Today’s technology allows us to connect with and form relationships with people all over the world right from our home or office. A webinar is a great way to do this because of all the tools and technology available to us. A webinar is just like a seminar only it is done online via your computer. Webinar is short for web-based seminar and they can be very instrumental in building your business.
Webinars can help your business by allowing you to train your recruits and/or sales team. They can also be useful in building relationships and generating sales leads.
Producing a successful webinar does take some work and you need to know what you are getting into. There are several styles of webinars including a single speaker, guest speakers, interviews, panel discussions and also interaction from the audience.
A successful webinar must be efficiently planned out. You need to determine what tools you will be using, what style you will be producing, arranging schedules, deciding whether you will be charging for your webinar, etc.
If you plan on having people from all over the world attend pick out a time that is most convenient for all time zones. If you are having guest speakers, confer with them on their schedules. Mid-week and midday seem to be the best times to schedule a webinar.
Deciding what tools and or visuals you will be using in your webinar. Visuals such as flash presentations, charts, graphs, slides, etc., are always effective in helping people focus on what you are saying and keeping their attention. Because you are not there, face-to-face with your audience, you should have other visuals available for them. Also, have a photo of yourself available so people can visualize you while you are talking.
Compare webinar software so you can get the features you will need. I’ve heard good things about (although I have not yet tried them) Microsoft Live Meeting, GoToMeeting, and Adobe Connect.
Do not turn your webinar into a sleep inducing lecture. Encouraging audience participation is a good idea as it gets people more interested and excited about what you are teaching them or explaining to them. Use a chat function to take questions and comments from your audience and/or trainees. You can also think of some activities to engage your audience. Get your participants to share via discussions, polls, feedback, questions, storytelling and more.
Contact participants before the event. This can be important because it can help you to assess what topics and points of interest to cover in your webinar thus getting better results.
Once you have the style, tools, pricing, schedule and everything else decided be sure to “rehearse” your webinar. This can be crucial in the success of your event. You want everything to flow smoothly and all activities, speeches, presentations, etc., to fall into place so be sure to do a few practice runs to make sure all is well.
Now that you have your webinar all planned out and ready to go, you have to promote it. You want to give yourself several weeks to get the word out about your webinar. And of course you will want to take advantage of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. to let everyone know about your webinar. Send an announcement to your mailing list/subscribers. Announce the webinar on your site. Use online event calendars such as Full Calendar, Events Setter and webinar announcement services such as Seminar Announcer. You can also promote it via print newspaper event calendars, TV network event calendars and other event calendars online and offline. Don’t forget about your email signature and your article resource box.
Webinars are very effective when done professionally and effectively so put the time, work and practice in to make yours one of the best ever!