Webinars and Online Events: Engaging Your Audience

Engaging your audience is a skill that doesn't come overnight. It's something that takes practice and experience. The impact of your event depends on communicating your message effectively while keeping your audience engaged. Why will people want to attend your Webinar? How can the audience make use of your message? What is the information that you need to convey so that your audience gains value from your Webinar? More questions need to be asked:
 
-How will your audience learn about your Webinar?
-What topics is your audience interested in?
-Are you targeting current customers or prospective clients?
-Is it a new audience or a recurring viewer base?
-What demographics do you know about your audience? (age, location, industry, title, role)
 
Understanding these questions can be the difference in losing and keeping your audience's attention and motivating them into action. Develop a game plan to define your audience and the approach you plan to take to deliver your message. It's easy to get distracted. Show your audience that you appreciate their time and focus.
 
Knowing your audience is crucial when conducting online events and webinars. A better understanding of your audience allows you to put yourself in their shoes so that you can deliver a message that's valuable to them. Your audience has signed up for your Webinar because they want to learn something. What your audience learns from your Webinar is important in their business and/or personal lives. Your Webinar goals will be much easier to accomplish if you deliver your audience that message in a concise manner while keeping them engaged. Don't talk at your audience. Talk with them and try to find new ways to keep the audience involved. Tell your audience how they will benefit from the information you're about to provide them.
 
The content of your Webinar is the most important thing. Decide how you’ll sell your Webinar. What can you do to make your presentation different and fun? You will have to be conscious to first provide your audience with information they perceive to be valuable. You want to express your message without your audience getting confused. And then back that information with reasoning and your input. Choose a topic that will be relevant 1-2 months from now. Is there an emotional connection that you can make with your audience?
 
The next most important thing is the presenter. It's important that your presenter is knowledgeable about that topic so that the audience perceives value and interest. The better your presenter can act as a guide the better your Webinar gets conveyed. Your audience's perception goes hand and hand with your presenter's attitude and tone. A key to success is presenting your webinar in a way that helps your audience prioritize information that’s important to them. 

It can be difficult to transfer energy into an online environment. It’s important to identify ways you can incorporate and involve your audience so that they can interact and participate in your Webinar. Try engaging your audience with questions that drill into the material and perhaps challenges them to think about your content. Asking your audience for feedback invites them into the process and can help with the general enthusiasm of your event. Try polls, chats, Q & A sessions, show the results of polls, and anything you can do to keep the audience engaged. Consider your slides and the layout of your presentation. Can you incorporate anything creative or something that can cause laugh or grab the attention of your audience? It's nice to incorporate little things that help break up the monotony of your presentation. Insert noises, music, colors, slide layouts, jokes, use arrows or highlighters, animation, and any creative attention grabbers you can incorporate. Everything that you can do to create a good Webinar will give you a better understanding with your audience and will help effectively get your message across. Don’t underestimate the impact!