September 15, 2015 Mark Bornstein
There’s nothing like the feeling of putting the last finishing touch on an absolutely killer webinar presentation. There’s just something satisfying about flipping through the slides and knowing that you’ve really nailed your messaging.
Of course, great decks don’t happen all by themselves. Even when you have a really great idea for the presentation, it takes time and skill to craft a deck that will communicate your points, engage the audience, and inspires the people in your webinar to take your ideas and run with them. Fortunately, there are some fairly simple techniques that can help anyone pull together highly effective, highly engaging webinar presentations. Here are just a few:
Let the pictures do the talking
Don’t let your presentations die the death of 1,000 bullets. When your slides have too much text, your audience will spend their time reading the bullets instead of listening to the presenter. And if you include a lot of text-heavy slides, you run the risk of turning your attendees off entirely.
Instead, let images do the heavy lifting. Add evocative photos of people in situations your audience can relate to. Instead of describing your product or features, including a large, detailed image that shows the audience what you mean. The images will set the right tone for the topic, then your speaker can fill in the detail.
Tell a story
The best webinar presentations take a great idea, then turn that idea into a story that the audience can relate to. Not a budding novelist? No problem! You don’t need Game of Thrones-level drama to tell a story. All you need is a challenge people can relate to, and a resolution to that challenge.
Start your presentation by asking the audience a question: Does this situation sound familiar to you? Are you having trouble solving this problem? Do you find yourself making these common mistakes or falling into these common traps? Once you’ve framed the question, follow it with slides numbering the solutions one by one. Then wrap it all up with a quick summary at the end.
Have a conversation
Even when the topic is really interesting, it can be hard to pay attention to one person lecturing for a whole hour. Keep your audience engaged by engaging them directly. Live Q&A is a great place to start, and the vast majority of webinars use Q&A. But even live Q&A is usually a small portion of the webinar, and it’s generally confined to the last 10–15 minutes.
When you’re building your deck, try to find more opportunities for audience interaction. Polls are a particularly great way to bring a drifting audience back to attention. I like to include at least two polls in most of my webinars.
Don’t stop there
Want more advice on putting together great webinar presentations? Next week, I’m going to share all my best tricks (well, almost all of them) in a free webinar event, How to Build the Perfect Webinar Presentation. Don’t forget to register!