What determines whether your webinar presentation is going to be a success or not? Have you ever attended a webinar that was so awesome that you still remember the topic of discussion? What was it about it that grabbed your attention? Was it the voice of the speaker? Attractive visuals? Or was it how the material flowed in a logical manner? All of these factors will determine the success of your webinar. But what is the most important factor that determines the success or failure of a webinar? It is designing your slides.
Any successful presenter will tell you that everything goes down to the design of your slides. And this applies to webinars too. Your slides are not just visual aids. They are indeed the visuals. Therefore, you need to invest most of your time and energy on visuals.
Another important factor that will keep your audience engaged is your slide deck. So, how do you prepare your slide deck? First, by sequence, which involves planning your material so that it flows in a logical way. Second, by design and optimization, which makes your slides attractive to the eye and enhances the online view.
It is important to remember that in both cases, you are serving both the right brain and the left brain of your audience. The left brain is logical. It appeals to the sequence. It wants to see progress and clear structures. The right brain is emotional. It appeals to visuals and feelings which will be created by your engaging slides.
Every engaging webinar is normally divided into three parts namely the introduction, the body, and the conclusion. Therefore, your slide deck will follow this sequence in a natural way. At the end of the day, it is not what you know that matters but what you actually do with what you know. Keep in mind that once you put the knowledge discussed in this article to use, you will not help to keep your audience engaged in all your future webinars. The principles are the same for every webinar. Read on and most importantly, practice what you are about to learn.
Building Your Slide Deck
Your webinar’s introduction will probably take an average of five minutes, but do you know how important it is? Your introduction is also a huge determiner of the success or failure of your webinar. It is the section that sets a scene of the entire webinar and the expectations of your audience. The introduction consists of the following four areas.
Always start with a title slide, the title of your webinar, your name plus your photograph. In a case where there will be other presenters, present their names and photographs as well.
Just as assignment writing service or essay writing service companies, include the bio section in their articles, you should introduce yourself in your webinar. You can also include your contact info, sponsors or even information about the logistics of attending the webinar.
There will probably be new participants to webinars. It is important for you to take your time and explain to them how a webinar works. Similar to the experience of My Assignment Help HR managers, you should not assume anything. Even if your audience is familiar, just explain it briefly. Tell them how they should ask questions. Explain to them whether the recording will be available and if you will keep the questions anonymous.
Introducing yourself and other presenters early enough are important. No one wants to listen to someone who they do not know. In the slide, include your name, photo and any other relevant information so that you can create a personal connection. This applies to the other presenters too. This simple act builds a special bond that will enable you and your audiences to interact freely.
Present an overview slide early enough so that your audiences can get to know how you have arranged your content. So if your webinar will focus on five main points, you will simply list those five points on your overview slide.
“When it comes to presentation, content means really a lot. And if webinar content isn't designed well, all the rest will just no matter”, says Becky Bedrock, the sales lead at Paper Writing Pro Service.
The overview slide is very simple but it plays an important role in showing your audience the entire picture. They will know what you are going to cover and track how you are progressing mentally during the webinar. As you progress, you can include a separate slide with each point highlighted so that your audience can be reminded of the overall message and your progress.
Although the introduction has many slides, it does not take a lot of time – five minutes on average. The body or the main content will take most of the time. The slides that you will create in this section depends on the subject of your discussion. It is crucial for your material to be structured. How can you do this well? Here are a few simple methods that you can use.
Use a timeline
A timeline is a tool that will help you especially if your webinar talks about change and you want your audience to understand clearly what you are talking about. It focuses on how things were done in the past, what is happening now and what you think should happen in the future.
Problem and Solution
For other topics, it might be important for you to explain a problem and then a solution. You can also describe the cause and effect of the problem before explaining the solution.
This option is very effective when you want your audience to change certain behaviors. You can use Red to tell them what they need to stop doing; Amber for what they should continue doing and Green for what they should start doing. Present them in the order that suits you the best.
