Online Webinars are very different from face-to-face presentations. One obvious difference is that the presenter and the audience cannot see each other. The presenter therefore loses the power of eye contact. Even more important, there is no way to know whether audience members are paying attention. Are they still out there? Are they reading emails? Are they chatting with friends?
The best way to keep their attention is to make them into participants, by using interactive slides. Using the interactive slide example pictured above, the woman who is presenting begins her webinar by asking audience members to respond to the question onscreen.
The presenter then reads some of the responses back to the audience and mentions each respondent by name. She then promises to concentrate the webinar on the items that audience people have checked.
This request accomplishes two things. It empowers the audience to partially set the agenda, giving them a feeling of ownership. Equally important, the presenter has demonstrated that she is facilitating an interactive discussion, and each audience member must be alert to respond. This rapport uses the power of human nature as a presentation technique. No attendee wants to be embarrassed by being unavailable to answer.
Numerous studies have proven that participants learn and retain 70 percent more information when they are participating, instead of being passive viewers. And that’s the power of online interactivity.
(We’ll share the next six Webinar tips in upcoming posts.)
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