In my previous blog post I explored the top six mistakes that online course entrepreneurs should avoid when creating a webinar. This time, we’ll jump straight into what makes a good webinar presentation — one that sells online courses, that is.
You’ll notice right away that a webinar presentation is not that different from a regular, face to face presentation. However, they do differ on one major point: the way you interact online versus face to face interaction.
How to create an awesome webinar presentation
Of course, establishing a relationship between you and prospective learners is different when you are presenting online. You have to carefully choose your content and make your offer at the right time.
Let’s imagine that today you are a personal finance coach. You want to sell your courses online, yet have to convince webinar attendees that your tips and tricks are the real deal. Here’s what you need to do:
Think of a really catchy title
No matter how well known you are in the industry, you still need an attention-grabbing title. Of course, if you already have an audience and have played around a bit with titles, you already know what works and what doesn’t.
Successful webinar titles, like white paper or blog post ones follow certain patterns. The high performing ones are most often comprised of a list, a how-to or a beginner’s guide.
A good example of a list is “5 Personal finance tips to save 20% of your income”. You are communicating to future clients that you are giving them a set amount of strategies that will bring them a measurable result.
A beginner’s guide can be “Financial independence 101”. It’s simple, short, and gets your point across.
You can also opt for the negative aspect to give them that sense of urgency, with a title such as “5 Personal finance mistakes that keep you in debt”.
Create a solid outline
Think about it this way: you are making a sandwich.
The bottom layer is the introduction, where attendees learn what to expect from the webinar. You can give them an outline and highlight the major tips that you’re going to talk about.
The middle part is the actual presentation, the part where you answer questions, or where you show them how to do a certain thing if it’s a workshop-style webinar.
The top layer is a wrap-up of everything you’ve discussed, a recap of what they’ve learned so they can better remember them in the future.
Bonus: don’t forget to add a description to your webinar. You can include some of the major points of discussion without giving away too much. A cliffhanger, such as: “You’ll also hear Mike’s story. Mike is a former client who’s managed to save more than 20% of his yearly income”, keeps people interested and eager to sign up.
Add in your own story
Before or after the introduction, or bottom layer, you need to have a short presentation about yourself and your business.
This can be tricky since you probably don’t want to come off as too sales-y from the very start. Make sure you don’t spend more than two minutes on this part, but offer the relevant information that people want to know.
What to include: who you are, what you do, what qualifies you to host this webinar, your USP (unique selling proposition). Maybe you have something worthy of sharing such as getting out of debt, or have managed to enjoy exercising more by fusing your usual workout with dance moves.
Whatever it is, this is your chance to make attendees trust you, and build credibility.
Overcome their skepticism
People will have a few objections from the start. Think of them as barriers that you need to navigate before you can get your message across.
Going back to the personal finance example, people have a lot of fears when it comes to managing their finances. They might be very skeptical when you come up with five solutions to their money problems.
So you can either choose to address this in the beginning or for the duration of the presentation by giving them hints and clues. For example, start by saying “although I had no idea about personal finance until I graduated college, now I am a successful personal finance consultant”. You are communicating to them that it’s not too late to educate themselves and make better decisions.
Give them something that clicks, something that they can relate to, but never oversell. Overselling breaks the trust that you are trying so hard to establish.
Offer great content that they can use
How you will structure your content depends on the format that you’ve chosen, whether it is a presentation, Q&A, masterclass, workshop, etc.
The main aspects that you need to keep in mind are: keeping it concise, simple, and effective. You want them to learn something useful and to be hungry for more, so they will at least check out your online courses.
So, let’s take the “5 Personal finance tips to save 20% of your income” title. Here you can present each item with the help of a PowerPoint presentation that is visually appealing and clutter-free.
Make sure to incorporate success stories and give plenty of personal examples. Even better, don’t forget to interact with attendees to keep them engaged. Also, keep each subtitle at around five to seven minutes so you have plenty of time for the introduction and the Q&A part.
Make time for Q&A
Do you ever wonder why webinars take longer than planned? It’s because unpredictable things happen all the time. Aside from losing your internet connection — ugh — you can also forget to add some buffer time in your presentation and thus a 50-minute presentation turns into an hour and a half.
So, make sure to incorporate some time for Q&A or polls either during or after the presentation. My personal opinion is that you can follow up each item, let’s say after number one on your list, allow time for two or three questions and answer them on the spot.
In this way, attendees get their answers while the information is still fresh, and all of them are engaged since they want to hear what you are about to say next.
Make your offer
Each webinar should have a clear goal. I will assume the goal is to convert webinar attendees into learners. So what they have to do is sign up on your website and buy your courses. Keep this part short, at around four to five minutes or less.
As an online course entrepreneur, you have to successfully present your offer in a natural way. Steer away from abrupt transitions or cliches. You want people to feel as if your solution is the best one for them.
So, at the end, you can follow up with a “you could learn more about how to save money from different sources on the internet, or you can work with me and I have these courses created with someone like you in mind, with true and tested strategies that really work”.
If you’ve managed to successfully overcome their skepticism, they will realize that they now have no excuse and can start considering taking the next step towards solving their problems.
Don’t forget about the follow-up
Your prospective clients need to find out what to do in order to access your courses. The process should be as smooth as possible, so you can have all the information ready to direct them to your website.
It’s also very important to follow up with an email in which you include a link to the recorded webinar so they can watch it again, and of course, a link to your website. Encourage them to send you an email should they have any additional questions.
This is a good opportunity to offer a discount code, promote a bundle of courses at a special price, or any other incentives to buy a course.
To sum it all up
Creating a converting webinar event can be nerve-racking. However, webinars can be very effective for online course creators. It would be a shame to pass them over!
With the right content, interaction with attendees, and of course, the right offer, you can turn leads into clients in no time.
Ioana believes that learning doesn’t stop when school stops. When she is not writing about learning and ed tech, she can usually be seen reading a book and drinking lots of coffee.