A web-based seminar (or “webinar”) can get very boring, very quickly. There’s nothing more deadly than watching a presenter click through a seemingly never-ending series of PowerPoint slides while talking in exhaustive depth about each one.
So if you’ve been asked to create or present a webinar, what can you do to make it more interesting, interactive, and engaging? Here are a few suggestions:
- Encourage participants to ask questions throughout your presentation. They can submit them using email, instant message, or the chat feature. And don’t ignore the questions that you receive! Answer them, or people will stop asking.
- Make sure that the participants understand why the information is important and how it applies to the work that they do.
- Capture the participants’ attention by telling them interesting stories and providing relevant, real-world examples.
- Encourage interactivity and get participants involved in the learning process by asking them thought-provoking questions. Have them use the chat feature or whiteboard to provide their responses.
- Don’t go off on a tangent. Stay focused on what you really need to teach and reinforce key information.
- Manage your time efficiently. Make sure to start and end your presentation according to schedule. But during your presentation, try to be flexible. If participants seem to want to spend more time discussing a certain issue, go with the flow.
Laborie, K., & Stone, T. (2016) Interact + engage. Talent Development, 70(1), 37-40.