How Infopro Digital Rocks its Webinars

Some companies work in industries that require a polished, professional presentation every time they talk to a client or potential customer. The insurance industry, not one for taking risks, is one of them. For Infopro Digital, keeping its audience informed means crafting a professional experience every time. So the publisher, through its UK-based magazine, Insurance Age, took the time to craft a better webinar. And did they ever rock it.

The Why Behind the Webinar

Insurance practices change fast. So to keep its audience up-to-speed on the latest developments, Insurance Age needs its experts to update and inform its audience as soon as news break. In 2018, that news pretty much revolved around Europe’s new privacy law, the General Data Privacy Regulation, or GDPR.

To keep its audience up-to-date on the latest interpretations of the law, and to let its broker-centric audience know what they need to do, Infopro Digital, in association with Applied Systems, produced the webinar, “GDPR — What Brokers Need to Know.

The Expert Panel

But Infopro Digital’s audience is looking for expert content, not good console layout. At first glance, the publisher’s webinar seems shockingly devoid of typical webinar content. There’s no resource list, no direct links to Insurance Age’s website and no slides to speak of. In short, the webinar is perfect for what it needs to do: draw attention to its five panelists and Insurance Age’s expertise.

Less, for this webinar, is a lot more.

Here’s why. Adding additional content to its panel — which featured experts from several brokers firms and associations — would’ve detracted from the overall presentation by offering its audience the opportunity to distract themselves, tune the panel out and avoid participating in the webinar through its Q&A panel. By removing the temptation for distraction — at least through the webinar console — Infopro Digital did its audience a service by providing focus.

What Infopro Digital did — restraint in service of its subject and audience — is hard. The publisher could’ve easily put in a dozen resources or given viewers a massive slide deck to download. And you should offer educational content — but only if the event calls for it and doesn’t distract from your main message.

The Presentation

First, and this is a recurring theme across all of 2018’s Webinars That Rocked, Infopro Digital uses a clean, well-designed console. Insurance Age’s brand colors and name are prominent and consistent across its background image, engagement tool screens and buttons. Infopro Digital’s attention to detail here pays dividends in presenting a unified professional brand.

Its console layout, too, is worth noting. From left to right, it offers its Speaker bios, the media player and the Q&A console, its subject (more on this later) and a refer-a-colleague form, a survey and a social “share this” engagement tool. Why does this matter? Because the essential content windows — the Media Player and the Q&A engagement tool — take the center of the console — where it belongs.

But these mission-critical windows are also surrounded by contextual information. Audience members can take a look to the left and find Speaker Bios, where they can find information on the webinar’s panelists. To the right, is one slide stating the title and subject of the webinar and the Refer a Colleague engagement tool. Extraneous windows, like its survey and social share engagement tool, are to the far right, tucked away from the webinar’s main content.

Quick, Easy Sharing

Infopro Digital published its webinar in early April, a month before GDPR took effect. Professionals were crunched for time to comply with the law and not everyone knew of the Insurance Age  So, to promote expert-led panel as it was going on, Infopro Digital offered two ways to share the webinar.

The first method Infopro Digital offered to share the webinar is through the Refer a Colleague engagement tool, located right below its title slide. It’s a handy means of direct messaging someone individually to put the event on their radar. For Infopro Digital, it’s also a convenient way of promoting its event to its target audience through a trusted source — a fellow broker.

Next, it gave its audience the opportunity to share the webinar with a broader audience through the Share This engagement tool. The engagement tool allows attendees to share the event over social channels, allowing Infopro Digital to reach a wider audience that may have a general interest in how GDPR impacts insurance.

By providing both options, the publisher can easily expand the event’s reach give it a longer life cycle — allowing brokers to reference it during the days and weeks before GDPR took effect.

And that’s it. Infopro Digital did a great job of crafting a restrained, informative webinar on one of 2018’s hottest topics of the year. It gave a clean presentation, knew when to hold back on content and made it easy to share with like-minded attendees.

Keep an eye on the ON24 blog for more insights and inspiration from the Webinars That Rocked 2018. Curious to see what a great webinar can do for you? Check out Webinars That Rocked on demand.

