If your customer base is widespread, one way to boost the value of your service and create stronger relationships is to use the internet to host seminars, commonly referred to as “webinars.”

Webinars combine conference calls with visual presentations via a computer. If need be, applications allow presenters to access attendees’ desktops (and vice versa) through a “sharing mode” to open applications or files to illustrate a point. Attendees can see the names and profiles, if included, of all participants. Webinar attendance can top 1,000 but, obviously, the more attendees there are the less true interaction can take place.

Because webinars are interactive, they are cost-effective tools for informing your customers about your product, introducing new products, highlighting upgrades, holding focus groups, and introducing your clients to each other, which could result in some valuable business networking for them.

Hosting a webinar however does have some drawbacks. People can log on, minimise their screens, check their e-mail, and do other things and you don’t really know if you have their attention. To avoid this, try the following tips:
• send out an outline in advance.
• encourage people to jot things down and take screenshots.
• ask questions.
• avoid background noise by asking everyone to keep phones on mute until they have a specific question.
• don’t enable instant messaging (you don’t want the participants chatting among themselves).

Despite the general ease of the software available and the ability to do webinars from the comfort of your own office, it is important to take your role as a presenter as seriously as if you are doing the presentation in person. We can also help you with presentation training if you need it.