First impressions count, and a great Welcome Slide makes a great first impression. But a Welcome Slide can do a lot more.
Many viewers initially log in with only lukewarm interest, wondering whether the scheduled webinar will be worthwhile or a waste of time. If they log in a few minutes early they need to see more than a plain screen or the presentation’s opening slide.
The Welcome Slide example illustrated above tells audience members that they are in the right place, and that the event will soon start. It also adds to the organization’s overall branding strategy. The slide prominently displays a logo and a distinct color scheme that consumers associate with the organization.
More importantly, it reminds viewers of the subject that originally attracted them, and introduces the presenter. Offering her picture, the slide is presenting her as a real person to whom the audience can relate. It offers the presenter’s credentials as well, with her degrees and current job responsibility. Finally it provides a call-in number and PIN, for use by viewers who will not be listening by VoIP (voice over internet).
This example also takes advantage of PowerPoint animation capabilities to provide an accurate countdown of minutes before the webinar will begin. The initial view of this animation is blank, but the presenter resets and starts animations five minutes before the program starts. Timed animations then change every minute, counting down to zero. This simple device keeps audiences onscreen, rather than departing to other tasks.
Many users leverage PowerPoint to make their Welcome Slides more elaborate. Some add an audio file with five minutes or more of wait-music. Others use animations to create a mini photo show on the screen, running through a few minutes of dramatic photos. Others make the Welcome Slide interactive, asking a poll question, and capturing answers from viewers as they log in. Any of these devices may serve to build interest and engage viewers until the actual presentation begins.
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