correct your weak points so when you present to a live audience you can rock the house!

Focus On Your Best Qualities When Presenting A Webinar is a post from: ClickMeeting Blog

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9 Ways To Inspire Your Audience During A Webinar Presentation http://blog.clickmeeting.com/9-ways-to-inspire-your-audience-during-a-webinar-presentation http://blog.clickmeeting.com/9-ways-to-inspire-your-audience-during-a-webinar-presentation#comments Mon, 18 May 2015 09:24:52 +0000 http://blog.clickmeeting.com/?p=3965 Read more

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There is nothing worse than a dry, cookie cutter presentation. Participants will leave the webinar bored, uninterested in your products or services, and sometimes even frustrated for wasting their time. A good sales pitch or educational presentation inspires, impresses, and engages the audience, this is key no matter the topic, industry, or niche. It is also important to realize that the Internet audience has a short attention span, they want instant gratification, and one swift mouse click is all it takes to lose a potentially profitable lead or several of them.

Use these 9 tips to transform your presentation into an imaginative, interesting presentation that leaves participants inspired.

 

How To Inspire Your Webinar Audience

  1. Convey how genuine you are. In order to believe in what you say audience members need to first believe in you. They will not trust you unless they feel that you are a credible individual, one who is not just trying to sell them something. Share your personal experiences, or the reasons why you’re devoting your life to this product or service. Use conviction in your voice and above all, be genuine.
  2. Connect with your audience. Connecting with participants is very difficult in a webinar presentation. During in-person presentations, you can look people in the eyes and speak directly to them, but during webinars, you’ve got only your voice. Learn your content well enough that you do not have to focus on the slides during your presentation, but rather you can focus on the audience and how they’re responding. Let them know from the beginning that you welcome questions at any time, and if people aren’t engaging, then spontaneously ask questions from time to time.
  3. Don’t hold back on energy. Again, this is more difficult during webinars, but you can use your voice to convey energy. It may help to stand up and present as you normally would during an in-person presentation. People are naturally drawn to such energy, and it is very contagious. They will leave your webinar full of fresh energy and inspiration.
  4. Blend authority with humor. To truly buy into what you say, participants need to hear you speak with authority. However, try to throw some humor into the mix to prevent them from perceiving you as a stuffy, old white collar salesman. This goes back to the previous points about connecting with the audience and selling yourself as a credible person. To feel inspired, participants need to be drawn to your personality.
  5. Talk about teamwork. There is nothing that people love more than hearing a good teamwork story. Try to give examples of how your teammates’ lives have been changed by working for your company. It doesn’t have to be a sob story. Simply flash some pictures of your team working together and pictures of clients who have used your products or services. People love to connect with real people and hear their stories.
  6. Insert quotes or video clips from experts, leaders in the industry, or past clients. Visuals are almost always effective, so use pictures and video clips whenever you can, and use quotes sparingly. However, with the proper timing of a strong quote, the effects can be significant. People are often inspired by other people’s accomplishments.
  7. Begin a round table discussion when brainstorming something or seeking advice. As time allows, and depending on the size of your audience, consider opening up discussion for people to share ideas. This usually helps people to learn something new and feel inspired by others’ efforts. It is also an effective to engage the audience and allow them to feel that they are also contributing to the presentation.
  8. Format your presentation as a story with a problem and resolution. The effectiveness of your webinar often has little to do with the content and everything to do with the presentation of the material. Start by discussing a problem that a wide audience would relate to, and then discussing how your product or service fixes that problem. People will feel inspired to buy into it.
  9. Humans are visual learners, use images, graphs, charts, and video whenever possible to highlight information, and tell a visual story.

There are a number of other ways to leave your audience feeling inspired, but they all largely focus on your delivery. Spend time perfecting your delivery beforehand and you will certainly notice the positive results.

9 Ways To Inspire Your Audience During A Webinar Presentation is a post from: ClickMeeting Blog

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7 Common Power Point Design Mistakes to Avoid http://blog.clickmeeting.com/7-common-power-point-design-mistakes-to-avoid http://blog.clickmeeting.com/7-common-power-point-design-mistakes-to-avoid#comments Fri, 15 May 2015 07:22:36 +0000 http://blog.clickmeeting.com/?p=3961 Read more

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There are so many alternatives to Power Point available that some people opt out of using Microsoft’s classic presentation software altogether. Perhaps because it’s been around so long, and so many Power Point presentations are behind it, that Power Point can seem old-fashioned and cliché. Yet it’s still a go-to platform for organizing information and images to present to an audience. And it can work very well if you avoid the elements that make for a bad Power Point.

