Last Updated on September 27, 2020 by Husain Parvez
Anyone who’s gone to the effort of producing a webinar will tell you it’s a lot of work. There are many moving parts to consider — from software choice to refining your message. It’s not something you can churn out in a quick half-hour.
But it’s only when you have a solid webinar workflow that the real work begins, by getting your content from just good to great. All the little details begin to matter at this stage of your webinar production journey.
This guide offers a quick checklist of nine priority areas to focus on as you refine your webinar approach, divided across three critical categories: Building your workflow, sharpening your content, and strengthening your voice.
Let’s take a closer look at how to elevate your webinar game from good to great.
Building Your Workflow
It’s a smart idea to take a step back and review the technical building blocks of your process.
1. Grab Some Quality Software
Top webinar options for software are changing all the time. What may have been a cutting-edge product when you started this process a few months back may be distinctly middle-of-the-road by now. Moreover, you’ll likely know more about your software needs once you have a basic workflow under your belt. Maybe now is a good time to review your software choices and find something that is both affordable and richly featured enough to help you grow.
Now to be clear, switching up your webinar software is not something you’ll want to do every other week. Learning a new platform is intensely time-consuming and taxing. But as you plan for growth it may be time to take a careful and judicious leap to a more powerful platform.
2. Good Production, Better Product (Usually)
While we’re talking about tech stuff, take a look at your entire production. It might be time to fork out for a faster Internet connection or to grab yourself some better lighting, camera, and microphone equipment.
A few caveats here.
You can sink a lot of money into equipment upgrades, so set yourself a reasonable budget and stick to it. Also, remember that production quality is only one facet of your product. Aim to be as polished as possible, but remember that your actual content is what will make or break your brand reputation.
3. Match Workflow With Style
We’ve touched on this briefly already, but it bears repeating. Now is an opportunity to revisit your webinar production workflow and match it to your style.
Here’s an example. If you’ve discovered that comments, feedback, and Q&A sessions are where you stand head and shoulders above your competition, you might double down on software that supports that kind of interaction.
Sharpening Your Content
Let’s shift away from tools and hone in on what actually matters. What do you have to say, and how can you get better at saying it?
4. Ask, Don’t Predict
By the time you reach the point of having established a halfway decent webinar format, you’ve probably already identified the basic shape of what your viewer base looks for. You’ll have an instinctive inkling by now of what your target audience wants. But how can you get more granular with that? What kind of crystal ball do you need to foretell where you should drive your content next?
It’s an odd thing, but in so many corners of life, we invest ridiculous amounts of emotional and mental energy into figuring out what people want, when a far easier option is staring us right in the face. You can just ask.
An easy way to do that is to reach out to your most active audience members with a few simple questions about what they like, and what they’d love to see next.
5. Narrow Your Focus
This challenge is so easy to identify, but it’s something with which most content creators will eternally struggle. I’m talking about keeping your message simple.
A lot of this boils down to how human brains work. We’re pathologically complicated. You might be planning out one critical, specifically defined topic. But most people don’t think like that. Ideas for ten or more topics may spew out onto your page in your first draft.
Edit your work down. You needn’t discard all those excellent peripheral ideas! But aim to speak about one topic well instead of a kitchen sink of half-baked ideas.
6. Spend Time on Writing
Bear in mind that some content lends itself better to the written word. It’s a good idea to move your broader contextual content to an in-depth long-form article where appropriate.
Even if your style leans to impromptu speaking and winging it, be sure you have a structure to follow and a laser-precise slide deck to offset a free and easy delivery style. Don’t let your writing be an afterthought.
Strengthening Your Voice
Finally, there’s your voice— the place where your personality and delivery style bumps up against what it is that you have to say. Here are some tonal elements you can build into your voice that can urge your viewers to action.
7. Manufacture Urgency
A string of events only becomes a story when something is at stake. Your viewers need a reason to listen and that reason needs to be directly connected to their well-being.
One great way to achieve this is to build topical content into your production line-up. Evergreen content is great, but there’s a special power to content that starts with a literal or imaginary “BREAKING NEWS” hanging over its headline.
Also, always remember the age-old adage of talking about benefits instead of features. As you look over each new webinar, ask yourself: Does this new thing benefit my audience right now… Why? What do they lose by not listening right now… Why? Yeah, just ask why a lot, and build energy around urgency.
8. Position Yourself as the Guide
Not to throw shade on our species as a whole, but people are self-centered. We see the world through our own unique lens. We’re all the central hero in our own life story. The problem is, there can only be one main hero per story. The last thing you want to do is to position yourself as the hero of your webinar story because then you’re relegating your audience to a bit part. Where’s the fun in that?
Instead of being their hero, aim to be their guide. As you level up your webinar game, focus on your audience as a hero on a quest. Build your delivery around what they’re seeking, and not what you’ve already found.
9. Take a Few Risks Here and There
And finally, it’s always good to be careful about success leading to complacency. Whatever works for you, don’t be afraid to shake it up! Experimenting with your content to learn more about what your audience likes is always useful. But risk-taking delivers the additional reward of making your model resilient to the competition.
The more strings you have to your bow the more you can zig when your competition zags.