Friday, November 3, 2017

Five Sure Ways to Prepare for High-Impact Webinars - Tip #156

How do you grab your audience’s attention? How do you make your webinars relevant, meaningful and useful?

When you read newspapers, blogs, Twitter, Facebook and other media, one gets overcome by an overwhelming amount of information. How do we sift through them?
You probably developed the skill of sniffing around and pick out what you estimate to be useful information or knowledge. This sniffing process gives us a clue as to how we can prepare for an engaging webinar.

How to prepare

The standard tip of “know your audience” is a good one. However, what do you actually do to get to know them? When preparing for a webinar, I go through these steps and see which ones would engage my participants. You prepare by applying the following techniques.

1. Think like a newspaper reporter

The newspaper person thinks of an “angle” or a “spin” to a story. Why is that? An angle is a point of view that attracts readers.
Is it “newsworthy?” As this phrase suggests, there is a need to look into recent developments around particular situations or your intended audience, specifically related to your content. For example, “This year, the Nobel Laureate for Physics was awarded to two Caltech professors for their work on Gravitational Waves.” Or, “There is a most recent case of a client returning twenty palettes of our product and reminding us about how listening to customers is so important.” Bringing the content into a recent event moves the timeframe and the value of the content.

2. Think of life-changing events

Life-changing events are life impacts that change one’s life, point of view, experience and even behavior. It can also mean a shift as a result of a  before-and-after perspective. Here is an example on a sales topic. “How many of you have experienced sending dozens of brochures to a prospect who never responded? However, when you asked for someone to refer you to him, he received your call?” The before-and-after encounters always shift the minds of the audience in a webinar.
3. Think of an impossible feat

“How did your team win the research grant? This must be a difficult and challenging feat. How did you do it?”

Human beings are always enamored about how people change difficult circumstances into winning outcomes. We love adventures and one way to be part of it is to listen to how someone went through their own experience.
4. Proof of a useful impact

Start your webinar by stating a proof that what you are about to share has some value and benefit hence, being a reliable issue. You may say, “This solution was near impossible to use. But after repeated trials, the positive results skyrocketed to 300%. There is very significant reason why and this is what I want to share with you.”

When people pay attention to proofs, it is because we want things we can rely on or has been proven and has a track record.

5. Final point - Ask the learners to fill in the answers

Armed with the knowledge that people respond to the aforementioned technique, I usually don’t furnish the complete answers. Instead,  I motivate the audience to fill in the rest of the stories.

For example:

“This solution was constantly failing, but now it created 300% positive results.”

Why do you think so? Type in the chat or use your pen to encircle your answer.

Option 1 - the errors were fixed

Option 2 - the approach was simplified

Option 3 - limited the use

With this method, you prepared one more step; you designed an interaction utilizing the techniques. This is how you optimize your preparations.

When embarking on a webinar, there is a need to prepare.

The goal of every engaging webinar is stirring up your captive audience to focus, engage and interact. The learning experience then shifts from a mere online session (ergo complying to requirements) to an exciting and meaningful virtual experience resulting in the desired learning goals.

Ray Jimenez, PhD
Vignettes Learning
"Helping Learners Learn Their Way"

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