3 Essentials You Must Do to Present Successful Webinars

I obsess a little about creating successful webinars, but this week I was distracted for a while by enjoying a milestone birthday. Number 50. Half a century. It has caused me to become very reflective this week and I have been thinking a lot about my priorities and my plan moving forward. This is in itself really interesting to me because I have totally changed the way I plan my life during the past 12 months and although the results haven’t been world breaking, I hate to think what might have happened if I hadn’t planned out my priorities and goals.

On a more tangible level, I have also been reflecting on what creates successful webinars and I have narrowed it down to 3. First however, let’s look at what is not on the list:

  • Your choice of webinar software
  • Your type of microphone
  • Your brand of webcam
  • Your makeup color palette
  • Your ability to speak the Queen’s English
  • Your educational background
  • Your industry
  • Your hairstyle

Put simply, all of the above items are white noise to the big picture issues described below. Don’t be distracted by these above items as being the ones that will make or break your success as a webinar presenter because that simply isn’t true. The following video tells you what you need to know.

3 Essentials You Must Do to Present Successful Webinars – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXuFg6Qlo7Q

1. Have the Right Mindset

Successful webinars inevitably have a focus upon the participants not the presenter. I have made the same observation of face-to-face presenters too. If the presenter cares about their audience and wants to achieve results that are genuinely in the best interests of their participants then success is almost assured. The alignment between a webinar presenter’s motivations and their participants’ needs is critical. I can’t explain all the science, but if a presenter is not committed to serving their audience then the participants will work this out by themselves, either consciously and/or subconsciously. It is so important that the presenter is committed to delivering what they promise and that the promise aligns with the participants’ expectations. If it doesn’t then the webinar will flop.

2. Write Down and Implement your Plan

I have two quotes that I live or die by when it comes to planning face-to-face or online presentations. They are:

  • Perfect preparation prevents poor performance (The 5 P’s).
  • If you fail to plan you plan to fail.

If you want to be super successful in life have a life plan. Yes, I have one, and if you want a reference for creating one read this book by the master of teaching successful people how to become more successful, Michael Hyatt.

If you want to achieve some tangible successes during the foreseeable future write down your goals.

If you want to present a webinar that soars, sit down and plan it. Yes, find some quiet time, be creative and write down a detailed plan. This should not be a script, but an outline (as described by John Lee Dumas).

3. Have Fun and Engage

People learn better when they are having fun (If you don’t know this then review this article and video). And experienced webinar presenters consistently describe how webinar engagement is their main ingredient to mastering the recipe for creating a successful webinar. To create improved webinar engagement a good starting point are the following articles on webinar engagement.

Do you have my Webinar Platforms Guide?

To learn more about webinars click here to grab my free Webinar Platforms Guide. It includes:

  • What are Webinars?
  • What are the 4 Types of Webinar Platforms?
  • What are the Pros and Cons of the Webinar Platforms?
  • Select the Best Platform for YOU
  • Where is the Software?

Click here to grab your copy.

What do YOU do to create successful webinars?

Now it is your turn. Do you agree or disagree with my 3 essentials? Am I missing or undervaluing something? What do YOU do to create successful webinars? Please click here to share your ideas in the YouTube video comments.

How to Ask Better Webinar Questions

To create an engaging webinar that captures your participants’ attention there is one important tactic for asking better webinar questions.

In my previous training article and video I presented the 7 questions to guarantee interactive presentations. However, this article presents a bonus regarding the specific type of webinar questions that will boost your engagement. Use this tactic to stimulate more involvement from your participants with you and your webinar content. It is a simple but often neglected concept. There is no fancy video today but just a simple takeaway for you. Here it comes….

During your webinars ask lots of open-ended questions in preference to closed-ended questions.

Open-ended questions are those for which there is a huge variety of possible answers. These questions have superpowers when used during training, especially during an online presentation.

Closed-ended questions do not require much thought. Whether they are yes/no, true/false, multiple choice or identifying the best simple answer, they can be easier to manage, including easy insertion into a poll. However, closed-ended questions do not require as much thought or attention as an open-ended question.

My favorite open-ended webinar questions include:

  • What questions do you want to ask?
  • How can this work for you?
  • What is your reaction to this?
  • How would you respond to this situation?
  • What would you do?
  • How would you use this to your advantage?
  • How does this make you feel?
  • What do you think we should do next?
  • What are you going to change as a result of this webinar?

