Webinars are a cost-effective and convenient alternative to instructor-led training, yet putting a humdrum presentation on the screen can be counterproductive. This convenience can also present a challenge for property management trainers because the webinar is ultimately competing for the attention of the trainee, who can without difficulty minimize, mute, or abandon their screen if it proves to be a snoozer.
According to a report released by Redback Conferencing, 48% of people said that webinars were least enjoyable when there was a poor presentation. A high-octane webinar engages learners in a two-way conversation and injects personality into the session—before, during and after.
1. Before The Webinar
- Invite a Co-Facilitator- While you are talking, another person can monitor the chat box, provide feedback, and bring questions to your attention. Consider inviting an experienced on-site employee to assist.
- Create Experience with a Flipped Lesson- Flipped lessons incorporate reverse instruction. Create a short (5-10 min.) instructional video or brief lesson material for the participants to review before they attend the webinar. They will be familiar with the content when they arrive, and will be more willing to engage the topic. You can even flip your webinar!
- Load a Handout- Create a one-page outline to encourage your trainees to document the main ideas and write down pending questions. Post it in the documents section of your webinar.
2. During the Webinar
- Smile for the Camera- Create an instant connection by turning on your webcam during your personal introduction. This is a great way for trainers to build rapport with on-site employees.
- Start with a Bang– Begin your webinar story with a disruptive insight such as a relevant question slide, interesting fact about the subject, company, a statistic, or anecdote. Create and share a webinar hashtag and social media links to provide opportunities for additional conversation during and after the event.
- Insert Video, Stories, Music, Etc. – Don’t spend 30+ minutes dumping information on your participants. Integrate video clips, case-studies, funny property management stories, unique graphics, or even brain teasers into your slide stack. If you are leading a longer webinar or multiple sessions in one day, create a memorable break by using a placeholder slide with music and a countdown timer.
- Invite a Guest Presenter- Switch gears by inviting a content matter expert to deliver a portion of the presentation. This is a great opportunity to showcase the knowledge of internal employees and bring a change in perspective and tone.
- Touch the Keyboard- Interact with participants by releasing a poll, asking a question, or simply encouraging them to raise their hand. Attendees should touch the keyboard every 10 minutes for increased engagement.
- End with a Bang- Wrap up your presentation with best practices or actionable advice. Show your webcam during your short Q & A. Consider opening up the microphone so that other voices can be heard, too. Close with an inspirational, “we can do it” sentiment.
3. After the Webinar
- Ask for Feedback- Immediately following the webinar, elicit real feedback. Use participant insights to sharpen your presentation.
- Reinforce Learning- Send a follow-up email with links to the recording and slides. Include any relevant content (news articles, videos, books, etc.), resources on your company website, and your social media handles. Have the materials ready to go immediately following the webinar.
High-octane webinars present opportunities for trainers in the multi-family industry to collaborate with a small or large group of remote employees to address key business topics and issues that can spark new ideas, focused discussion, and drive action. They are the perfect addition to any existing training program.
Vice President of Training and Development
Edge2Learn / Ellis Partners in Management Solutions