You are probably a presentation pro if you’re delivering a marketing webinar. Guidelines for how to prepare may seem unnecessary: One presenter wrote, “Telling me to prepare before an event is like telling Sinatra to warm up.”
Such opinions outstanding, professionals can benefit from a reminder on what to do. Here are four webinar preparation guidelines that will serve you well regardless of your level of skill or experience.
Most marketing webinars run 60 minutes and include a 15-minute Q&A session. The Q&A session will take care of itself. That leaves you with a 45-minute presentation to focus on.
For the visual element, you will need to create a PowerPoint presentation. Every quality presentation contains some key items. They are:
Another important visual key is to avoid showing a single slide for more than 60 seconds. The only exception to this is if you “build” or animate your presentation so that new information appears on a slide.The end result means your deck should have between 25-40 slides.
A side benefit of polls is that they glean information about the audience. You can ask attendees what topic you should devote more time to or find out if most of the attendees are solo practitioners or work for large firms. Attendees can then savor your presentation as you tailor it to their needs.
If you need notes, the best thing to do is to have a list of bulleted talking points you want to cover for each slide. They will ensure you cover everything and will give you the space to deliver your lines with the spark of spontaneity.
Marketing webinars work best when they position the presenter as a knowledgeable and objective resource who delivers educational content. That approach is ruined when the presenter promotes his or her company’s services or products. It turns an informational event into an advertorial.
Leave any overt marketing to the moderator. The moderator can promote the company at the beginning and end of the webinar.
There are two exceptions. It is okay to share information about yourself, your company, and your work if the goal is to educate attendees. It is also okay to briefly mention your research, writings, etc., if it is to provide attendees with a citation.
You can have the best presentation in the world, but it won’t work if you deliver it to the wrong audience. Imagine Michael Jordan showing a synchronized swimming team how to take a jump shot. Audience information you want before creating a presentation includes:
If you are delivering a presentation for another company, make sure to look at their list demographics.
The best webinars usually have a strong focus. In thinking about how to structure your presentation, first choosing a single question you’d like to answer for attendees. Some examples might include:
Anything in the presentation that doesn’t answer the core question can get cut.
Improvisational theater does not make for good webinars. Always practice delivering your presentation several times. It gives you the time you need to work out any kinks, get comfortable with the delivery, and add any finishing touches.
A webinar presentation has many elements to it. These five guidelines will give you a solid framework to work from. Remember, while Frank Sinatra was a great professional, even he could not afford to sing off key.