Our moderators at BeaconLive have noticed the building phenomena all too well, another unfortunate side effect of the pandemic known as “webinar fatigue” wherein viewers become disinterested toward the sheer volume of virtual content required to safely engage with their colleagues.
Many clients with BeaconLive work with us strictly for continuing education, with viewers having no choice but to watch regardless of how droll or known the content may be. They click presence codes, take quizzes; this can potentially lead to resting on one’s laurels when it comes to engaging content creation and presentation. So how does one create a great webinar? Here are a few tips from the moderators, who monitor many webinars per day, about what events make them sit at attention!
Set Time Limits
Set a time and keep to it. Research shows that the most popular length for a webinar is 45 minutes. With the ability to log off at any time, you want to focus on quality over quantity with your content to keep engagement up. People will often schedule a webinar into a busy work day so it is important that you are conscious of the time you’ve asked people to set aside.
You should provide your audience members with an agenda for the webinar when they register and at the beginning of the event. Make sure to leave at least 10 mins at the end of your event for Q&A and any wrap-up conversations. Setting a time limit and sticking to your schedule is a great way for your audience to know what to plan for, expect and commit to and will in turn allow them to be more engaged with the time they’ve already set aside.
Include Interactive Features
Including interactive elements such as public chat, Q&A, polling, breakout rooms and even making personal remarks are necessary ways to humanize your webinar. You are able to maintain audience engagement - the key to creating a lively and interesting event.
Interactive features can allow for your audience members to speak out and engage in ways they might have been apprehensive about beforehand. As a recent Harvard Business Review article points out, “learners may in fact be more engaged than they might have been at an in-person meeting because of the available interactive chat and Q&A functions. In years past, younger surgeons and those with language barriers have often been more reluctant than others to come to the microphone in a large auditorium, but this year they frequently engaged in the online discussion during presentations.”
Keep Slides Simple
Keep slides simple without text-rich information and present those points naturally. You want the visuals that you show to be engaging, appealing and complementary to the info that you are speaking about. If your slides are too distracting or contain too much information, your audience members will either tune you out and begin reading what’s on the screen or tune the screen out and potentially miss valuable information.
If you have additional presentation materials with info you definitely want your audience members to get, consider attaching them as a downloadable resource on your event platform. Your audience members can refer back to that info later and can dive deeper into the content once your presentation is over.
As you can see here, all BeaconLive webinars and virtual events offer a place directly on the platform for audience members to download additional resources like PDFs, videos, audio, slidedecks, etc.
Offer Your Program OnDemand
Consider offering your program On Demand for attendees to view at their own convenience. Utilizing OnDemand delivery is becoming increasingly popular as organizations understand the benefits of asynchronous learning and the easy ability to recycle and monetize their valuable content.
You can work towards building an OnDemand catalog that hosts all of your webinars, recorded virtual events and hosted media in a central repository for your viewers to access whenever and wherever they want.
In order for successful delivery, you will need to create content and build engagement. You can do this by asking seeded questions from your target audience through polls and surveys or by pulling in company members to help in content creation.
Encouraging participation and feedback during the live event is a great way to gauge where your audience’s interests are and see what content keeps them engaged. Ask them: What more on this topic would you like to learn about? What was the most valuable thing you learned from this webinar? Is there anything we missed when covering this topic?
Utilize Your BeaconLive Event Producer
Your BeaconLive event producer would LOVE to help brainstorm the best strategy for your company in creating the best webinars possible. We don’t just say we are a fully-managed service, we really do enjoy helping our clients deliver the best possible content. We will help implement interactive features as well as organize the schedule and flow of your webinar.