In the age of technology, it’s no wonder we’re seeking to find most of our learning materials on the internet. Articles, webinars and online books are all readily available with a click of a button. There’s a high demand for consumers wanting to learn new information whenever and wherever they want, and by tailoring to them you’ll be putting yourself one step ahead of the game.

Though technology has made the delivery of webinars possible in real time, there’s a lot of human effort (and a little know-how) when it comes to creating and delivering solid content. Here are a few tips on how to use webinars properly:

Five Tips on Creating an Effective Webinar

An effective webinar is one that has a plan, is engaging and keeps watchers interested.

1. When using text to aid in a presentation, keep keywords concise and to-the-point. Text should pertain to the topic at hand, but it shouldn’t mimic what the speaker says as this can seem redundant to the watcher. Unlike a real-life presentation where the presenter can explain a particular slide for several minutes, a webinar should have slide movement several times per minute to keep the audience interested. This can include new keywords, slide transitions, section highlights or annotations.

2. In addition to keywords, the use of graphics can cut down on text and keep a watcher engaged. Use them as often as you like to provide context or ideas, but be sure to not clutter the screen and confuse the learner. Graphics that need to be explained, such as data, should only be explained to the suitable point of detail. Visual clues like one-word descriptors, figures or percentages can be provided to help learners understand the data quickly.

3. Audio is one of the most basic, yet vital, parts to a webinar that can greatly tie to its success. With minimalistic on-screen keywords, audio can help explain and detail out the concepts and ideas presented. Keep in mind that webinars shouldn’t be too long and drawn out, so audio shouldn’t go into unnecessary details.

4. By providing interactivity within the presentation, you can invite the learner to participate in the video. This can be done by questions or polls, or if it’s a pre-recorded webinar, interactive video technology can be implemented. Interactive video content not only engages your viewers but allows you to collect better data on your audience to score and nurture prospects for more powerful video results. A poll in the beginning of the video can provide insight on what the learner may already know about the topic. Questions can then be asked to excite the watchers into thinking about new ideas.

5. Collaboration tools, such as Whiteboards or shared computer screens, can be used for webinars in order to share documents, ideas and graphs, and explain them in further detail.

Five Tips on Creating an Impactful Webinar

1. For a strong delivery on every webinar you make, it’s necessary to allow extra time to explain content. The presenter should have notes and be prepared to elaborate on content and answer all questions within a certain time-frame. The speakers notes should take into account the time for graphics, keywords and slide transitions within the video.

2. If presenting to a global audience, it is necessary to keep cultural references in mind. The use of slang and informal terms should be kept out of your webinar to ensure that everyone understands.

3. Although a real-life presentation generally welcomes questions and discussions, a webinar needs to be formatted a little differently. When talking to a virtual audience, the presentation needs to allow for questions and discussions to take place at scheduled times. The presenter should take charge of this and decide when they should happen. If a question is asked out of place, kindly say, “We will allow questions in five minutes,” and redirect the presentation back on its course.

4. When it’s time for watchers to ask questions, the speaker should take charge of the conversation, much like a teacher in a classroom. Questions have to be answered concisely in order to stay on track with time. Discussions should also remain within the parameters of the topic at hand.

5. Because the webinar presenter cannot visually see the audience, help may be needed to create a successful question and answer segment. A Q&A facilitator can be brought in and aid with taking charge and keeping the conversation on track. By doing this, the speaker can generally answer most questions within the time allotted.

A webinar should be concise and never longer than 60 to 90 minutes. Keep your topic simple and easy to learn so you can keep watchers engaged without losing any valuable time. The best way to get your timing right is to practice! Have someone watch you, or film yourself, and your watchers will reap the benefits.