Think of this list as guidelines for how not to make your next Power Point. When you’re giving a webinar or presenting via videoconference, people will only be seeing what’s on the screen. For the majority of the time, that’s your presentation material. If you use Power Point, it will be front and center for each and every one of your attendees. By avoiding these design mistakes, you’ll keep the focus on your great content.

 

Too Much Text

This can be a problem with any presentation platform, but it seems particularly endemic to Power Point. Slides that are filled completely with text are not going to be read by anyone. They’ll get through the first line, feel overwhelmed, and run away. It’s a waste of a slide. Instead, put as few words as possible in your slides to get the message across. Your audience should be paying attention to what you’re saying instead of trying to tread water through a sea of text.

 

Overuse of Bullet Points

Whether they’re round, square, or diamond-shaped, too many bullet points on a single slide makes your presentation look cluttered. It’s also a sign of poor content organization. Bullet points are meant to bring commons ideas together. An excess of common ideas signals that they need to be either consolidated or broken up. If you have more than 3-4 bullet points on a slide, strongly consider making a new slide for one or more of the concepts presented.

 

Bad Stock Photography

Generic pictures of people, places, and things don’t do much to support the message of your content. In fact, they can come across as a little creepy – not to mention lazy. Stock photography is easily recognizable and gives an impersonal, caustic feel. It also shows that you didn’t make much effort to choose meaningful images. Select images that show something related, either directly or metaphorically, to the content you’re sharing. It has to make sense to the audience.

 

Animations

The animations feature of Power Point is perhaps its most laughable. It seems like a relic from when Power Point first came out and it was soooo cool to be able to make special effects. A fade out here and there is OK, if you must, but as a general rule, avoid the Animations tab. You should also take care not to use animated images in your slides – it’s distracting, goofy, and reminiscent of early ‘90s amateur webpages (remember the Hamster Dance?)

 

Flamboyant Color Themes

You ought to be careful when choosing any of the pre-made templates ¬– only a few of them are acceptable – but be especially cautious about the colors in the templates and any colors you apply yourself. Stick with no more than three colors for the template and text. You want your audience to be able to focus on your written content, images, and diagrams, instead of chasing the rainbow in front of them.

 

Poor Contrast

Bright fonts on a dark background or vice-versa will only give your audience a headache and make them turn away from your presentation. The colors might be pretty, but they’re serving a practical purpose: to make it easy for your audience to read. Black on white or white on black is the best choice for readability (the latter should have slightly larger font). Use color in other aspects of your presentation, such as images, headings, and titles. Anything more and you’re making them squint.

 

Ugly Fonts

Maybe that Comic Sans or Curlz MT look cute when you write a word or two out as a test. In practice, they’re nothing but a nuisance. Like the colors of your text and background, the font face should be easy to read and not distracting. Fonts that use symbols, curly-q’s and lots of flair are artistic, but will only annoy your audience as they try to decipher what you typed. Classics like Times New Roman and Cambria will do the trick.

Power Point has many features that can be abused. However, it’s also incredibly user-friendly and will allow you to make a decent presentation in a pinch. Don’t discount it when planning your next webinar or online meeting – just stick to the basics and keep the bright colors, flashing images and text walls under control.

7 Common Power Point Design Mistakes to Avoid is a post from: ClickMeeting Blog

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4 Ways to Use Storytelling in Your Webinar http://blog.clickmeeting.com/4-ways-to-use-storytelling-in-your-webinar http://blog.clickmeeting.com/4-ways-to-use-storytelling-in-your-webinar#comments Wed, 13 May 2015 09:20:49 +0000 http://blog.clickmeeting.com/?p=3957 Read more

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Nothing beats a good story. The best of them suck you in and stick with you long after they’re told – and retold. When you hear a story from friends at the bar or roasting marshmallows over a campfire, there are certain elements that make it really satisfying. A good story strikes a chord with the hearts and minds of the audience.

The same can be said for storytelling in content marketing. The use of stories to highlight the value of a product or service can be an effective way to earn new business. But storytelling isn’t easy. We’ve all heard or read stories that fall flat: the ending doesn’t deliver, the sequence is off, or the character isn’t relatable. Storytelling is an art, and when it comes to content marketing, getting it right will make the difference in your sales.

You can tell stories in your webinar to get the attention of your audience and genuinely engage them. Building a compelling story about your brand will convey why your consumer should be interested in your brand. Here’s how you can bring storytelling to the next level in your next webinar.

 

Create a Compelling Character

When people hear a story, they’re most interested in the human aspect. In a good story, readers and listeners can become invested in the characters. The focus of your storytelling should be on a main character or characters that your audience can relate to or who they might aspire to be like. This creates a connection that will draw them into the story.

