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Webinars are among the most powerful tools that modern businesses have in their arsenals. They can be used to deliver important updates or information about a product, display a company’s expertise, provide solution demonstrations, serve as an internal training or external support tool, and more! And while everyone wants to host the best webinars, it’s not easy.
When’s the last time you attended a webinar that was really informative and engaging, and actually stuck with you after it was over? Most run-of-the-mill webinars are often too dry and fail to create a lasting impact on attendees.
David Maldow, founder and CEO of Let’s Do Video, a blog focused on the video conferencing industry, joined us at last year’s Zoomtopia to share his tips on hosting engaging webinars and offer strategies we can all use to take our online events to the next level. Here are some of Maldow’s tips for hosting webinars and delivering “webinar happiness.”
In the past, hosting a webinar was a highly cumbersome and stressful process. With unreliable performance and complex user interfaces, hosting a webinar on the platforms of yesterday required specialized knowledge and teams of engineers and support staff to ensure calls went through without a hitch.
However, with a user-friendly interface, rock-steady reliability, and unparalleled flexibility, anyone with basic technology can host stellar webinars using Zoom. This eliminates the need to have a designated presenter for all of your webinars.
“Webinars used to be a stressful, expensive headache, and now it’s really like making a Zoom call with a few extra people that you can’t see,” Maldow said. “Webinars aren’t just for divas like me anymore, they are for everyone. It used to be that webinar was for the one person in the office who wasn’t afraid to host them, whether that person knew the subject matter or not. If you’re the person who created the new data management system at your company, you should be the one giving the webinar to convince people to use the new data management system.”
Typically, webinar presenters rely on standard presentation formats — bullet points, graphs, etc. — to get information across. While these can certainly illustrate the point, they often lack impact and result in information going in one ear and out the other.
Using videos, concepts, and other visual aids in conjunction with the information you’re trying to convey, according to Maldow, presenters can create a webinar experience with greater impact. Webinar attendees are much more likely to remember the information in the webinar if it is delivered via an interesting concept or alongside a humorous video than if it’s delivered through traditional bullet points and graphs.
There are lots of useful new features and tools that drive audience participation and create engaging webinars, but many hosts don’t use them because they think they’re for “advanced users” and require advanced knowledge of the platform.
However, Zoom Webinars’ features, tools, and apps have been designed to be user-friendly for everyone, and by using features like live Q&A and polling, webinar presenters can directly engage their audience and create an interactive, memorable webinar.
Maldow says: “Imagine playing 8 innings of baseball barehanded, and looking at the other team and thinking, ‘No wonder they’re catching better than us, they’re all wearing gloves!’ These tools, like polling and Q&A, are your gloves. You can get so much more impact, and much better ROI, by using the tools that Zoom has put on its platform.”
To host the best webinars, “be human,” Maldow says. “This is the most important tip in this deck, and the most important tip for presentation or webinar that you will ever hear.”
That’s because when we host a webinar, our first instinct often is to create a highly professional experience for viewers. But being overly stiff and perhaps too professional can create a dry and impersonal atmosphere.
Maldow says that humanizing the experience is critical to delivering an engaging webinar. By breaking the tension with humor or acting naturally, you can create an experience that feels genuine and welcoming rather than dry and stiff.
Schedule a personalized demo today to learn how Zoom Video Webinars can help you elevate your thought leadership programs!