How to critique your webinar and virtual events

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Matt Francis - Founder at Cloudpresenter
Post by
Matt Francis
Last updated :
February 16, 2024
 | 20 min read

In the ever-expanding world of content economy, very few tools are as proficient and effective as the webinar. Webinars are great because they allow you to disseminate information and engage your audience whilst providing a platform for meaningful interaction. When delivered well, webinars allow you to sell yourself to people, note their key concerns, and channel content to address that need. However, their efficiency also hinges on the ability to deliver them correctly.

Doing this can be difficult because, as humans, we tend to have a blind spot about our weaknesses. Fortunately, you can effectively critique your webinar presentation to ensure it captures your audience's attention and leaves a lasting impact.

Types of webinar critiquing techniques

Successful webinars usually require a strategic webinar host, and the best way to ensure that you're being strategic about improving your webinar content is through surveys. You can carry out surveys in three ways:

  • Online - You can do this through email or an online form/questionnaire.

  • Offline via local mail.

  • The Telephone.

As most of your webinar attendees may be uncomfortable giving out their addresses or answering a call from random people, conducting surveys online is the best idea; this is where you will find most consumers of virtual content anyway. Additionally, when crafting surveys, you want to consider what you're hoping to achieve, so you want to ask yourself the question- 'what is the purpose of the survey?'. This question is vital because there are different types of surveys. Each survey pattern can give you different results or data. Here are some examples of survey types:

Customer satisfaction survey and polls

A Customer Satisfaction Survey is a survey type designed to obtain insights into how the customer feels about a product. In the case of the webinar, the product is the content of your webinar. If your webinar is a content marketing ploy to get customers for a particular product you're pushing, this type of survey can be just as beneficial. Gathering attendee responses can gradually reveal your strengths and weaknesses; you can use this to leverage that information to refine your content or product.

Content format and presenter feedback survey

This type of survey goes beyond the quality of the content you're pushing out but also the mode of delivery and presentation flow. The phrase "it's not what you're saying but how you're saying it" is particularly relevant here.

This survey type is usually detailed. The webinar host often receives actionable feedback on every facet of the online presentation. You can discover which webinar format works best for your audience (e.g., How-to, live Q&A session, panelist discussion, etc). If you regularly invite speakers to your webinar, you also want to find out how your viewers respond to them; that way, you know which speakers to invite to improve future webinars.

General conference and events webinar

Many webinars usually focus on products and selling them as efficiently as possible. But if you host a webinar to announce an event or if the webinar is the event, then this is a survey you should be sharing.

A Conference or Event Webinar measures how well your audience received a particular event. Did they think it was good or poor? Did they feel the webinar content brought value and addressed their needs? Do they consider it a waste of their time? Would they attend again? What improvements would they like to see? Understanding this survey type is essential to increase audience engagement and have them return to the next webinar. Applying the feedback from a Conference or Webinar ensures that your audience will be satisfied with the overall webinar experience.

Product and marketing survey

This survey is suitable for all marketers who use webinars to drive product or service sales. In this case, you're more interested in improving the quality of the product sales rather than the webinar itself. Questions in this survey are more interested in finding out the needs and wants of the audience or figuring out a way to reach more customers. Results from the survey are usually essential in crafting a good webinar marketing strategy to boost sales throughout the webinar funnel. However, they can also provide valuable insights into connecting with viewers and figuring out how to engage them further. After all, without attendee engagement, there can be no sales, and your webinar success will be limited regardless of how you measure it. 

Excellent webinar survey questions and best practices

The value of your webinar critiquing process will often depend on the quality of the survey questions you ask. Despite the type of webinar you are hosting you must ask the right questions to obtain the information you need to improve your webinars. Here are some examples:

Is the intro interesting?

Very often, your intro can set the pace for the rest of the webinar, deciding whether your audience sticks around to consume your webinar content. So you want to improve that by finding out if your intro hooks the audience or makes them roll their eyes and click the leave button.

Was there any flow?

Nothing is more grating than having a series of incoherent, random facts that do not link with each other or flow from one point to another, especially during a live webinar. Some webinars are so poor that they tend to be sparsed with silence or awkward interjections like "um...you know" or "I mean...". You want to ensure your webinar is well-planned without lapses, silent spots, or technical issues. More importantly, it should have a flow to it. And that's one of the more important things to consider when planning to run a successful webinar

Am I speaking at a reasonable pace?

