You can make your webinar descriptions, invitations, and presentations more effective. Engage your audience with active terminology.
Don’t run away yet… I am not going to turn this post into a rehash of that long-ago grammar class in school that made you permanently hate the English language in general and writing in particular. You can look up detailed descriptions of transitive vs. intransitive verbs somewhere else. In fact, some of what I will recommend doesn’t match up with formal definitions of active vs. passive sentence construction at all. So you grammar jocks can put away your well-thumbed copies of “Elements of Style.”
My use of “active” and “passive” is more generic and high level in this particular context. Are you inviting your audience at all times to take part in thinking about your topic and take an active part in the webinar process? Or are you just “putting things out there” in the hopes that someone will see the value?
Let me use some examples to illustrate the difference.
Do your webinar descriptions or invitations include a section like this?
This webinar will cover the following points:
- Recent changes to the law
- Things to look out for
- Best practices
Your audience is not involved in that description. They are passive observers of the fact that a webinar including certain subjects is going to take place. Yawn. Why not make them a part of the process instead?
Attend this webinar to gain the following benefits:
- Discover recent changes to the law and how they affect you
- Learn what you should look out for in your business
- Review best practices and how to apply them in daily operations
The same distinction occurs during your presentation. You can present slide after slide of data points, facts, and best practices. All your audience can do is sit back and let the data wash over them. Or you can invite them to be active members in a conversation about the information.
- “What do you think is the single most important thing you can do in this situation?”
- “Think about how you can apply this in your business.”
- “This circles back to what I introduced at the start… Do you remember our first principle?”
Now you are reaching out to the audience and letting them know that you expect them to interact (at least intellectually) with the information.
When you invite attendees to participate, give them a command. Instead of:
- “I wonder if anybody out there has run into this situation?”
Change it to:
- “Have you run into this situation? Type in the chat area and let me know.”
Review your promotional copy, your slides, and your presentation speech. Would you have to alter them if nobody was listening and you were just listing descriptive information for data archival purposes? If the answer is no, then you are doing a disservice to your audience. Bring them in to the game. Make them believe you care whether they are there or not. Invite them to be active in the sharing of information, not part of a passive, unseen audience that doesn’t matter.