Open-ended questions possess some special magic and can produce answers you will not anticipate, but which will provide broader value than closed-ended questions.

You can ask for responses to your open-ended questions using a microphone response (for smaller webinars with that functionality) or through the webinar chat. You should not feel compelled to respond individually to each participant response, as this can be very time-consuming for open-ended questions. After all, most webinar presenters would not normally do this for closed-ended questions.

Alternatively, you can very powerfully use open-ended rhetorical questions where you do not expect your participants to provide you with an answer, but it still gets them thinking on a deeper level about your content.

As always, I hope you find this training valuable. In return, I would love you to answer one question. And yes, it is an open-ended one.

I am currently planning out my weekly training articles for the next few months. What would you like to learn about presenting webinars? Click here to tell me.

What would you like to learn about presenting webinars?

This is not a rhetorical question. Please click here to send me an email and tell me so that I can help you better.

Webinar Engagement: Jerry Seinfeld Gets It

The one question you must ask if you are hiring a webinar presenter

If you are hiring a webinar presenter there is one question you must ask above all others. And if you are looking to become a webinar presenter then be ready to answer it. THE question is: “How do you create webinar engagement?”

If I am the employer I would not be primarily interested in the words the candidate uses to respond. Instead, I would focus on “how” they answer the question, particularly their non-verbals.

  • Are they excited to answer this question?
  • Are they passionate about engagement?
  • Is this something that is important to them?
  • Are they bursting at the seams to provide their answer to you?

I don’t want to hear a textbook answer. I want to hear the enthusiasm of a sixteen year old who is ready to attend their first stadium concert.

Today’s video is my reflections (and some frustrations) about webinar engagement. In some ways it is my answer to that job interview question. Click the video below and then please let me know how it makes you feel.

Webinar Engagement: Jerry Seinfeld Gets It – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qkMwC5JL0LA

This month is all about webinar engagement. This training article is the first of 5 consecutive weekly articles dedicated to helping you create engaging webinars that your participants will love. Later this month I will release my new Webinar Engagement Checklist (which you can pre-order here). You will be able to use the checklist to self-assess your level of engagement when you present webinars and score yourself. If you are not yet presenting webinars then the Webinar Engagement Checklist will give you the chance to best practice engagement habits before you even start presenting webinars and avoid some bad habits.

Is webinar engagement important?

Creating engagement with your participants is critical to presenting effective webinars that help you achieve your goals. However, rather than ramble on about this myself I have gone into research mode. The following credible sources provide a wealth of explanations about webinar engagement.


“Engagement is the most important aspect of any webinar and is what makes them so effective.  Therefore, marketers need to find ways to quantify engagement throughout their program in order to gauge effectiveness and quality of content (which includes delivery).”

Shelby Britton, Webinar Engagement by Numbers, The Adobe Connect Blog


“You need to know what you are trying to accomplish — in other words, how do you define engagement — and then track progress against that goal over time.”

Kelly Barner, “Measuring Webinar Engagement“, Webinara Blog


“You’re speaking to them, looking for their responses to keep them engaged with your webinar, but they on the other hand look at you as someone that cares what they say. So it’s win-win.”

Karen Yankovich, Episode 8, Webinar Skills Podcast


“This whole idea of an attention span is, I think, a misnomer. People have an infinite attention span if you are entertaining them.”

Jerry Seinfeld quoted by Mike Delgado, Live Streaming: Strategies to Increase Audience Attention & Engagement Activity, Mike Delgado


I think Jerry Seinfeld is possibly the world’s best potential webinar presenter. If I am ever interviewing him for a role I cannot wait to ask him THE question.

How engaging are your webinars?

You can register now to obtain my free Webinar Engagement Checklist to be released later this month. Put simply, it is your chance to identify lots of options for making your webinars engaging and interesting to your participants. It will help you identify:

  • What you are doing well
  • What you can do better
  • New ideas for improving engagement

If you want to be one of the first webinar presenters to get a copy click here and it will be automatically emailed to you when it becomes available.

What do you think about creating webinar engagement?

I want to read what you think. Please click here to share your thoughts with myself and others in the YouTube video comments.

Designing Effective Training

In 2015 I was invited to participate in a project coordinated by the Queensland College of Teachers. My challenge was to present a case study video about how I contribute to designing effective training. The project has been completed and here is the video.