How Plante Moran Rocks Webinars

Plante Moran knows its taxes. After all, it is one of the largest certified public accounting and professional services in the United States with more than 3,100 staff members. As a leader in the accounting industry, Plante Moran is under constant pressure to prove its expertise and insights, expand its client roster and inform its audience of the near-constant changes and adjustments to American tax codes.

To cement itself as a leader in the accounting industry, engage its accounting audience and educate at scale, Plante Moran makes expert use of the ON24 Platform for its webinars. The firm is so skillful in its webinar use, that it submitted a webinar to the 2018 Webinars That Rocked contest. And we have to say — Plante Moran knows how to put together a tightly-crafted event.

The Why Behind the Webinar

Plante Moran’s typical webinars needed to serve the dual purpose of impressing attendees while educating them at the same time. So, the company created a webinar, “Tax Reform: 2018 Year-end Tax Planning for Businesses” in the hope it would help craft a great brand experience highlighting the organization’s professionalism, its breadth of knowledge — through both its presenters and its resources — and recruit attendees to future webinars. The company also offered certifications through ON24’s certification widget, allowing finance professionals to acquire continuing professional education credits should they need them to maintain a license.

How It Rocked

Clean Console and Consistent Branding

First thing’s first: just take a look at its console! The main image is an even grey/black combo and is featured in its media player, its slide widget and its main background. This consistency allows the color to pop where it counts; take a look at Plante Moran’s brand name, its squiggle logo and the widget bar at the bottom of the console — each share the company’s logo and a similar color scheme. Even the Q&A button matches the firm’s style.

Next, take a quick look at the top. Plante Moran’s official logo and motto are featured prominently, tying the brand’s imagery to the event. One quick look at Plante Moran’s logo and you’ll begin to see it everywhere. We already mentioned its slides and media player, but the firm went the extra step and inserted its logo in its resource list (next to relevant tax guides) and a widget button. Its rare to see such a well thought-out and consistent style and you can see the subtle, but significant, differences when you compare this new console to their previous one:

To be fair, this is not a bad console. It’s clean-cut and has good branding itself. But it lacks the unified presentation of its new console and doesn’t let the webinar’s interactive features, like its widgets, pop out to the audience.

Continuing Professional Education for its Audience

Accountants need to know of new developments within their field and are often required to maintain a certain number of CPE credits to maintain a license to practice. For Plante Moran, this one-two combination of needs means the firm can identify accountants, see where their concerns are (via CPE-earning polls) and better cater content to address the needs of its audience.

Plante Moran places its CPEs offer front and center, highlighting the “Certification” widget and clearly detailing the requirements for accreditation in a slide and during its live broadcast. For example, the company clearly states that participants must respond to 75 percent of all questions and accrue a viewing time of 50 minutes. The firm also gives clear breaks allowing attendees to respond to polls. Plante Moran also takes the time at the end of the webinar to remind attendees to collect their certificate by clicking on the “Certification” widget.

Built-in Interactivity

Finally, Plante Moran ensured attendees could interact with the webinar and its panel. In addition to CPE credits, encouraged attendees to ask questions of its four-person panel via the Q&A widget, connect with panelists via email through the Speaker Bio widget and to download its many available resources. The panel also took breaks to answer questions from the Q&A chat, highlight polls and, at the very end, to ask its audience to fill out a survey assessing the webinar’s usefulness as an educational tool.

Overall, Plante Moran produced an excellent webinar and a great webinar console template it can use going forward. A fantastic example of a webinar that rocks.

Keep an eye on the ON24 blog for more insights and inspiration from the Webinars That Rocked 2018. Curious to see what a great webinar can do for you? Check out Webinars That Rocked on demand.

5 Tips for Better Panel Webinars

This article was originally published on JD Supra. Shared with permission.

Done right, panel discussions bringing together several experts are an excellent way to make your webinars stand out: they provide your audience with multiple perspectives on a single problem, they generate lively, in-depth dialog amongst peers and, with leading business and industry speakers on the slate, they enhance your credibility and authority.

But panels come with their own set of challenges. Here are five do’s and don’ts for ensuring the success of your panel discussion webinar.

1. Do: Organize a Practice Run

It’s always a good idea to do a dry run when you’re leading a panel discussion. With webinars it’s critical.

