Webinars: Technology Comes to the Seminar
These are interesting times. We are constantly implementing new products and practices in businesses all over. On the sales floor or in the R&D labs, technology is everywhere.
Webinars as Communication
One particular result of ever-changing technology is the use of web-based seminars, or webinars. These new kinds of seminars have become the interactive future of communicating to a broad audience without the physical presence of the speaker. Webinars can make use of the unique aspects of their form of communication with products, action items, and a thoughtful approach to Q&A.
The use of a product, or action item, on both ends of the webinar helps enhance the sense of interaction between the speaker and audience. These can also be used as enticement tools to get people listening to the webinar. Sometimes, people register but may not attend. Action items and takeaways are vital to driving the points of my webinars home.
Feedback for Both Sides
I’ve found some of my best takeaways from listening or reviewing past questions from attendees of similar webinars. Another way I entice people to sit in on a webinar is through a reward system. For those with formal higher education backgrounds, my bonuses are like extra-credit points for showing up to a large lecture during a day with heavy rainfall. I let all the people who are webinar prospects know that when they attend the webinar, they will receive a bonus that relates to their training.
For example, someone will see a webinar about real estate. The bonus would be advice on pulling through with a sale—advice they might not receive anywhere else. While my webinars are meant to entice participants, they follow my personal set of standards and expectations.
Some companies use a planted questioner in the audience of their webinar. There are benefits to doing this, such as encouraging the audience to ask their own questions. It is worth mentioning that some tend to steer away from planted questioners; this is a practice some find unethical. This is not something that I typically practice. Instead, I like to review past questions that people had on that topic, and incorporate those into the closing of my training. I’ve found that when I do this, the audience is inclined to jumpstart a Q&A session on their own.
I don’t want people to leave the webinar without getting the most information possible on that particular topic. It’s good to let the audience know that there will be a live Q&A after the webinar. In turn, the audience is more willing to stick around and contribute to the discussion. Typically, I tell the audience to write down their questions and save them for the end. This allows everyone else to not break concentration and really absorb the information during the webinar.
As technology shifts the way we do business, so will everything else. Webinars are, for now, the next best thing in active and engaging seminars. The system is far from perfect, but I try to provide the best possible webinar experience – and your company can, too.