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6 Proven Techniques to Keep Attendees Engaged

Author: Create Webinar Team

6 Proven Techniques to Keep Attendees Engaged

A webinar is an online video seminar, where the host uses the internet to connect with a group of people to give lectures, presentations, discuss information or hold workshops.

There are user-friendly webinar platforms, such as CreateWebinar.com, that allow you to reach your audience all over the world. People use webinars for various purposes.

Lecturers create webinars to give educational presentations, businesses advertise their goods and services, conduct live interviews through webinars, and bloggers use them to exchange information in real-time.

Webinar platforms are designed with audio and video streaming solutions, so they are a great way to get closer with your online audience.

That’s why webinars are having a golden moment these days. They have become a very popular communication tool in business and academic spheres, so it is important to know how to create interesting and dynamic webinars.

A webinar that you host can easily turn into a dull online meeting if you do not put some effort. Usually, the general process of hosting a webinar is predictable and, in most cases, it goes like this:

  1. Hosts advertise their webinars to attract their audience. If the topic is interesting and relevant, many people will attend your webinar.

  2. After the date is set, some hosts may provide a summary of the webinar program and other relevant information to attendees. Others might simply rely on the promising headline to get people interested.

  3. On the day of the webinar, the host and the attendees connect and the presentation is started.

  4. The host demonstrates the slides and talks about the topic. Discussions may or may not happen. While the host concentrates on what he is going to say next, the audience might easily get bored. Plus, people will become even more disappointed if the webinar content is not as valuable as they were expecting.

  5. Finally, the host concludes his speech and presentation, and no discussion follows after that. Most of the attendees will be very much displeased to not have their questions answered, and it will feel like watching a recorded video tutorial.

If this scenario is familiar to you, then you definitely don’t want to make your audience feel the same.

In case that you have planned to host a webinar with a particular purpose, and you want it to be memorable and effective, you should use some tools to make your presentation persuasive and to captivate listeners.

Below we introduce you 6 proven techniques to keep webinar attendees engaged

Keep your content relevant to the topic

Remember that attendees join your webinar because of the topic, and stay because of the content. Hence, you should provide your audience with quality info. Before dialing-in to a webinar, prepare a meaningful presentation or a structured lecture on your topic. Your tools and devices should be reliable and up to date as well.

When developing quality content, think about who are your attendees and what they value. Your content should be specific and should be able to provide answers to the main questions of your audience.

Having engaging and informative slides for display is essentially important if your camera is turned off and the audience does not see you. It will get boring for the attendees to stare at the screen where no visual content is demonstrated.

CreateWebinar.com provides useful webinar tools for drawing and writing on a whiteboard with a possibility to upload your PDF presentation to go over the slides during the webinar.

Improve your public speaking skills

Public speaking skills are crucial especially in case of webinars when the presentation quality mostly relies on the speaker’s ability to communicate and motivate others to participate in a discussion.

Here are the main aspects the host should pay attention to:

• Fluency of speech.

Practice your speech as much as possible to avoid unnecessary pauses. Too many pauses in speech can turn it into dead air. During your presentation you do need those “dramatic pauses” to make your speech more intriguing, however, do not overuse them. Fluent speech is a pleasure to hear. Moreover, unprepared and unpracticed public speech may lead to misunderstanding of content in the audience.

• Telling a story.

Your speech should sound genuine and real to the audience. Back up your points with valid arguments. From time to time you can use examples from personal experience. As a host, you can also explain your arguments by referring to the audience and let them bring their examples.

Try to get to know your audience, their intentions and expectations from the webinar. Knowing who is in your audience can help you to come up with a story that is relatable to them. This will help you in your choice of words and other aspects of your speech.

• Modulate your voice.

It is not enough just to say the right things, we also need to pay attention to how we say them. The audience can get an impression on how you feel about what you say from the tone of your voice.

Your voice should be audible for the attendees. Modulate your voice so that it is not too low or too high. As the main speaker during the webinar, the host should have a pleasant speaking tone. Monotonous speech can make the audience want to sleep.

• Body language.

If your camera is turned on and the audience can see you, you should use your body language for better information transfer. Body language also helps as to express your feelings about the topic. When your face appears on the screen, the attendees should not feel that you are uncomfortable, nervous or disconnected, so try to control your facial expressions.

One of the most important nonverbal signals is eye-contact. It is important to look directly into people’s eyes when talking to them, as it forms a connection. In this case, it would mean looking into the camera.

Interact with your audience and encourage participation.

• Webinar platforms have various tools to keep the host and attendees connected, even before starting the actual webinar hosting. For instance, CreateWebinar.com allows the members to send invitations to their attendees via e-mail, share their desktop during the webinar meeting, and organize Q&A session in the end.

It is equally important to ask relevant questions during the webinar. This will create interaction between you and the audience.

• Q&A sessions are important as well, as the attendees have a chance to ask questions, express their opinions and clarify some points that were not clear for them. Make sure to arrange some time for answering your audience’s questions after the webinar is over.

Invite guest experts

If you are the only one who presents the information, manages and supervises the audience, the attendees will start to feel like listening to a monologue or a personal podcast. Invite other experts and create a panel discussion. Different opinions and perspectives of professionals will create a diversity of insights.

For instance, if you are advertising a product to a group of customers via webinar, you can invite a customer who has already used that product and is satisfied with their experience. Hence, their review and opinion will be valuable to the audience, as they are also customers.

Choose the best person that can be on-camera, who speaks with confidence and is well-informed about the discussion topic. The guest should give some insider knowledge or deliver a special story that can impress attendees.

The guest can either be present right where you are, or they can join the webinar online conference just like all other attendees. As a host, you can send an invitation to them by e-mail.

Know how to ask and answer the questions

The right timing for asking and answering the questions is a key strategy to keep the audience engaged. Even in the case of an informative presentation, the audience tends to easily get tired from the long session. This is the perfect time to start asking questions to bring back the audience’s attention.

When you feel like the attendees are starting to distract from the presentation or are getting tired, ask for their opinion on the discussed topic or an example from their experience.

If you are introducing a product to a potential clientele and they have a question during your presentation, it is better to answer immediately as it can be directly connected to the product. Likewise, if the purpose of the webinar is teaching, answering the questions right away will clear up any misunderstanding.

And finally, avoid any technical issues

Online workshops and training require some technical preparation. If you want your webinar to go on without any difficulties make sure you are well-prepared on the technical side. You may need to make several tests before you start the web meeting.

For hosting flawless webinars, you need to have:

• A high-quality audio
• A high-quality microphone
• A high-quality camera
• A strong internet connection
• Visible slide deck presentations

CreateWebinar.com has a simple and easy-to-use interface and gives detailed instructions on how to create and host webinars through their platform. Just follow the steps to schedule and customize your webinar settings.

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