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How to Build Marketing Presentations for Webinars


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Marketing webinars can build awareness of your company, help advance prospects along the sales cycle and establish you as a thought leader in your field. Or they can frustrate and annoy your audience so that they never want to hear from you again!

Join Ken Molay, president of Webinar Success and a former director of product marketing, as he presents practical guidelines for creating webinar presentations that engage your audience and create sales interest.

In this one-hour, interactive webinar you'll:

* Find out how to hook an audience quickly and make them want to pay attention.
* Learn the commonly used presentation technique that actually works against you in a webinar.
* Get examples of proper structure and flow for a marketing webinar.
* Hear much more practical advice on building engaging webinar presos.

Published in: Business
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How to Build Marketing Presentations for Webinars

  1. 1. This document will give you the key concepts and guidelines presented by Ken Molay in his web seminar on tips for creating powerful and effective marketing presentations. 1
  2. 2. Why do you need to concentrate on skills and techniques for building good presentation content? Because quite frankly, nobody else in your organization cares about the quality of the content. That may sound ridiculous at first. You probably have all kinds of people contributing “helpful” comments when you create a presentation. “Make sure to talk about this feature.” “Tell them about the upcoming user conference.” “Get them to follow us on Twitter and Facebook.” “Don’t forget our company overview slides.” While well-meaning, these disjointed suggestions create a “kitchen sink” presentation. Muddled and superfluous messages that do not lead an attendee to a specific action or conclusion. 2
  3. 3. What you really need to provide are results. And that can lead to some murky thinking as well. Far too many managers are concerned only with the number of leads you capture on your marketing webinar. And they make the mistake of counting registrants as leads. A registrant is a contact… not a lead. If all you are concerned with is the number of people who register, your content is not important at all. Others believe that the success of a marketing webinar is measured in the number f di t l d lt f tt d If t i t d i l iof direct sales made as a result of attendance. If you are trying to drive sales in your webinar, you are no longer talking about a marketing webinar… You are talking about a sales webinar. And that’s a different subject than I am covering here. So that leaves us with the question of just what an “effective” webinar presentation should accomplish? The answer is that it should prompt viewers to enter your sales process. Entering the process may mean requesting a sales call. It may mean being willing to talk to an inside sales or telemarketing representative when they call Itwilling to talk to an inside sales or telemarketing representative when they call. It may mean filling out a form asking for more detailed information about your products and services. Your content needs to produce a change in your viewers’ attitudes and/or behaviors. And there are specific things you can do to achieve that goal. 3
  4. 4. Let’s fill in the blanks with the types of content that can be useful in marketing presentations: • You may want to demonstrate your company’s expertise in your topic area by showcasing an employee or representative who can give listeners useful information. • You may want to demonstrate thought leadership in your field by participating in or hosting a panel discussion or debate on a crucial topic. • You may want to be seen as a trusted resource by making outside experts available to share their knowledge and expertise. • You may want to build awareness of your products and services with introductory overviews of your offerings or more detailed updates on recent enhancements. • You may want to showcase specific functionality and competitive differentiation with demonstrations of your offerings (although I prefer to save these for saleswith demonstrations of your offerings (although I prefer to save these for sales presentations in most cases). And there are plenty of other possibilities as well. 4
  5. 5. No matter which of the content types you decide to use from the preceding list, there are fundamental approaches that will help to make it work for you. We will now dive into the top five tips that you should incorporate in any presentation. Page 5
  6. 6. First, and most importantly, we need to recognise that successful presentations build audience interest, involvement, and retention. That means we have to think about their viewpoint at all times. You have a goal as a company. There is a reason for spending the time, money, and effort to put on a marketing presentation. But your audience doesn’t care about that goal. You need to turn your perspective on your content 180 degrees and view it from their eyes. Page 6
  7. 7. You have an advantage with your audience right from the start. They have chosen to attend your presentation and they are hoping it turns out to be valuable and engaging. But “valuable and engaging” may not be what you think. There is a difference between being interested in a subject and caring about a subject. One of the things you have to do as a presenter is to change the audience’s attitude from being interested to truly caring. And you do that by appealing to the one universal passion that all humans share… Page 7
