There are two big secrets to consider and keep in mind when converting a powerful presentation to a webinar and putting in place a system to drive an audience to it:
1. It’s television when they watch it on a screen.
Over the years, I’ve done a lot of work with half-hour aired-on-TV infomercials for a variety of products and services, including information products and courses, free preview seminars in various cities, moneymaking opportunities, skin-care and cosmetic products, weight loss and fitness products, and a variety of other products and services. With infomercials, what I learned about the viewer and what works best to get and keep his attention, build interest, and get him off the couch and onto the phone has given me a distinct advantage in writing and producing webinar video. It reminds me of television.
People have certain expectations when it comes to television. They’re very familiar with, expect, and have been conditioned to accept specific formats, which they’re eager to pay attention to. The looks, feel, and choreography of broadcasts, daytime talk shows, and cable news talk shows are all distinct. As a result, the set is crucial. Most news and talk shows now have type streaming across the bottom of the screen, graphics (such as “Breaking News”), and frequently large screens with video, charts, and graphs. When a viewer notices that, he is aware that he is watching a news program.
The majority of daytime talk shows, such as Ellen, have a more living room feel.
Morning shows such as The Today Show have different segments on different sets, such as the news, the living room, and the kitchen. The majority of television shows have a lot of action and movement. The two-person-across-a-desk show, such as Larry King or Charlie Rose, is nearly extinct. Because it’s cheap to produce, you’ll occasionally see an infomercial done this way, but no major player will use it because people expect things to happen on TV.
We perfected a format and formula for new information product launches at GKIC, the company I founded, with a series of brief excitement-building videos, followed by a four-hour live with a host and occasionally other guests. The webcasts are divided into three segments, just like an infomercial, with prerecorded product commercials inserted at three breaks. The revenue generated by each of these webinar/webcast “events” ranging from hundreds of thousands to over a million dollars. Several different sets were used throughout the three-year series, with the goal of it being watched as if it were television.
2. Live presentation vs. online webinar
You can do many things online that would be impossible or prohibitively expensive to do in a live presentation.
This is especially true if you give presentations dozens or hundreds of times a year in various locations and venues. Still, it’s also true if you give a monthly presentation to a small group in your office’s conference room. Consider the use of testimonials as an example. It’s fantastic to have three or four of your most enthusiastic, articulate customers, clients, or patients present at a live presentation, stand up or be brought up on stage, be interviewed by you, or tell their before-and-after story. However, they are unlikely to board your bus and travel to 20 different cities with you, and even if they did, they would tire of performing and become less and less effective.
You also can’t use videos because, unfortunately, audiences tend to tune out when forced to watch a video during a live presentation. It is even resented by some. They’re already watching TV during a webinar, so cutting away to a brief video testimonial is like having a guest cut to a scene from their movie. You can immortalize your star customer telling his story with zeal, perhaps on location on the yacht he purchased with the money he earned through your system, or in the kitchen, happily cooking while discussing the classes he took at the cooking school you run in the back of your kitchenware store. You can have him appear in your webinar ten, one hundred, or one thousand times, and he will always be as fresh as a daisy.
There are also various on-screen graphics, split-screen images, PowerPoint slides with voice-over, physical demonstrations filmed outside of a seminar room, and other effects you can use to enhance the webinar that you wouldn’t be able to do during a live, stand-up presentation.
Remember, it’s all about leveraging a tried-and-true, highly effective presentation that can be delivered live and in-person to audiences. This is about combining that presentation with direct-response TV infomercial techniques, and formats to create effective webinars, video sales letters, or even live webcasts.
This leads me to my third and last point: leverage. You want to use a powerful, effective presentation in as many different ways and media as possible once you’ve created it. It or parts of it can be turned into direct mail sales letters and literature, a book or books for authority and “thud impact,” and lead-generating bait, as well as audio CDs, DVDs, and other media. Lead generation, sales, and follow-up in appointment, no-sale situations can all be done with the same material. A single powerful presentation serves as the foundation for a variety of media.