We all have awkward moments. It’s as though you’ve told a joke to a room full of people, and it falls flat… The room is deathly quiet – your audience looks unimpressed. You choke. A bead of sweat trickles down your brow, someone at the back of the room coughs, a cricket chirps. Was that a tumbleweed?
Presenting webinars may not be stand-up but that doesn’t mean that you’re immune from the radio silence! There are several ways to get your audience members pumped up and engaged and avoid the awkward silence.
Firstly, you have to break the ice. An engaged audience is an audience that will be more likely to give you feedback. Nip the awkward silences in the bud at your first possible chance and encourage your audience members to use the chat feature during the first few minutes of your webinar.
Ask them a simple question! “Where are you watching the webinar from?” is a nice little opener. It encourages one or two-word responses, making it easy for your audience members to join in – plus, people love to talk about themselves…
Our poll feature is another great way to force a response and really get an idea of who’s paying attention. By heading to ‘Know Your Clients’ on your dashboard you’re able to create polls that you can push out during your webinar. These are a good way to spike your audience’s attention and inject interest halfway through broadcasting.
Your audience is also more likely to engage with you if they like you as a person. Humour, stories and body language are key for this.
Tell a story
People love stories. Your audience is more likely to take information on board if they can imagine the people behind the facts. FetchRev knows the five elements to a story, that will allow you to transform cold hard facts into something your audience can sympathise with:
- a hero
- a goal
- an obstacle
- a mentor
- a moral.
You don’t have to go overboard, but some light laughs will be super effective for your audience to engage with you (avoid the knock-knock jokes and Dad jokes). If you’re unsure where to start with injecting some humour into your webinar, David Greenberg at Simply Speaking has a few pointers.
Good posture, a smile, eye contact and hand gestures will naturally make your audience engage with you more. Remember that open body language encourages your audience to open up also!
Now you should be in a great position to deal with awkward silences from your webinar audience. As long as you actively engage with your audience, stay personable and listen you’ll be on your way to having a happy, engaged audience. Don’t forget though, you can’t win them all!
Need any help getting started? Book in for a 1on1 session with one of our business strategists here.
Author: Fern Crawley
Howdy! My name is Fern. I am Expertise.tv’s very own Social Media & Content Marketer, word wizard, doodler & pickle enthusiast.