Friday, February 18, 2011

Webinars, Webexes and other Webbed Presentations

In the last few weeks I've decided to jump into the deepend of the webinar pool. I've helped produce three webinars now.  The one on H1N1 was particularly fun.  At first, I found that it was a really cool, new media that plays to a very diverse audience.  This week, however, I realized that the "new" word doesn't apply.

There are dozens upon dozens of companies doing webinars.  For those of you who haven't gotten your webinar doctorate yet, a webinar, Webex or online presentation is basically a PowerPoint presentation given over the computer. It can be on any subject and there is a webinar on just about everything out there, from rocket science to science fiction. What's great is that it has an unfettered potential for reach.

Here are some of the traits the best webinars have in common:
1. They don't just  read the slide (this one applies to any presentation).
2. They use fun graphics, humor and charts to make it as visual as possible.
3. They have a theme and an outline.  Nobody likes to listen to someone rambling.
4. They give critical information and not just a sales pitch of where to pay for critical information.
5. Most important, there is call to action and follow-up. 

Here are some of the worst traits of webinars I've seen:
1. They start slowly.  Start with a bang or else your audience is already checking their inbox.
2. The speaker isn't flexible enough to make it interactive.  Don't just answer questions at the end, use questions.
3. Roll with it.  If a slide doesn't advance or if there's an issue, just keep going.  If you spend a whole minute stopped, trying to figure out the program, you've lost your audience.
4. Practice. Show the presentation to an internal audience so if you stumble it's not in front of possible clients.
5. Energy, energy, energy.  Your audience can't see you.  The only way for them to stay engaged is through your energy and passion.

No comments: