Our company is hosting a webinar on XYZ in a month…”
Ah! Those words send shivers down your spine if you’re the one creating and hosting it, right?
There might be a ton of questions going through your mind – “where do I start? / what should I include? / how do I let the people know about the webinar?”
Well, you no longer have to recoil when hearing the words “webinar presentation”. In this guide, we will talk about how to create a perfect webinar, webinar presentation tips and more to help you become a webinar presentation expert.
With this guide, you will learn about:
What is a Webinar?
A webinar, or web-based seminar, is a presentation, lecture, workshop, or seminar delivered over the internet via video conferencing software. A key feature of a webinar is that it is interactive. Participants in a webinar presentation have the ability to convey, receive and discuss information in real-time.
Among the most popular webinar software you’ll find Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Skype. Using this webinar software, presenters can share video, documents, and applications with webinar attendees while they’re speaking. Today, many webinar services offer live streaming options or the ability to record your webinar and publish it to YouTube.
Webinar Vs Seminar – What’s the Difference?
📍 A seminar is a small, in-person interactive event held to discuss topics and brainstorm about them. There will be one or two lead presenters for the topic who will also guide the flow of the whole event.
📍 A webinar is pretty much the same. The only major difference is that it’s held online, using the internet and other web-based tools.
Up until a few years ago, webinars were not a popular choice because people still preferred to attend the events in person. For many organisations – whether academic or commercial, seminars were considered a big networking event, which was just something you couldn’t really do online.
One of the other reasons for the low popularity of webinars was how it was easier for anyone to access the link and join the session, whether they’ve paid for it or not.
But, with the shift to remote working and learning, webinars and other virtual types of presentations have become the need of the hour. The reach is more global, and people can join the sessions at any time, regardless of the time zones, or day of the week.
With the option to share the link only to people who have accounts on the website or the online channels or organisations, webinars have also started becoming profitable giving an added advantage to the hosting organisations.
Create a Webinar Presentation in 4 simple steps
No one can guarantee 100% attention from your audience, or that everyone there would remember everything once it’s over, but there are always ways to make your webinar memorable and valuable for your audience.
Let’s take a look at how to make a good webinar presentation…
#1 – Define your webinar topic and format
Ask this question to yourself – “why am I doing this webinar?”
Define the details of your webinar and your target audience. Choose a niche and research well about the topic to know what people are looking for in that field, as well as how other presenters are hosting similar sessions. What you want to keep in mind is to go for a specific topic rather than an abstract idea.
Say, for example, you want to do a webinar for people interested in the Metaverse. You want to choose a particular niche like the “future of NFTs” or “introduction to web 3.0” rather than just going for something general like “let’s talk about Metaverse”.
The next thing to keep in mind is to figure out whether the webinar is going to be live or pre-recorded. This depends completely on what you are expecting to gain from the session. Is it just an informative session or do you want to gain insights about the topic from your target audience etc?
#2 – Create an outline for your webinar presentation content
When you create an outline, you are defining the subsections of the webinar presentation. Let’s take the example of the topic we mentioned above – “future of NFTs”.
In the outline, you would have:
- What are NFTs?
- The history behind NFTs
- How to create an NFT
- What are the tools and skills you require to create an NFT?
If any of these require certain data or resources to support them, you might want to add them to the outline as well.
#3 – Define a plan to engage your audience
By now, you know who you are catering to and what they would be expecting from your webinar. No matter how brilliant your content is, or how visually appealing your presentation deck is, if you don’t have a strong plan to engage your audience, it’s highly likely that they would get bored and disengage completely from what you’re talking about.
A recent survey suggests that 44% of the respondents exit a webinar due to boring presentations. So, how do you keep your audience engaged?
To begin with, you could start your webinar presentation with an interactive ice breaker activity – This gives the audience a chance to relax and engage with your presentation right from the start.
Also, throughout the webinar presentation, you could include various interactive activities to keep the two-way discussion going and not bore them with one-way content.
