How to Include the Webinar Audience in the Conversation

By Sharat Sharan, John Carucci

Your webinar audience will never confide, “Honey, we don’t talk anymore,” but they will log off if they feel ignored. And it’s a shame, because the ability to interact with your audience has become one of the most important developments in webinar technology.

It’s ridiculous to expect your attendees to stare at a screen watching a talking head, or worse looking at slides, for an hour. It’s simply unacceptable. You have so many audience participation tools at your disposal. It’s important to change the thought process from talking at your audience to having a conversation with them.

Here are a few ways to make them feel like part of the conversation:

  • Live Q&A: The most widely used interactive tool in the webinar experience changes participants from being passive to active by allowing them to ask questions.

  • Polling: Getting a feel from your audience by polling them during the webinar can be one of the most powerful tools in your arsenal. Not only does polling enable presenters to directly engage with viewers, but it also ensures they are paying attention by requiring them to take action.

    In addition, it allows attendees to benchmark themselves against their peers’ votes. An added bonus is that you can gain interesting insights about your market or brand perception.

  • Social media: Encourage your audience to use social media. When viewers can react to events in real time over social networks, it maintains engagement. That’s why you should provide the tools to share directly from your console and keep them in your webinar.

  • Group chat: By letting the audience communicate with one another, you expand the conversation by getting them to listen to you and their peers simultaneously.