If you’re reading this, chances are that you have suffered through many a dreary online presentation. Certainly in 2020 and perhaps for years!
I certainly have, we all have. God there are some really dreadful presentations out there!
I’ve noticed a few things that they all have in common:
- They’re formulaic
- They broadcast rather than involve their audience
- They go on for far too long
- They’re not relevant to the audience
- Presenters do not know how to engage
I’ve made it my mission to change all that. Not only do I help leaders worldwide deliver engaging presentations confidently and authentically, but I also apply this best practice to the team training I deliver.
It’s for that reason that a Jeremy Cassell Coaching webinar is always tailor-made.
Sounds great, right? But what does this mean?
In this blog, I will demonstrate step by step how a webinar is created for a team, using the real-life recent example of Neal’s Yard Remedies.
As well as demonstrating what the process looked like behind the scenes, I’ll also be sharing some top tips along the way to create an engaging webinar.
Step 1: Understand the brief
The client: Neal’s Yard Remedies
The audience: Their independent consultants, also called Leaders
The brief: Deliver a virtual selling training webinar
Neal’s Yard Remedies are a standout company in terms of care for their independent field teams. As they said when they approached us, they “offer a variety of training days for Leaders in the organisation to attend”, particularly with a focus on styles of leadership.
For their Leadership Development Day on 10th December 2020, they wanted to try something a little different and focus on sales as “Feedback I’ve received from previous training days and conferences is that they would appreciate more sales training”.
Neals Yard Remedies were finding themselves in a very common situation – all their top sales leaders who were experienced and successful at face-to-face selling, were finding themselves in a totally new space having to present and sell remotely. They understood new skills were required.
As you can see, Neal’s Yard Remedies were a dream client. They had a good idea already of what they wanted to focus on. It’s always fantastic to see an organisation go above and beyond to support their team and their professional development.
Our suggestion to them was a webinar on the theme of influencing virtually. Influencing is one of my specialities, I have co-written a book on the very subject. When it comes to sales, including online sales, it’s an absolutely essential skill to hone.
Neal’s Yard Remedies agreed with the topic, the length of the webinar (2 hours) and the use of an engagement tool called Mentimeter during the event.
We were therefore ready to get planning!
Step 2: Involve your audience before the webinar starts
Creating a tailor-made webinar goes beyond answering a client’s brief, you must also involve your audience in the process.
To ensure this, we sent a survey to all attendees ahead of the webinar to discover what they would like to get out of the training.
We used their answers to design and structure the webinar.
For example, this slide “how do I appear confident and professional when I’m a hot mess?” came directly from a survey answer.
We decided to include it because however confident a salesperson is, it’s always a great situation to be prepared for. After all, none of us ever plan to be a “hot mess”!
In addition to the survey, there were 2 other aspects that made a difference:
- I spoke with two exemplars. Exemplars are the people already doing what you want the rest to do. These two women have already built a massive business and are incredibly successful. No point throwing the baby out with the bathwater: learn from the best! I also sent these two a pack of my books. I knew they were key influencers.
- I had conversations with senior people at Neal’s Yard Remedies including Head of People and the CEO. They gave me the strategic direction of the business and what they wanted to see done differently.
Step 3: Design your webinar
Your audience likes to know where they are headed, so I design my script and slides to have a clear agenda, flow and regular signposting. Studies show that audience retention is improved by 40% with an effective and clear structure. (You can find more tips on structuring a presentation here).
We sent the agenda for the webinar and the slide deck design to the client ahead of the webinar. The response was overwhelmingly positive.
Wow, Jeremy and Debbie, these slides look fantastic! I’m so excited! The Leaders are in for such a treat on Thursday! – Client feedback
Step 4: Build anticipation ahead of the webinar
Some speakers prefer to keep everything under wraps before a presentation, but I don’t believe in that approach.
Instead, I shared the agenda with attendees and created a short tailor-made video for Neal’s Yard Remedies so that they had an idea of what to expect, and to start to get them excited about the webinar.
Several of the Leaders took to social media to share their excitement about the webinar as a result.
Step 5: Keeping your audience engaged during the webinar
Finally, the day of the webinar came about at last, with 106 attendees, all top distributors, mainly from the UK (some from the USA), a 105% increase on the usual number of attendees at previous training days.
In order to keep the audience attentive and engaged I did a couple of things:
- Shared a clear agenda with timings from the start
- Included a break in the middle of the webinar to help reset (no one can concentrate for two hours straight!)
- Encouraged questions throughout the webinar, not just at the end
- Encouraged the group chat to enable feedback, questions and help build the vital engagement that is lacking without live events. Also as a presenter, this lifts your spirits as you know people are engaged!
- Used interactive software. Mentimeter is a tool that allows for live polls during presentations. You can also monitor how many people are responding to the questions so you can use it to rev up attendees and let them know you are watching! An important element of live events that has been lost is the interactivity between attendees, sharing issues, solutions and knowledge – Mentimeter was invaluable in this regard as it allowed the more inexperienced sellers to learn from the answers of more experienced sellers whilst also providing invaluable intelligence to companies. I started the engagement with a first question 2 minutes into the webinar.
- Focused on The C3 Model of Influencing which has 3 key component parts – confidence, credibility and connection. I layered in the information so it was easy to understand and very practical in nature. They now know how to influence in their leadership roles.
You can find more tips on engaging a virtual audience in my blog post here.
Thank you so much, Jeremy! Your genuine interest in understanding NYRO and our Leaders certainly did not go unnoticed. That understanding paired with your expert knowledge resulted in a fantastic seminar. Well done to you and Debbie! – Client Feedback
Step 6: Gather Intelligence
A webinar doesn’t end after the presentation, instead we viewed it as a part of a longer journey for the Leaders. The client purchased the C3 Model of Influencing for all attendees so that they could continue their independent learning.
The survey result slide deck and Mentimeter results were sent to the client as useful intelligence.
And of course, gathering feedback for ourselves was also essential.
As well as a survey sent to the client, we received more informal feedback from attendees on social media.
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Step 7: Start Fresh For the Next One
Remember, the most important thing in a webinar isn’t you, it’s your audience.
Whilst it’s tempting to copy and paste a successful presentation, I urge you to resist that temptation. Start the process anew by discovering what your audience needs and wants.
The upshot is that having the courage to tailor-make each of your presentations will up your confidence, credibility and ability to connect with your audience. So what are you waiting for?
Want to chat about a bespoke webinar for your organisation? Want to know more about what really works? Find out more here. Or give us a call – +44 1903 918654 and book a time to speak to me personally.