Nobody wants their webinar to be a boring, one-hour monologue that doesn’t sell, but so many coaches are stuck with exactly that.
I get it.
We all want more engagement in our webinars, but pulling it off can be a bit of a mystery… until now.
Now, I want to take you deeper.
Before your audience will take big steps in a webinar, you have to get them comfortable taking smaller steps. Ramp up the involvement!-Taki Moore [Tweet This]
Boot Scootin’ Boogie… or something like that
The second step to creating more webinar engagement is to train your audience well. We need to teach them how to respond to you.
I think line dancing is the perfect example of this. Even if you have no rhythm whatsoever, you can still do it. As long as you copy what the person in front of you does you’ll probably get along just fine.
Who knows? You may even have a really good time!
Or not. I don’t really know first-hand — I’m not much of dancer. The point is, we’re going to make it stupid-simple and easy for your audience to respond to you.
For example, here’s what I do at some live events.
When I first walk out, I say, “Thanks so much for having me, I’m so happy to be here. Right now, I’d like everyone to raise their right hand.”
I raise my hand and watch people gradually start to raise their hands. I even gesture upwards with my left hand to encourage everyone in the room to get their hand up.
Then I say, “Now I want you to wave it around like you just don’t care.”
Everyone starts to awkwardly wave their hands — just a little bit.
“Take your hand and put it on the shoulder of the person next to you. Now give them a little shake and say, ‘Oh crap, he’s interactive.’”
At this point, I see a lot of smiles and hear laughter around the room, so I say something like, “Thanks everybody for playing along and being good sports. We’re going to have a lot of fun today. Let’s get into it.”
In that brief moment, three big things have happened. We’ll use these same three points to train people in our webinar. So… let’s get into it.
1. Start From The Start
From the very beginning, we’ve taken ownership of the room. We’ve established ourselves as the leader.
We’re driving the ship now, not the audience.
2. Ramp It Up
If we walked right out on stage and said, “Thanks for having me, I’m so happy to be here. Now put your hand on the shoulder of the person next to you and whisper in their ear…” then nobody would have done it.
Instead, we’ve ramped it up by first asking them to do something really safe, then something a little more involved, and then a little bit scary.
In BlackBelt and Million Dollar Coach intensives, I often run a three-step pattern that illustrates this perfectly.
After teaching for a bit, I ask a question and tell everyone to write down an answer in their notebook. It’s extremely safe, so everyone does it.
Then when I say, “Now I want you to turn to the person next to you and have a quick conversation about what’s on your paper. Share your answers and listen to theirs. Ready, set, go!”
It’s still safe, but if I’d initially said, “Here’s my question. Now turn to the person next to you and discuss your answer,” they may not have had anything to say. Now, because they’ve already written it down, they can turn to the person next to them and have something to talk about.
Then I say, “Great, let’s take it from your group discussion to the entire room,” and I get people to call out their answers.
This is definitely scarier, but it works because I’ve ramped it up. I’ve gone from total safety to a little less safe to public sharing without losing engagement along the way.
That’s how it works for a live event, but let’s look at how this could work in a webinar.
The serious action you want your audience to take at the end is to purchase your coaching or book an appointment. To get them comfortable with that, we’ve got to get them comfortable with doing other stuff right from the start.
In the five minutes before the webinar even begins, you can ask the people already logged in, “Can you hear my voice and see my screen?”
Apart from the making sure the technology’s working we’re getting people used to responding to us.
Then we can say, “Thank you so much, that’s brilliant. I’d love to know is where are you in the world right now?”
Then people type in their city without hesitation because it’s still really safe.
Then we can ask, “What are you most excited about getting from this webinar?”
We’ve taken them from “Can you hear me?” to “Where are you?” to “What do you want to get out of this?”
See how we’re ramping up the interaction? We’re training people how to respond all the way through.
3. Ask and Acknowledge
Finally, when we ask people to do something and they do it, we need to acknowledge them.
Andrew Carnegie said, “A person’s name is to that person, the sweetest, most important sound in any language.” So, when somebody types in an answer or raises their hand like we’ve asked them to, we’ll call out their name and say, “Thank you.”
When your audience engages with you and you acknowledge it, you’re reinforcing that this is the desired behavior you’re looking for. If we ignore their responses, they may believe they’re doing something wrong and shut down.
By asking questions and acknowledging their responses, you’re training your audience to do what you want.
Up next on the blog, we’ll look at the final step of increasing webinar engagement — Installing Interaction.