This isn't really an article. It's more like a quiz. Your participation will be required. All right. Here we go. First question...
What do you remember most about the last webinar you attended?
a) The relief you felt when it finally ended
b) The shame of bailing before it ended
c) Waking up to a dial tone some time after it ended
d) The sadness you felt when it ended because it was such a hoot
Yeah, they're usually pretty boring. So...
If you're guest speaker on a webinar, what do you do?
a) Begin with a 10-minute rundown of your resume
b) Create a dense slide show full of research and read it to the audience
c) Keep it super basic, go slow and assume everyone attending is learning challenged
d) Go into great detail about the product your company offers
I don't care which answer you selected. You see, I'm soon to be that speaker and have goals in mind that have a lot more to do with me than you. You know why, right?
The best webinar speakers:
a) Will soon be releasing their next book
b) Are good looking enough to merit being onscreen the entire presentation
c) Dial-in by cell phone from an airport or hotel because of their demanding schedule
d) Offer a feedback mechanism so you can send compliments
Hmm. Maybe I'm not cut out for this. I just did a bunch of research about the benefits of hosting webinars. Guess what I learned?
The objective of your webinar is to:
a) Feed the sales funnel with leads
b) Establish the speakers are the world's foremost authorities on the subject
c) Improve your Klout score
d) Set new hashtag records
I want to thank you for participating. You may have picked up on it: there are no right or wrong answers. This exercise was merely to get you to think a bit about the topic and engage you.
So what's this article about?
I must confess. I'm about to be a guest speaker at a webinar. It's my first time. I don't want to suck. Enough about me now, let's talk more about me. Or let's talk about what I'll be talking about.
The title of the Webinar is "Twittorial: Using Twitter for Your Business." You've got Twitter down pat? Fine. Don't come.
I take it back. I want you there.
Despite the sarcastic nature of my pop-quiz, my co-presenter, Brian Loebig, and I are really going to try to make it great. How do you make a webinar great? How do you make any experience great? Our aim is to make it fun.
The great webinar plan.
We have a plan. Granted, we've been prepping for just a few days, so it's a semi-abbreviated plan, but it's a plan nonetheless. Here's the plan.
- Ask questions
- Answer questions
- Tell interesting stories
- Offer additional useful resources
- Give newbies a lot of valuable information
- Give non-newbies something new they didn't know
- Have a limited number of entertaining slides
- Provide some eye candy for the visual learners
- Provide some ear candy for the audio learners
- Be interesting
- Stay on subject
- Have a swift pace
- Avoid self-promotion
- Tickle the audience a tad
- Be people, not presenters
- Make some new friends
We're bound to screw up.
I believe I mentioned I'm new to this and the show's been put together in less than a week? So I expect we'll screw-up here and there. It's for the best. You learn from your mistakes. Plus, it'll make the sequel to this article that much informative-and funnier.
As we come to end of this story, it's time for the great reveal.
I really only have one goal.
I want you to be there at the end of the webinar. I feel this is an all-important goal of anything I write or present. Whether it be education or humor or irony or provocation or some combination of the effective tricks of the copywriting trade, the storyteller ultimately aims to keep the audience engaged until he's done typing or talking.
I'm done typing. Talk to you soon.