 

Be Clear What’s at Stake

Your product or service comes into the story when the character encounters a problem. The role of your brand is to solve that problem. The conflict is what makes the story interesting and holds the audience’s attention. Make the problem or conflict of your story believable and give it an emotional hook. For instance, a harried mother of three has a limited budget; your brand can help her save money on a particular product. Your audience will understand the dilemma right away and empathize with the character. With a realistic plot, they’ll care about what happens to the character.

 

Make Your Character the Hero

Adding a heroic aspect to your main character will inspire your audience to take a chance on your brand. Not only does the character overcome some dilemma in the story – they do it by using your product or service. But the focus of the story should still be on the character, because people are most interested in learning about people (and how they might benefit like the character does). Your story tells the audience what kind of person they can be with the help of your product or service. An effective tale will make them want to be like the hero, and by the end, become one of your customers.

 

Deliver a Satisfying Ending

Complete your story with an ending that gives the audience what they want. The worst experience when hearing or reading a story is when the resolution is trite or doesn’t make sense. Make the story worth their time from start to finish. Remember, the ending is where you really drive home the value of your product. If the hero gets what they want and more, that’s an effective ending that will drive your message home. If the audience feels disappointed with the conclusion, it could steer them away from your brand.

The moral of the story is this: the content marketing aspect of your webinar can benefit from a compelling tale – but only if it’s one that hooks your audience. We’ve all heard pointless stories, and they fall on deaf ears. Not everyone can be a good storytelling, so don’t hesitate to get others’ input or hire a professional to write yours. You’ll strengthen the message of your webinar with a story that has a heroic main character, an attention-grabbing plot, and a satisfying ending. In short, make it a bestseller.

4 Ways to Use Storytelling in Your Webinar is a post from: ClickMeeting Blog

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4 Tips For Beginners To Launch The Perfect Webinar http://blog.clickmeeting.com/4-tips-for-beginners-to-launch-the-perfect-webinar http://blog.clickmeeting.com/4-tips-for-beginners-to-launch-the-perfect-webinar#comments Mon, 11 May 2015 09:18:45 +0000 http://blog.clickmeeting.com/?p=3953 Read more

4 Tips For Beginners To Launch The Perfect Webinar is a post from: ClickMeeting Blog

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Webinars have become popular tools for relaying information to a targeted audience. They are convenient to the participant (who can participate from anywhere), visually stimulating (with the incorporation of videos and graphics) and targeted at the right people (only those interested in the topic). Hosting a webinar for the first time may seem intimidating, but with the guidance in this article, you will be delivering a flawless webinar in no time.

 

Promote Your Webinar To Attract An Audience

In order to obtain a decently sized audience, you must invest time in promoting your webinar. For smaller companies on a budget, email is the best method. Think through the people that may have an interest in the webinar, and utilize all of the contact lists that you can.

When sending mass emails to promote your webinar, be sure to include the registration link in an easy-to-see place. Include enough details to capture the recipient’s interest, but do not make the email too lengthy or you run the risk of losing recipient who do not want to read a long recitation. Short and to the point is best, considering that people are busy and the Internet audience has a short attention span.

Also, develop a visually attractive flyer to be physically distributed to select recipients as it applies in your industry and a well-designed landing page to be posted online. There are a number of free websites that allow you to promote your webinar event, and social media websites such as LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter, and Facebook cannot be ignored.

Bloggers in various niches can be some of the best resources for promoting webinars, reach out to those who are popular in your industry, introduce yourself and invite them to attend and promote. Most bloggers will be interested as along as the content is stellar.

If you are a larger company with a budget, you can pay to have your webinar promoted to targeted groups through these sites and many others. For a fee, Facebook even allows you to create a targeted ad to be displayed to people who would be specifically interested in your event based on their “likes” and interests.

 

Create A Detailed Outline

Before the big day, you will want to create a detailed outline of the points you want to address. Organizing content is very important because it allows you to be completely prepared during the live event.

If you have fears about public speaking, it might be best to write whole sentences so that you can read directly from the page, though it is best to sound as natural as possible. Bullet points help to keep you focused but they also help you sound more natural. The important thing is to make sure you cover all the necessary content.

 

Rehearsals and Dry Runs

Practice, practice, and practice again. Did we mention that you should practice? This cannot be overemphasized, even when you know the topic inside and out. Practice not only helps to familiarize you with the presentation, doing a dry run with your webinar software, such as ClickWebinar allows you to become familiar with the interface and how it will all work on the day of the live event.

