Create ultimate engagement with your online training

In recent times, many business owners have seized the opportunity to educate and connect with their target market online via webinars.

It’s been an essential tool for those wanting to keep their business going and growing – especially when you can’t run face-to-face workshops.
But many people are falling into the same trap. Old-school death by PowerPoint.

I’ve been doing a lot of webinars via Zoom lately – and have been getting lots of positive feedback.
I’ve learnt a lot throughout the process and wanted to share my key learnings with you today.

So let’s jump in and get started!

 

 

NOTES (AKA a rough transcript…but I often went off script!)

In today’s episode, I’m talking about webinars.

Up until around April this year, I’d never done one before. But now I’ve done about 20!

As I’ve mentioned previously, I was meant to run all these workshops on behalf of City of Parramatta – but moved them online to keep the money rolling in.

Yes, I was stepping out of my comfort zone. But that’s something I do fairly regularly these days!

But running webinars has been an extremely effective tool for many reasons, which I’ll go into shortly.

Why are webinars an effective marketing tool?
Webinars are a great way to showcase your expertise and engage with potential clients. But that’s not all.

There are many other benefits, for example:

* You can create a great piece of content that you can turn into an ebook, multiple social media posts, or expand into an online course.

* You can generate warm sales leads

* They are cost effective – you don’t need heaps of expensive equipment, you can run them from home, and the software is low cost (Zoom is only $25 per month)

* It provides a personalised teaching platform – it’s a two way form of interaction. Not one way like a podcast.

* Allow you to build trust with your potential customers – or retain connections with current clients.

Paid or free?
Currently, there’s a lot of free content out there – so you might find it difficult to charge for a 1-2 hour webinar.
But going forward – things will probably change and you can start offering low cost webinars, like $5 or $27 even.
It all comes down to the way you promote it and the value you’re offering.

What type of content do I include?
Speaking of value, I recommend offering as much value as possible during the session.
In the old school webinar format, the platform is just used for giving potential customers just a teaser of what you offer.
In other words, addressing their pain points, getting them onboard, then only lightly touching upon the solutions. Sorry – if you want to know more, then you gotta pay!
I was listening to a podcast recently which talked about giving so much value within your free offerings – whether it’s a webinar, ebook, or another lead magnet – that people feel like they would have been happy to pay for it.
You want them to think ‘Woah, if I can get this type of awesome insight for free – I wonder what I’d get from the paid offering!’
It puts a sweet taste in their mouth and interested in connecting further with you.
Rather than feeling pressured to continue working with you to get results.
Your aim is to ensure everyone is feeling happy at the end!

How to prepare
To begin with, you need to:
choose your software (I’m mostly familiar with Zoom and will be referring to it today, but there’s also GotoWebinar, WebinarJam and others that work just as well.
* Ensure you have a working microphone
* A good internet connection
* Speakers
* And an audience!
The audience part can be attracted via a number of ways – by featuring upcoming webinars on your website, emailing your contact lists, and spreading the word on social media.
Of course, you can also invest in Facebook ads if you’d like to go down that path.

Using slides
A webinar typically features the use of slides – like Powerpoint. But you might have another software you prefer to use.
I recently attended a fantastic webinar on webinars – like this one – by Dr Rich Allen. And it completely opened my mind up on how to best use this platform.
He advised that you can only capture someone’s attention on a webinar for around 7 minutes. So you need to allow lots of breaks to digest the content and avoid distraction.
If someone is learning something new, they need to be as focused as possible!
Based on his tips and my prior knowledge, I recommend:
Featuring a TV graphic like I’ve done and put it on the same spot on every slide

Limiting the words to one sentence maximum per slide – less if possible!
This is because your viewers will find it hard to concentrate on what you’re saying if they’re reading off the screen and possibly taking notes at the same time!
If you need to feature more words, or an infographic, pause and allow them to read what’s on the screen before proceeding!
Break up the slideshow with full screen pictures. It gives the brain a rest from concentrating on words.

You can also feature blank screens at times for this same reason.

How to run an engaging session
As I mentioned earlier, it can be tricky to keep people engaged for long periods of time.

So one of my tips is to show your true personality as much as possible.
Don’t get freaked out by how many people have tuned in.
They’ve joined you for a reason. They WANT to hear what you have to say.
I also like to break the ice by casually chatting with everyone at the beginning. It takes you off that pedestal and shows you’re a real person – just like them.
You want to be relatable and likable. So don’t be afraid to be silly and make mistakes during your presentation. You might even grow some brownie points by showing your humanity!

I incorporate thinking music and silence.
Don’t feel you must talk non-stop for the whole session! I actually fell into this trap myself with my first few weeks of the recent online course – and I answered all questions at the end.
I thought I’d be put off by answering questions in the middle. But if you allow the space for it, like I have today, it actually works out okay.
And by being silent and giving people thinking time, it gives you a moment to gather your thoughts, rest your voice, have a drink, and prepare yourself for the upcoming section.

You need to get people moving.

I.e. Asking everyone to get up and source an object from their room, home, or office that describes how they’re feeling about everything they’ve learnt so far.
For example, you might ask them to get a clock or coffee cup – to describe how much this information has woken you up.
Or a guitar to represent this information as music to their ears.
Or an iron – because the session has really ironed out their uncertainties around webinars.

I invite my attendees to be as creative as they can be.

The chatbox is a fantastic tool and safe place for people to ask questions or offer feedback on what’s been said. So make sure you’re encouraging its use!

I actually made the initial mistake of saying I’d answer all questions at the end. This was based on popular feedback I received from others.
I was told answering questions throughout the presentation can make the presenter lose their flow and concentration.

And that makes sense.

But you only lose your flow and concentration if you don’t make time and space for questions – and just answer them willy nilly!

You need to allow gaps in your presentation for attendees to address questions frequently to ensure they’re following along. If you only answer questions at the end, anyone who has questions will continue to feel a sense of uncertainty until the end!

You might have experienced this yourself in the past.

Adding breakout rooms is a great tool as well. It gives your attendees the opportunity to discuss their learnings so far with others – which helps cement everything in their brain!

And that brings us to the end of today. If you have any follow up questions, feel free to email me.

RESOURCES

Mable May (Music I use on my webinars)

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