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It is easy to mess up a webinar and more difficult to leave participants walking away highly intrigued. This takes preparation and specific steps for grabbing and maintaining the interest of your audience.

Some make the profound mistake of leaving the presentation to chance, believing that their shining personality is enough to overcome any other considerations for engaging an audience, but often this is simply not the case. Keep in mind that people are busy and they expect a presentation that fulfills the promises set forth in the webinar sign up page.

Trial and error, as well as dozens of webinar presentations, has led to the development of this polished list.

 

Top 6 Ways to Engage Your Audience

At the conclusion of your webinar, you will have your audience convinced to invest in your product or service with these 5 strategies:

 

1. Hook them in with an enticing topic

The bottom line is that you are trying to sell a product or service (or promote a new resource or blog), but that should not be the main focus of your webinar. Unless you are selling the latest iPhone or Android, you will not likely draw in enough people just by talking about your product alone. Choose a “hot” topic that everyone wants to know about. In the title, suggest that you are unveiling secrets or addressing the hottest trends. Make the topic bigger than the product itself. Once you draw in the audience, you can incorporate information about your product or company throughout the webinar, even though it will not be the main focus.

 

2. Incorporate social sharing throughout

To stir conversation about your topic or product during the webinar and after, introduce the #hashtag early on. Hashtags are very trendy, and people will use it to post on social media and do your marketing work for you! After you introduce it early on, consider putting it in the corner of each slide so that participants remember it. The hashtag not only helps to engage the participants themselves, but it also engages other people in the social media realm who did not participate.

 

3. Provide a special gift or opportunity

If you have the means to do so, consider providing a small gift to one or more of the participants. Examples include tickets to a local baseball game or free registration to an upcoming company event or conference. If you do not have a budget for a gift, you could provide an “opportunity,” such as the opportunity to participate in breaking a world record. These gifts or incentives can be used to draw more people in when you begin to market your webinar.

 

4. Mix up the delivery of the presentation

Peoples’ attention span only lasts for so long. Use a variety of media in the webinar, including videos, pictures and graphs mixed in with your bullets. Additionally, if your webinar is going to last for 45 minutes or longer, try using two or more presenters. People get tired of hearing the same voice over a long period of time. When a new person starts speaking, participants’ ears will immediately perk up, and they will be fully engaged once again.

 

5. Follow up with a post-webinar email

People may walk away from your webinar with every intention of buying your product, but life often gets in the way and distracts them. A follow up email, with a link to your product page, serves as a great reminder. If they are busy at the time they receive the email, they can easily store it in their Inbox until they are ready to take a look at the product. Be sure to thank them in the email for attending your webinar, and inform them about the next webinar or event.

 

6. Offer value

Nothing impresses people more than value. Offer a truly free freebie, offer highly useful content, and/or provide something they cannot get anywhere else. These techniques are tried and true methods to engage leads and convert them into loyal customers. People lean towards those marketers that show appreciation for their business by giving something back. They also appreciate when business provides information that is truly usable and serves them in their lives, and they will thank that business for it by coming back for a lifetime.

 

The most important piece of advice in terms of keeping your audience engaged is to stay relevant. That is where your webinar topic and social sharing come in. The presentation delivery and follow-up email are important for driving your participants to your product. And of course, a special giveaway always helps to bring in a larger audience. These tips will take your webinar and product line to the next level.

Posted by Jarek Wasielewski

Jarek is the Content Manager at ClickMeeting. He is responsible for providing educational contents for current and prospective users.