  8. 8. Your audience cares about themselves, their needs, their benefits. You need to play to this. Assume that as human beings, we are all inherently selfish. That’s not a bad thing or a negative statement. It’s just a way to get you to swap your viewpoint from “What do I want to say” over to “What do they want to hear about?” When Al Gore put together his talk about the need to take action against global warming, his challenge was to make the impacts personal rather than academic. You need to do the same thing. The single most effective thing you can do in your planning and delivery is to consciously work at incorporating the words “YOU” and “YOUR” into your presentation as much as possible. Keep emphasising value to the individual listening to you. Your delivery to a group of 200 attendees should be exactly theg y y g p y same as if there were one person sitting in front of you. Page 8
  9. 9. Gillette spends millions of dollars on product development, research, and manufacturing processes to make their razors as high tech and effective as they can. You can find all those product details if you look for them. But the primary way to reach their target consumer market is through advertising that goes straight to the heart of satisfying the private “selfish” needs/benefits of the male. “Use our razor and you’ll end up wealthy, daring, and irresistible to hot women.” No male wants to admit that they think like this, but the imagery and messaging gets them to pay attention Once they have an emotional connection to the outcome they’ll listen toattention. Once they have an emotional connection to the outcome, they ll listen to the facts about why your way is the best way to achieve it. Page 9
  10. 10. Your content must match very closely to the promotional materials that got people to attend your presentation. You can have strong and effective marketing materials, but if it is not information that the audience was prepared to hear, you create frustration and anger at a “bait and switch” campaign. Page 10
  11. 11. Because promotional materials have to go out well in advance of an event, you or your designated presenters will probably be working on content long after the promotional work is done. It is vital that you “check in” with the event description to make sure you are delivering what was promised. 11
  12. 12. You are looking for key phrases in your event description. Words like “find out”, “learn how”, and “see examples of” indicate promises to your audience. People register because they want the specific value points the promotional materials have offered. If you deliver on those items, they will be satisfied. Ignore them, and they have a legitimate right to complain and to view your company as untrustworthy. 12
  13. 13. You want to move as quickly as possible to delivering actual value for the audience to meet their expectations for what was promised. In this presentation, by slide two we were discussing benefits and by slide four we were looking at the tips and guidelines that had been promised. You didn’t have to wait long to know that you were getting something real, and not just an advertisement and sales pitch. Page 13
  14. 14. Back in 1971, The Who sang “Won’t Get Fooled Again.” The typical modern audience is experienced and cynical. They have been burned by bad presentations, unfulfilled promises, and thinly disguised sales pitches masquerading as informational topics. They keep signing up hoping to receive value, but are quick to abandon you if you don’t meet their expectations. Some audience members get into the habit of joining webinars late, just to avoid the long run-up to the information they want, which they know from experience comes 10 15 i t i t th t lk10-15 minutes into the talk. Poll: Have you ever abandoned a free webinar? YesYes No This is my first Poll: Have you ever purposely joined a webinar late? YesYes No This is my first 14
  15. 15. I promised to tell you the commonly used presentation technique that works against you in a webinar. Here it is. The easiest, most conventional, and most common way to launch into a marketing presentation is through a linear storyline that starts with a wide ranging background and introductory materials, moves into a far-too-long description of problems, and closes with a discussion of products or services that solve the presented issues. Page 15
  16. 16. Remember that your audience has attended based on promises of specific valueRemember that your audience has attended based on promises of specific value points they will benefit from. They are going to form an impression very quickly on whether you are trustworthy in delivering on your promises. If you start your presentation with standard corporate marketing slides about the size and location of your company’s offices, you are failing on several counts. Instead of the intended goal of helping your audience understand who you are and why they can trust the information you will be presenting and the value of the solutions you offer, you show th t id l d i iti i t t th th di ’that you consider your goals and priorities more important than the audience’s. Corporate information is usually a checklist item for decision makers to review before finalising a purchase decision. Here you are offering sales closing information at the start of your relationship. It’s not what they showed up to hear about. 1616
  17. 17. The second stage of most business presentations is a long setup showing that you “get it” as a provider. You list all the problems and pain points faced by your audience. This is necessary for infomercials and TV ads for consumer goods. They have to grab an unsuspecting audience and build the perception of a need or problem to capture attention. But you are not selling to an impartial and uninterested mass audience. You are addressing specific individuals with a vested interest in your topic. In the B2B world, you are typically presenting to professionals who are intimately familiar with the problem scenario. They don’t want a refresher course on why their job is difficult. They want solutions. Spending a long time showing that you “get it” is one of the surest ways of showing that you are not a peer member of your target audience. They don’t have to talk b t th bl Th li th !about the problems… They live them! 17
