6 Tips to Deliver More Effective Webinars and Teleseminars

By Lisa B. Marshall

Virtual presentations are a quick, easy and cost-effective way to share your insights and expertise. And as an added bonus, you not only create new relationships, you also build stronger relationships with your existing customers. However, when attempting any new presentation style, there are always a few “technical difficulties” that are important to notice and address.

Here are my top tips to create a hassle-free digital seminar that will help you promote yourself and grow your business:

1) Teach, Don’t Sell

People don’t want a sales pitch. Instead, they’re interested in receiving valuable information. Don’t think of a virtual presentation as an online infomercial, think of it as a conference. It’s not a time to hard sell your product or service, but it is an opportunity to promote yourself and your business by demonstrating your experience and knowledge.

At the end of your webinar, your audience will be thoroughly impressed with you and the new insight you’ve provided.

2) KISS (Keep It Simple Silly)

It’s important to keep in mind that a teleseminar or webinar is an event, not a speech. So the organization is slightly different; you’ll need to deliver the information in much smaller chunks (think single question and single answer.) This is especially important if you’re giving training, since you could easily send your audience into “information overload.” By the way, that’s why “the expert interview” format works so well. The natural Q&A breaks up the content into manageable chunks and it keeps it interesting.

3) Sound Quality

Make sure your audience can hear you! Your sound quality needs to be excellent. It helps to also have good video, but good sound is most important. Turns out people will tolerate poor video, but if they can’t hear properly, they hang up.

Do not use the built-in microphone and speakers on your computer. Use an external mic and a headset to listen. (I recommend buying something from Hello Direct, www.hellodirect.com, which has a huge selection.)

If you are delivering by phone, then be sure to use a landline phone. Cordless and cellular telephones run the risk of low batteries and poor reception. Be sure to do a test-run to check the sound quality.

You’ll also want to mute all listeners until verbal feedback is requested. You don’t want to hear their barking dog or crying baby in the background, right? Also, remember to turn off your own cell phone and lock your door to avoid unexpected interruptions.

4) Quality Sound

You’ll also want to make sure that YOU sound good. Do you speak with disfluencies? Ah, you know, filler words like, um, well, don’t add to the content, are just, like, annoying! When you do your test run, be sure to deliver real content because you’ll want to check for these nasty credibility killers.

Additionally, when it comes to voice the key is variety. Change of speed, change of volume, change of pitch, change of pacing, change of speaker (if possible). For example, when you speak at a faster rate than normal (faster is about 145-160 words per minutes), people will perceive enthusiasm for the topic. (By the way, this is a way to fake it if you really aren’t enthusiastic.) Then as you present, if you occasionally slow your verbal pace, people will assume the topic as dramatic and important.

However, if you are delivering to an audience that English is a second language, be sure to speak a bit more slowly (110-125 words per minute) than you normally do for the duration of the presentation.

5) Don’t Forget to Smile and Stand-up!

It sounds silly, but smiling does really help to put some spark in your voice. Some people like to use a small mirror to present to so they can see their own facial expressions. It helps to stay focused on the presentation and SEE how you are coming across.

6) The Soft Sale

Although I said you should provide information instead of a hard sell, you still need to keep in mind that you want your audience to follow-up with you. That means you’ll need to subtly incorporate selling during your seminar. Don’t wait until the end, because the longer the call, the more likely you will lose people as the event goes on.

So what exactly do I mean by subtly? For example, at the beginning of the call, you can mention that as a thank-you you’ve created some exclusive bonuses just for them. The idea is to direct them to a special landing page on your website that sells your stuff and includes the bonuses. During the seminar, you just need to mention the landing page a few times. For example, in a 60 minute presentation you can deliver the call to action 4 to 5 times – once at 20 minutes, again at 30,40,50, and at the very end.

And remember, always provide an incentive. Give them a free report, a recording, or perhaps a personal consultation. And make sure they can easily sign-up for your newsletter. Email marketing is still the most effective marketing tool.

About the Author:

Lisa B. Marshall has been sharing her enthusiasm for communication for over 12 years. Her company provides free and fun practical tips to improve your personal and professional success. Lisa is the author of Ace Your Interview [Macmillan Audio], and is currently working on her second book, coming to bookstores everywhere in 2011. You can find more tips to improve your digital and face-to-face presentations at http://www.lisabmarshall.com/

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