The importance of rehearsing before the actual webinar really cannot be emphasized enough. You will sound much more professional (and not to mention prepared!) when you practice your presentation and smooth out any rough spots. You do not want to be stumbling over your words during the event.

Practice speaking slowly because some web applications and speakers may not be top of the line, and participants could have difficulty hearing you. Also, be sure to time yourself as you are practicing so that you do not go over the time limit planned for the event. Participants get annoyed when a webinar goes longer than the advertised time.

 

Perfect The Technical Aspects

You do not want any technical problems occurring – this can ruin a presentation. Run the presentation several times using the same software and equipment that you will use during the real thing.

Familiarize yourself with the program’s video and audio controls. If necessary, hire an assistant or technical specialist to work with you prior to and during the event to fix anything that goes wrong. Participants usually have questions about how to turn on their microphone or fix their webinar screen, and a specialist can help you answer such questions.

In addition, participants may send you email or try to call you during the webinar if they are unable to log on altogether, and it is useful to have an assistant who can check your email and phone while you are presenting and address any issues that need to be addressed.

 

Summary

Webinars are not easy endeavors, but they do become so with experience. Learn as much as you can, take advice and put what you learned to good use!

4 Tips For Beginners To Launch The Perfect Webinar is a post from: ClickMeeting Blog

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The Anatomy of a Perfect Webinar http://blog.clickmeeting.com/the-anatomy-of-a-perfect-webinar http://blog.clickmeeting.com/the-anatomy-of-a-perfect-webinar#comments Fri, 08 May 2015 09:00:21 +0000 http://blog.clickmeeting.com/?p=3945 Read more

The Anatomy of a Perfect Webinar is a post from: ClickMeeting Blog

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Time and time again, webinars have proven to be one of the most successful ways to convert leads into customers. Better than superior customer service, better than educational handouts and content, even better than white papers, webinars boast an impressive conversion rate of 20%.

People like to learn about how and why they should use a product rather than be bombarded with ads about how great the product is, which is why webinars are so effective. Another reason for their success as an online marketing medium is that people like to connect with a human behind a company or a product, this type of personal connection is highly effective and much more so than a cold sales page.

In order to host an effective webinar, you need to first perfect each of the four main webinar components. These essential elements are the brick and mortar of a successful webinar presentation.

 

4 Components Of The Perfect Webinar

The Webinar Platform

Your webinar platform, such as that provided by ClickWebinar, should be high quality yet easy to use for both you and the participants. The interface should be simple and visually appealing, with controls at the top or on the side and a large viewing screen.

Your platform must also contain all of the necessary tools for running a webinar, including audio conferencing via phone and computer, webinar recording, desktop sharing, mobile viewing capability, whiteboard creation, the exchange of keyboard and mouse control, internal chatrooms, poll creation, room branding, support for various visual elements and more.

Another critical consideration when choosing the best webinar platform is support that is offered. Support from the service can be invaluable when you or your audience runs into tech issues and a representative from the webinar service is needed to make corrections quickly and efficiently.

 

The Presenter

The presenter must be familiar with the webinar platform (although not an expert – that’s the assistant’s job!) and should perform several practice runs before the actual webinar event to test his or her knowledge of the software. More importantly, the presenter is responsible for engaging the audience in the product or service.

During in-person presentations, the presenter can use body language and heightened energy levels to help engage the audience, but during a webinar, the presenter has only his or her slides and voice. As a presenter, practice being overly energetic with your delivery and bringing your personality into it. You may want to stand up and present as you would during an in-person presentation, even though no one will see you, as this helps get the energy flowing.

An important tip for presenters is to focus on how the product or service helps people rather than on its features. Businesses too often approach webinars with the mentality that participants want to know all the technical details about the product. In reality, they want to know how the product benefits them specifically. A successful webinar is one that focuses on the user.

 

The Assistant

Every presenter needs a technical assistant who is an expert at the software platform. Without fail, webinars seem to always have a technical glitch somewhere along the way, or participants will be unable to log on to the webinar or turn on their microphone. An assistant can jump in as needed to address participants’ technical problems and fix any other issues that occur. This saves time and prevents participants from getting frustrated and logging off prematurely.

In addition, assistant can be invaluable for organizing questions and queuing such for any type of Q & A session planned.

 

The Audience

Ultimately, your company desires audience members to choose to purchase your product or service as a result of the webinar. As previously mentioned, webinars result in an impressive 20% conversion rate, to maximize this percentage (and even surpass it); you must strategically target your audience.

Conduct research to determine the demographics of those purchasing your products, and use this information to market your webinar to a targeted audience via hashtags on social media, targeted online ads, and other marketing tools.

