Five Tips to Keep your Audience Engaged During Your Webinars

It’s hard enough to keep your audience engaged during a live presentation, the challenge is even greater when the viewer is at his or her desk, and constantly distracted by cell phones, co-workers, and the knowledge that there are donuts in the break room. Here are the five most important tips for keeping the audience glued to the screen during your webinar.

1.Make sure the appropriate technology is in place and is working properly for your webinars.

You will lose your audience very quickly if the video feed is jittery, the audio fuzzy, or if there are lost connections. Similarly, you will lose them if you, as presenter, need to stop your webinar to take time to attend to technical matters.

First of all, make sure that your web conferencing software is up to the task, and has all the features you will need. Then, make sure your bandwidth is adequate to handle the best webinar software. Lastly, make sure you are familiar with all of webinars and their features and know how to use them, and ideally, have somebody off-camera available to attend to technical issues of webinars such as adjusting the camera angle or enabling features.

2.Add some interactive elements to your webinars.

Your webinar is primarily a one-way presentation, but you can keep your audience’s attention by strategically using collaborative webinar tools such as instant messaging or a phone bridge for question-and-answer sessions. Additionally, the best webinar tools, such as periodic polls and surveys, can keep it lively and give you the opportunity for instant feedback that can add to your presentation. If you do hold a question-and-answer session during your webinar, be sure to keep the conversation moving and don’t let any one person dominate the session. Limit each participant to one or two questions, and don’t let them take over the webinar with their own opinions.

3. It’s important to keep your audience engaged after webinars as well as during.

After webinars, follow-up is vital. People tend to have a short attention span, and they will get distracted an hour after it’s over and move onto something else. Provide attendees with a follow-up package that may include printed material, Powerpoints, or e-books that reinforce your message, and provide something of added value. Send them an email thanking them for attending the webinar, and remind them of the next event. And lastly, make yourself available after webinars for calls, questions, or other types of interaction.

4. Noise-proof your presentation area.

Be prepared to give professional webinars. Your presentation area should be neat and professional, and clear of clutter.  Mute your cell phone so it doesn’t ring in the middle of your presentation, and lock the door so you don’t have people walking into the camera view while you’re presenting your webinars. Eliminate any background noise to the best of your ability, including telephones, nearby conversations, etc. Try to find area that are as isolated as possible so nothing interferes with your webinars.

5. Be prepared.

Spend some time ahead of time practicing your delivery, so that it will be smooth and well-delivered. Run through the technical end of webinars as well, to make sure you know ahead of time how everything works. And make sure that your voice is clear and can be easily heard and understood by your audience.

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