How to Inspire Customers with Exciting Webinars

White Paper

The crucial measure of a webinar’s success is the number of usable leads it generates. To achieve that ideal goal, you need to combine expertise on a subject with the professional execution of its presentation. In this new white paper, presentation coach Kai Morasch explains how marketers and speakers can deliver polished, professional webinars with proven best practices. Download this white paper to learn why a webinar plan is essential, what a perfect introduction should include, how top speakers capture the audience’s attention and the art of turning webinar participants into customers.

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Why are webinars such an effective way of generating leads?

It’s an all-too-familiar situation. You’re planning a lead-generation campaign for your business, perhaps a direct marketing campaign. You’re probably buying suitable addresses for your target group, having expensive materials printed and sending them out to potential leads with high postage costs. So far, so good. But when you look at the response rates, you realise that, in spite of your careful planning and organisation, the campaign hasn’t been the success you hoped for. The quality of the addresses wasn’t as good as the supplier promised, the message wasn’t communicated as well as the agency’s creative team thought, and the usable leads are fewer than expected. You failed to engage the interest of your target group and inspire them with your products or services.

Webinars use a different approach. They allow you to communicate with your target audience live and in colour, get them involved and get them inspired. People can take part in your presentation no matter where they are — all they need is an Internet connection. Webinars can also be interactive, allowing you to engage with your future customers on all levels and inspire them with your products.

Surveys and statistics from major service providers like Citrix show that webinars are one of the most effective tools available for lead generation. Read on to find out what makes a good webinar, how to get attendees involved and how to turn them into customers.

What makes a good webinar?

A good webinar requires planning and preparation. Simply taking a presentation designed for the classroom and repackaging it as a webinar won’t work. Webinars have requirements of their own, and you need to bear these in mind as you plan and organise yours. Here are the building blocks of a good webinar:

Structural plan

The structural plan is the framework for your webinar. You will start by deciding how your webinar will be structured — don’t worry about content at this stage. Elements that might feature in your structural plan include content elements, interactivity (chat surveys, multiple-choice surveys, show of hands — more on these later), live presentations of on-screen content (such as a software demo) and the transitions between these main elements. The elements you include in your structural plan will depend on the length of the webinar. A 60-minute webinar, for example, should include two or three interactive elements. If the webinar is longer or shorter than this, the number of interactive components should be adjusted accordingly. The content elements are then linked to the interactive components to fit the overall structure.


The presentation is an essential part of any webinar. Unlike a classroom, attendees usually can’t see the presenter’s body language. So, as far as they are concerned, the presentation is the key visual element. When designing a presentation, always remember the following points:

  • Don’t use more than three ideas or statements per slide
  • Never use a font smaller than 20 pt.
  • Be brief and to the point; avoid long sentences.
  • Avoid text that is simply read out word-for-word by the presenter (except quotations).
  • Strong, meaningful images reinforce the visual impact on an emotional level.
  • Use only a few relevant animations — or none at all.
  • Stick to this rule of thumb: One slide = one minute of the webinar


The introduction to the webinar and presentation is a very important part of the overall event. Usually the first few minutes decide whether attendees are enthusiastic about the webinar or not. These days, everyone has a busy schedule, and we are all “wired” to invest time only in things that we believe will give us added value and help us achieve our goals.

The same applies to webinars. Attendees have a certain expectation that the time invested in the webinar will be time well spent. Each attendee will decide for themselves how much benefit they have to gain. So during the first few minutes of a webinar, all attendees (sometimes consciously, often unconsciously) will compare the content of the webinar with their own expectations and the anticipated benefit.

Here are a few things to avoid in your introduction (not an exhaustive list, by any means):

  • Focusing on the presenter and giving a CV
  • Giving a detailed point-by-point summary of the webinar
  • Slides containing nothing but text
  • Slides showing successes, customers, number of subsidiaries/branches

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Storytelling is a good way of engaging an attendee’s interest during a seminar or webinar while presenting the content in a vivid way. Try to find real-life examples relating to your topic that have actually been experienced by you or someone else. These stories should be incorporated into your webinar at suitable points.

People love stories. It’s much easier to listen to a story than to concentrate on a list of dry facts. Storytelling also brings you emotionally closer to your audience. It makes somewhat abstract ideas more tangible and helps people grasp the real idea. If you ask a group of people a few days after a webinar what they remember about it, it’s often the stories built into the presentation that they recall. These are much easier for attendees to absorb and take note of, as most people can associate them with their own experiences.


Interactivity involves attendees in the webinar. You can use interactive elements to make attendees follow the webinar more attentively and quickly re-engage with it after an interruption or distraction.

