By Christina Aiello
So, you’ve decided to host a webinar. Great idea! Webinars are a perfect way to generate top-notch leads and can help you build stronger relationships with your existing customers.
But hosting a successful webinar? Now that’s a whole different ballgame. If you want to host a webinar that’s worthwhile, there are a lot of moving parts that you’ll have to consider… and not to mention a plethora of things that could go wrong.
Sound intimidating? It is. But with the right preparation, we can ensure you don’t make any mistakes that could lead to a kind of, well, crappy webinar experience for your listeners.
Here are 5 things you should-absolutely-not-do when preparing for/hosting a webinar. Unless, of course, you want to permanently scar your audience (yeah, didn’t think so). Drumroll, please…
1. Promoting Your Event
Don’t let all your hard work go to waste by hosting a webinar that no one attends. To get “butts in seats” you need to leverage all of your marketing channels to get the word out. We’re talking email, social media, website, blog, PPC ads, and any other creative channels you can use to spread the word. These are great ways to promote your event and bring in the audience you’re looking to attract.
2. Not Practicing Your Webinar Beforehand
Pshh, who needs practice? Oh, wait, everyone. It doesn’t matter if you’re a public speaking guru – everyone needs to practice before hosting a live webinar, especially if your co-presenting with a colleague or influencer. Do a dry run or two before the webinar so you have time to work out any kinks or issues that may arise during the real thing. Practicing will make you feel more confident and will ensure you know the information you are presenting like the back of your hand.
3. Not Reminding People About Your Webinar
Send an email reminder at least one week before the webinar reminding registrants when and where the webinar is and include some teaser content to keep them excited about attending. Be sure to include a direct link to the webinar on the day of so it’s easy for them to log in, and write up a short reminder of the webinar’s topic and the value it will provide.
4. Not Editing Your Slide Deck
You’re running a webinar for a reason – so your attendees don’t have to look at a bunch of words and a real live human can explain it to them instead! But when webinar slides are cluttered with content, attendees spend all their time reading instead of absorbing what is actually being articulated. To avoid overwhelming your audience, select images or statistics that are easy to digest and compliment the message you’re trying to convey.
5. Not Interacting with Your Audience
A significant benefit of attending and hosting webinars is the ability to interact with your audience. You might consider: sending out polls and surveys during and after the webinar, using your webinar platform’s chat function to field questions during the webinar, keeping the conversation going on social media by using a webinar hashtag, etc. These examples are great ways to keep your audience engaged and fall out to a minimum.
Hosting a webinar can be intimidating. But, if you avoid these 5 mistakes, your webinar will totally and unequivocally rock.
What else makes for a terrible, awful, no good, very bad webinar? Share your horror stories in the comments below (so we can all learn from them).
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