…participants should know each other and what to expect from the discussion

Of course participants should know each other and what to expect from the discussion: questions, answers, timing, speaking order, etc. But they also need to become comfortable with the webinar technology – like speaking to an invisible audience, identifying and eliminating noise issues, and changing slides.

Organize a practice run ahead of the event to make sure everyone’s up to speed and ready to go once the webinar starts.

2. Don’t: Ignore Diversity

Putting together the right panel can be at times more art than science. You want skills, experience, and personalities that complement each other, not cancel each other out.

You want skills, experience, and personalities that complement each other…

A panel that’s diverse – crossing gender, culture, race, or age lines, for example – makes for a better webinar, with richer discussions highlighting a wider range of experience and appealing to a broader audience. It may require you to cast a wider net when you’re looking for speakers, but your audience – and your speakers – will be glad you made the extra effort.

3. Do: Focus on Expertise

The most successful – and the most memorable – webinars are built around true experts who share their knowledge and experience with participants.

Your audience relies on you to bring them valid insight, credible expertise, and a meaningful perspective on the topics being discussed. And to ensure their satisfaction, as well as the success of future webinars, you need to deliver.

…include speakers with backgrounds that resonate with your intended audience.

Spend time getting speakers with backgrounds that resonate with your intended audience. If your webinar targets corporate counsel, for example, include an in-house lawyer who’s resolved the issues you’re discussing. If you’re aiming for attendees in a specific industry, bring in a thought leader from that sector. If you’re discussing government oversight, a federal or state regulator adds valuable authority.

4. Don’t: Offer Panelists a “Speaking Opportunity”

You may have experienced this yourself (I know I have): a conference organizer or discussion leader reaches out to you with a “great opportunity” to present at his event.

Don’t be that person. You’re asking an expert to participate on your panel. You’re asking them to share their knowledge with your audience. You’re not doing them a favor: they’re doing you one, and your request should make that clear.

There are several ways to say that – “we hope to bring together a group of leading experts, and hope that you can join us,” and “it would be an incredible honor if you were to speak on our webinar” come to mind – and none of them include the words “speaking opportunity.”

5. Do: Have a Contingency Plan

The best way to ensure that your webinars go off without a hitch? Expect the unexpected.

I encourage all of my clients to have a contingency plan that works in place before every webinar. This is particularly important when you’re leading a panel discussion with multiple presenters.

Expect the unexpected.

What could go wrong? Dropped calls, lost internet connections, power outages, computer crashes, missing panelists, etc. Chances are you’ll never need it, but if you do, a contingency plan will help you avoid an awkward and unpleasant webinar if anything should go wrong.

How Autotrader Rocks Webinars

Looking for great webinar guidance? Get the freshest webinar tactics and strategies at Webinar World 2019.

AutoTrader is no stranger to producing excellent webinars. So it makes sense that it ranked high in Webinars That Rocked 2018. As evidence of its webinar abilities, the company submitted its “New Car Webinar” for review, as it fills a unique space in the automotive industry. This one webinar helps retailers, manufacturers and internal staff to familiarize themselves with trends and insights in the automotive industry. It’s a webinar designed to inform everyone  — from junior retailers to senior manufacturers — in the industry, which means it gets a lot of viewers.

Purpose

Each webinar needs a purpose, so AutoTrader uses its webinars to push for social change within its industry. The company asked a panel of its female experts to lead its webinars, respond to live attendee questions, share insights and much more. It’s one way the company is pushing for change within its industry and it’s seeing great success.

Interactive

AutoTrader made expert use of its webinars, making use of nearly every interactive widget, capability and more. One of its best webinars, ”New Car Webinar,” started with a live host who introduced attendees to the webinar’s topics and promoted social discourse before cutting to a pre-recorded panel discussion. But AutoTrader’s webinar ingenuity didn’t end with a pre-recorded panel. After the recorded video ended, the company cut — live — to the same panel for questions and answers with attendees.

Great Console

Finally, AutoTrader makes excellent use of its webinar console. It integrates its calls-to-action right into its console banners and toolbar, allowing attendees to register to register for the next webinar, subscribe to AutoTrader events, and book time with the company and more.

