How to avoid the dweebinar
By Randy Mitchell
This is the story of an accomplished professional. She always had interesting points to make about her industry, company, and other important topics. People respected her opinions both inside and outside of her firm. They honored her with glowing terms, like “subject matter expert,” “mentor” and “innovator.”
But one fateful morning, she transformed from being a thought leader into a dweeb. How did this travesty happen?
The sad truth is she gave a dweebinar and the whole industry was watching.
At this point, you’re probably asking, “What is a dweebinar? And why should I care?”
Both good questions.
First answer: A dweebinar is a webinar that goes from being informative to intolerable because it stops being relevant to the audience.
Second answer: You should care because, unfortunately, dweebinars are on the rise and even the smartest professionals can fall victim to them.
There are many causes for the dreaded dweebinar. In some cases, the presenter goes off topic and nobody can reign them back in. In others, the content gets so granular that even a savvy B2B audience becomes bewildered and frustrated. But the leading cause of a dweebinar by far is a presentation that appears unpracticed, unpolished, and unprofessional.
If you have a webinar in your future, how can you avoid the “D” word? How can your presentation rise above the minutia and become a webinar that people will attend, enjoy and actually remember?
We have three tips we share with clients for avoiding dweebinars. All three will seem ridiculously simple, but it’s extremely dangerous to neglect them.
Tip #1: Zoom is doom
The rules have been relaxed on presentations. People work in their pajamas and present
off-the-cuff from their treadmills during Zoom meetings. Do not fall into that trap.
If you take your topic seriously your audience will too. But if you treat this important stage like a casual get together, your audience will see you as a floundering dweeb and dwindle before you ever get the chance to win their respect.
Taking it seriously is all about projecting the right message from the moment your webinar begins. The graphics, content focus, production quality and even the presenters’ attire all make a statement.
In short, this is your chance to show that you respect your audience’s time.
The image you project is particularly important if you have a smaller firm that wants to compete with industry leaders. Your webinar can level the playing field without breaking your advertising budget. It can even give you a decided advantage if your subject matter experts can challenge established perceptions and nudge your brand into the consideration set.
Tip #2: Practice before the lions
Practicing should never be a solo experience. To be truly effective and thoroughly prepare the entire webinar team for any eventuality, your practice should occur before “the lions.”
The lions can be coworkers, client contacts or even industry colleagues. Their role is to replicate the actual audience as closely as possible. For this reason, your practice audience should understand the basic premise of the webinar and be prepared to ask unexpected questions.
Your practice audience should also be candid and alert you to anything that seems confusing or misleading in the presentation. In other words, they’ll keep you from wandering into the dweeb zone.
Once you have tamed these ornery lions in practice, your webinar will be ready for any challenges the actual audience can throw at you. In addition, your presenters will be battle-tested and their confidence will definitely show on presentation day.
Tip #3: Let your outline shine
“What outline?” you ask.
The best webinars follow a process outline. This type of document takes a webinar from project initiation all the way through the actual presentation. The outline should include the step-by-step process, important roles, a helpful checklist, and insider’s tips.
“Where can we get this outline?” you ask.
Boomm B2B Marketing developed a webinar process outline to help our clients make the best impression in this critical channel. The outline worked so well that we want to share it with you. Simply download the Webinar Process Outline Guide.
No matter what your B2B webinar is about, the Guide will provide a proven structure for success.
“Why are you giving away the Guide for free?” you ask.
Consider it an investment. Someday soon, we may sign up for a webinar you are giving. If you follow the outline, we will all enjoy the hour so much more. And nobody will confuse your excellent webinar with a dreaded dweebinar.