Do you remember sitting in school as a kid, vaguely staring at the walls as your teacher droned on and on about geography, history, or math… You were kind of paying attention, maybe taking a note every now and then, but the sad reality was that your attention was elsewhere. The material just wasn’t engaging you. But why? What your teacher was saying might have been interesting, but without a visually engaging element, your attention was lost.
We like to think that, as adults, we have more focus. That we can keep our attention on-task and not lose track like we did when we were kids in a classroom. That perception is… really, really not true. Boring is boring, no matter what age we are. If the material is being presented in a manner that doesn’t engage every part of our minds, you’re going to lose focus. That’s simply part of being human.
So, what does this mean for those who are in the process of putting together a webinar for their small business? It means that you better be paying attention to the visual/graphic side of your slide deck! If you’re treating it as a secondary part of the webinar, you’re not going to get the full attention of your audience, no matter how interesting your topic. And if your audience isn’t engaged they will drop off your webinar at a moment’s notice. A webinar can be a fantastic way to grow your small business, but only if you are giving one with a professional edge that will both impress and engage your audience!
Step 1: Components of a Webinar
Generally, the presentation part of a webinar can be broken down into three components.
First, your script. This is what you will be speaking as your audience watches your webinar unfold. Some might argue that this is the most critical part of the webinar, and there is some truth to that. If you’re reading from a poorly-written, awkwardly-worded script, then chances are that your audience isn’t going to be following along as you might hope. When speaking, you need a polished script that rolls off the tongue, along with a fantastic quality microphone so everyone will be able to hear what you’re saying clearly. And I can’t say this enough, practice, practice, practice before you get on your first live webinar!
The next part is the text component of your slide deck. Coming up with these can be tricky, as they need to summarize your script in quick point-by-point form effectively. If they are too general, they aren’t going to be useful. If they are too detailed, they’re going to get in the way of the visual component of the slides.
Speaking of the visual part of your slides, let’s talk graphic design.
Step 2: Photos and Graphics
Does a picture really say a thousand words? Depends on the context, but in the case of a webinar… Maybe not a thousand words, but they do say a lot!
The graphic design component of your webinar needs to augment and support what you are saying in your script. Photos can’t just be randomly chosen images that have little to do with your topic. Even though an image might be beautiful doesn’t mean that it will work in service to your webinar. There’s lots of excellent stock imagery out there, but only using the most popular photos will make your webinar appear generic; something you want to avoid.
For similar reasons, you want to avoid using stock graphics and artwork from the web when you create your slides. People creating their own webinars overuse much of it. This can, again, create a generic and cheap-looking slide deck. Instead, my suggestion would be to have a graphic template designed specifically for your webinar. These graphics can be customized to your business’s color scheme and branding, making sure that your webinar doesn’t look like anyone else’s!
Step 3: Keep Everything Nice and Clean
Ever watch one of those “hoarder” shows on TV? Professionals come into the homes of hoarders to get rid of years’ worth of clutter and garbage. As a virtual assistant who has created countless webinars, I sometimes feel like this when I see over-cluttered slide decks.
If your slides are overloaded with text and graphics, they are going to look messy and unattractive. Remember, the point is that you want your audience to be visually engaged by them. If there are so many different colors and components that your slides look like the webinar equivalent of “confetti”, then your audience is going to lose focus and interest.
Anyone can add photos and images, but it takes a trained visual eye to know what to “take out” to make a slide appear clean and attractive. This is one of the best services that I can offer to those creating a webinar. I can tell them what they can “take away” from their presentation to make it look even better.
This service goes beyond the visual component as well. If you’ve written a script for your webinar, I would be happy to go through it, editing to remove redundant passages or unnecessary tangents that are getting in the way of your overall message. Alternatively, I could write you a webinar script from scratch. All you need to do is tell me what needs to be in it, and I will arrange that information in a logical and engaging format!
If you’ve never put together a webinar before, or you’ve tried and found it overwhelming, you should check out my free Ultimate Webinar Launch Planner Workbook. In it, I lay out every step of putting together a webinar in detail. This can help you push through your uncertainty and put together a webinar that you will be proud of!
Personally, I think that creating a webinar should be a fully integrated process. If you are hiring multiple people to develop different aspects of the webinar, the entire package is going to come off as disjointed. The graphics that are chosen might not perfectly align with your script; the text in the slides might not accurately sum up what you’re saying. And having someone else then try to integrate all of these aspects (especially if they aren’t experienced in doing so) can result in an absolute mess of a webinar (and these are just a few of the possible mistakes people make when putting on a webinar).
If you’d like to avoid this by having me take on the entire process of putting together your webinar, contact me today. I can also handle the technical end of things, monitoring your chat and managing any technical snafus that might popup in the process of your presentation! And on top of all that, I could design you a landing page for your website that will entice people to sign up (not to mention advertise it using your social media channels and email marketing.
If you do decide to work with me, I recommend checking out this free step-by-step webinar checklist so we will be on the same page every step of the way! If you are ready to get started, I would love to help you create a webinar that will have your audience eating out of the palm of your hand! Grab a time to chat with me here.