Keep an eye on the ON24 blog for more insights and inspiration from the Webinars That Rocked 2018. Curious to see what a great webinar can do for you? Check out Webinars That Rocked on demand.

The Three Webinars That Rocked 2018

Looking for great webinar guidance? Get the freshest webinar tactics and strategies at Webinar World 2019.

We sit down at the end of every year to take stock of the webinars that were bigger, better and more engaging than the rest and compile them into one comprehensive, end-of-year smorgasbord of webinar goodness. We call it “Webinars That Rocked,” and we just held this year’s edition on December 12 (you can watch it on demand here).

While the Webinars That Rocked broadcast is over, the analysis isn’t. We thought it’d be a great idea to highlight why our top three winners, chosen by viewers like you, won. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the top three webinars that rocked 2018.

AutoTrader

AutoTrader is no stranger to producing excellent webinars. So it makes sense that it ranked high in Webinars That Rocked 2018. As evidence of its webinar abilities, the company submitted its “New Car Webinar” for review, as it fills a unique space in the automotive industry. This one webinar helps retailers, manufacturers and internal staff to familiarize themselves with trends and insights in the automotive industry. It’s a webinar designed to inform everyone  — from junior retailers to senior manufacturers — in the industry, which means it gets a lot of viewers.

Purpose

Each webinar needs a purpose, so AutoTrader uses its webinars to push for social change within its industry. The company asked a panel of its female experts to lead its webinars, respond to live attendee questions, share insights and much more. It’s one way the company is pushing for change within its industry and it’s seeing great success.

Interactive

AutoTrader made expert use of its webinars, making use of nearly every interactive widget, capability and more. One of its best webinars, ”New Car Webinar,” started with a live host who introduced attendees to the webinar’s topics and promoted social discourse before cutting to a pre-recorded panel discussion. But AutoTrader’s webinar ingenuity didn’t end with a pre-recorded panel. After the recorded video ended, the company cut — live — to the same panel for questions and answers with attendees.

Great Console

Finally, AutoTrader makes excellent use of its webinar console. It integrates its calls-to-action right into its console banners and toolbar, allowing attendees to register to register for the next webinar, subscribe to AutoTrader events, and book time with the company and more.

Octopus Investments

Octopus Investments is our second-place winner for Webinars That Rocked 2018. The company, based out the United Kingdom, helps investors make the right decisions for a variety of financial issues. For its submission, Octopus Investments shared one of its live webinars, “Grow Your Estate Planning Business.”

This webinar had two aims. First, to help Octopus Investments grow its roster of inheritance clients. Second, to make a topic as seemingly plain as inheritance planning, engaging.

The Broadcast

Octopus Investments made this happen with a combination of live and pre-recorded video. For its first section, the company gave a live introduction and primed viewers for the event. Then, the company cut to a pre-recorded, or simulive, panel filled with in-depth, but entertaining, discussions on estate planning. Finally, Octopus Investments cut back to its hosts, live, who’d give more guidance on estate planning and answer questions attendees may have.

Great Slides

Octopus Investments also made great use of something typically overlooked: its slides. Instead of presenting attendees with information-dense, wordy slide, Octopus Investments created clean slides that gave speakers the opportunity to tell a story that connects with viewers.

The company also gave its attendees a variety of opportunities to continue learning about estate planning through its resources, console links and more. The webinar always provided viewers with an easy-to-understand next step. They could explore the company’s website, review guides or even collect a certificate for watching the webinar, should they need one for continuing education purposes.

Asking The Important Questions

Last but not least, Octopus Investments did something exceedingly rare, but essential, in its webinars. It asked its attendees for feedback. At the end of the webinar, Octopus Investments pushed a survey to viewers, asking them what was explained well, what wasn’t and what topics they’d like to see covered in future events.

Promega  

Promega, a global biotechnology manufacturer, is our first-place winner for Webinars That Rocked 2018.  The company serves life scientists at every level, meaning it needs to ensure everyone — including scientists and lab technicians learning basic techniques — are on the same page. For scientists using is PCR products, Promega created a webinar entitled, “Ask The Experts: Ensuring a Successful PCR Every Time.” (PCR stands for polymerase chain reaction, which you can read about here.)

