There are countless factors to take into consideration when you are planning and hosting a webinar. A compelling subject, a catchy title, good content, excellent presentation are some of the items you need to consider. However, there is a less obvious factor that you also need to include in your checklist—how to make your webinar as engaging as possible.
During webinars, especially those that are longer than usual, the audience often struggles to stay engaged and interested. Because you’re the host, it is up to you to make the webinar as entertaining and interactive as possible. Simply reading from a script from start to finish during your webinar will not do the job. The question is how do you host a genuinely interesting and interactive webinar?
Here are five ways you can provide your audience with an exciting and interactive webinar experience.
1. Establish Two-Way Communication Through Interactive Tools
Using various interactive tools throughout the course of your webinar is a foolproof way of making it more engaging. Many webinar hosting platforms offer built-in components that you can use to your advantage. Include tools such as surveys, polls, quizzes, whiteboards, and so forth during your webinar. These elements will allow your audience to participate, which prevents them from losing interest or getting inattentive.
The key is to avoid running through your presentation and materials quickly without a break for your audience. Take it slow and leave room for the attendees to interact and engage with you.
2. Conduct Multiple Q&A Sessions Throughout the Seminar
Hosting an interactive webinar involves both asking and answering questions. If you want to ensure that your webinar provides value to your audience, Q&A sessions are imperative. Asking questions is an excellent way to reinforce your ideas while keeping your audience engrossed and inviting their participation.
Allocating some time at the end of the webinar for answering questions is considered good practice. Ensure that you also take breaks along the way to address audience questions.
3. Use Breakouts to Boost Engagement
Breakout rooms are a great way to increase engagement as they encourage your audience to interact with each other. Most webinar hosting software has a breakout room feature that you can use to this end. Putting your attendees into breakout rooms prevents them from drifting off and indicates that you value their expertise.
4. Challenge Your Attendees Through Exercises
Challenges such as pop quizzes and exercises are another way to keep your audience riveted and retain their interest. However, not everyone enjoys tests, so make sure that you keep them as an optional element in your webinar. Incentivizing your attendees who do well in these challenges through rewards will encourage more audience participation.
5. Sprinkle in Relevant Anecdotes
Storytelling and anecdotes relevant to the topic are bound to spice up your webinar and make it more interactive. Asking willing participants to share some of their experiences can also help keep things interesting. However, make it a point to share only such stories that are professional and work-appropriate.
Spontaneity is a crucial element in an interactive webinar, which can contrast with a webinar’s schedule and structure. Just because spontaneity may clash at times with webinar structure doesn’t mean you don’t allow for it. Always ensure that you leave room for improvisation where possible to liven up your presentation.