Storytelling is not limited to the "creative world" only, there's a serious need for it in the technological sector if we want to understand how a product or service has the power to change our lives.
The story approach is effective because it can take something "boring" and "mechanical" and give it enough context for us to understand how it can affect our everyday life. This approach is used numerous times throughout advertising history, such as in the case of the washer machine where an inanimate objects as big and clunky (as the washer machine) was powerful enough to revolutionize women's homemaking experience: the machine was not sold for what it could do, because women already did it without it, it was sold for the way it could change our homemaking story.
We believe online education and webinars have a story to be told too, and thus, have gathered 3 ways on how you can bring your webinar content to life:
- Every good story has an interesting theme: Is your webinar topic interesting? Not many are, and that's ok! Simply find a way to relate a movie, song, or anything that is fun and interesting and tie it back to your content. We recently did it with a marketing webinar titled, "The Good, the Bad, and The Ugly of Marketing Webinars". We borrowed the title and theme from the 1960's western starring Clint Eastwood, and photoshoped a few stills from the movie to create fun images that both caught attention and promoted our event --turning something seemingly boring into an interesting learning experience. People love pop culture references!
- Show off your protagonist: A good story appeals to us when we can relate to the main character, even when fantasy is involved. Your webinar may not have a 'hero' but it sure does have a protagonist: your speaker. Create a strong connection between your audience and your protagonist by introducing your speaker as a resource, a guide; someone they can approach before and after the event. Do this by encouraging social media engagement and having your speaker share their own personal story in relation to the material they are teaching (their obstacles, how they gained their new knowledge, what they would have done differently, what worked and what didn't).
- Connect with people in the language they understand best: stories are easy and fun to follow because they are descriptive and colorful, unlike some webinars out there that rely on dry business-like language to keep an audience engaged for a full hour --how realistic is that? "To free business content from the 'feature this, function that' humdrum, top marketing execs need to [...] leverage stories to move their message from unremarkable to extraordinary" (Forrester). Sure, there is some terminology and jargon that comes with every industry but try to use it as little as possible and stick to a more casual approach. If your webinar story is too technical or doesn't clearly define the problem and the solution, you will lose your audience.
There are many other elements about storytelling with webinars that we could continue writing about, but the three discussed above are what we consider the most "noticeable" as they set the tone for how interesting or boring the event is going to be. To learn how you can improve your webinar delivery further, watch "The Good, the Bad, and The Ugly of Marketing Webinars" OnDemand.