The Scale Think Tank

It’s so frustrating, isn’t it?

You sign up for a webinar because the headline tells you you’re going to learn the “how to” that will be the breakthrough for your business.

…if you can get through the first 20 minutes.

I’ve noticed a trend over the last year or so on webinars. Since webinars can be such a great way to get a message out there, a lot of people are using them. And a lot of people are using a formula.

But with every formula comes a dark side. If you don’t understand the purpose of each step, you can execute that step so poorly that it actually does the opposite of what you want it to do.

In webinars, that formula tells you to “build credibility with your audience.” And so, since many webinar presenters don’t really understand what credibility is, they blather on and on until you’re so completely bored out of your mind that you, the listener, no longer hold the presenter in any high regard.

Mission Not Accomplished.

So, if you are planning on using webinars to build authority and credibility with – and yes, sell to – your audience, then pay attention, because I’m going to help you spare your audience from the grueling 20 minute bad webinar intro.

Here are the 3 big mistakes I see webinar presenters make in the first 20 minutes of their webinar.

1. Overtell Their “Story”

It’s important to build credibility with your audience. But credibility comes in multiple flavors. What your audience needs from you at the beginning of the webinar is relatability. Tell your story so that the audience relates to you. 

What many webinar presenters do is talk about their “rags to riches” story or talk about all their accomplishments. This doesn’t work. This makes them seem further away from their audience. Not a good way to start the presentation.

To fix this, briefly talk about yourself using pain points and descriptions that will feel familiar to your audience. Then stop. You don’t need to convince your audience that you are “credible.” If they didn’t believe that already, they wouldn’t be at your webinar.

Credibility is important on the registration page, not at the beginning of your webinar.

2. Housekeeping Lectures

Many webinar presenters lecture their audience, admonishing them to stop multitasking, turn off Facebook, turn off their phone, clear their schedule, and focus on all this “great content” that is to come.

In my opinion, this is a horrible way to start your relationship with your audience. Basically, you’re treating them like children. They are attending a webinar in the middle of their day. They’re multi-tasking by definition. To ignore this is simply naive. 

If you want your audience’s attention, then earn it.

Provide killer content that they couldn’t get anywhere else. Make it so good and so valuable that they feel like they’re missing things if they don’t pay attention. Then, and only then, will they turn off Facebook, close their email, and listen to what you have to say.

3. Motivate the “Why”

Far too much time is spend on webinars motivating why you should care about this content. Why are presenters wasting precious time motivating why the audience should care about this topic, when they’ve already shown up?

The time to motivate the why is on the registration page – confirmed with emails arriving in advance of the webinar. Once people are in attendance, you don’t need to tell them why it’s important. It’s important enough to show up.

Instead, acknowledge the fact that your audience is in attendance because they realize the topic is important. And commend them for their choice.

Then spend your remaining time making the attendee grateful for the choice they made to listen to you.

Make the First 20 Minutes Awesome, Then Build On It

If you avoid these mistakes, you create a relationship with your audience that will take you to the end of the session. Of course, you need to have really good content to keep that relationship of trust you’ve built. But if you wow the audience – over-delivering in every point – by the time you get to the end, they’ll be wanting more.

And wanting more is exactly how you want your audience positioned. Whether you have an offer to sell, an opportunity for consultation, or you’re just asking your audience to shift their mindset, you can’t get there if you start off poorly.