Using an interactive presentation platform like AhaSlides, you can have various audience-engaging activities such as quizzes, polls, and open-ended questions to give your audience an opportunity to have fun and share their thoughts.
#4 – Announce your webinar
How do you tell your target audience that you are going to host a webinar? The first step is to have a webinar description ready. This is the script that you are going to post on various social media and other promotional channels to announce your webinar.
📍 Usually, when someone needs information on anything, they would search with full questions. “How to create an NFT?” “What is the history of web 3.0?”. It is important to include these kinds of questions in your webinar description. This is what is going to attract your audience into clicking on that registration link. Ensure them that you have a solution for their question.
📍 Tell them on what platform you’ll be hosting the webinar. Will it be on Zoom? Are you going to be using other online tools to interact with your audience? Will the audience have to create accounts or sign up to access the webinar?
📍 If you have an existing emailing list, it’s a good idea to send these invites over to them in a visually appealing email with all the details and the link included. Make it easier for them to access it from the email directly. If you don’t have an email list, you can create one using platforms like MailChimp.
Learn how to host ‘5 Top Tips to Host a Webinar like a Pro (Free Tool Included)’ with AhaSlides!
15 Webinar Presentation Tips to Follow
From preparing your core content to choosing the team to pull it all off, everything matters when it comes to creating a killer webinar.
Take a look at the best 15 tips to make our webinar a successful one.
#1 – Start your presentation with a bang!
A good introduction is extremely important when it comes to webinar presentations. Give your audience a brief intro about your background and why you are an expert in the topic you are presenting. Ensure the audience that the webinar will be worth their time with strong “what’s in it for you” messages. Give them a hint about what you are going to talk about in that session.
#2 – Rehearse your presentation until you are fluent in the flow
Webinar presentations work slightly differently from normal presentations with slides. You don’t want to ramble during the presentation so make sure you practice each slide beforehand. This is not just about the content, but also includes your body language, tone of speech and delivery. Don’t do just one rehearsal and stop -continue practising till you are 100% confident about what you are going to say and how you are going to say it.
#3 – Include your branding in your presentation
People generally think that aesthetics of a presentation is just in having a beautifully curated presentation deck. It’s more than that. Be consistent in using a theme throughout the presentation – your brand colours, designs, logo, etc. If you are unsure about creating your own slide deck, you could always go for an existing template and then customise it to suit your needs.
#4 – Make sure you have a stable internet connection and a noise-free environment
According to a recent survey, 59% of webinar participants leave webinars due to technical issues. Technical glitches are inevitable no matter how much you try, but what you can do is ensure they’re not happening from your side. Before you start your webinar presentation, check your internet connection and always have a backup in case it suddenly goes off. Try to host the webinar from a calm and quiet place where you are free of distractions and noise. Make sure all your background apps and tabs are closed so that no notifications will pop up during the webinar.
#5 – Keep text to a minimum and make sure it’s easy to read
Webinars are more about how you are going to deliver the important message to your audience, and how you create a transfer of information between you and your audience. The slides are there to support what you are going to say – so they shouldn’t be text-heavy.
#6 – Choose the right speakers
You might have one or more speakers for the webinar. You want to make sure they are experts in their field and that they are aware of the key objectives of the webinar.
#7 – Maintain a time limit
Webinars, especially when you are doing a live one, can get a bit relaxed and slow as you do not have your audience present virtually in front of you. This could cause you to drag out the presentation longer than you thought. Make sure you complete your webinar presentation and have a Q&A session at the end for your audience.
#8 – Try not to share important information in consecutive slides
When you share key information back to back, people tend to lose focus or might not even remember them after the webinar. Use a filler activity in between slides (like a quiz!) with important information so that it gives an opportunity for your audience to have a better understanding of the topics.
