When you have important information to relay to a classroom, in a meeting, to your boss, or your customers, you want to do it in such a way that it grabs the attention of your audience. This can already be difficult when holding a presentation in person, but what about when holding a webinar?

Webinars, or online seminars, are a modern and engaging way to present information to geographically dispersed audiences for a low cost. They provide the invaluable convenience of being able to reach potentially thousands of people live without having to spend hundreds on travel expenses.

Your audience will receive a valuable service as well as necessary information while you get the flexibility of a virtual-based lecture. While webinars provide such a dynamic service, it’s easy to lose audience interest if you present a less than stimulating seminar. Like any presentation, it is important to plan well so that your seminar will not only effectively convey information, but also hold your audience’s attention. If your webinar agenda is lacking, you could be losing more than just attention over time.


How To Know Your Webinar Agenda May Be Lacking

In person, it doesn’t take long to notice when a presentation is bombing. People may begin to pull out their phones, fidget, doodle on scraps of paper, and zone out. While this can make you feel embarrassed and even disrespected, at least you know straight away that your lecture could use some livening up.

However, when conducting a webinar you could miss some cues from your audience simply because you cannot see them and subsequently have no idea if and when your presentation starts to falter.

With this in mind, it is important to consider your webinar from an objective point of view to see what should be dropped, added, and whether or not it is as interesting as it could be.

Scrutinize your webinar for the following factors:

Disorganization: It might seem obvious to have a set plan for your webinar, but not all presentations are as organized as they ought to be. When there’s no organization to what you’re saying, your audience will be able to notice and will most likely react accordingly. To remedy this, always draw up an itinerary for your webinar the same way a teacher creates a lesson plan. Be sure to fill every minute of your webinar with either information, activities, questions, or visual aids.

It’s Not Interactive: One of the best parts about webinars is that they allow both you and your audience to be open to different technologies and features. If you’re hosting a webinar and treat, it as nothing more than lecture, your audience is going to be bored and your webinar is going to fail. Take advantage of polls, games, and other interactive components that can be used in a webinar to engage your audience and keep them involved with what you’re saying.

There are No Visual Aids: Even if you don’t (or can’t) use interactive technology and apps you should still have something of interest in your webinar. Visual aids are a great way to help you audience stay interested and engaged even if they can’t interact. These aids are also great for audience members who are visual learners. If your presentation has a large volume of statistics use visual aids of graphs, charts, and infographics to help your audience make sense of all your data.

Your Presentation Doesn’t Cater to Your Product/Business/Lesson: It is important to make sure that a webinar is the best choice to convey the information you want. Sometimes, things can be better said using a Powerpoint presentation, a typed report, a video, or even a conference call. The best way to figure out whether this option is best for you is to take a poll and even try a few test runs with a test audience. Once you’ve collected the data, you’ll be able to make an informed decision.


Top Two Tips For Creating An Engaging Agenda

So now that you know the pitfalls to avoid, how can you create an engaging agenda for your webinar?

Again, like a lesson plan in a classroom, you have to make sure that everything you want to say is said in a concise, informative, and interesting manner. The best way to create an engaging agenda is to do the following:

Know Your Audience: When giving a presentation, you don’t want to just throw out information and hope it’ll stick or interest someone. You want your audience to already have an interest in what you have to say—otherwise why are they attending the webinar? The best way to get to know your audience is to advertise your webinar accordingly. Find them where they live whether that means reaching them through email, Facebook, Twitter or other social media accounts where they may exist and be most likely to congregate. You can also gather information about your audience by including sign up and registration steps before allowing attendance. This will help you to identify themes and trends, if any, amongst those who sign up. Once you have this information, you’ll be better prepared to create webinar that plays to audience interests.

Plan to Fill In All Your Time: When you have idle time in your webinar, you’re susceptible to a lot of filler words and wasted time. You might even find yourself with long silences and a lot of “ummmmms.” When this happens, your audience can lose attention and they’ll most likely notice that you didn’t plan as well as you could have. This circles back to creating an itinerary and a plan that you can follow down to the very last minute so that you’re always on, always engaging, and you never lose your flow or your pace. Be careful not to put too much into each minute because that can overload you and your audience, leaving them feeling exhausted and overtaxed. Instead, make sure each topic is focused on for five to ten minutes at most; adjust times when needed.

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Posted by Agnes Jozwiak

Agnes is the Brand & Communication Director at ClickMeeting.

Time to move your events online. Do it with ClickMeeting


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