A webinar is a seminar that people listen to and watch on the web, via their computer, while a teleseminar involves listening only, via the telephone or computer. A webinar is also sometimes called a webcast. When numerous presenters are involved in the same program, it may be called a web conference instead of a webinar or webcast. Many cost nothing to attend, as they are designed to funnel leads into a sales process. Others are pure educational events, with attendance fees.
Whatever you call it and whether free or for-fee, this is a multimedia format that involves simultaneous seeing and listening. Because visuals normally need to be created in advance and arranged in order, it requires more preparation than a teleseminar. Add in more preparation time because of the need to familiarize yourself with the technology.
On the plus side, however, you have the potential to engage and inform listeners not merely with words but also with images. So let’s look at how to take full advantage of the strengths of this communication medium. What can you do to keep participants involved from the beginning to the end of your webinar program?
Six Keys to Livelier Web Presentations
1. Interactivity. Make the most of the webinar interface by planning at least two audience polls during your talk. Have a confederate logged in who checks on the poll numbers for you and announces them to both you and the group. This keeps the communication two-way, to a certain extent, and the atmosphere spontaneous rather than canned.
2. Enough slides to keep things moving. A good rule of thumb is one slide per minute. If you have a series of points to make on one topic, present slides portraying one point at a time instead of keeping one slide containing all the points up for many minutes.
3. Minimal bullet points. A lecture that’s a succession of bullet points takes on a dull, predictable rhythm. Instead of filling slide after slide with bullets, consider questions, charts, graphs, photos or images that either encapsulate your theme or suggest your point without summarizing it outright.
4. Suspense. Since people attend webinars on their computer, participants always have many temptations for multitasking or drifting away altogether during your presentation. At least once during your talk, mention something enticing you’ll be talking about later to help keep them tuned in.
5. Questions in reserve. Participants appreciate it when you give them the opportunity to ask questions. But they don’t always jump in when invited. Have several questions in reserve, to avoid long silences and to help shy people gather the gumption to speak up. Introduce your dummy questions by saying (truthfully) “I’m often asked about…” or “Here’s a question…”
6. Unexpected beginning, strong ending. Start with a bold claim, a surprising statistic, an eye-opening incident, or something else with impact. When time is up, don’t simply trail off but end with a punchy summary of your advice or your bold claim. Plan your ending to follow the Q&A period.
By using these tips to create a lively online presentation, your webinar has a much better chance of accomplishing its aims: Participants have learned as planned or moved closer to becoming your paying customers.
Source by Marcia Yudkin