Top tips to become a successful webinar speaker
Online education has surged during the COVID-19 pandemic, offering a safe, socially distanced alternative to face to face events and the opportunity for continued professional development, learning and networking. Webinars, in particular, have become an invaluable tool for developing brands, generating leads and enabling organisational growth. In the aesthetics industry, webinars are typically hosted by manufacturers, suppliers, training academies and service providers. But aesthetic practitioners often feature as guest speakers, talking about their own experiences on different topics. For aesthetic practitioners wishing to raise their profile as an industry expert and build credibility for their company, webinars provide an excellent opportunity, and can also be harnessed as an additional source of income.
What is a webinar?
Webinars are video presentations, workshops or lectures hosted online. They tend to be interactive and business related and encourage attendees to share their own experiences and questions. Webinars can be used to build relationships, gain sales prospects, and boost credibility. There is usually a host who manages the webinar and asks questions, and a guest speaker, whose role is to bring value, trust and a fresh perspective that can further the success of the webinar exponentially.
Becoming a ‘guest speaker’
1. Make connections
If you’re aiming to position yourself as the ‘go-to’ person that companies approach to be a part of their webinar, attending networking events such as conferences, product and clinic launches, and exhibitions are great ways to meet people and introduce yourself as an expert in your field. Obviously, opportunities to physically network in 2020 have been very limited due to the pandemic, but at the time of writing major events such as CCR are currently scheduled to go ahead in October, and there are many online opportunities. You can also optimise your reach through social media, for example by running a Facebook campaign or working with influencers online.
It’s important that you carry out research to identify your targets – for example, training courses, suppliers of business services, product suppliers or industry journals – that way you can focus your efforts on reaching them. Highlight that you are available for speaker opportunities and over time your target companies will automatically think of you when planning a webinar, as well as other events.
2. Perfect your public speaking
There’s nothing more boring than listening to someone speak in a monotonous tone for a long period of time. Varying your voice dynamics, including your pitch, volume and rhythm, will help keep your audience engaged. If something is particularly exciting, raise your voice a bit louder, or if you make a point that is worthy of thoughtful consideration, take a pause to allow the audience to reflect. Confidence is key – your guests will relax if you appear strong and assertive, even if you do not feel confident, pretend to be – you will grow more and more comfortable as the webinar progresses. Plan appropriately, practice, and watch recordings of your speeches so that you can tweak your body language and pace and continuously improve your performance. There are lots of resources available online to help you pick up tips to perfect your public speaking, many of them tailored to engaging with a webinar audience.
3. Plan your content
Typically, the host will provide you with a brief with talking points prior to the webinar. It is important to do some research beforehand, so you have plenty to say and are prepared for any questions from attendees. It goes without saying, practice is critical to the success of the webinar, even if you know the topic well. Practising in front of someone else or recording yourself are great ways to identify any areas of improvement.
4. Interaction is key
Although you are presenting via a computer screen, creating a sense of intimacy with your audience is essential. A quick way to make yourself feel more comfortable is to begin with some audience interaction, saying hello to people who enter the room and asking them introductory questions such as where they are from, what they do, and why they are attending the webinar.
Personal stories are powerful ways to connect with people and will provide an opportunity to really relate and engage with your audience – enabling them to develop empathy with you and trust the things you say. Additionally, inviting audience members to ask questions and share their own experiences throughout the webinar will help keep the engagement levels high and ensure the webinar is a success.
5. Showcase your success
Once the webinar has ended, promote it even further by sharing your experience on social media. Often, webinars are posted online for those who were unable to attend, so sharing the link to your social media channels is a great way of boosting your profile, showcasing yourself as a credible industry expert.
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