People learn by doing, not by just listening. So in your next webinar, include different ways for your audience to get involved. Here’s a list of some of the most popular ideas.
1. Ask a question.
The greatest danger is that you may leave the audience behind. And if they don’t understand something, they may experience that lost-in-space felling. But they can give up and leave; you have to keep presenting.
Sometimes all you need to do is ask for quick feedback. “Was that clear to everybody? Send me a chat message if you need more explanation.” Then watch the chat feed as the comments stream.
2. Conduct a survey.
Surveys take a little forethought and preparation but they’re worth it. Assuming you use multiple-choice or single-choice questions, you can share the results with the audience, which adds to the interaction.
And don’t think surveys have to be 10 questions. Why not a one-question survey? Or maybe a series of one-question surveys scattered throughout your presentation? It also takes the pressure off you for a few moments.
3. Test your audience.
Why should you feel all the pressure? Tests are a great way to turn the tables on your audience. Let them feel a little heat 😉 They’ll want to do well on the test, especially if you let them know in the beginning. So they’ll pay attention a little better and make it a point to remember. And again, you can share results with them.
4. Start a discussion.
You can also invite a participant to get on camera side-by-side with you and allow them to throw a question at you. There’s nothing like thinking on your feet to make you a better presenter. And it’s rewarding for your audience to have their questions answered.
5. Do a critique.
This is an idea that simply isn’t done often enough. Audiences just love critiques. Whatever business you’re in – graphic design or pet grooming – doing a critique will add a kind of reality TV flavor to your online event.
6. Challenge your audience.
If your webinars are a series of training lectures you could challenge your audience to complete an assignment and send it to you. Then on a future webinar, you could announce who did the best job. A challenge gets them to think about your topic when they’re not with you, keeping you top-of-mind with your audience.
7. Answer questions.
Allow participants to submit questions before the webinar or during the webinar via chat. Then near the end, collect all those great questions and come up with answers. This one takes gumption too, but it’s not quite as much pressure as questions coming from a live participant on-camera.
Interaction increases the value of your webinar.
Participants value real-time experiences, even if they notice a few flaws or stumbles. They simply appreciate authenticity. The web is such a “now” medium that people understand and accept that a webinar isn’t supposed to sound like an over-produced TV news program. Improvisation is part of the appeal.
So relax and get some interaction going. Your audience will love seeing the real you in action.
Got another tip for making webinars more interactive? Share it in the comments.