#9 – Choose a team to help you host the webinar
Have a team to pull together the whole webinar smoothly. You don’t have to do everything on your own; choose a moderator, a key speaker, technical help, etc. to help navigate the webinar smoothly.
#10 – Proofread your presentation
Bad typos, incorrect content, misinformation – all these can come off as unprofessional. As you are the lead presenter of the webinar presentation, you might want to ensure there are no such errors in your presentation or else people might not take you seriously.
#11 – Choose the Right Content
Some ideas are better suited to the webinar format than others. Sometimes, you have a fantastic idea, but it is a too broad or too general. Resist the urge and instead opt for a more specific idea that you can explain in greater details in your webinar presentation. Some examples are:
- In-depth tutorials with detailed examples
- Interviews with an expert in the industry
- Niche topics revisited from a new angle
- Panel discussions of impactful events
However, keep in mind that choosing a topic is not always straightforward. It’s impossible to predict with certainty how the audience will receive a topic. Ultimately, you should choose the topic you think is most meaningful and create the best content that you can.
#12 – Write a Strong Script
A strong script is the backbone of every good webinar presentation; without one, you’re doomed to fail. Even the most skilled producers and hosts rely on scripts. It’s hard to talk for up to an hour, even if it is about something they are passionate and knowledgeable about.
Not only does a script keep you on topic but it also helps you manage your time. A good script should have the timing marked on each section. With this technique, you can always manage how much time you have left of your webinar.
Also, some professionals find it helpful to work on their slide deck and script simultaneously to avoid repetition and minimise the risks of simply reading from their slides.
#13 – Prepare Your Camera and Visual Aesthetics
Make use of your camera. It’s entirely unacceptable how many professionals still host webinars with no video, and instead use a voice-over as they go through their slides. Of course, some professionals don’t like looking at themselves on the camera. However, it’s not a valid excuse to exclude your audience on the video medium. Watching a real person talking to the audience is more engaging than a disembodied voice.
Second, you have to be mindful of the visual aesthetics. If you’re presenting online, it’s essential to plan your visuals carefully. You want to position the camera so that it gives a front view of your face, and not showing your chin or the ceiling. In addition, you should avoid presenting in front of a window with the light behind you. If you do it may render you almost too dark to see. Similarly, ensure the backdrop is professional, such as a bookcase or diplomas or a tasteful piece of art. You should test it out with a practice session to see how your backdrop will appear to participants.
#14 – Use an Interactive Presentation Software
As mentioned above, an exceptional feature of the webinar format over other mediums is its interactivity. The presenters can share and receive information from the audience in real-time through the software’s sharing feature.
To add another layer of interaction, you should also consider employing interactive presentation software. Software like AhaSlides not only allows you to prepare customised slide decks but also incorporates interactive polls and charts, as well as fun quizzes and engaging Q&A sessions. With this interactive presentation software, you can ask your audience about any matters being discussed in your webinar, and receive the answer instantly in the form of polls, word clouds, or charts. Likewise, you can engage with your audience through a quiz or a Q&A session.
In addition, this interactive presentation software is also fully supported by popular webinar software, making it easier than ever to use.
#15 – Revise and Rehearse
Never assume that everything will go smoothly on the first run. You should always do at least one rehearsal several days before the event, and revise accordingly. Make sure everyone knows their part, and all your gear is functioning properly.
Also, you should take into consideration how you will handle audience participation. There should be protocols for them to follow if they have a question. Should they raise their hand? Type the questions into the comment box? Or use a separate Q&A feature from the software. You should be explicit at the beginning and remind people periodically to avoid frustration and confusion.
Learn why you should use interactive presentation software for team meetings, conference …
If you aren’t sure how to conduct your Q&A session, here are some resource that you could consult:
AhaSlides provides a platform for creating professional and interactive presentations. If you are planning to create a webinar, AhaSlides adds another layer of interaction by incorporating live polls, charts, quizzes and engaging Q&A features to your presentation. It is also fully supported for popular webinar service like Skype, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams.