[Updated for 2023]
Presenting a webinar is no walk in the park. Our digital events team helps to deliver thousands of webinars each year and we can assure you that just because someone is a subject matter expert, does not make them a great presenter.
48% of attendees have said that webinars were least enjoyable when there was a poor presenter, which is why it’s a good idea if you follow our webinar presentation best practices.
We have compiled a list of the top 10 tips every webinar presenter should know so that you can make sure your webinar presenters are equipped with the know-how to deliver an engaging and memorable presentation every time.
1. Be Passionate & Energetic
32% of attendees said they felt the most engaged when the webinar host was passionate and energetic, so encourage your webinar presenters to showcase their personality while presenting.
How do you do this? Well, you could start by acting natural and speaking in a more conversational way. Remember, webinar scripts were written to be spoken aloud, so ensure that they sound natural. You can do this by writing your script in short, punchy bullet points and reading it aloud, so it doesn’t feel like you’ve put another person’s words in your mouth.
Bringing some energy to your webinar presentation will also help to increase audience engagement and prevent drop-offs. Attendees would much rather spend an hour listening to an industry expert who is passionate about what they are saying, rather than some monotonous robot who is reading straight from a script.
2. Share Personal Experiences
Webinar presenters are selected for their real-world experience in the chosen topic, so if you’re presenting a webinar you should try and share some of your own personal experiences with the audience.
For example, you may want to share how you applied the theory you’re discussing to the workplace and the results this drove. This is information attendees can’t just learn in a textbook or blog post, which will lead to increased interaction, as it will likely prompt questions from the audience. Just ensure that your stories don’t veer too much off course, or if they do, try and rein it back in as soon as you can.
3. Encourage Audience Engagement
Audiences make judgments about you and your message in the first minute, so it’s important that you grab your audience’s attention in the first 60 seconds and encourage engagement to ensure they stick around.
If you’re running a webinar for 30 minutes or longer, you need to make the most of every second to keep your audience engaged throughout. You can do this by utilizing various interactive features, such as live polls, live chat, and a live Q&A at the end, so your audience can interact with you in real-time. This two-way interaction will help to break down the barriers between the audience and presenter, increase viewing time and improve attendee satisfaction.
Using rich media, such as images, GIFs and videos will also help to improve engagement - as 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual. The old saying goes: “a picture is worth a thousand words”, but when it comes to video, a 1-minute video is equal to 1.8 million words to your audience.
Learn how to create engaging webinar content in our free eBook >
4. Meet Audience Expectations
Meeting the expectations of your audience, or serving user intent, is integral to the success of your webinar. You want your audience to leave your webinar feeling as though they have invested 30-60 minutes of their life wisely - taking away some newfound knowledge, solutions, or inspiration.
You want to ensure that you deliver on your promises e.g. if in your webinar promotion, you guaranteed registrants you would teach them how to create a step-by-step email workflow, then make sure you deliver.
Gathering feedback is a great way to ensure that you have delivered a satisfactory webinar and met your attendees’ expectations. This can be done by simply sending a follow-up email asking: "How did we do?”.
5. Present to a Global Audience
“Good afternoon” may be an appropriate greeting where you are in the world, but it may not be for your global audience. Speak the language of your target audience and tailor your opening and closing statements to reflect the difference in time zones when presenting i.e. keep your intro open.
An example of an open introduction would include greetings, such as “welcome” or “hi everyone, thanks for attending”. That way you don’t alienate your audience by only greeting a small percentage of attendees and everyone is happy.
6. Keep Cool, Calm, and Collected
Plan for the worst and hope for the best. If you lose your internet connection or your phone gets cut off what are you going to do?
Making a plan A, B, and C ahead of the presentation will make any potential issues seem immediately less stressful. Always have a printed or local version of your slides with you, so you can continue to present if you experience any problems with your internet connection.
Remember, your moderator or fellow presenters can transition your slides for you while you log back in and if you lose your phone connection your moderator can come back online and keep the audience informed.
Above all, stay calm.
7. Look At The Camera, Not The Screen
Webinar presenters should look at their camera and not the screen because it can help to create a more personal and attentive experience for the audience.
When you look at your camera, it can help to create the illusion that you are looking directly at the attendees, which can help to create a sense of connection and can help to make your presentation more engaging.
Looking at your camera can help to reduce the temptation to read directly from your slides too, which can make your presentation more dynamic and interactive.
8. Be Punctual
We all like to be fashionably late, but this is not a party, this is a webinar. Make sure you show up on time, so you can start right at the scheduled time, without making your audience wait.
Always log in to your webinar platform at least 15 minutes before the scheduled starting time to ensure everything is working correctly, such as your mic, internet connection, and webcam. This is particularly important if you have international attendees who are tuning in from a different time zone and only have a small window of time to attend your live webinar.
Also, ensure that you remain within your allocated time. If you advertised that your live webinar would run for 60 minutes, try to stay within that time, rather than running over. However, if you are inevitably going to run overtime, just make sure you give your audience a heads-up, in case they need to leave and want to ask a quick question before they go.
9. Think Outside the Box
Grab your audience’s attention in an engaging way when presenting and think outside the box. Whether it’s by showing a video of you presenting at a conference or a news article as a way of introducing yourself to attendees, there are no rules when it comes to presenting.
Depending on your webinar platform, you could mix things up by using screen share or webcam during your presentation, as another creative way to boost engagement. However, just be mindful that you lock the door if you decide to turn on your webcam. We’ve all seen that BBC interview where the professor’s children hilariously gatecrashed his live TV interview.
10. Check Your Lighting and Background
We cannot say this enough. Check your lighting and background! It can help to create a professional and visually appealing environment for your webinar.
If the lighting is too bright or too dim, it can be difficult for attendees to see you and you could end up either looking like a ghost or an anonymised presenter.
Additionally, if your background is cluttered or distracting, it can be difficult for attendees to focus on the content. Spend some time before your webinar to find the best lighting for you (or invest in a ring light) and a space where your background is free from distractions. Minimal effort for maximum impact.
Learn everything you need to know about webinars with our free Ultimate Webinar Handbook.
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