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5 Ways to Keep Viewers Engaged During an Online Webinar

Luisa MeloniMarketing & Sales Intern

Luisa Meloni,

Marketing & Sales Intern

Sep 01, 2021

The past year has been a challenge for many. Making the transition to remote and online work did not come easy for some. With the growing pains came new ways of connecting with your coworkers and your target audience. Companies have learned how to use online platforms to their advantage.

Although webinars have been around for years, companies have recently begun to utilize this outreach technology to its full potential. Webinars are a wonderful way to reach a global audience and deliver informative messages with ease. People have a larger chance of being able to attend a webinar over a conference since all they have to do is log a computer!

But as many of us have probably discovered, staying alert and engaged when you’re attending a webinar be difficult. If you are hosting a webinar, you want people to be focused on the information you’re presenting. Your information could be top-notch but is ultimately useless if people forget everything you said 10 minutes after the webinar ends.

So how do you keep your online audience engaged during your webinar? Here are 5 things you can do to ensure people retain your information and stay until the very last minute of your webinar.

Quick Reads

Incorporate Poll Questions

Poll questions are an excellent way to keep your viewers engaged for the duration of your webinar. Sprinkling questions throughout the webinar ensures that the attendees are interacting with your presentation.

You can pose questions at the beginning to engage people right away. Ask things like where they’re from or what industry they work in. You can also break the ice with a more fun question like “Does pineapple belong on pizza?” This gets viewers motivated and active immediately.

Polls also show the presenter or moderator what type of content viewers respond the best to. If most viewers answer a question incorrectly, you may need to recap the information. If you have a low percentage of poll participation, that may mean that the next webinar needs to be a little more engaging.

Incorporating polls throughout the webinar keeps viewers’ minds stimulated. It tests their knowledge and encourages them to stay engaged for the entirety of the webinar. Polls also help viewers retain the information once the webinar is over. Instead of merely watching and listening, viewers are required to interact with the content.

Offer an Incentive

Everyone loves the word “free!” Who doesn’t love being offered something in return for simply attending a webinar?

By offering an incentive, more of your audience is likely to either stay until the end of your webinar and truly be engaged with the information you’re presenting.

There are a plethora of options when it comes to choosing an incentive to offer. If you sell a service or product, you can offer a special discount code for those that stick around until the end. Maybe you want to give your attendees access to a resource, such as an e-book or special guide.

Some associations give incentives without asking for anything other than attendance. However, if you’re attempting to increase engagement, you can set certain requirements in place. For example, in order to be given the discount code for your service, participants have to answer each poll question correctly.

Pause for Occasional Q&As

Most webinars include PowerPoints to provide a visual for viewers. We all know how easy it is to zone out after a few minutes of just watching slide after slide pass by, especially when you have

A great way to keep webinar viewers engaged during your presentation is to occasionally pause to ask and answer questions. When the audience knows that the presenter cares about what they take away from the presentation, they are more likely to interact with the information.

Q&A sessions make the presentation seem more personal. The information is passed through conversation rather than a mere presentation, keeping the audience engaged.

Not only do Q&A sessions benefit viewers; they benefit you too! Questions can do a great job at getting viewers more interested in your content and your company. Read more about how webinars can benefit your association in this GlueUp blog post!

Insert a Variety of Content Forms

Without some sort of visual, webinar viewers are way more likely to zone out during your presentation. It’s important to keep in mind that exiting the webinar screen is only a click away. People are tempted to online shop or check their social media accounts instead of really engaging with the webinar material.

Make sure a bulk of your information is presented through speech, not the screen. If you overload slides, two things can happen: viewers will read all of your information and zone out before you really even get to present or viewers will become overwhelmed by the amount of information and not listen.

To combat this, create a presentation that includes content that comes in a variety of formats. Add lots of color and graphics. Incorporate a short video or two. You want your viewers to be intrigued visually so that they want to engage with the information you present.

Include Discussion Groups and Interactive Experiences

The more people are asked to engage, the more they will want to participate. Find little ways to keep your audience busy and thinking. Show them that you’re here on the webinar to interact with them.

Adding in some sort of breakout discussion can help keep viewers engaged and ensure that they get the most out of the presentation. They’ll have the opportunity to discuss the webinar information with other attendees and share their thoughts and opinions.

You can also instruct your viewers to perform some sort of writing task. For example, if you are giving a presentation on marketing, ask your viewers to write down 3 struggles they currently have with promoting their content.

When you bring the audience into the webinar, they are likely to be interested in the information you’re presenting. Keep your viewers’ minds active and moving to ensure that they are engaged with your content.

Take Your Webinar Up a Level

Webinars, especially in today’s remote working environment, have the potential to reach and impact a large amount of your target audience. You may have an easy time getting people to the webinar, but do you keep them engaged throughout?

According to Zen Media, a PR agency, webinars can be essential to your business’s marketing strategy and educate and connect with your target audience. It would be a shame to put time and effort into a webinar that doesn’t engage viewers.

There are many ways to make sure viewers are getting the most out of your webinar. Try incorporating polls and Q&A sessions. Add in writing activities and breakout groups to get viewers’ minds active and focused on the content. You can also offer some sort of incentive for attendance or question accuracy. Create a presentation with lots of content forms to keep viewers surprised and intrigued. By utilizing the above tips, you can ensure that your viewers are fully engaged with your amazing webinars.

Author Bio: Chloe is the Outreach Coordinator for Zen Media, a digital marketing and PR agency for tech brands. She is a senior at UGA, and spends her time trying new restaurants in Athens. She just launched her lifestyle blog called “Buzzin With Bee.”

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