Webinars are a highly effective tool for keeping in touch with the insurance agents you work with and highlighting the products you specialize in. But not all webinars are created equally. If you’re planning to get started with webinars, there are a few things you can do to make them as effective as possible.
Plan it out. Even if you’re going to be discussing a fairly simple topic, get an outline together first. It’s hard to plan your content, the flow of your discussion, and any visuals you might need until you can see it all written down.
Keep it simple. PowerPoint presentations are a big part of a lot of webinars—and these are good for breaking down what you’re saying as simply as possible for your audience. But your text content should always be short and easily digestible in a quick glance—as your attendees will likely be reading it while they listen to you and take their own notes. Don’t just copy the words you’ll say in the PowerPoint; give a succinct, crisp breakdown using key phrases rather than lengthy sentences.
Keep it moving. The pacing for most webinars should be fairly brisk—you won’t be able to hold your attendees’ attention for several minutes to explain a single slide in the presentation. Try to have your slide move once every 20 to 30 seconds. This will keep your audience on board. If you have a concept that takes longer to explain, break it down into several slides.
Include graphics. Text can be a great way to highlight and summarize important points for your audience as you go through your presentation. But visuals are important too—some people are just more visual and will be drawn in more to graphics. If you use graphs or charts, make them simple enough to understand in a quick glance, and don’t spend too much time on explanations.
Get a good microphone. You don’t have to sound like you’re recording in a professional studio. But your sound shouldn’t have any hissing, static, excessive background noises, or other distracting audio. You can invest in a fairly inexpensive computer microphone that will plug into your computer via a USB port, and still get good sound.
Allow audience participation. Allowing your audience to participate will further their engagement—and help you collect valuable information about who your audience is and what they want. Include a poll at the beginning or end to gauge audience interests in similar topics or opinions on any issues relevant to the topic, or schedule a question and answer session at the end of your presentation.
Avoid being overly promotional. The point of a webinar is not always to sell your audience on a specific insurance product. The point is to give information, and to collect information from qualified leads—the members of your audience essentially qualify themselves by being interested in attending a webinar on your insurance products in the first place.
Practice. Delivering webinars is a form of public speaking—and this doesn’t come naturally to everybody. Practice in front of a family member or colleague—ask them to ask questions so you can practice managing the conversation and prepare yourself for what your audience might ask. Try to avoid “filler” words such as “um” and “uh”—these make you sound less confident, even if you know the subject well. If you have no one to practice with, practice delivering the webinar in front of your computer screen and record it to spot areas to work on.
Eliminate distractions. Where you place your camera is important—as is what you wear. Avoid distracting visuals such as a loud or patterned shirt; wear a solid color that doesn’t fade into your background. As for background, be sure your office or set isn’t cluttered and there are no distracting visuals in view where you plan to present.
Webinars can be a great way to reach a new audience of potential business partners—and demonstrate your expertise. It can also be an excellent way to stand out from your competition. Webinars aren’t difficult to put together, but there are a few things you can do to improve your presentation. Follow these tips, and you’re likely to make a good impression.