Designing Effective Training – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oE7qbxFm-ho

I have been working at MRWED Training and Assessment since October 2003. It is an awesome place to work because everyone regardless of their position has a commitment to delivering top class quality experiences for our students. Have you worked in or with an organisation where there was a clear genuine commitment to delivering quality service at every opportunity? If you have then you know how I feel about MRWED. I get to work with quality trainers and professionals every day and I teach and assess challenging programs with a diverse groups of students about topics that I find fascinating. I have been working there for 13 years and during that time I have never considered submitting an application to try and advance my career by working somewhere else. I think I have been very lucky.

When MRWED was asked to contribute to some videos that could be used as a resource to support and encourage Queensland teachers I was thrilled to participate. The above video was produced to focus on helping teachers visualise how they could satisfy number 3 of the Professional Standards for VET Practitioners, which is to “Plan, design and deliver effective teaching/training experiences”.

How do we design effective training?

The video describes the philosophies and approaches that I and others use at MRWED to design effective training. If there is a key takeaway I think it is to always encourage ourselves to do things better. How can we improve the resources we already have? Do they need updated information? Should we present the content using a different format? How can advances in technology positively impact the way we present and publish our resources?

Participate in the Webinars Survey

Today’s video doesn’t focus on webinars, but they are my thing. The Webinars Survey is currently available at the time this article was published. By participating in the survey you will get free gifts, have the opportunity to enter prize draws and find out the aggregated quantitative data from the survey. This last point means that by taking the survey you will find out what other webinar presenters prefer in terms of webinar software, webinar presenters and webinar training resources. This is valuable information that can help you, I and all webinar presenters figure out better ways to improve our webinar performance so in alignment with today’s training topic I enthusiastically commend participating in the survey to you. I cannot wait to share what you and others choose as your favourite software, presenters and resources. For detailed information visit http://webinarssurvey.com.

If you visit the Webinars Survey after the survey has concluded you will be able to join a waiting list to get notified when the survey is activated again.

What do you think is the key to designing effective training?

I am very interested in your opinion. Click here to share your thoughts in the YouTube video comments.

What makes a Spectacular Webinar?

What makes a spectacular webinar? The following video answers this question.

What makes a spectacular webinar? – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZEEgJOTcJmw

If you want your webinars to be “ho-hum” or dull or boring then please stop reading. However, if you want to create memorable learning experiences for your webinar participants then this article identifies the three factors that can make your webinar spectacular. To provide a “wow” experience for your attendees pay close attention to the following three items so that you can ACE your webinars: Advertising, Content and Engagement.

1. Advertising

A spectacular webinar requires attendees, usually lots of them. And to have a large number of participants requires you to successfully promote the webinar. Usually, we instinctively think of advertising as requiring a payment. Facebook marketing is very popular among the best webinar presenters who promote online products. If this is an area of interest, have a listen to Rick Mulready on Episode 2 of the Webinar Skills Podcast to secure advice for beginners about how to get started towards using Facebook marketing. Additionally, webinars can be advertised using Google AdWords, Twitter or other social media paid advertising options. Webinars can also be successfully advertised on niche sites relevant to your target market.

Alternatively, webinars can be promoted using “free” options, such as social media, your website or email broadcasts to your email list or perhaps providing your webinar details to someone else who promotes your webinar to their email list. I hesitate to write these as free options because there are real costs, most notably your time, required to attract followers, site visitors or email subscribers so that you can effectively utilise these options.

2. Content

A spectacular webinar delivers amazing content to the participants. This is critical because if the webinar content is not relevant or provides poor quality information to the participants they will leave and never return. During poor quality face-to-face training participants are inclined to “just sit there” because that’s what they learnt to do. In webinars poor quality training is reciprocated by decreasing attendance numbers. In the relative anonymity of the Internet attendees opt-out if they are not getting quality information.

Choose to deliver quality rather than quantity to your webinar participants. I write this because people are busy. They would almost always prefer you to dive deeper into fewer topics than skim across lots of topics. The deeper dive gives you more scope to provide actionable steps that can provide tangible benefit to your webinar participants, so be careful not to present a webinar on a broad topic. Focus your topic so that your participants finish the webinar impressed with the level of detail and valuable ideas they have acquired about that topic.