Making Use of What Its Resources

Promega’s webinar ticked all the right boxes. It broadcast its panel event live and simulive and made use of a variety of interactive tools, including real-time social interactions over Twitter, to Q&A chat and a veritable library of content listed in its resources window.

Innovative Use of Slides

Promega stood apart by using its slides to push out questions and polls. A great tactic, but it asked, from a marketing perspective, a risky question right at the start: “How likely are you to contact Promega Technical Services?” Attendees could all say, “not at all,” which would be a bad look. But the company had faith in its presentation, from its experts and console design to the resources attendees would review. At the end of its webinar, the company pushed the same poll again. This time, it saw a tremendous boost to the number of people who’d like to contact the company about its services. It clearly delivered on what its viewers wanted.

Because Promega took risks, on top of doing everything else so well — from clean slides to helpful resources — it made our top spot as the webinar that rocked 2018. Congrats Promega!

Keep an eye on the ON24 blog for more insights and inspiration from the Webinars That Rocked 2018. Curious to see what a great webinar can do for you? Check out Webinars That Rocked on demand here.

Webinars: The New News

Whatever your politics are, I think that we can all agree that how and where we get our news is dramatically changing. We don’t know who to trust, we don’t know where to turn and increasingly we are turning away from conventional choices and moving towards non-traditional channels to get information that we feel is more tailored to our needs.

This behavior in our personal lives is beginning to spill into our professional lives as well. In a digital landscape where we are constantly being bombarded with an endless stream of messages, most aimed at selling us something, we need to work harder to uncover the practical information that we need to get our jobs done.

The New News in B2B

In the business world, webinars have really stepped up to become the “new news” source. Companies from every industry, are beginning to create serialized webinar programming to deliver updates on changing market conditions, to interoperate and analyze current events, provide guidance on hot topics or simply deliver regular best practices and training.

This programming establishes companies as the trusted source or advisor, the thought leaders in their specific area of expertise. And yes, establishing that kind of trust means that prospects will come back often and ultimately be more likely to convert into customers.

These webinars often look different than your standard talking-powerpoint presentations. They often feature presenters, on camera, that become “personalities” for their companies. They may broadcast from a nice studio set, but in many cases, they may simply use webcams to quickly and easily, “get on the air” to deliver the latest updates.

Real-Time Feedback on Breaking News

This type of webinar is often very interactive as well. One well-known financial services company delivers a weekly webinar that begins with a market update, followed by a few polls to gauge audience reaction to the latest news, then they have an entire section dedicated to simply taking questions from attendees so that they can have a conversation about the events at hand. People love this type of engagement; the webinars are informative and the interactivity makes it more authentic, more human.

It is my prediction, that in 2019, we will see “news style” webinars being to appear across every major industry and many sub-industries as well. Where there is a need for information, there will be a webinar series to help people figure it all out. The question is who will get there first?

If you would like to get a deeper look into the future of webinar marketing in 2019, join me for “Webinar Marketing Predictions for 2019.” Looking to get more out of your webinar program? Join us at Webinar World 2019 for in-depth tips and tricks for webinar success. 

It’s a Webinerd World

Looking for great webinar guidance? Get the freshest webinar tactics and strategies at Webinar World 2019.

I am sitting on a plane from London to San Francisco, on the way home from the final Webinar World of 2018 — and what a year it’s been. This is the second year of Webinar World and the eighth event globally. There were Webinar World conferences in San Francisco, London, Sydney and Singapore. When our CMO, Joe Hyland, first had the idea for this event, we all thought he was crazy. A conference about webinars? Will anyone even come? Our inaugural event in San Francisco two years ago shocked us all. Hundreds of people showed up from all over the world. There were people from Europe, Asia and even a woman from Africa, for again, a conference about…webinars. Why?

I go to a lot of marketing conferences, some are better than others, but if there is one thing they all have in common is that they are very general in their purpose. There are conferences about inbound marketing, marketing automation, content marketing and just plain marketing-marketing. My biggest frustration about these conferences is that you never go very deep on any subject. Instead, you spend a few days hearing high-level generalities like “tell a story” or “know your customer.” Not exactly the kind of guidance that is going to take your programs to the next level.

