Are you prepared to deliver success? Investing time and money into delivering your content professionally is no longer a cheap and easy task. If you want your content, ideas, and knowledge to be picked up by someone who sees their tremendous value (and is willing to invest time and money), then you want to create a long-lasting impression. Its sink or swim time.
Think of your webinar presentation as if each audience member is one of the hosts on the popular Shark Tank show. They all want something from you, so you have to deliver your content clearly, persuasively, and in an interesting manner. To help you out, we’ve come up with 8 ways to turn your webinar into a Shark Tank worthy presentation.
- Give a good first impression. The first 30 seconds of your webinar will set the tone and pace of the hour ahead. Don't waste this time selling your product/service, but rather quickly introduce yourself and the agenda for the hour ahead. Providing thought-provoking content up-front gives the audience something to think about or look forward to. Rather than breaking the ice with a joke, we suggest giving a staggering statistic or asking a thought-provoking question that you will discuss at a later point during the event.
- Test before you jump. Dipping your toes into the ocean before jumping is smarter than you think, as is practicing the delivery of your presentation. Do a tech run with your event moderator using the webinar platform just as you would do a full dress rehearsal of your Shark Tank episode in front of your family. Work out all the kinks for the potential unplanned mishaps. Keep in mind jumping into a webroom without preparing is not only obvious to the sharks, but it will make them mad.
- Slow and Steady wins the race. Timing during a webinar is just as important as the content you want to deliver. If you are running over in time, plan for what sections could be cut from the presentation. Always ask the event moderator if there is a possibility of staying longer to answer questions, if necessary. Keep an eye on the clock as you deliver the content, and if you feel you have reached a new section of the webinar earlier than you anticipated, consider throwing out a poll to re-engage the audience's attention before moving on. Quickly rushing through your presentation will only alert the Sharks to your fear.
- Stay agile. Flexibility is important during webinars, especially if you are emphasizing that your event will be engaging. If a Shark has a question during your presentation, consider answering it during a transition between sections of the event. Keep in mind, if you plan to engage with the audience with polls, surveys and questions during the event, your presentation should be created with agility in mind as well, sections should be shorter, and you should be able to cut areas to fit within your promised time frame.
- Sharks like stories, just ask Jaws. Sharks love to hear a narrative about an antagonist with a conflict, and how they will solve their problems in the hour ahead. Craft your content into a story that flows throughout the length of the presentation. This will help you in developing an introduction, a story, and a conclusion of your ideas – which the Sharks will appreciate.
- Choose your language wisely. Real sharks may rely on non-verbal cues more than sound, but the sharks in your audience speak a more familiar language (luckily). However, keep in mind that you are the content matter expert so your audience may not speak at the same level as you. Avoid using laymen’s terms or buzz words, and simplify the way you tell your story.
- Be prepared for the Sharks. Consider all the questions that the audience might ask -even the ones you might not know how to answer. To get started during the webinar Q&A, provide the moderator with a few seeded questions that you know how to answer, and that will re-emphasize your expertise in the subject. Keep in mind that if a Shark asks you a direct question, give them a direct answer. If you don't know the answer, be honest and tell them you will find the answer and get back to them. (This could also provide you with a great follow up email, blog and conversation with the attendee after the event is over).
- Don't let your audience walk away empty handed. Often on Shark Tank, the Sharks (audience) are given a sample of whatever the company is selling. Give your audience a free book or white paper on the subject you will be discussing. Or provide them with a recording of the event (or slide deck) to reference after the event is over.
Whether you are delivering a presentation in front of 5 business power houses, 150 students, or 500 prospective clients, you should prepare your presentation for your audience, so they don't eat you alive during the Q&A (or worse, leave your webinar before its over). Always remember that your professionalism comes through the computer, and that the Sharks (or the audience) want you to succeed, because when you succeed, they succeed.
Interested in learning more about webinar presenting? Check out our free OnDemand webinar, The New Rules of Webinar Presenting in 2015