Research shows that webinars normally result in a 33% attendance rate, but through targeted marketing, the attendance rate can be as much as 65%.

To capture the largest audience possible, one that is genuinely interested in your company’s information, your marketing team must look beyond traditional, general marketing techniques to the more targeted techniques ushered in by the age of social media and mobile applications.

Most importantly, you must follow up with participants after the webinar via a survey or email to point them back to your products and capture their business. This is crucial is establishing and facilitating long term business relationships as opposed to a one off interaction through one webinar that may or may not result in a single purchase.

The Anatomy of a Perfect Webinar is a post from: ClickMeeting Blog

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The Importance Of Pre-determining Your Goals/Objectives Before Creating Your Webinar http://blog.clickmeeting.com/the-importance-of-pre-determining-your-goalsobjectives-before-creating-your-webinar http://blog.clickmeeting.com/the-importance-of-pre-determining-your-goalsobjectives-before-creating-your-webinar#comments Wed, 06 May 2015 09:00:04 +0000 http://blog.clickmeeting.com/?p=3941 Read more

The Importance Of Pre-determining Your Goals/Objectives Before Creating Your Webinar is a post from: ClickMeeting Blog

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As you begin planning your webinar, take time to physically write out your goals and objectives. People too often jump right into the first slide. While all information may be covered using this approach, the information appears disorganized, and the main points of the webinar are lost.

Remember when you were in school and those annoying teachers would make you create detailed outlines for your essays and reports? As annoying as it was they were teaching a very important skill that is extremely helpful in webinar creation. A detailed outline prevents the perfect design with which you can create a highly organized presentation.

By creating objectives and communicating these to the audience, participants will understand what it is they should be learning. This helps them to notice important points throughout the webinar. This process also serves the presenter to be able to develop a well-structured plan that is easy to follow and present during a live event.

 

Goals vs. Objectives

Many people use the terms ‘goals’ and ‘objectives’ interchangeably, although a ‘goal’ typically refers to your long-term purpose. A goal may or may not be concrete. For example, you might have a goal for your company’s name to become known all across North America.

An ‘objective’ is a concrete achievement that can be obtained by taking specific steps. For example, your objective may be to present your company’s business plan to a minimum of 50 potential clients in at least 10 different states by December 31.

For a single webinar, choose a goal and objectives tailored for that one webinar. For a webinar series, you have more freedom as to the breadth of your goals and objectives. However, remember to choose measurable objectives that can be tracked over time, as you will need to prove that they have been accomplished.

 

Big Picture To Little Picture

The goals and objectives help both you and the audience see the big picture you are painting. Without making these clear to the audience at the beginning of your webinar, the participants will constantly be trying to figure out your overarching points. It is like making an argument when the other person does not know the point you are trying to argue.

With objectives to guide them, participants will pay more attention to the actual presentation. Furthermore, clarifying the objectives for your own sake helps you to develop stronger arguments and a more organized, professional presentation. Once you communicate your objectives ñ your big picture ñ to the audience, you can then delve into the details. Participants will be more interested in the details and more responsive during the Q&A session when they first understand the main points.

 

Choose A Topic That Complements Your Objectives

The subject of your webinar is just as important as your objectives. While your objectives are necessary for achieving your company’s goals, your topic is necessary for drawing in a large audience. Webinars are most successful when they provide useful information for participants.

Choose a ‘hot topic’ about a current trend or a problem that people want to know how to fix. Select a subject that enables you to achieve your objectives while also appealing to a wide audience. If the subject conflicts with the objectives, consider modifying one or both such that it has minimal effect on your webinar.

 

Leave Participants With Clear Take Always

A primary reason to use objectives is to leave your audience with clear take aways at the end of your webinar. While you should state your objectives at the beginning of your webinar, you should also state your main points at the end of the webinar to leave the information fresh in participantsí’ minds.

Make every effort to deliver the objectives at the beginning in a different format from the summary points at the end so that they are not simply a repeat of the other. For example, use images, graphics and videos as much as possible. Visuals leave a stronger impression than text. Participants will walk away from your webinar with clear, interesting information, and you will walk away with your objectives met.

 

Bottom Line

A well-planned and well-organized webinar stands a much better chance of success no matter its goals or the topic. During the process of determining goals and objectives can go a long way to the development of content, since the content is by way of which the goals and objectives will be met.

Take your time through this crucial step of webinar creation and you will enjoy great success!

The Importance Of Pre-determining Your Goals/Objectives Before Creating Your Webinar is a post from: ClickMeeting Blog

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