Many attendees are exposed to a lot of distractions during the course of a webinar. Unlike a classroom-based event, each individual is sitting in front of their own computer. Frequently used applications like email programs and communication tools (e.g. instant messaging) are usually running at the same time. There may also be other browser windows open for social media platforms, which issue new messages second by second. All these things, plus an individual’s surroundings, provide potential distractions.

So incorporate interactivity at key points during your webinar. This might be a multiple-choice question with clickable answers or a simple chat question inviting a brief response from attendees. With the right approach, you can return people’s concentration to your presentation and re-engage with your audience.

Examples of interactive elements:

  • Multiple-choice question
  • Chat question
  • Whiteboard vote
  • Show of hands
  • Interactive drawing


The conclusion is vital to the success of your webinar. To inspire attendees to remember you as an expert and recall your message, you need to make an impact at the end of the webinar. Studies show that just 3 days after a presentation, people only remember a very small amount of the content: the emotional introduction, storytelling (see above) and the conclusion. So at the end of your webinar presentation, recap on the key points and explain what benefits the attendees can draw from the webinar and the action you are prompting them to take. Use further strong arguments and meaningful images. A well-designed conclusion achieves much of the overall effect.

How do I get attendees involved?

To reach your audience, you need to engage with them as a presenter and make them enthusiastic about the products or services you are telling them about. The webinar will only result in sales if your audience can see the actual added value of a solution and has developed trust in you.

Here are a few pointers to help:

Identify pain points and offer a solution.

Before the webinar, think carefully about your target audience. What challenges do they face? What kind of resources or aids do they often need? Only when you understand these ‘pain points’ can you address your audience at the right level. If you can offer solutions, even if only small steps, then you will win over your listeners.

Build trust.

People buy from people, not from companies. A customer will only choose you if you have won their trust and sympathy. But this isn’t always easy. Nowadays, thanks to the Internet and mobile access to information, consumers are extremely well informed. Studies show that it takes five-to-seven contacts for a potential customer to acquire enough trust to make a confident purchase decision.

Position yourself as an expert.

To lay the foundations of trust between you and the customer, they must perceive you as an expert. How can you support this impression during the webinar? As well as demonstrating your expertise through the presentation of the topic, the question-and-answer part of the webinar is very important in this regard. During the question session at the end of the webinar, attendees will quickly recognise whether you really know your stuff or your knowledge is limited to the content of the presentation. So we suggest preparing two or three questions yourself to go into the topic in more depth in a different direction. You can then answer these, and audience questions, with confidence.

How do I turn attendees into customers?

Put yourself in the attendee’s shoes

When you prepare your presentation, make sure you don’t lose sight of the attendee’s point of view. Presenters often make the mistake of presenting a topic too much from their own perspective. As a result, much of the content is not adequately communicated to the audience. Always ask yourself: How would attendees see this? What do they get from this?

Never give your potential customer the impression that you are only interested in acquiring them as a lead. The attendees will quickly catch on to this and instinctively resist the idea of being a record in your CRM system, even if it would mean benefits and a good solution for them at the end of the day. Always make the attendees feel that you are offering them real added value.

Increase your attendance rate.

There are tons of webinars these days; some free, and some you have to pay for. So it’s not surprising that not everyone who signs up for a webinar actually attends the event. It’s not unusual for attendance rates to be less than 50%. You can increase this figure with a few simple measures:

Make good use of email reminders. Lots of people sign up for webinars and then forget to dial in at the appropriate time. So always send out reminders the day before and one hour before the webinar is due to start. In these emails, remind the recipient of the exact content of the webinar and the benefits of participating live.

Include offers that are only available to people who attend the live webinar and not those who simply view the recording (such as a prize draw). Ask yourself whether it would be better for the target audience to offer a recording or to offer two alternative dates/times for people who can’t attend the main event.

Offer bonus material

Bonus material or other extras are an effective way of building additional trust between you and the customer. It’s best to offer this bonus material at the end of the webinar. As an added benefit, this provides an extra incentive for people to stay until the end of the event. Route people via a website that allows you to measure the number of people who access the material. This will allow you to gauge the success of the offer and optimise it for future events. Bonus material might include:

  • Trial offer
  • Test access
  • List of further reading
  • Useful links
  • Self-test
  • Checklist
  • E-books

Make a time-limited offer

Analyses of webinars have shown that just 72 hours after a webinar, attendees recall little of the action they were being prompted to take. To achieve a good impact and satisfactory response rate, it’s important to provide a time-limited offer. This forces people to act within a certain period of time if they want to take advantage of certain special benefits. For example, you can make certain bonus material available for a limited time or in a limited quantity, or offer a special price for a limited period only.

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