How to irritate your audience on a webinar

Irritated

How I felt.

I’m increasingly invited to share copywriting tips on a Google Hangout or webinar. To get some ideas, I listened in to someone else’s webinar recently. But it left me feeling annoyed and frustrated. Here’s why, and what I learned about what to do and what NOT to do when I run my own webinars:

  • Don’t do too much preamble and introduction; get straight to the content
  • Do not spend too much time taking about yourself. No-one cares! (This presenter didn’t get started properly until after 26 minutes – 26!)
  • Use more visuals. Otherwise, people will click away to check their email while half-listening
  • Do not over-run the allotted time (This presenter ran over by 17 minutes – 17! This is highly disrespectful of listeners’ precious time – especially as it was on a Saturday. It left me seething.)
  • Allow time for questions. The webinar may be recorded, but people on the live call can type them in the sidebar and get immediate answers. That way, you know you are delivering what they need, even if it drifts away from what you’ve prepared
  • An interview format might work better than a monologue. It sounds more natural and gives variety. Practice with your interviewer first, so you know who’s going to do which bits of talking
  • Switch between video of the presenter talking and screenshare or slides
  • Use big images that tell a story instead of bullet-point lists
  • Be your authentic self (Some people will like you, and it filters out the ones that won’t. This presenter was too giggly and twee for my taste. She may be lovely, but I don’t think we’re on the same wavelength so are unlikely to work well together)
  • Do your upsell before you give your final content, and ‘tease’ the final content in advance so people stay on the line and don’t log off early (This was the best idea I took from the webinar I listened in on)

Photo by Marco Bijdevaate via photopin cc

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