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April 22, 2015

The top 15 webinar tips for your next presentation

FoDI’m a lucky and grateful guy… I’ve been asked by two industry organizations (CASRO and Greenbook) to deliver four webinars over the next several months. I’m a huge proponent of webinars for several reasons…

  • They deliver valuable information to attendees, in a non-threatening, non-salesy way
  • They are a reasonable way to gather contact data from potential clients (when they register)
  • They build awareness for the presenter and help position them as subject matter experts

If webinars are part of your marketing efforts – or if you’d like them to be – here are the top 15 webinar tips to consider as you get started…

Your PowerPoint

This is not a capabilities deck, it’s a live presentation… the attendees are there to listen to you – NOT to read slides. So, go be the expert.

  • In your PowerPoint, go very light on copy… emphasize images instead. Use the words on the screen as a guide, not as a script.
  • When using text on slides, use bullet points and follow the ‘4X4 rule’… no more than 4 bullet points per slide, no more than 4 words per bullet.
  • Simple animation of images and text is fine… don’t get silly with it.

Marketing the event

“If you build it, they will come” only works in Kevin Costner movies. In business, you have to promote your webinar if you want anyone to show up. This could and should include:

  • A press release announcing the event; send it out at least 6 weeks before the event so that monthly publications will have time to get it into their systems.
  • Post it to all of your firm’s social media sites; post it to the appropriate LinkedIn groups.
  • Send an email to your in-house database; in fact, send two – the initial one and a “last minute” reminder.
  • Make sure it’s highlighted in a big banner on the home page of your website.
  • Test advertising… e.g. LinkedIn PPC ads, a banner ad inside of an industry e-newsletter, etc.
  • Do you have some key clients and prospects you think should attend? Then pick up the phone and invite them.
  • Other than the early press releases, don’t start the promotions too far out. A couple of weeks is fine. If someone registers at 6 weeks out, it’s likely that “real work” will cause a conflict for them and they’ll be a no-show.

The Presentation

You only have one chance to make a first impression, so do everything you can to get it right…

  • Rehearse… a lot! Know the content, know the PPT and anticipate questions… webinars can be great, but if you’re not prepared or try to sell something – they can also be very harmful to your reputation.
  • If possible, record the presentation; it can serve as a valuable marketing tool long after the live presentation is over.
  • When to present? If you talk to 10 experts – you’ll get 10 different opinions. The only way to really know what works [for you] is to do it several times and learn from what you do. Most people will say Tues – Wed – Thurs… which is probably right, but I’ve also done them on Friday and had great attendance. If your content is valuable enough… people will find the time to attend.


  • Make sure your contact information is on the last slide of the PPT… and leave it up while you do the Q&A.
  • Just because someone attended your webinar doesn’t mean they’re ripe for a follow-up sales call. Be patient. Put all attendees into a trackable lead nurturing program. Only follow-up with them when they indicate they’re ready.

While a webinar is not a live presentation or an in-person meeting over a cup of coffee, it does give your prospects a chance to connect with you “in person.” Do a good job, provide beneficial information, don’t sell anything… and webinars can help build recognition for you as an industry expert, as well as serve as a vehicle to put new prospects in the top of your sales funnel. I hope these top 15 webinar tips will help to make it happen for you.

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