Quick tips: 4 ways to increase audience engagement on your next webinar

If you host webinars regularly you are probably familiar with this scenario: After an hour of speaking about information in your area of expertise, you ask if there are any questions and the room is silent. You had plenty of attendees, but now you can’t help but wonder, were they even paying attention?  Keep your audience engaged by encouraging active participation.

Check out these tips for making your next webinar a successful one.

Don’t get straight to business

To increase audience participation, make the webinar more of a discussion. While the bulk of your presentation will be going through slides or having various guest speakers, opening the floor at the beginning of a webinar can help keep your audience engaged.

As you are waiting for people to join the webinar, use audio, chat or polling to ask your audience questions about what they’re hoping to learn from your webinar or if they have any initial questions.

Integrate polling and questions throughout

Most webinars include some type of polling during the event. Utilize live polling during your webinar to get a sense of what your audience already knows to better tailor your message in real-time. You can also increase engagement by following up on your poll questions in the webinar chat. If a poll enquires about the level of knowledge your audience has on a topic, have your host ask what the sources of information they received are, or what spurred their interest.

Have your producer be active in the chat

It’s no secret that during office meetings or presentations that co-workers are often speaking with each other through their office chat system. Keep your audience engaged, by having your producer or another team member spark conversation in the chat. The goal here is to keep your audience involved with the webinar so that they don’t get distracted and have your webinar become white noise in the background.

Break the ice with a few planned starter questions

Sometimes people are afraid to be the first one to ask a question or speak up among a group of strangers, even if the room is virtual. Break the ice and have someone on your team chime in with a few starter questions. Chances are there are others with those same questions. Then, take this opportunity to turn these questions back to your audience. These moments may have a strong impact on your audience, as your attendees’ answers will help validate the content of your webinar.

 

Audience engagement is imperative when building trust with your audience. The more than you can show that the needs of each individual attendee matter, the more likely you are to meet your goals (whether that’s making a sale or teaching your customers how to use a feature more effectively).

 

Read more about Intermedia AnyMeeting, or, if you aren’t already a customer, or start a free trial and host your first webinar.

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About Costin Tuculescu

Costin Tuculescu is VP of Collaboration Product and Marketing at Intermedia.