People are social animals. We crave in-person experiences and get energy from one-on-one interactions. Now that almost all meetings, webinars, and events have moved online, people are trying to adapt to this new normal, and what we’ve found is, it’s not easy.
On webinars or digital meetings we are faced with a mosaic of people’s faces, trying to perceive body language through a screen and getting distracted by worrying about how our own face is showing up to others. It is a completely abnormal, exhausting, and draining experience for everyone. Add to that the effort of trying to process blurry green screen backgrounds, fiddling with mute buttons, and worrying about whether our family members are going to bumble through the frame behind us, and it’s enough to make anyone turn their camera off for the day.
In a sea of digital meetings, it might feel like you’re fighting an uphill battle for your attendees’ attention. Here are four simple tips to boost your webinar’s engagement and retention rates and make people want to sign up—and sit up—for your content.
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4 Keys To Beating Webinar Fatigue
1. Provide value.
Start by defining your target audience and then dive into truly understanding their needs. While it can be tempting for webinar hosts to head straight to what makes you or your business great, flip the lens around and put the focus on your attendees. Then deliver content that’s so high-value they can’t help but pay attention.
2. Keep it short.
We know that virtual meetings don’t compare to the energy you can conjure up in an in-person interaction, so you need to work that much harder to capture your audience’s attention. Keep in mind that most in-person meetings don’t go beyond a one-hour time slot because people disengage. Delivering something of value to your attendees is what’s going to keep them listening, so cut out any filler or unnecessary content. Plan enough time for you to get through your content, as well as enough time for people to ask questions, then end on time and let people go on with their day. It’s always better to have people wishing something was longer than wishing it was shorter. The ideal webinar length is between 30 and 45 minutes.
3. Make it interactive.
Now that you’ve got your content dialled in, work on getting your audience to interact. You’ve got to get your audience to engage to truly care about your message and retain the value. Start by limiting the number of people in attendance and encourage everyone to keep their camera on. The average webinar has less than 50 attendees. Take time throughout your presentation to ask your attendees questions. With a smaller group, you can really focus on engaging each person individually and facilitating meaningful conversation. A dialogue is always stronger than a monologue. Find more virtual event hosting tips here.
4. Set the stage.
Make sure the environment you’re presenting in is professional and reflective of you and your brand. Studies have shown that our brains have trouble processing wonky green screen backgrounds, which further compounds the problem of webinar fatigue. Your home as your backdrop can be equally distracting if you don’t have a professional environment to present in. A quick and elegant solution is to use a branded webcam backdrop. They are simple and quick to set up and take down, and can add an extra layer of branding to your content. This physical backdrop will work with any digital meeting platform, and help your attendees focus on you and your message—not whatever else is going on in your background.
These four critical tips can help you deliver a presentation that’s high value, professional, and an excellent antidote to the webinar fatigue we’re all feeling.