What if webinars were not just something to sit through and endure, but an engaging and thought-provoking part of your company’s training strategy? That might seem like a far-off fantasy, but creating and presenting effective webinars, or virtual Instructor Led Training (vILTs) is something that many companies do every day.
A webinar is an interactive online seminar that can be used for training, presenting, reviewing topics or showing off a new idea. The average webinar is about an hour long and has one host and one or more presenters. While webinars can be boring,over-used PowerPoint presentations, they can also be dynamic tools for learning.
Tips & Tricks for Preparing for Effective Webinars
- Know your attendees before you get too far into the webinar planning process. What challenges and problems are your attendees facing? What is the goal of an attendee? What is their level of technological expertise? To offer the most value, your webinar should be adapted to their needs.
- Remember that some of your attendees will be watching and participating from mobile devices. Did you know that depending on the platform, up to 25% of webinar participants are watching webinars on mobile devices? When designing slides, keep that in mind! Text and visuals should be large enough that they can come through even on a smaller mobile screen. You should also select a platform for your webinar that can accommodate mobile devices.
- Think carefully about what format works best for both your attendees and the subject matter. Some of the most common presentation formats include a single expert presenter, two presenters, a panel with a group of subject matter experts, a Q&A-style webinar, an interview webinar or a demonstration of a product or service.
- Intersperse interactivity. As you are preparing your materials, use the tools the platform has to offer. Every couple of minutes, ask participants to engage. This could include using the chat, taking themselves off mute and answering a thought-provoking, higher level question, annotating on the slide or whiteboard, even putting learners in small groups in a breakout room.
- Sound quality matters. A great, well-prepared vILT that is designed to be an effective webinar can fall apart quickly if there are sound issues. Always choose a quiet location to present. Try to use a landline or Ethernet connection instead of wireless for increased reliability. If you can, have an assistant present who understands how to work all of the tech so that they can handle issues in real-time instead of expecting the presenter to also know how to tackle tech trouble.
- Maintain a casual and positive tone. Imagine that you’re talking with a colleague or friend and don’t focus on the number of people watching (especially if that makes you nervous!). When speaking, use “you” in your sentences to address the audience. Instead of saying, “Today I will be sharing about…” say “Today you will be learning about…” That subtle shift helps the audience to feel more engaged.
Partner with Zenith Performance Solutions
Zenith Performance Solutions wants to transform the way that you and your employees learn. We offer a comprehensive range of training course design services, including updating existing courses and consulting. We work with companies of every size to create innovative and instructionally sound materials that boost employee performance and satisfy your objectives. To learn more, please contact us by calling (970) 409-4013.