How To Make Webinars More Interactive – I’ve attended too many webinars to give an accurate count. Like anything else, there were those that were engaging and interesting and there were, of course, others that were rather boring, predictable, and even suspicious.
First, let’s review the typical flow of most webinars. To make things interesting, we’ll start at the very top:
How To Make Webinars More Interactive
Conclusion: most webinars are organized with the obvious and sole purpose of selling a product. In general, this approach tends to create mistrust and low engagement with participants.
Tips To Create And Host A Successful Webinar
Delivering an engaging and dynamic webinar that captivates your audience isn’t easy. However, if you think creatively, you can stand out as an authority and deliver compelling and engaging webinars.
Teaching is an integral part of most webinars, even in the most outrageous sales pitches. When it comes to eLearning, gamification has become a big trend.
Gamification refers to using the fun and addictive elements found in games and applying them in non-gaming contexts. You can apply gamification techniques to many different aspects of your webinar, including:
Get people moving, motivating them and motivating them to join the webinar. How many people do you think would want to sit at their desk for a 45 minute to 1 hour webinar?
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Send participants to find information whether on the web (to search for images, videos, answers, etc.), at their desk or at home, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that they come together to share their findings during the session and spark discussion in the process.
It’s important to realize that you really don’t need to go beyond that. Admittedly, most of the above will require pre-made games. Although there are several games designed for online learning, a simple quiz is often enough for most people.
Dynamic visuals are very important for maintaining engagement and attention. Nothing compels attendees to check their Facebook like a series of boring PowerPoint slides. Given today’s technology, there are simply too many tools that can be used to create stunning and powerful slide decks to be stuck using old PowerPoint slides. That’s not to say you shouldn’t use slides, but if you do, add some flair.
Keep in mind that the object of the game is to support the points you put forward and to support your script. It shouldn’t be the script itself. As such, the game is simply there to provide supporting evidence and keep people engaged. If you use the game as a teleprompter, the audience will start wondering what value you are adding to the presentation.
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Prezi: The dynamic nature of Prezi sets it apart from most presentation software. You’ll be hard pressed to find a better app for creating visually appealing interactive presentations.
Canva: Image format slides allow you to create more engaging presentations. Canva lets you customize images with bold backgrounds and images.
Along with choosing the right software, make sure your deck is content-rich, with chat, infographics, caricatures, cartoons, and similar visuals.
Following a trend is almost human nature, especially if the trend is brewing in some form of controversy. People crave information about what’s current, “hot” or popular. That doesn’t mean you have to focus the entire webinar on a hot topic. Instead, incorporate hot topics into your webinar to keep content fresh and up-to-date.
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Culturally relevant agenda items grab your guests’ attention a lot when they quickly scan your schedule at the start of the event. Who wouldn’t want to know why the name of one of your sessions is “What the Golden State Warriors Can Teach You About Webinars”? !
It’s even better if you’re able to provide cutting-edge information about what’s going to happen around the corner. This way, you’ll keep your audience ahead of the game and build authority within your space. Plus, it’s the type of conference material your audience can go home with excitement.
Sometimes webinars can feel a bit lonely, like it’s just you and the presenter. This is especially true for webinars that don’t involve much interaction with the audience. A good way to create a livelier and more lively webinar experience for your guests is to include a panel discussion.
A panel of experts discussing a topic and contributing their own opinions/insights will attract many visitors looking for varied and rich content. Of course, it’s important to have a host or moderator skilled enough to keep the conversation moving and on topic.
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It’s also important to remember that this is not a radio talk show. Make sure the roundtable is dynamic and visual by leveraging additional tools like webcams and virtual Q&As. Personalize your guest experience by including the audience in the discussion with Group Chats with Host/Panel.
Want to take panels a step further? Divide your audience into small groups and put them on “panels” with their peers. Use virtual focus groups to bring the roundtable experience to your audience and allow each of them to be an expert.
For starters, few presenters actually use video, and of those that do, most put little to no effort into how video adds to their event.
One of the most popular forms of video is live video. Facebook Live and Periscope proved it. With your webinar, you can:
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Important Event Live Stream: Are there any exciting milestones or events you can schedule the webinar around? Maybe your product will reach 10,000 subscribers or you are about to launch a new feature or your website is about to reach 5,000 daily visitors. Either way, if your audience is interested, they will share it.
Live Performance: For webinars that are otherwise technical, even a little mixing of the arts can go a long way. Maybe you sing, write poems, play an instrument, or something similar. If you are able to merge your webinar content with an introductory performance, your audience will definitely appreciate it.
Conduct Instant Polls: You’ll recall we talked about sparking interest with important/controversial news topics. Take it a step further to create engaging polls with compelling questions.
The important step here is to display the tabulated results directly on the screen. It’s very important that you give prospects the opportunity to see how other participants have responded to surveys. There are several online surveys that will allow you to create surveys. PollEverywhere, SurveyMonkey and MaestroConference’s new visual polls are good examples. Keep in mind that it’s important to ask value-added questions that really get prospects thinking, questions that will resonate with your audience.
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Surprises: Surprises are the spice of life. Keep surprising your audience and you’ll keep them glued to the screen.
Early Giveaways: Of course, you want to keep visitors online until after your event. Plus, you want to reward people who stick around. Take a moment to consider that you need to do a lot of upfront work to get people to stay online from the start of your event.
Why not kick off the webinar with an exciting giveaway? Yes, from the start. You may think it’s best to delay prizes until attendees are well into the webinar, but the benefit of offering prizes upfront with the promise of other prizes later will create a prolonged interest from the start.
Graphical aids go a long way in explaining complex ideas. Over the years, education in action has proven to be mobilizing for learners. That’s why it’s important to provide content that everyone can learn and benefit from.
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Take the time to create simulation and animation content that properly illustrates vague or complex concepts. Note that this does not mean PowerPoint animations. There are several websites and software that allow you to create animation as a novice. When it comes to simulations, there are several freelancers who are extremely good at breaking down ideas and processes into useful and more digestible simulations.
The traditional way of hosting webinars where you talk and your audience listens (or doesn’t listen) is fast disappearing. Staying ahead means thinking creatively, implementing strategies your attendees will enjoy, and sharing content that will stay with your audience long after your event is over.
Now that you know how to produce a more impactful webinar by adding a little creativity, it’s time to learn how you can start driving traffic to your webinars.
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Imagine this: you are in a conference room full of participants. You get a boring keynote speech and panel discussions where the speakers focus more on listening to each other than interacting with the audience.
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