The basis of this article is very direct: you will quickly lose your audience if your webinar is full of text. This is especially true of webinars because during in-person presentations, the audience has you to look at, which provides a constant visual. During webinars, the audience has only your slides. Furthermore, visuals are great tools for evoking emotion, which can lead to a robust discussion session or Q&A session. Visuals are often the only thing that people remember from a webinar, especially a week or two later, so be sure to choose meaningful, communicative visuals.
How Much Is Too Much?
It is difficult to go overkill with visuals. Even if you have some type of visual on every single slide, this helps make a strong presentation. You might run into issues when you try to put lots of graphics on a single slide. Try to use one main graphic, image or video per slide, or several small graphics that communicate the same point. Visuals, in essence, communicate a point, and you do not want to try to cram more than one point into each slide unless you do so in an easy-to-read list format.
A unique feature of webinars is that the audience relies heavily on your voice to receive important information. While your voice is relaying the facts, your visuals should reinforce what you say. Other than occasional short bullets, leave text off the slides by preparing your comments on paper and keeping the audience’s interest through infographics, flow charts and video clips. Studies show that a large percentage of people are visual learners and that the sense of sight dominates all others.
Visuals tell a story better than any voice can. Imagine the mention of statistics in a presentation, what is more powerful, someone saying that data statistics, or seeing them on a pie chart? Of course, the pie chart will emphasize data in a much more efficient way, and allows the audience to absorb information faster.
Best Programs To Use
- Microsoft PowerPoint is one of the most popular (and free) presentation software on the market. It is compatible with multiple types of audio and video formats, although some formats require the Internet to function. Once finished, you can upload your PowerPoint presentation directly to the webinar software that you are using.
- Prezi is becoming an increasingly popular presentation program. It requires an Internet connection to run, but it takes the term ‘visual’ to the next level. Using creative transitions, Prezi zooms in and out of images, videos and text to give your presentation a fluid look. You can zoom out to give an overview of your topic, and zoom in on specific details to make specific points. With Prezi, the presentation itself is a visual. This program imports all kinds of media (including PowerPoint slides and YouTube videos) and is free to use.
- Windows Movie Maker can pull media together into a presentation, but it’s especially useful if you need to edit or create a video. If you find the perfect video clip for your webinar, but it’s too long or needs to be converted into a different file format, Windows Movie Maker is one of the best (free) programs to use.
- GIMP is an open source image-editing program, which means free to everyone. GIMP is easy to learn and allows you to manipulate and create all type of images, including banners, logos, and icons. Be sure to check the copyright of any images you might use from the web. Public domain licenses are ideal because the images are completely free to use and can be used in any way, including for marketing purposes. There are many public domain images available online.
Choosing The Right Webinar Platform
If you are still deciding on a program to host your webinar, be sure to choose one that is feature rich, such as ClickWebinar. The platform should integrate options such as graphs, charts, video, images, and slide presentations. Of course, the ideal service will allow you to brand your presentation to better connect with your audience and market your company.
You also want to make sure that support is included and is efficient and available should you need help during your presentation. It is also imperative that appropriate guidance is available for you and your audience before the webinar begins.
Keep your presentations interesting and engaging with visual elements that bring your content to life! No matter how good your content or message is, it will fall flat when it is not presented in a favorable manner, so get those videos, images, slides and charts ready!