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June 20, 2017

Why I left this webinar after just 10 minutes!

bad webinarThe two most common ways presenters butcher a webinar…

I sat in on a webinar last week… sort of. It was a presentation on Customer Journey Mapping and I was genuinely excited by the topic.

But after less than 10 minutes, I left! While the topic was certainly of interest to me, the delivery of it was so horrible that I just couldn’t sit through it.

Mistake #1 – The Sales Pitch

The session started right on time and immediately, the presenter jumped into a sales pitch for his firm… for nearly 5 full minutes. Honestly, I almost left at that point.

And I get it… a little. You go to all the trouble and expense to put on a webinar and want to make sure the audience knows who you are and what you do. But a welcome-to-the-webinar-let-me-sell-you-right-away sales pitch, especially one that lengthy, just turns off attendees (including any potential clients) and leaves a bad taste in their mouths about your firm.

Instead, why not give them a quick, 30-second overview, then reach out to them after the webinar (using the same email address they registered with)? At that point, you’ve kind of earned the right.

Mistake #2 – Horrible Slides

Immediately following the sales pitch, the presenter started delivering… err, ‘reading’ his presentation. Below is a screen shot of the actual first slide…

webinar slide

Nine bullet points… each a full sentence… which the presenter just read, one after the other. Ugh!

Slide #2 was exactly the same thing… a page full of bullet points, each read in turn. It was at this point that I logged off from the webinar.

To really engage your audience during a webinar (as opposed to giving them a reason to ignore you and check their email), don’t just read to them… present to them. Show them a PowerPoint deck full of interesting images and graphics and use those as the backdrop to talk to them… to tell a story… to share your knowledge and expertise… to help the attendees solve a problem. It’s that giving away of useful, beneficial information that will resonate with the attendees and open the door to selling opportunities down the road.

You don’t have to be a rockstar presenter, but if all you’re going to do is create text-heavy slides and read them… then skip the webinar format and convert the content into a white paper (to avoid the lingering embarrassment of a lousy presentation).


A webinar can be a terrific marketing tool for building awareness, positioning your firm as a subject matter expert and for lead generation.

But done badly, it can also negatively impact you and your firm and quickly bring to an end any chance you might have had at a selling opportunity.

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