If you’re teaching a lecture, hosting a workshop or promoting your organization, hosting a webinar expands your reach and lets you share information with people around the globe. These live meetings take place over the web, which is a win-win situation for you and the attendees. Scheduling an offline event takes time and money – funds you may not have. Also, offline seminars often require attendees to spend money on travel and lodging.
But although a webinar is an excellent way to offer training, share your knowledge or promote a product, several mistakes can impact the outcome of your broadcast. Here are seven webinar mistakes to avoid.
#1 Failing to Provide New or Interesting Information
It isn’t enough to be knowledgeable in your field, you must be prepared to share useful or unique information with those who attend your webinar. Sometimes, attendees already have a general understanding of the topic or subject. Therefore, if you simply rehash information that they’ve heard elsewhere, or if you provide generic information, attendees may exit your conference. Strive to bring something unique and fresh to each live event. This can build interest in what you’re offering, and establish your reputation as an expert in the field.
#2 Not Preparing an Agenda
Even if you’re aiming for a casual online conference, it’s important to have an agenda. Agendas are beneficial for multiple reasons. They keep the webinar on track and ensure you cover essential information in a reasonable timeframe. Also, if attendees receive an agenda in advance, they’ll know what to expect from your webinar and they can prepare questions.
#3 Failing to Send Reminders
People are busy. Even if they RSVP for your web conference, they may forget about the webinar as the date approaches. One or two days before the conference, send a reminder email with instructions on how to attend the seminar.
#4 Not Fully Understanding How to Use the Technology
You don’t have to be tech savvy to plan a webinar, but you will need basic understanding of the technology. Several days before the webinar, complete a run through and test the equipment. If you have several technical difficulties during the seminar -- and if you’re unable to quickly resolve these -- attendees may become annoyed and exit. Also, it’s important that you know how to mute and unmute the sound This way, you can alleviate background distractions while speaking to the group.
#5 Overwhelming with Information
You want to provide valuable, useful information, but you shouldn’t overwhelm your attendees. If you’re excited, you may be compelled to offer information on every aspect of the subject. But as mentioned, those who attend are busy and probably have other plans for the day. Therefore, you need to keep your seminar focused and avoid long tangents. Share information in small doses, and then conduct additional webinars to go in-depth on heavy topics.
#6 Too Much Promotion
Sometimes, the end purpose of a webinar is to sell a product or service. However, too much promotion may irritate your attendees. At the end of the day, they need to know how your product can benefit them -- not your pocket. It’s okay to include a call to action at the end of the webinar, but the bulk of the presentation should focus on providing information about the product or service.
#7 Not Interacting with the Audience
After you conclude your webinar, you need to interact with the audience in the form of a question and answer. This is an excellent way for attendees to ask questions, get clarification and learn more about a product or service. If attendees leave your webinar confused, they won’t buy anything.
A webinar is an excellent resource, and it doesn’t take a lot of time or money to get started. If you have an idea, and you feel that others can benefit from your knowledge or service, give it a try.
Have you ever conducted your own webinar? Are there any additional tips and tricks that you can suggest?