The list is a very basic structure which simply involves listing all your points and addressing them in turns. This is not a very interesting or captivating structure for you or your audience. Therefore, only use it if you do not have any other option available. If you decide to use this structure, organize it in an interesting way. Group things with similarity together. For example, if you are discussing computers, you can group them by history or manufacturer.
Interacting with Your Audience
You do not have to wait until your webinar ends so that you can interact with your audience. When preparing your webinar, include specific slides that that will encourage your audience to interact. You can encourage them to interact through:
Q and A
A Q and A slide will help you when you stop for questions during your presentation. It is more effective than asking any question that comes to mind or plainly asking, “Any Questions?”. Questions will help your audience understand the topic and your point of view better. Although it depends on the flow of your webinar and your audience’s needs, it is always important for you to prepare questions for Q and A.
You also need to have a slide with a poll question. You should describe the poll in a brief way and then launch it in your webinar software. Launching the poll immediately without describing it can create confusion among your audience. You also need to describe it to add any specific details before your audience starts responding.
The introduction and conclusion are the most memorable sections for most people. Therefore, you have to plan your conclusion in a proper way so that your message is reinforced and your audience are encouraged to put into practice what they have learned. The conclusion has three sections.
Just as you started your webinar with an overview slide, you should end it with a summary slide. Your summary slide can be a repetition of what you wrote on the overview slide or you can just summarize your main points on this slide.
Plan of Action
In a case where you want your webinar to end with an action plan, you should have a separate slide for that. You want to take things to step by step to eliminate confusion. Again, you will need to discuss the plan of action because that is where your webinar leads your audience.
What to look forward to
The final slide explains what your audience should expect next, for example, a handout or a recording. It is important to include this section even if you mentioned this earlier. This slide will also communicate to your audience that the webinar has ended. Do not end your webinar by asking your audience if they have more questions.
Making Your Slides Attractive
When you are designing your webinar, you should remember that everything in your webinar will be obtained by your audiences all over the world. Simplicity is the key to success. Make your slides as simple as you can so that your audience will not have a problem with the visual things. So, what makes poor slide design and a great slide design?
Poor Slide Design
Poorly designed slides have one characteristic in common: A lot of text or plain bullet points. Such slides are never engaging. They are simply plain and boring. To demonstrate this, let’s say you are presenting Brian Tracy’s Eat that Frog. Average presenters will just list the tips to manage time effectively in bullet list. Have you ever sat through such presentations? Maybe you decided to listen politely instead of walking away. What would you have done if it were a webinar? Personally, I’d just switch it off and attend to other important tasks.
“You should also keep in mind that using a lot of photographs might ruin your chances of success. Using a lot of photographs may work in a normal presentation, but not in webinars. Using very detailed photographs may cause a five to ten-second delay before your audience see the slide which can be extremely annoying”, thinks Ben Kim, the senior designer at domywriting reviews.
Great Slide Design
If you aspire to become a successful presenter, you have to go an extra mile. Forget the big photographs and bullet points. You can use these options below.
One point one slide
Instead of listing all the points that you are discussing on one slide, you can spread them out. Have one point for every slide. This will have a profound effect on your audience because they will see that you are actually progressing and it will encourage them to keep watching the webinar.
Arranging your bullet points
You can present slides with several points in a way that visually captures your audience. You are going to provide the same information but in an attractive way such that your audience will see how your points are logically connected.
You can do this by creating a list of bullet points and then using the Smart Art feature in PowerPoint which is available for both Mac and PC. The Smart Feature converts the bullet list into a visually appealing list. You can also add graphics to the slides to enhance the clarity of your material.
Designing a great slide deck does not take hours or a lot of effort. Once you start designing on a regular basis, you will see how fast and effective you will become. Therefore, invest your time and energy in practicing what we have discussed above and you won’t help to capture the minds and hearts of your audiences.