What can LEGO® building bricks teach us about crafting and promoting webinar presentations? Consider the following webinar titles:
- New Features in Release 4.0
- Changes to State Law in 2018
- Status of November Committee Proceedings
- Latest Industry Trends and Benchmarks
The topics are clearly stated. They have meaning for whatever audience is targeted. The information has value. But they are not as effective as they could be. The presentations hold the same promise that a big box of random LEGO bricks holds. They tell a prospective attendee:
"We're going to dump a whole bunch of bricks (facts) on the table. You might enjoy sifting through them and maybe finding some that you can put to use if you are clever and imaginative enough, and if we happened to give you the bricks you needed."
When The LEGO Group first started selling their famous bricks in 1949, that's what they gave their audience… collections of bricks to be used as desired.
By 1964, the company was looking for a way to stimulate additional sales and keep growing. They hit on the idea of creating kits with exactly the pieces and instructions necessary to build a single, specific item pictured on the box lid. Just as model cars and airplanes had been sold for years.
Today you can get a good sense of sales popularity by looking at Amazon.com's hourly updates on bestselling items in their LEGO Store. Individual model kits make up the overwhelming majority of the items. You really have to search to find generic collections of bricks in the bestseller list.
If you want to generate demand, improve attendee satisfaction, and keep your audience coming back for more, try the LEGO approach. Don't just dump a laundry list of facts on your listeners.
- Tell them the specific goal you are going to help them achieve… That's your "picture on the box lid."
- Promise that they are going to get the facts they need in order to achieve the goal… That's your "specifically-curated set of building blocks."
- Tell them that they will gain an understanding of how to use and apply the information in their own business… That's your "instruction list."
Using this approach, you will notice some changes from the way you are used to thinking about your webinars.
As your webinars concentrate on one promised goal at a time, the number of registrants and attendees for any given webinar will be smaller than for generic topic titles. You will need to edit the information you present to ONLY include things that directly contribute to the stated objective. And you will need to spend more time framing and explaining the utility and value of the information you present.
Let's make it concrete by moving back to the first sample title in my list at the beginning of this article.
"New Features in Release 4.0" might get executives, business users, and IT professionals to attend your webinar. But all three demographics emerge with a sense that part of their time was wasted, as you had to present features that did not interest them or address their priorities.
What if you craft three webinars instead?
- Using Release 4.0 to Improve Development Speed
- Improving Your Bottom Line With Release 4.0
- Installation and Support of Release 4.0: What you need to know to support your users
Each webinar uses only a subset of the total information, facts, and features you have at your disposal as a spokesperson. Each webinar shows smaller registration and attendance numbers. But each webinar has a greater chance of stimulating goodwill and action responses from its target audience, as you lead them towards the goal you have promised in the title. They no longer feel like you took a generic "information-dump" approach, leaving them with the responsibility for deciding which features have value. Instead, you have shown them HOW to use specific new features to generate value as THEY perceive it.
Much of the material in your previous generic webinar is repeated and repurposed in the topic-specific webinars. Just as you might find the same green, 4-stud, square LEGO brick in different model kits. You don't need different underlying facts for each webinar… You just need to decide which ones deserve inclusion and how they can be assembled to get to your "picture on the box lid" that attendees are expecting.