Make Your Next Training Webinar a “Can’t Miss”

There’s no denying the value of a webinar for training. Research conducted by Wainhouse Research, commissioned by Citrix Online, showed the following about webinars and their value in the training world:

  • The ability to save money on travel costs was the primary reason people utilized webinars.
  • Nearly 60 percent of respondents described the value of webinars as high.
  • There is an almost direct relationship demonstrated between the replacement of in-person training with the use of webinars.

iStock_000055347422_LargeWhile webinars are showing a rise in popularity for employee training, they’re not without issues. Training managers are wondering how to ensure webinars are interesting and engaging, without the bore-factor that often comes with traditional classroom training.

If you want to create webinar-based training sessions that are compelling and become a can’t-miss part of the training experience, think about incorporating some of these tips:

  1. Spend a significant amount of your time and effort on developing the topic. No matter how much time you spend preparing a webinar or marketing it to your employees, if the topic isn’t interesting they’re not going to attend. If attendance is required, they’re likely to go in without much enthusiasm. Try to choose a topic that’s going to explicitly and directly appeal to your audience, so they’re engaged well before the webinar even begins.
  2. Give your attendees something, even if it’s small or symbolic. Your employees want to feel appreciated and valued, so what better way than to include something like a certificate at the end of a webinar? It’ll get them feeling more involved in the webinar and the overall training process.
  3. Write in a question after every block of information. You want a webinar to feel different from a basic presentation because participants should be actively involved. If you’re worried about your ability to get them involved, go ahead and create questions ahead of time and also add them to your notes, so you’re prepared to foster interactivity amongst the audience.
  4. Include activities within the webinar. You don’t want your employees to feel like you’re just dumping information on them—otherwise what’s the advantage of a webinar over a traditional training manual? Make it fun with things like quizzes, chats or even competitions amongst attendees. You can also think about incorporating simulations and scenarios that will encourage webinar participants to think critically and try out the information they’re learning.
  5. Get prepared well in advance of your webinar. There’s nothing more frustrating than a webinar where there are technical difficulties, or things aren’t going smoothly. Some employees may already be resistant to training, and this is only going to increase that feeling. Give your webinar a run-through and make sure you have everything, technically speaking, in order.
  6. Mix it up throughout the webinar. You have so many tools at your disposal to include such as videos, sound and multimedia elements so take advantage. Again, you want your webinar to feel unique and fresh, as well as significantly different from classroom training so let technology do some of that work for you.
  7. Once you’ve completed a webinar, gather feedback and information from participants. This will let you assess your success or failure and use what you gather as you begin building your next webinar.
  8. Include pre- and post-webinar assessments. There are a couple of reasons this is beneficial. The first is that it lets you gauge the impact of the webinar, but the second is that it’s going to keep learners interested if they know they’re being held accountable for the information.

What are you favorite ways to create can’t miss webinars for your employee training?

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