I think that’s what made Webinar World different. It’s an event that is focused on a very specific skill set, and a critical part of most companies marketing success. Instead of lofty abstractions, people were learning best practices and practical guidance on how to create awesome webinars — and frankly awesome marketing. But what we didn’t realize was that webinars were not just an important part of these people’s jobs, webinars were also something they were really passionate about.

To capture this passion, we came up with the term “Webinerds.” At first, it was just a funny idea for some t-shirts and a hashtag, but something happened: people went crazy for the term, and soon, marketers around the globe were proudly identifying themselves as “webinerds,” sharing their own best practices and showing off their latest webinars. It took on a life of its own and became a real community.

With each Webinar World conference this year, Webinerd fever grew. It was so inspiring to hear stories from marketers proudly talking about their latest event or some new element they added to their webinars. I heard stories about new presentation formats, creative uses of video and gamification. Many companies were moving from one-off webinars to branded series with hosts and stage sets — really cool stuff. Last year, companies were mostly focused on fundamentals like driving registration and console building. This year, the focus has shifted to creating really immersive, engaging audience experiences. It’s been fun to watch this evolution.

As I think about this, I realize that Webinar World is really serving two purposes. Webinar marketing has become an incredibly valuable skill set. Anyone who is really good at it will always be desirable to their current and future employers. Companies love people who have the skills to build such impactful marketing. But there is something else…

Webinars are something you can really be proud of. Most of us got into marketing to be creative people that build cool shit. But as marketing has gone digital, a lot of the cool factor has gone away. It’s hard to get a lot of personal satisfaction from a good SEO result or an email campaign, but delivering an awesome webinar is such a great feeling. It’s something that you can be really proud of. Webinerds are increasingly becoming the rock stars of their marketing departments.

So you see, it’s a Webinerd World. A hashtag has turned into a community and a movement. And I, for one, can’t wait to see where we go from here.

I guess we will find out at Webinar World 2019.

Interested in what Webinar World has to offer? Check out Webinar World on demand here and register for Webinar World 2019

GDPR, Marketing and the Shift to a Privacy-Centric World

It’s been a little over a month since the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, became law. The statute, taking effect on May 25, 2018, launched a slew of privacy update emails and last-minute data wrangling efforts from various companies across the globe. It has since inspired similar regulations, most recently California’s California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (AB 375). Additional regulations, originating from different countries or states, could be on the way.

Why all the hubbub?

There are a few reasons why GDPR inspired so much scrambling and continues to do so after its implementation. First, it affects companies on a global scale. Second, it shifts an organization’s control over collected data from companies to individuals. Third, organizations can only collect data on an individual if they actively ask the individual for consent or if that individual has a legitimate interest in that company’s dealings.

Not only that, but organizations also need to clearly explain why they are collecting data and what for. Companies will need to demonstrate they can easily delete collected data if either A). an individual requests it or B). if the data is no longer relevant to the reasons it was initially collected in the first place. Data cannot be kept indefinitely for no particular reason.

The central issue, and why this regulation impacts companies across the globe, is that it regulates any data belonging to any E.U. citizen, regardless of where that data, or the company using that data, resides. If, for example, a company hosts an E.U. citizen’s data in Canada, that company still needs to comply with GDPR or risk up to 4 percent of its global revenue.

So, yeah — GDPR is a big deal. And both companies and governments are still trying to wrestle with both its implications and its enforcement.

Ultimately, though, GDPR is good, even if it’s still unclear to many. It empowers individuals to control their data and gives companies the scaffolding they need to shift their marketing and data retention policies to focus on individuals who are actively interested in what a company has to offer. Think of GDPR — and similar legislation — as an opportunity to both better organize your data and shorten your marketing funnel by engaging with folks who are genuinely interested in your business. It’s an invitation to stop interrupting and start engaging by putting your audience’s interests first.

To help you on your journey, we’re putting together a GDPR webinar. We’ll give you the low-down on the new law and how webinars can act as a powerful tool to help you stay in compliance and generate better pipeline. If you’re in the European market, join us on July 12 at 11 a.m. BST. If you’re in the United States, join us on July 17, at 11 a.m. PST (2 p.m. EST) to get a better understanding of what GDPR means for you and how you can use webinars to get ahead of privacy regulations.

