In my marketing career I’ve been lucky enough to have participated in a large amount of webinars. I’ve done everything from generating the topic, writing the storyboard, lining up the tech/software, promotion, moderating, post webinar follow-up, and webinar post-mortems (and everything in between). This has given me a unique perspective on webinars and what makes them successful. And although there is no hard and fast recipe for webinar success, I feel pretty confident that there are hard and fast ways to mess it up. So that’s what I’ll share with you – what NOT to do.

You’re afraid to give away your content. Giving away good content is actually the BEST way to attract people. Never be afraid to give it away – especially if they’ve signed up to receive it. You will follow-up after the webinar with even more content to show them that you’re an expert and leader in the field and what you’re sharing is only the tip of the iceberg. If they want the rest, they can do business with you. So choose a subject that showcases your knowledge/ability and how it solves their problem. If it’s too basic you’ll lose people from boredom.
You plan your content using PowerPoint. PowerPoint is not a planning tool. You should have a clear idea of what you want to cover BEFORE you open PowerPoint. A little trick is to decide on the three main points you want to cover in the course of your webinar. From here you can write out the points you’ll make under each (these are speaking points and not what will appear on the slides). Then, you should storyboard (preferably on paper) to get the flow of ideas and content to align. THEN open PowerPoint.
You don’t think you need to practice. Everyone needs to practice. You need to practice your speaking points, changing slides, pacing your speech, reducing fillers, opening webinar small-talk (yes, this is necessary) and most importantly you need to practice handling the software. For example, where will you go to see if they have questions? How do you know your screen is being shared? Is there more than one presenter that you will need to give access to? Will someone be introducing you and do they have access to the mic? How do you mute/unmute people (if you need to)?

I would also highly recommend having a professional design your slides. I have been on webinars where every slide looks like a book – heavy text that is just being read out to me. Ugh!
There are many smaller tips I could provide, but these sum up the major fails in my experience. Focusing on these three will get you more than half-way there.

If you need more help planning, producing or promoting your webinar, I can help! Get in touch

Carolyn Bergshoeff is founder of WindWater Marketing and works closely with clients to grow their business using tactics and events such as webinars.