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5 Pitfalls To Avoid When Running Webinars

Matt Tobin
03-May-2017 14:25:51

Everyone preparing a webinar makes mistakes from time to time.

Not repeating them is the key to running successful online events in the future.

But what about avoiding them completely? Here are 5 of the most common pitfalls to avoid when running an online presentation.

Multitask business man with lots of post-its.jpeg

Little or no marketing time

It’s incredibly common to become so caught up in actually creating an impressive event, that you suddenly realise your go live date has pretty much arrived!

By this point, it's a little too late. Starting to promote your webinar a week before it commences, is a recipe for total disaster.

You’ll hardly have time to send one email to your subscription base to rustle up some last-minute attendees, let along make any significant impact on social media.

Instead, incorporate plenty of marketing time into your project plan.

At WorkCast, we recommend you spend at least two weeks promoting the webinar, before the air date. But that’s a conservative estimate.

Once  you have a title, approved and signed off of course, it’s time to begin promoting.

Poor audio

In the business world, there are few things more annoying than attending a webinar that has poor audio quality.

In fact, nothing turns attendees off more than sound that’s too muffled, quiet or scratchy. Luckily, there are a few ways to prevent poor audio from becoming a huge issue.

  • Use a handset - While technology advances have made it tempting to go for a handsfree option when presenting, using a handset provides the most direct and reliable connection.
  • Sit alone - If you can, try and sit in a room by yourself during a presentation. Even if you have to bribe everyone in your open-plan office to stay quiet, it will always be better to sit in a room by yourself.
  • Mute your phone when not speaking - When multiple presenters are involved in your webinar, it’s vital you mute your phone when it’s not your turn to speak. This ensures zero feedback from your line and also means if you happen to sneeze during someone else’s segment, it won’t be picked up!
  • Speak clearly - Think back to your school days and annunciate those vowels and consonants! If you mumble or rush your words, the audience will inevitably pick up on it and become frustrated that they can’t understand what’s being said.

Text-heavy presentations

Content is the most important part of an entire online event. It’s essential to avoid ‘death by powerpoint’ with text-heavy slides.

They key to a successful presentation, is to remember that it’s exactly that; A Presentation.

Use your slides to support what your presenter(s) is saying, but try to avoid simply repeating what is written on the slides word-for-word.

Webinars that consist of multitudes of text and very little else, usually tend to be the ones that engage attendees the least.

Include as many animations, colours and multimedia content as possible.

Obviously don’t go overboard and create a completely psychedelic presentation, with animations for every single word, but try and create a slide deck that is more than just black text on a plain white background.

Not keeping your audience in mind

The audience are the ones listening to the webinar you’ve created. Don’t simply push them to the back of your mind during the creation process, they should be at the forefront!

Aim to hold their interest by including interactive aspects to your presentation:

  • Debates
  • Polls
  • Q&A Sessions
  • Surveys

All excellent ways to involve those in attendance and help engage them in what is being presented.

Similar to ‘text-heavy’ powerpoints, lack of audience participation is one of the main causes of webinar drop-offs during a presentation.

But, prompting viewers to participate during an online event, will ensure at least some engagement between yourself and the audience, hopefully meaning they walk away from your event thinking it was worthwhile attending.

Plus, it will help keep them awake if it’s a particularly long presentation!

Forgetting your on-demand

We can’t overemphasise the value that on-demand content can add to your webinars.

Not only does it extend the shelf-life of the content you’ve created, but it prolongs the opportunity for you to generate leads with that content.

Uploading a audio/video recording to your website, or even a company YouTube channel, keeps the webinar visible to the world long after its initial live screening.

Neglecting to have a recording means potentially valuable content will be lost.

You never know, that little tidbit of information you included in your script could’ve convinced a prospective lead, who couldn’t attend the live showing, to become a loyal customer!

Don’t miss out on that opportunity and upload a recording, on-demand.

Also, while we’re here, don’t forget everything else we’ve listed in this blog!

Avoid these 5 potential pitfalls and you’ll have an infinitely better chance of running a top-notch webinar!

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