• The Redback Team
  • The Redback Team

    6th January 2016

Presenter/Organiser Alignment – The Key to Keeping Your Audience Online

Keep them engaged

Picture walking into a breakout session at a conference and thinking ‘oh no, this really isn’t for me.’

What would you do? Some of us will quickly realise this, get up and make our way out (pretending to receive a call is a favourite of mine) while for others, it’s a matter of ‘it’s already started and it would be rude to walk out – maybe I’ll learn something if I stay.’

Take this situation into the online environment and the latter doesn’t really exist – if people join your online event and it’s not what they’re expecting they will have no problems closing down their window or communicating their thoughts through features such as the chat box.

In this year’s Redback Report a whopping 89% of people admitted to leaving an online event early. Why? Here’s a breakdown of the responses:

42% – The content was not what I expected
31% – The event was too salesy and not educational enough
25% – The event ran over time
17% – Other
13% – The presenter spoke too much about themselves

How does this happen? Many fall into the trap of creating a webinar plan with a series of topics ahead of time. They then go ahead and choose their presenters after the fact. It’s important that as an organiser you and your presenter are on the same page right from the get go.

Here are some tips for Organiser/Presenter Alignment that will ultimately result in engaging your virtual audience and keeping them online.

Content is still king…

  • In your online event invitation/registration page outline 3 – 5 bullet points containing information on what attendees will learn from joining. Reiterate these points as much as possible leading up to the event and ask your presenter to create discussion around them.
  • Ask people what they’re hoping to gain from attending in the registration process. This engages people right from the beginning and in some cases will increase your attendance rate. Always make sure you forward this information to your presenters before the event to make sure they are aware of your audience’s expectations.

Capture from the beginning…

  • The first five minutes of your online event is crucial – this is where you need to capture excitement or run the risk of ‘see ya later’. Always keep housekeeping to around 30 seconds and use this time to set expectations. Using features such as the chat box to involve your online audience is also a good idea.
  • Here’s the thing – if I’m attending your webinar or webcast, I already have a fair idea about the presenter’s background. Is there really any need to spend the first five minutes of your event talking through your presenter’s bio and their achievements? If this is a must then consider creating an opening slide containing information so people can read in their own time. Our tip? Keep introductions to one short paragraph and then provide further information at the end.

Timing is of the essence…

  • If your audience has given up an hour of their time then always show appreciation. Going overtime (especially without warning) can come across as rude and will only result in negative feedback. A great way to ensure this doesn’t happen is to have a private chat box open between your facilitator and presenter – your facilitator can then keep your presenter on track without disrupting your event.
  • While keeping to time is important, sometimes it can’t be helped. If you find your Q&A sessions are making your event run over, consider asking your presenter to answer the questions in their own time and then send out the transcript with the recording email – smiles all around!

Do you have any more tips for aligning your presenters and organisers? We would love to hear about them!

To view more interesting facts Download The 2015 Redback Report.

Download the report

Until next time,

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