Nearly everything is digital – “Google” is now used as a verb; communication is primarily through texts and emails more than phone calls and in-person meetings; we’ll check YouTube for instructions before calling a manufacturer for help. The advancement of the digital world is fascinating and opens an infinite number of doors for businesses if leveraged the right way.
Webcasts are no exception! They’re time-efficient, budget-friendly, and present numerous opportunities that produce results down the pipeline… if properly executed. I’m sure you’ve attended a webcast that was ‘less than intriguing’ (okay, it was a total flop). As a platform provider we do everything in our power to make sure that this doesn’t happen, but we’ve seen our fair share of ‘flops’ as well; but we’ve also seen webcasts with extraordinary execution and outstanding results (a real WOW experience).
Here are 6 reasons why webcasts get stuck in the mud and how to get them rolling uphill:
It’s great to focus on the content and avoid becoming ‘slide centric’. We encourage it! However, having underdeveloped slides is essentially sabotaging yourself by disregarding your visual support. There shouldn’t be a focus on strictly slides or strictly spoken content, but a comfortable balance.
The fix: One or two graphs relating to your topic, along with some bullets and images, can be a life-saver for webcasts! It doesn’t have to be intricate or fancy, but it does need to be relevant and insightful.
While it’s impressive to have particular individuals involved in your webcast, their contribution could potentially hurt your efforts if they are inexperienced or unenthusiastic about the topic. Keep in mind that the audience has taken the time out of their day to visit your webcast. If the presenter is monotone, speaks for a long period of time, or is reading directly from a script or slides, you run the risk of losing attendees who have lost interest.
The fix: Practice, practice, practice! Go over the information and have a rehearsal with your presenters. This provides an opportunity to give tips and opinions. It’s also a good time to make sure that your presenters stay on track and stick to their predetermined time frame.
Insufficient promotional period and content
It’s true that most registrants signup during the week leading up to the webcast, but that doesn’t mean that you should only do one week of promotions. The golden number is 3; AT LEAST 3 weeks of promotions. Think about it – most advertisements only have about 3 seconds to make an impression and emails have about 7 seconds, that’s just how the human attention span works.
The fix: begin promotions at least 3 weeks before your webcast, focusing on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays around 9 AM and noon. These are shown to be the peak times to generate the best response from an audience. Also, try switching up the wording and visuals of your content to keep it fresh!
Lack of preparation
‘Winging it’ isn’t the best approach to events, and let’s face it, most of us aren’t usually good at it. If this is your style, bravo! But as a best practice and reassurance, preparation is key. Nothing is worse than stumbling and forgetting your part. You get flustered and embarrassed while the audience gets confused and impatient.
The fix: As a rule of thumb, have your content finalized and ready at least 3 days prior to the event. Also, always do a dry-run with your team and platform provider. This ensures that everyone is on the same page and there are no last minute confusions.
Low audience engagement
Talk about short attention spans – Yikes! Keep your attendees in the moment with your webcast, not looking at the clock. This happens when one or a combination of the above reasons is exhibited in a webcast without two-way communication between the presenters and attendees.
The fix: Use polls, chats, and Q&A sessions to give your audience a voice and a reference as a way of building a relationship.
No escape route
We’re all human and we make mistakes. Sometimes we’ll stumble or forget to change the slide, but it’s not the end of the world. You have to roll with the punches!
The fix: Make light of the situation and correct it. The audience won’t scrutinize you for a simple mistake and will be forgotten momentarily. Maintain confidence and focus and you will be fine!
If you’re compelled, please share your feedback below. Talk soon!
Jason Stegent is the Founder & President of Elastic Solutions. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org