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No matter how good your slides are and how dynamic your presenter is, listening to 30 minutes of non-stop content is challenging for end-users.  You should plan to interrupt the formal presentation every 15 minutes with an activity to engage the audience.

Polls are an easy way to re-engage viewers.  Ask a question about the content that was already covered to assess the audience’s response to your message.  Or you could ask a question about content that is forthcoming to gain an understanding of the baseline perception of an issue.  Be sure to pause to review the results of the poll and comment on how it might have compared to your expectation for the results.

Questions are another way to re-engage viewers.  Many presenters prefer to wait until the end of a webinar to accept questions.  This view is supported by some marketing professionals who believe that audience retention rates will be maximized because more viewers will stay on until the end.  However, it is far more engaging for the audience to accept questions at various different points throughout the webinar.

As an alternative to introducing a poll at 15-minute intervals consider asking questions as well.  You will need to limit the number of questions during these intermissions to 1 or 2 to avoid de-railing the presentation flow.  You also must develop your presentations so that there are clean break points between sections during which questions would be a natural fit.

Steve Keifer

Steve Keifer has led marketing and product management teams at seven different SaaS and cloud providers ranging from venture-backed, early-stage startups to multi-billion, publicly traded companies - including several that experienced hypergrowth, filed IPOs, and reached unicorn status. In Bantrr, Steve shares many of the best practices and lessons learned from building and scaling marketing organizations. Topics include new category creation, brand development, and demand generation.

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