How to Deliver Your First Webinar

A webinar is simply a presentation (a slideshow or screen capture) plus audio (you talking) in real time to a virtual audience. They can be intimidating initially but, done well, webinars are an excellent method to sell more product; build your profile and grow your mailing list.

10 steps for delivering an effective webinar

A good webinar solves a problem for its audience free of charge and then typically offers a paid, superior solution at the end.

  1. What do you want your audience to take away from your webinar? A good layout is to identify one problem you’re going to solve; break the solution down into three steps; then break each of those steps down into three further substeps. Prepare the presentation slides you need to walk your audience through each step. If you’re going to video capture your computer screen have all the necessary programs/files opened in readiness. Close any applications/websites you don’t need.
  2. Sign up to a webinar service. A webinar service hosts your webinar and gives you the software to interact with your audience and record your presentation. GoToWebinar is the industry leader. It’s quite pricey (starting from $85/mth) and its software looks dated but it’s a reliable and stable platform. Once you have registered with the service, you login to the GoToWebinar site and create your first webinar.
  3. Get a plug-in microphone to capture your voice. You don’t need anything fancy. A $40 mic will do the trick.
  4. Enlist a helper. You want someone to manage the GoToWebinar software for you. They can make a note of any incoming questions; audience engagement; technical issues etc. They can be a source of support and boost moral(!) freeing you to concentrate on delivering a great webinar.
  5. Deliver great content. You typically want to sell a product at the end of your webinar but unless your audience is impressed by the preceding content, they’re not going to buy. Conversely, if you deliver great value during the webinar and make a strong impression, the sale naturally follows. A webinar is not a pitch-fest. Your audience will resent you and leave if all you’re offering is an infomercial. Forget selling and concentrate on delivering mind-blowing content. (Ask audiences to save their questions until the end of the webinar so as not to break the flow of your presentation). An impressed audience are primed to buy. However – this is important – remember to hold back one last bit of content to use as a cliffhanger…
  6. Have a cliffhanger. Have you noticed how television shows go to commercial break five minutes before the end of the program? The reason is obvious: to get the audience to sit through the adverts. You too need to keep your audience on the hook so they will sit through your offer. You could say something like, “OK, I’ve held back the best tip for last. It’s the one tip that beats all the others and which you can start using immediately. But first I’d like to talk about an offer that will produce some fantastic results for you…”
  7. Start your sales pitch. Here, you simply go through the sales pitch for your offer, emphasising its benefits. Highlight why the solution you presented earlier in the webinar may not be ideal: it’s time-consuming, messy or lacks an automatic feature. Your task is to make the audience feel unsatisfied with just the free info you gave them and/or think, “If the free webinar is this good, imagine what the paid product must be like…
  8. Ask for the order. “Why don’t you give it a try? I offer a no-quibble, no-risk guarantee on all my products so you have nothing to lose. If you try it and don’t like it for any reason, just ask for a refund – no hard feelings, we’ll still be friends. And if you order today, you get the bonuses free… “
  9. Resolve the cliffhanger. Provide the information you held back in #6.
  10. Take Q&A. Finally, answer any questions people may have saved during the webinar. Q&A is a great opportunity to connect with your audience; build authority; and turn attendees into fans.

Takeaway points

  1. Webinars require effort but they’re worth the effort: they can be used to build your email list; boost your reputation; improve your presentation skills and, of course, sell products.
  2. Practice your presentation until you’re fully confident and comfortable delivering it.
  3. Concentrate on delivering great content. Your webinar should be 80% great content, 5% sales pitch and 15% Q&A. An attendee may not buy from you on this occasion but if you’ve given them great value they will likely buy from you in future.

Action steps

  1. Think of a product idea for a webinar.
  2. Convert the product into a series of slides or a video capture.
  3. Practice presenting the webinar.


Photo credit: ErnestDuffoo via Foter.com / CC BY

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