Imitation game

They say imitation is the best form of flattery. People usually imitate the best. The same can be said for webinars. In fact, our most successful client webinars here at the Streaming Network are those that effectively mimic leading formats that the audience can understand, relate to and most importantly trust when consuming content.

The fundamental difference between your in person presentation and your virtual event is your physical presence. This means you need to account for things like your body language, making eye contact, smiling and using your hands and most importantly making adjustments to your presentation and delivery based on reaction from the audience. This becomes even more of a challenge with an audio webinar.

Your audio webinar is like a radio show with photographs to help illustrate what you’re talking about, and your most effective tool is really your voice. Using a range of tools and best practices can help ensure that the audio is always optimized. I’ll touch on this next week but the first thing to consider is your format.

Speak Their Language

While content is critical to an effective audio webinar, I would argue that the format that you choose is just as important. Remember, people are used to consuming content in ways that are the most recognizable to them. Newscasts aren’t shot like soaps and talk shows are as interactive with the studio audience as possible. From my experience interview style works the best for audio webinars. To further optimize your show consider the following techniques which have proven to be successful in radio and podcast format.

He Said, She Said

A large majority of radio shows include a male and female host. One of the most successful shows that utilizes this is 680 NEWS which boasts 1.3 million listeners weekly.

Ask the Right Questions

Engagement is an essential part to any successful virtual event, and the best way to do this is with questions. You can choose to open it up to live participant questions or ask for questions in advance of the webinar if you need the time to prepare the answers.

Join the Group

Another great way to enhance an audio webinar is through a panel discussion either introduced throughout the webinar or during a specific portion. The benefit of this is a number of different perspectives and ideas being discussed based on your topic. The downfall of this one however, is that pure noise can take over if participants are speaking over one another and it may be difficult to manage time.

My recommendation is to take some time and listen to some of the highest ranked podcasts and radio shows in North America, if this is the audience you are speaking to. If your audience is elsewhere in the world do the same for formats and shows that work for those markets. Keep in mind the basic rule which is something I tell clients day in and day out. Teach in the way the world learns. There is little need to re-create the wheel here, just use what works.

Matthew Ley

Matthew Ley

Matt Ley is the current President and co-founder of The Streaming Network. Starting his career in virtual events in 2007, Matt is an industry veteran that is passionate about helping customers stand out in their industry with compelling virtual events that people want to attend. The driving ambition for Matt is that virtual events are not a utility for information distribution but an opportunity for firms to create a competitive advantage. Matt is an accomplished speaker, moderator and a sought-after thought leader.

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