[GUEST POST] Webinar Fatigue and How to Overcome it

Webinars, illustration for blog post by Jonathon Gordon / EMI on the iIAR website

Webinar fatigue is now as common as the cold

Let’s face it, to say the webinar scene is overcrowded would be a monumental understatement.  Webinar fatigue should come as no surprise. After all, I seem to receive a new webinar invitation every other day.  While many of them sound super interesting, who has time to sit on webinars all day?  I often find myself signing up for many more than I actually attend.  Webinars, if done right, are a lot of work (the ultimate webinar project plan here).  Is it worth the time and effort?  I must admit that I am still a believer.  I consider webinars to be a great platform to interact with customers, prospects and the wider audience.  So how can you make sure they’re successful?


How to get the Audience?

Make it educational and not a sales dump. That much is obvious to most of us by now.  I would go beyond that and say make it CONTROVERSIAL!!  The most successful webinar I recall was when we discussed a topic that was hugely contentious.  I am not saying go out of your way to be antagonistic. Just pick a topic that might have two opposing sides.    Make it entertaining and compelling.  Instead of rolling out your favorite product manager, bring on guests and set it up as a debate. Bill it as the main event!  Do something different if you want to stand out.

No substitute for Quality

Don’t skimp on the slides. Don’t over-text them and don’t throw up random pictures.  Make the design simple, consistent and visual!  So many folks are still reading off their slides.  Make sure you’re not stuffing too many slides into your 35-40-minute webinar. As I have had to explain to many an overzealous slide-bearing product manager, its quality and clarity of message, not quantity.

Audience participation

Nothing brings on a case of Webinar fatigue quicker than a “slide-fest”!  One of the best things about the format is the chance to interact with the audience.  Set some interactive polls to ask the audience during the webinar.  It helps wake up the audience and break up topics.  Most webinar platforms have the ability to conduct interactive polls.  For maximum interaction, you can combine a poll question with a Twitter chat or other social media.  Make sure to leave time for Q&As and prepare for them!  Don’t leave things to chance. Prepare back up questions just in case.  Some platforms enable webinars to be pre-recorded, but I always suggest you do a live Q&A.

You don’t need an audience

Well you do, but you don’t necessarily need a live one.  Many webinar platforms today will let you record the live webinar and then offer it on demand.  What’s great about this is your audience will never “miss” your webinar.  It is always there, online and viewers can even log back in later and pick up where they left off.  I personally have utilized EverGreen (here) but there are quite a few options out there for automating the “long tail webinar”.

Don’t forget to…

Stretch it! Repurpose that content.  First off, upload the deck to SlideShare and Youtube if you don’t have an evergreen platform.  Some webinars make great ebooks or “How to guides” depending on the content.  Webinars can make excellent fodder for social media. Use the visuals, break up the text and voilà – you have a series of thematic posts for a couple of weeks or more.

Practice makes perfect

Get your team geared up and pumped for the webinar.  Make sure the speakers are trained to speak enthusiastically about the topic.  Rehearse a couple of times. Get everyone comfortable with the script and flow. It helps to record the dry runs and play them back to the speaker.  Think more Broadway performance than mind-numbing college lecture and you’ll be half way there.



Originally posted on Jonathon’s LinkedIn page on the 14/2/16 and on EMI Insights. Opinions expressed in this guest post are not an IIAR position and may not reflect IIAR members individual opinions.


Other posts by Jonathon

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