The goal of presenting an educational webinar, online training event, or product demonstration is to stimulate your audience’s thinking so that they feel they have learned something important. A challenge that you face, however, is the need to take into account your attendees knowledge level.
If you repeat facts that they already know, you will quickly lose their interest.
On the other hand, if the information you present is too complicated, you may fail to hold their attention.
Before you start planning and researching content for your webinar, you should ask yourself these 2 questions:
- What information does my audience need to hear about this specific topic?
- What information will help them feel that they have benefited from the webinar?
There are 2 main areas to consider when planning your webinar so that it is at an appropriate level of knowledge for your attendees. The first area is what your audience already knows about the topic. The second is how to inform them.
What Does Your Audience Already Know?
When preparing your webinar, you usually target the demographics and interest level of a specific group of users. This can be the first step in trying to determine the existing knowledge of the subject. In fact, the best types of webinars should never be so general that they appeal to no one.
Right from choosing the topic for your webinar, you should have this precise group of users in mind and prepare your material accordingly.
Therefore, if you are hosting a webinar to demonstrate a new product, your audience knowledge about it may be quite limited. This means that you can go into more detail on the specifics of the product and how to use it. However, if your webinar topic is on specifics of an existing product that users already have, then you should leave out all unnecessary details.
Taking into account the level of knowledge can also affect the way you present your content. For example, information that your audience already knows should be delivered at a faster pace than new and important information. You may also want to prepare more slides or visuals for these important main points so that they stand out better and your audience learns more.
What Will Benefit Your Audience?
There’s an old adage, that there is nothing new under the sun.î Taking into account your audience’s level of knowledge doesn’t always mean having something new to say. It is possible to restate already known facts in a way that benefits your audience. How can you do this?
Don’t just mention facts to your audience, but explain the meaning of the facts. For example, if you have conducted market research on a product or service, you may have a lot of facts and figures. So, explain to your audience what this means in relation to the benefit they get from your product. Will a product help them to be more 20% more productive at their job? Don’t just state the fact, use a few examples to show the benefit that this 20% will give them.
Try to answer specific questions when presenting your material. This can help you focus on main points and deliver information that is fitting for your attendees knowledge level.
Think in terms of the following types of questions when preparing your content:
- What makes this product different from other similar products in the market?
- What facts back up these claims?
- What preconceptions or misconceptions about my product or service may my audience already have?
- How will the product or service benefit my customers?
For example, if you know that your audience has misconceptions about a particular service, you should focus on proof that your service works. You could even incorporate these misconceptions into your delivery.
If your audience already owns the product or uses the service, your webinar could focus on reinforcing the benefits to the user and also educate on new ways to benefit from it.
Use Q&A to Plan for Future Webinars
Q&A sessions are excellent opportunities to gauge your attendees knowledge. This can help you adjust your presentation or help you plan for your next webinar.
For example, if you had very few audience questions during the webinar, that could be an indication that your content didn’t challenge the knowledge of your audience. On the other hand, if you had many questions about simple facts, that could be an indication that the information was too complex and above the knowledge level of your audience.
If many similar questions come up from your audience, you can use this as a topic for your next webinar. These questions give you insight into the knowledge level of your audience so you can successfully plan your next informative webinar.