In the first part of our guide, we encouraged you to wait a while before you get down to work on your webinar and make sure you know the answers to these three questions:
- Who’s your audience?
- What do you want to tell them?
- Why are you doing this?
Now that you have dealt with that part of the work, it’s time to start creating your webinar. From this post you will learn how to plan your online event in three easy steps.
1. Start with a hook
You only have a few seconds to make a first impression. So make sure it’s a killer one. At the beginning of your webinar you need to do your best to grab your audience’s attention so that they stay with you for the rest of your online event. In other words, you have to hook them with powerful words.
Here are a few ideas for a good opener:
- A question, to introduce the main thesis of the webinar. Starting a webinar on public speaking you can ask: “Do you know what three causes of public speaking anxiety most speakers mention?
- A question, to engage attendees from the very beginning. For instance: “When you are about to deliver a speech, what are you particularly anxious about?”
- Your own story, to strengthen your message and ensure your audience that you know the topic from your own experience. You can say: „When I was supposed to deliver my first speech, I remember that…”
- An anecdote, again to show you are well familiar with the topic and can share not only your own story, but other people’s stories as well. You can start by saying: “During one of his presentations, a well-known TED speaker suddenly forgot what he wanted to say…”
- An elevator pitch, that is a short and concise presentation of yourself, for instance: „Hi everyone. My name is XYZ. I teach people how to get rid of their fear of public speaking once and for all.” To learn more on how to prepare a good elevator pitch, check out this blog post.
2. Structure your presentation
Now that you know what kind of trick you are going to use to hook your audience, it’s time to give your webinar a structure. The key rule is to clearly divide your presentation into the following three parts:
- main section
Prepare your opener, discussed above, so that it takes around 10% of the time of your webinar. If you have chosen to ask a question the audience should react to, allow enough time for their answers. If you go for a story, make sure it’s short enough to keep your attendees’ attention.
The second part of your webinar should take about 70% of the time. That’s where you present the arguments to support your main thesis. Don’t be tempted to deliver a long list. Three strong arguments will do. Three is enough to convince the audience of your idea. At the same time, it’s not too much and you don’t risk attendees will think you are determined to talk them round.
Start with the strongest argument and after you present each one, ask your audience for their opinion. Let them know you are curious to know if your arguments sound convincing and relevant.
And finally, the conclusion. It should take around 20% of your webinar. Use that time to repeat the main thesis and the key topics you have covered. Encourage your audience to ask questions and allow enough time to answer them.
3. Give them something special
Don’t forget to prepare something attendees can get after the webinar is over. A discount to your online store, a registration key to a free trial of your service, a link to your e-book or a white paper available for your webinar audience only, a certificate of attendance – whatever it is, make sure it is something tangible and that it will make them feel special.
To ensure your webinar is a success, give it a proper structure. Start with a powerful opener to hook your audience’s attention and present your thesis. Provide three strong arguments to support the thesis, listen to your attendees’ opinions and encourage them to ask questions. Don’t forget to give them something special at the end.
Good luck with your first webinar!