I’ve said for years that presentations have evolved from doing a well-scripted, rehearsed presentation over and over for years to more modular presentations that speakers customize to each audience. Now, with the aid of technology, we’re going back to the repeated presentation. However, you only have to deliver it once. One of the struggles of presenting live and in-person is the cost, time, and hassle of traveling for the speaker and the audience. Webinars allow presenters to share their message across the globe while sitting at their desk. Many people think webinars have to be live, yet many savvy presenters and marketers are now utilizing evergreen webinar technology (or automated webinar software) to reuse webinars over and over, sometimes 20x a day.
With programs like EasyWebinar and WebinarIgnition, you can record a presentation or replay a webinar you’ve already done over and over. This tactic allows you to multiply your message while saving time and money.
6 Tips to Make Your Evergreen Webinar a Success:
- Prepare your Webinar – Just like an in-person presentation; you need to prepare for your webinar presentation. You need to practice for a webinar more than you would an in-person presentation because you’re probably not as comfortable with webinars and because your words are more important. First, you do not have body language to aid in your explanation, and secondly, the audience can back up and listen to what you said again.
- Rehearse with the Program – Ever watch a webinar disaster? It happens more than I care to think with webinars because presenters do not practice their presentation, and they do not practice this program. No attendee wants to know it is your first time using the software. Show some respect for your audience’s time and come prepared! (Accidents and goofs happen, but they can be minimized dramatically when prepared.) A dress rehearsal where you go through the entire webinar including starting the software, answering audience questions, and muting the microphone is integral to your webinar being a success, especially if you want to record it and use it later.
- Be Genuine & Sincere – Most speakers using automated or evergreen webinars are marketers or people selling a course, program, or must-have product. The webinar gives them a longer time period to explain why you need their product. Just like in face-to-face sales, you need to care and be genuine otherwise you come across as a slimy sales person like in the movies. When you’re genuine, you can share your real emotions and feelings utilizing the webinar format that you just can’t get with a blog post or ebook.
- Engage Your Audience – Because you’re using webinar technology as your presentation delivery system, people can’t see you, so you need to find ways to engage your audience. Try asking them questions and polling your audience. Talk to them as if they were in the same room with you. Even if you have your computer set to share your face while you’re presenting (which I recommend), you still can’t see your audience. This lack of interaction and immediate feedback from your audience is a big adjustment for in-person presenters to feel comfortable doing webinars. That is just another reason to practice and to rehearse with the software.
- Have a Co-Presenter – Because you lack instant audience feedback with a webinar because you’re staring at a screen, I suggest having a co-presenter or host so you can have a conversation instead of just lecturing to an inanimate object. Even if the host is in another room or a different state, your audience appreciates listening to a conversation. Plus, the host or co-presenter can watch the chat for questions and moderate them as needed. Trust me; it’s hard to moderate questions solo while you’re presenting because it will break your train of thought.
- Hit Record – Even if you’re not planning on using your webinar (or dress rehearsal) as an evergreen webinar, I suggest you record your session. You can always not use the webinar, but you can’t go back in time and hit record.
Many presenters will pretend these evergreen webinars are live. They appear live because you sign up for a pre-scheduled time instead of instantly watching the webinar like a video on YouTube or Vimeo. Many of the evergreen webinar programs have chat rooms, which some are manned throughout the day by a support team, and others are part of the previously recorded session.
More sophisticated evergreen webinar platforms allow speakers to start and end the webinar live, so you can genuinely welcome your audience and answer questions afterward live without having to repeat yourself multiple times. This technique obviously takes practice and good time management. (And it can be figured out be people like me that notice the difference in your voice before and especially after the presentation. Sorry to give away the tell, but it is a pet peeve of mine.)
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