Four tips to detox your webinar slides

Let’s say you’re presenting a webinar and everything is going smoothly. You’re charming (of course you are! No, really, you’re more charming than you know), making great points about your solution and your attendees are asking questions. Except, their questions are “Can anyone else read those slides?” and “What’s going on with those colors?”

Sadly, you’ve fallen into a familiar trap. In all likelihood, you brought your PowerPoint presentation habits into your webinar deck.

Slides in webinars are different from those in a PowerPoint presentation. The text in a webinar’s slides needs to be bigger. Their bullet points need to be fewer. They need to be instantly readable and understandable without distracting from your presenter’s overall points. They need to accentuate you, the presenter, and your story, rather than acting as a white paper in slide format.

Toxic slides can kill a great webinar. But don’t worry — here are four quick and dirty tips to help you detoxify your webinar slides:

Tip One: Declutter your slides

The first webinar tip is making a better webinar slide deck is to declutter. Strip your slides of unnecessary text, pictures, graphs — any element that either doesn’t add to your story or — and this is an important bit — tries to tell your story for you.

This is a busy, busy slide! In fact, it’s too busy to provide any meaningful takeaways on its own and would be terribly distracting if the presenter needed to highlight a single item. Not only that, but the text is far too small for any attendees to read (more on this in a moment). Your first of 4 webinar tips is to simplify your webinar life with simplified slides.

Tip Two: Boost your font size

Take a look at this:

Oh, boy. That picture says and contains about a thousand words, doesn’t it? This is an extreme example, sure, but if you were to present such a word-dense slide during a webinar, you would be able to hear your attendees collectively squint to make any sense of it.

Here is how to clean-up a text-heavy slide. First, makes sure your font sizes are at least size 24 or over. Why? Because when you’re giving a webinar presentation, your slides will appear smaller than you’d anticipate — especially if you’re used to speaking to in-person and projected slides — which means you need to boost your font’s size to make it legible.

Second, make sure you have a readable font. Avoid the goofy fonts like Comic Sans and Papyrus that are distracting and hard to read in a small window. Personally, I prefer the easy-to-read Franklin Gothic Medium.

Third, and this loops back to tip one, avoid over-saturating your slides with text. Slides need to enhance the story you’re telling first and foremost and be readable at-a-glance, second. Bold your key points to make them readable and have them speak to your story. If you’re relying on your slides to tell a story you’re delivering webinars all wrong.

Tip Three: Get your colors right

Colors are weird. And I don’t mean that in an existential sort of way. I mean using the wrong colors in your presentation can make your webinar look weird and distracting to attendees — even if they look perfectly fine to you as you prepare your webinar slides.

There are a few rules-of-thumb to go by when it comes to colors in your webinars. First, avoid pastel colors. I know they look pretty, but they don’t translate well to webinar presentations.

Second, avoid slides with too many colors. Having more than two or three prominent colors in your slides — especially in the background — will make your presentation busy and distracting.

Third, when you do use color on a slide — or on your console — make sure there’s a predominant color (typically just one) that provides a reliable contrast to your slides, text, and windows.

Tip Four: Use pretty pictures to tell a story

Finally, if appropriate for your event, add some slides that are just some simple images. Pictures, if you will. Simple pictures are a great way to slow down your event and highlight an important point you want to make.

Have nice analogy involving ships? Well, simply push an image-based slide and talk to it. You don’t even need to include any text! You could spend a good minute or two discussing the direction your organization or profession is going with an image as simple as this:

Image-only slides are great for webinars because it both provides you with the opportunity to give a subject-appropriate analogy or metaphor while gently guiding your audience’s ears to what you have to say — not what you’re showing. Image-only slides add focus and structure to your presentations without you having to pause on a slide that’s not wholly relevant to the story you’re telling.

They can also add some much-needed breaks in long webinar sessions. Need a moment of relief? Want to send out good vibes? Then consider adding a picture of a furry little kitten to your presentation.

After all, who doesn’t like kittens?

Your slides are one of the most important parts of a webinar. By taking the time to detoxify your slide, you’ll ensure your attendees can easily follow along with you, understand your story and help you produce even better events. Happy webinaring!

Want more webinar tips and tricks? No worries. Head on over to our Webinar Best Practices Series section here. If you’d like to see the episode this post is based on, just click here.