  18. 18. Well designed promotional materials and event reminder messages should take much of the burden off your content for setting up the problem scenario. Your audience gets the problem and agrees that it is relevant to them before they ever show up, based on the event description. You don’t need to reestablish the same pain points your audience has already identified with. 18
  19. 19. Newspaper reporters are taught to write using the “inverted pyramid” approach. The key facts go in the first two paragraphs. The explanatory material, background, and interpretation go later. That is the way to structure your presentation as well. You want your audience members to get the important facts about your solutions and offerings quickly. If they get called away by a phone call or conversation, they have still received the most critical information you needed to share. Page 19
  20. 20. Sure, you have plenty of facts to deliver. But if you want your audience to remember and internalise those facts, you have to make them palatable. Instead of page after page of bullet points, weave the concepts into a story. Think about taking history classes in school. If your teacher simply recited dates and places at you, you hated them and had to force yourself to pay attention and memorise them for the test. But if the teacher told a story -- “Paul Revere rode through the streets shouting ‘The British are coming!’” it pulls you in and helps you care about the details. You need to give your audience “a hook” to help them care about your subjectgive your audience a hook to help them care about your subject. As you move along your story line, remind your audience every so often of where you are on the overall path. I’m using the clipboard motif in these tips to help place each concept in context of the overall flow and remind you of where we are in the story of making effective marketing presentations. Page 20
  21. 21. In setting up a story, your main task is to create a clear and compelling scenario that gives your audience their reason to care about everything coming next. My friend and colleague Darcy Sullivan uses this James Bond analogy, which he very kindly let me steal. Very early in a Bond movie, we get the scenario set up… There is a villain. He has a weapon. If James doesn’t stop him, the results will be catastrophic. Now that the baseline is established, we care how the weapon works, where James has to go, h th J h ld d t t dwhether James can hold up under torture, and so on. Remember, we are appealing to basic personal self interest. I started this presentation with a scenario based on your own business responsibilities and linked the content to achieving personal success. Try to make your pitch more about helping the individual listener than the corporate entity. How will better business performance reflect well on them personally for doing a better job or finding the right solution? Page 21
  22. 22. Stories don’t have to be about the entire presentation. They can also help make individual concepts more understandable and compelling. Here we see a complex type of presentation slide. It uses reference material copied in as a graph with explanatory text, additional bullet items, and a summary point. The copied graph carries superfluous information that does not add value for the audience in the context of the presentation. The text is hard to read. And the key financial information summary is blue on blue, making it fade in rather than jump out i t t i tas an important point. Let’s look at a redesign that carries the audience through a story line about the concept the graph is illustrating. 22
  23. 23. I split the slide into two pieces. The first is a reconstruction of the graph, adding information in pieces to build comprehension and tell a story. All non-essential data has been eliminated. You can always provide a reference document for later review if it is important that your audience have the underlying numbers. 23
  24. 24. The second half of the slide now adds a visual “hook” and uses large, well-spaced text that is easy to read. We have also invited Socratic participation before revealing the text bullets. This involves the audience and improves information comprehension and retention. Finally, I used a high contrast for the “grabber” at the end to drive home my point. Building a story is incredibly effective when teaching informing or persuadingBuilding a story is incredibly effective when teaching, informing, or persuading. 24
  25. 25. One of the most frustrating experiences for audiences (proven in study after study) are PowerPoint slides that tell the entire presentation word for word. Your audience doesn’t need you to stand and read slides out loud to them. They can read faster than you can talk. There are many reasons we tend to write overly wordy slides. Page 25
  26. 26. When you write complete sentences and every detail on your slides, you feel comfortable because you know you won’t forget anything you wanted to say during your presentation. But slides should not be used as a personal teleprompter for your talk. Notice that politicians don’t display their speech in text for the audience to read while they are delivering it. TV personalities don’t show their script to the audience as they present stories. With fewer words on your slides, you have to rehearse and practice more to make sure you know what you will say while the slide is showing. It’s one of the unavoidable commitments you must make in order to stand out as a presenter. Page 26
