6 Tips for a Successful Webinar

Woman in Webinar

How Do You Host an Effective Webinar?

The global pandemic has forced companies to cancel in-person events and substitute them with virtual experiences. As a result, webinars have seen a resurgence in popularity over the last several months.

Webinars are used as a vehicle to present documents such as videos, voice notes and presentations. They give businesses the opportunity to educate customers or attendees about the value of a specific product. They also allow attendees to put a face to the name and build personal relationships in real-time, even if it’s not in-person. Primarily utilized to educate potential customers, webinars can assist in captivating a large audience in addition to generating leads for your business.

So how do you host an effective webinar? Start by following the best practices below:

Know its use

Webinars have plenty of uses and are applicable to any industry where communicating to an audience is a key factor for professional success. Before you schedule a webinar, decide what your goal is. Are you educating the audience about your business? Are you demonstrating your product to customers or generating leads for your business? The end goal should be a deciding factor of how the presentation will unfold.

Keep it short, but informative

It’s becoming increasingly harder to keep your audience’s attention for longer periods of time. Keep your presentation to an hour at most and leave room for Q&A at the end. If you don’t have enough time for a Q&A, be sure to include contact information so attendees can reach out to you post-webinar.

Don’t generalize

Hosting a webinar that presents information on a general topic is less likely to have an increased turnout. Choosing a highly specific topic that allows you to go into detail will make it easier for your audience to stay focused. As such, it minimizes the chance of skewing away from the topic at hand and avoids tangents.

Pick the proper presenter

Webinars are a great tool to use to position your company as an authority in your industry, which is why it’s important to confirm a subject matter expert that is skilled and knowledgeable in the field. Ensure that your presenter is well-versed in the topic and is comfortable presenting and talking on camera.

Formatting is key

The complexity of the chosen subject and subject matter expert availability should inform your format choice. Will you have two speakers? Will it be a Q&A style or a panel discussion with several guests and a moderator? Once that’s decided, begin creating a PowerPoint presentation that best fits the chosen topic. Taking into account the webinar style, the presentation deck or format should emphasize the points you intend to make and use as much data and evidence as possible.

Practice makes progress

Technology is great when it works. Although we’ve come a long way with technological advances, it’s important to test the equipment beforehand and prepare for any technical glitches to ensure the webinar will run smoothly. Do at least one run-through before the live event to ensure that each presenter knows what’s expected of them and that all technology is functioning correctly.

Webinars are a powerful tool that can help educate customers, generate leads and continue to develop personal relationships with all customers. By following these best practices, webinars can help increase brand awareness, position your business as a thought leader in the industry and increase customer interaction.

Jessie Koerner is a Senior Account Executive at Mulberry Marketing Communications, an award-winning full-service B2B communications agency based in Chicago, London and Australia. She has a deep passion for media relations, strategic PR and marketing campaign planning and content creation.