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Tips on hosting a successful webinar or online presentation

By May 29, 2020April 13th, 2022No Comments

Okay. Say first ah…

We do not profess to be webinar experts – the largest group we’ve presented to for Surer was like 7 agents.

But… we’ve gotten some learnings from the many online product demo sessions we’ve done plus we did some research online (so you don’t have to) to put this article together.

So, finally, CB is going to be lifted in a couple of days.

However, telecommuting is likely to continue for a little longer, gatherings are still going to be limited to no more than X number…

So while we gear ourselves up for the gradual re-opening of our economy, there are a couple of ‘new norms’ like webinars or digital presentations that we would likely still need continue with.

If you are a General Insurance agent or just someone who needs to present or pitch something digitally, we hope these tips come in handy!

Know Your Attendees

If the session is for a smaller group (like ours), we make it a point to always start by asking our attendees a couple of profiling questions. 

Not to make it sound like an investigation, it is to help you understand how to tweak your session to make it more relevant to the attendees. 

You do not have to make wholesale changes to your presentation – make slight adjustments and use examples or case studies that your attendees can relate better to. 

For example, we always make it a point to ask our agent attendees if they specialise in any particular segment of General Insurance and in our demo of Surer, we will do so using products that fall in that segment.

If you already have an idea of the make-up of the audience prior, double check if your session addresses the following points:

  • Challenges/problems they are facing (thus listening to your presentation)
  • Goals they want to achieve after listening to you

If yes, YAY. 

If no, you’ve got some work to do.

If dono, pray.

Keep Mobile In Mind

Not everyone who views your webinar will do so on a desktop or laptop. 

In fact, roughly 25 percent of attendees tune into webinars via their mobile devices.

We learnt this the hard way. 

Basically, our presentation slides looked fine on a laptop screen, but on mobile devices, some of the content were barely legible.

And the attendee only mentioned this to us at the end of the whole session (she was too nice to stop us in our tracks)

So, if you are using visual aids like presentation slides or videos, make sure you increase the size of the text and visuals.

This will ensure a comfortable level of viewability despite the smaller displays in mobile devices.

Offer Your Products or Services as an Add-On

Is this not the biggest question?

Many (ourselves included – even as we write this article) are worried about over-selling the product or service and quite literally turn people off.

The truth is, attendees understand the nature of how things work, and the reasonable ones are prepared to be pitched something, to a certain extent.

TO

A

CERTAIN

EXTENT

So… the answer is, offering your product in the middle of a webinar won’t turn the whole thing into an ad.

However, be mindful you strike the right balance between this and the promise of the session.

As a rule of thumb, you should remember these two things:

  • The rest of the advice presented in the webinar should still be useful with or without your product.
  • Make sure to present the product when it makes sense.

Document Your Webinar Process

This is a little like looking at yourself in the mirror.

If you do not, then you’d never know what is wrong and what to fix 🙃

In documenting the presentation or webinar, you will reap the benefits of being able to streamline your next session, touch on topics that were previously questioned and of course, keep the session a lot smoother. 

Keep things interactive

Our first couple of sessions, we felt so damnnnn lost.

We were staring at the laptop and our deck, talking non-stop for 20 minutes, not knowing if his attendees were even still there.

IT. IS. OH. SO. IMPORTANT. YOU. KEEP. THINGS. INTERACTIVE.

One of the tricks we learnt was to have a couple of questions ready, to kick-start a Q&A – although the goal is to have your attendees ask questions, it is always a smart idea to have a list of prepared questions ready, just in case the audience isn’t as engaged as you expected.

Another method that worked for us was to get attendees to participate as you speak.

Ask simple polling questions like ‘Michael Jordan or Michael Jackson’ and have them comment to vote.

Or provide options for your attendees to ‘guide’ your presentation. For example ‘do you want me to focus on A or on B in this session’.

Keep things fun

Keep things visually entertaining.

In a webinar, your audience is literally being distracted by a million other things happening around them.

Hell, they could be in a cab ride for all you know. 

The only thing that can really keep them engaged is what they are looking at, on screen.

You may argue, that your voice does it too. Sure. go ahead. Sing in the middle of your session if you feel that works. Serious. 

If you are using slides, make sure you do not have more words than images lah. 

What’s the point of using slides in your webinar if they’re only going to contain bulleted lists or lengthy paragraphs?

When developing your slides, think more visuals, less words.

Use data visualisations rather than creating lists to iterate statistics.

If you’re demonstrating how a product works, walk the attendees through the process in real-time instead of just showing previously taken images.

It breaks up the monotony of the standard webinar and can keep your audience interested.

It is what you do AFTER the webinar that really counts

You have gone through all the work to craft a successful webinar or presentation. 

Many will be thinking… job done. I have impressed these folks so much, they will be eating out of my hands.

SORRY. NOT TRUE.

The reality is, your attendees will EXPECT you to prompt them on what you want them to do next.

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So, offer them a call to action.

For example, we always make sure to send our users a link to friends with benefits dating site at the end of our session.

Or, it could be as simple as asking them to fill out a survey form to vote for their next webinar topic.

Though we’ve written this article as tips for a webinar, we feel that our learnings and research can also be applied to any presentation or pitch.

We have learnt the hard way (and to a certain extent, still making mistakes) but we hope this article was useful if you happen to be preparing for a webinar or presentation!

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