How to Increase Webinar Engagement

By Sharat Sharan, John Carucci

When it comes to engaging the webinar audience, the presenter sits in the driver’s seat. Whether it’s a single voice presenting, or a team of speakers, everyone involved has the same goal: to keep the audience interested. Every aspect of the presentation needs to work in unison. Slides, graphics, and video all are there to assist the speaker in telling the particular story of the webinar.

It’s essential that the participant remains engaged from start to finish, and then even after that by following up, but it’s the presenter who steers the audience through the racecourse.

  • Utilize the tools provided by the webinar platform to increase engagement: The best way to increase engagement is to provide opportunities for interaction, such as Q&As, chat, social media integration, and polls and surveys.

  • Be personable: You must be able to connect with the audience. The more you’re able to effectively connect with people who are not in front of you, the more you can engage them. Projecting an engaging personality is an art form that not everyone can master, however.

  • Establish trust: People have to buy into you as an expert or as a trusted advisor. If you can establish trustworthiness, you’ve relaxed your audience for the journey.

  • Don’t read to them: Nothing creates a barrier between you and the audience like reading from a cue card or piece of paper. Audiences see it and it hinders the connection between you and them. Don’t read your slides, either.

  • Take a breath and pause: Just because the webinar is on a strict schedule doesn’t mean you have to speed-talk your way through the presentation. It’s a good idea to take a breath and pause. This provides the audience some time to process the information.

  • Entertain them: That doesn’t mean you should belt out a tune or crack jokes. (Please, don’t sing or crack jokes.) Instead, try to understand how they perceive the topic and appeal to their emotions through wonder and mild humor.

  • Give them something that makes their situation better: This is perhaps the most important means of engaging your audience. If you can easily explain how something makes their life better, you have them in the palm of your hand.