This is a guest post by Tim Hamilton.
On average, half the people who register for your online meeting will not pitch.
When it comes to the crunch and your meeting is about to start, many of your registered participants will be too tired from the day, or life will get in the way, or they will have forgotten.
But you can entice them beforehand so that the event will be viewed as fun, unforgettable and coveted. And this will increase your registrations and those who actually attend.
When life’s so short, who wants to willingly and happily attend a boring online meeting? Take the following tips and make your event pop.
Select the Right Online Meeting Platform
Creating an event that rocks can be difficult if you don’t use the right online meeting platform. Do your due diligence.
What’s Your Goal?
Before you can even get to the fun part, you have to be clear on your goal. What is it you want to achieve, and how will you make it happen?
If you’re not clear on your goal, don’t waste your time and that of your participants.
Who’s Your Target Audience?
After you’ve identified your goal, you need to take the time to research the target audience. For certain goals, this will be easier than others. For instance, if you’re planning a meeting to update team members, chances are you’ve already got a good understanding of participants and won’t need to put in much research.
The point of this step is to find out information that helps you deliver a better presentation, so the basic questions you need to answer, are:
- What are their pain points?
- How can you help them?
- How best can you add value to their lives?
- How can you get the information to them in the most effective way possible?
Once you understand your target audience sufficiently, put together a presentation according to the personality types of your participants.
You can only put together an online meeting that rocks if you know how to best present to your audience.
Set Expectations of a Fun Online Meeting
Create a pre-meeting vibe by giving your target audience a taste of what to expect. After you’ve put together the content of your meeting, make sure to consider these aspects:
- Give the title of your meeting punch by making it meaningful and irresistible to your target audience.
- Create a fun sign-up page that engages participants and lets them know what to expect in a way they won’t want to miss out on.
- As you do for the sign-up page, do for the confirmation email, making sure that the look and feel is the same across all pages and forms you send to participants.
The landing page for registration above is beautifully designed, but what makes it stand out is that not only do participants receive free list growth training, but they can also download a mindmap and worksheet. The free gifts give me a perception that the event will offer me value for my time. The organizers are giving me a taste of what to expect.
The example above makes me think this may be an interesting meeting, because the design is fun. The organizer is giving me a preview of an event that looks like it won’t be the same boring run-of-the-mill kind of stuff.
If I’m going to take the time to tune in, this is an online meeting I may be keen to join.
Use Games to Set the Tone
Boring meetings are the number one reason people will abandon your event. Not only will people leave your online meeting prematurely, but boring may even damage your brand.
So you want to make sure your meeting is enjoyable. To set the tone for the rest of your event, use icebreakers and games to loosen people up and keep them engaged and tuned in to what you’re saying, so that ultimately, you can achieve your goal.
Keep Them Hooked
In a face-to-face presentation, people wander off into their own little worlds if they just listen to a voice speaking, so you’ll notice that the best presenters who keep their audience’s attention, will always move around.
Psychologist Alison Gopnik, PhD, says that when you do presentations in front of a larger audience, to keep them engaged, “don’t write your talk, don’t sit down when you are doing it and don’t sit behind a lectern”.
Even more so for an online meeting, you need to find ways to engage the audience who can’t see you, but can only hear you.
Create movement by using polls, online whiteboards to draw on, and avoiding screenshots if you can actually go to a website while your audience watches.
I created this “Hello” text on an online whiteboard that can be used in an online meeting
Make Slides Entertaining
Avoid distracting your audience from what you are saying, but it’s a good idea to create movement with animated slides. Or use a fun, interesting design.
Follow PowerPoint best practices to get the best results.
Keep Q & A’s For the End
Some online meeting organizers suggest including the Questions and Answers in the presentation, but I’ve attended many webinars where participants didn’t listen properly, and then when the time comes for Q’s & A’s, the presenter needs to repeat the same information, so that I want to simply abandon the meeting, so my suggestion is to keep the Q’s & A’s for the end, so that time-obsessed people like me can simply exit without missing any information.