3. Engagement

Many websites use the word “attendees” to collectively describe the people who attend webinars. I do not. I prefer the term “participants”. This is a deliberate choice in order to identify that the best practice approach is to have your webinar guests engaged and participating. Never think of your webinar attendees as passive spectators who are there to watch you teach or put on a show. Instead, deliberately plan your webinar so that your participants have regular opportunities to be involved and interacting with you (and ideally each other).

Participate in the Webinars Survey

If you love webinars just a little bit then I have something exciting for you. The Webinars Survey is currently available at the time this article was published. By participating in the survey you will get free gifts, have the opportunity to enter prize draws and find out the aggregated quantitative data from the survey. This last point means that by taking the survey you will find out what other webinar presenters prefer in terms of webinar software, webinar presenters and webinar training resources. This is valuable information that can help you, I and all webinar presenters figure out better ways to improve our webinar performance so in alignment with today’s training topic I enthusiastically commend participating in the survey to you. I cannot wait to share what you and others choose as your favourite software, presenters and resources. For detailed information visit http://webinarssurvey.com.

If you visit the Webinars Survey after the survey has concluded you will be able to join a waiting list to get notified when the survey is activated again.

What do you think makes a spectacular webinar?

I am very interested in your opinion. Have I forgotten something? Click here to share your thoughts in the YouTube video comments.

Webinar Feedback: 3 Ways to Guarantee More Responses

Webinar Feedback – It is only as good as the number and variety of responses you receive.

Webinar Feedback: 3 Ways to Guarantee More Responses – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2MaT-cjh3E

I was desperate for information on one bizarre morning back in the early 1990s. I had come into my work as a University lecturer to be immediately summoned by the Dean of the Faculty. This was unusual and usually not a good thing. On this occasion he told me that we needed a fill-in for that morning’s Advanced Marketing Research lecture because the lecturer was very ill and couldn’t come in. The lecture had to go ahead because it included essential content that was on the following week’s end of semester exam. I was identified as the only person on-site with experience in marketing research who was capable of delivering the content. Regrettably, it was an advanced unit and being the final week of the semester the content was beyond anything I had learnt. I had less than 30 minutes to prepare and I just had to give it my best shot. Ouch.

Have you been in situations where you needed to discover your A-game? One way to upgrade your skills to be ready for A-game performance is to collect more webinar feedback surveys. The more surveys you collect the more golden nuggets and little ideas you will identify to help you improve your future webinars.

How do we collect more webinar feedback?

I have identified 3 ways to guarantee that you will get more webinar feedback responses. Let’s get stuck in.

1. Ask!

To obtain webinar feedback ask for it. The Bible says “Ask and you shall receive”. Whether or not you are a believer, you can be confident that there is wisdom in these words. So then, when do you ask your webinar participants for feedback? My best answer includes all of these options:

  • Before the webinar
  • At the start of the webinar
  • During the webinar
  • At the end of the webinar
  • Immediate website re-direction at the conclusion of the webinar
  • Follow-up email after the conclusion of the webinar

You must ask. To get more survey responses you must ask for them with deliberate genuine intention. Let your attendees know that you do highly value their feedback. Don’t be dismissive about it in any way. Let them know that you really care that they provide it to you, whether what they have to say is good, bad or ugly.

2. Improve your survey design

Improve your survey design through the following general principles.

  • Ask only a small number of easy questions.
  • Ask more closed questions instead of open questions.
  • Don’t ask personal questions.
  • Don’t unnecessarily ask demographic questions.
  • Make your first question a very quick and easy one.
  • Show your survey design to at least two other people to solicit improvement ideas.

After you have taken these factors into account don’t over-think it too much. Let your survey rip out into the Universe.

3. Thank your survey respondents

After you receive a survey write to your respondents and thank them. I guarantee you that only a very small percentage of webinar presenters do this, which creates a great window of opportunity for those of us who adopt this strategy. Sending this email takes time to organise. I get that. But send it anyway because it is powerful in communicating your genuine enthusiasm for your respondent’s feedback. And as a nice side benefit to you it makes them more likely to submit feedback next time they attend one of your webinars. That is a win-win result.

What happened with the marketing research lecture?

The lecture was an awesome reminder to me about the value of preparing for training. It felt awkward. Difficult. Clumsy. Then the survey results from the students came in and they voted it the best lecture they had received all semester. Yes, seriously. You’ve gotta love feedback survey results like that.

What do you think can improve feedback for your webinars?

Do you agree that asking questions achieves interactive presentations? Which types of questions work for you? Please click here to tell me and share your thoughts in the YouTube video comments.