  27. 27. You have seen an overabundance of photos in this presentation. I have the advantage of a large library of purchased photos I can draw from and possibly more time available to search for images than you will have. Nobody expects you to create an entirely graphical presentation. But if you can find a few photos to spice things up and break the monotony of repeated bullet point slides, your presentation will be more memorable and engaging for your audience. Two of my favorite sources are ISTOCKPHOTO.COM and DREAMSTIME.COM. You can download images for approximately $3 each and use them legally in your commercial presentations. You should not copy images off the web at random. You could end up violating copyrights. You can also save money by using free sources such as Flickr, but these usuallyy y g y require an attribution sentence in your content. I prefer keeping my slides clean and spending the extra money. It’s a matter of choice. Page 27
  28. 28. Can we create an overall guideline for you to follow when building your PowerPoint presentation? I’m not a fan of absolute templates, as you will want to use your own unique approach to telling your story based on many different factors. But let’s take a shot at summarising the highlights. 28
  29. 29. You can read these bullet points on your own as a reference item. But when I present them in my webinar, I call attention to the high level groupings provided by the brackets. Now I have something to say ABOUT the text, instead of simply reciting the words on the screen. The three groupings indicate a variation on the presentation approach you may have been taught when writing a school paper or preparing a debate speech. That classic maxim was: “Tell them what you are going to tell them. Tell it to them. Tell th h t t ld th ”them what you told them.” In a marketing presentation, the triad changes to: “Introduce the value they will get by listening to you. Provide the value. Summarise the value and encourage them to gain more value by taking the next step.” You will note that a key missing item in here is an official “Agenda” slide. I’m not ay g g big fan of those. Instead, I try to keep my audience grounded in where they are along the path of my overall story. I sometimes start with a list of items to cover and then show them where they are in the list as we get to the detail for each topic point. The clipboard motif I used was an example of this approach. Page 29
  30. 30. Be explicit about what you expect or want the audience to do. You don’t need to be demanding, but you should clearly state the steps they can take to add value for themselves. If you have other webinars planned, make sure the next one has already been scheduled in your web conferencing system and that you can direct your audience to the registration page for it. Give them useful URLs in an easy to use format. Reduce long URLs by registering a short domain name and using a redirect or by using a URL shortening service like or If you want them to respond to a follow-up contact from your company, tell them when, why, and how you will be contacting them. Emphasise the value they will be able to receive by being receptive.y g p If you want them to be proactive with a request for information, let them know why they should take that step. 30
  31. 31. Let’s talk briefly about the worst moment in any creative endeavor… Staring at a blank screen and wondering how to begin. Different tricks work for different people. I’m not going to tell you one right way to get going and insist that you follow it. Instead, I’ll give you a number of methods you can try. I often combine different methods in different areas of my presentation to try and stimulate different thought patterns about my content. Page 31
  32. 32. One method is to open up Microsoft Word and start expanding your story line simple path into a more detailed outline. You can list the key deliverables with lower- level entries detailing specific pieces of evidence, anecdotes, case studies, or analogies that you will use to get your point across. Another way of going about this process is to open PowerPoint and start writing slide titles. Each title acts like an outline entry. You can use the “slide sorter” view to move things around easily and see if the story line is flowing smoothly. Don’t worry about filling in the content of the slides yet. Just concentrate on separating your content into discrete “chunks.” Some people think visually and like to sketch ideas for how they will convey their points. You can do this on paper, or if you have a data tablet entry device, you canp p p y y y sketch directly into PowerPoint. These can be quite crudely drawn, since nobody will see them but you. It’s a way to open up your creativity in a graphical context. Some people “know what they want to say” and are comfortable thinking in verbal terms. You can start by writing out a script for your presentation without worrying about titles or slide content. You can write in the notes section of PowerPoint or justj keep it in Word. Page 32
  33. 33. Let’s wrap back to the value point we started with. I can be more explicit about my technique here than you would normally be in a presentation. You are already thinking about methodologies and how I am using the tips I showed you, so it doesn’t do me a lot of good to be subtle. We are trying to use presentation content to move people into the sales cycle. If we are effective, we get all the finger pointers and casual contributors in our organization off our backs, because we are turning audience interest into ti d tireceptiveness and action. Your most important single key in making your marketing more effective is to think from the audience’s point of view. Understand what they want, understand what motivates them, understand what they already know, and understand how they are coming into your presentation. Meet their expectations, deliver value quickly and explicitly, and help them understand how their next step can bring even more value to themto them. If you can get to the point where you stop asking yourself “What do I want to demonstrate?” and instead ask “What does my audience want to see?” you are well on your way to achieving marketing success. 33
  34. 34. I welcome any comments or questions you might have. Please feel free to email me or use the contact form on the Webinar Success web site. 34