Many people speak faster when excited; you may have that problem without being aware that you do. The problem is that when you rush your words, you increase your chances of making errors, blurring your words, or baffling your audience into incomprehension. The best practice is find a steady pace, so your viewers can follow your point carefully, and don't be afraid to recap key points from a particular section, just to ensure your audience understands what you are trying to relay. Interestingly, speaking pace is one of the key factors to master before you can leverage your presentation skills to host a great webinar. 

Was the energy or vibe satisfactory?

A unique thing about being human is that we can easily pick up on vibes and energy. Naturally, people will be wary of people with negative or even dreary vibes and are more interested in energetic, positive people. You want to find out what vibe or energy you're giving out, are you speaking in a flat monotone voice, or does the passion for your project shine through? A great way to check this is watch back a recording of yourself - you will automatically see where you need to improve (and stop saying 'umm'!)

Are the words easy to understand

Some words are called superfluous words; they sound good but are barely understood. This is especially important to consider if your audience is global where there may be a high percentage of attendees that don't have English as their first language. There is little or no point in putting out content that little to no one would ever understand. Using understandable words can be tricky because sometimes the words you find easy may be difficult for others- hence, the need for this survey question. Using the feedback you get, you want to ensure that you're breaking down business jargon and presenting ideas and figures in a way your audience can relate to.

Are my slides visually appealing?

Humans have evolved to appreciate colors and imagery and their significance. Just as words evoke emotions, so also do images and colors. So, you want to be careful about how you use slide colors and images and what it might mean to your viewers. Ask them how they see it. Do they find it helpful and engaging or just overly loud? Does it evoke negative emotions? Take feedback for this question very seriously. Moreover, it is important to consider how colour and imagery effect presentation flow when crafting your webinar and telling your story. 

Was the presentation focused?

One of the dangers of making a presentation is getting derailed off-topic. Many intelligent people struggle with this issue; they see the relationship between several concepts and, while trying to present a holistic picture to their audience, can beat about the bush a bit too much! Unfortunately, you can't properly engage your audience if the presentation is not focused enough. They will miss the point you were initially trying to make. You want to gain feedback from your audience about the focus of your webinar.

Is my closing statement (pitch) compelling or related to my presentation?

Intros are vital because they hook the audience, but closings are crucial because they are often the last thing your attendees will remember. If your closings are strong and compelling, they will have a powerful impact on the audience- moving them to act by buying your product or attending future webinars for more. Also, you don't want to close with something unrelated to your performance, as this will leave them confused. You want to ensure that the closing is both related and powerful and your audience can give you valuable feedback.

Specific questions for specific survey types

As part of the core webinar best practices, different survey types have different purposes. It is good to consider general questions to ask while critiquing your webinar, but you also want to consider being more specific to get the best results. Let's look at some survey questions you can ask for various survey types. If used correctly, the insights gained from your surveys can help you increase the attendance rate at your next event. 

Questions for a Customer Satisfaction Survey 

Here are five questions you can ask in a customer satisfaction survey:

  • How satisfied were you with your most recent webinar experience on a scale of 1 to 10? With ten being the highest and one being the lowest. (You can also ask, why did you give this rating?)

  • What can we do to improve your rating?

  • What was your least favorite part of the webinar?

  • Did you find the webinar enjoyable, if so, why?

  • What would you like to see more of in our webinars? (You can also ask: 'Was the webinar topic what you expected?').

Questions for a Content Format and Speakers Survey

Here are five questions you can ask in a Content Format and Speakers Survey:

  • Did the webinar host Speaker influence your decision to attend this event?

  • Did you enjoy the way the webinar was presented? If so why? (You can also ask: 'Was the content delivered in an engaging way?').

  • What was the main takeaway for you?

  • Was the Speaker knowledgeable and engaging?

  • What Speaker would you recommend for future webinars?

Questions for a Product and Marketing Survey

Here are five questions you can ask in a Product and Marketing Survey:

  • What did you hope to gain from this webinar?

  • How did you find out about this webinar?

  • What products and services would you like us to cover more in this webinar?

  • Were the products, services, or brands presented in a detailed manner?

  • Did this webinar influence your buying decisions? (You can also ask: 'How likely is this webinar to influence your buying decisions in the future?).

Attaining a high response rate

Of course, surveys are useless if nobody in your target audience responds to them, so you also want to take steps to guarantee the cooperation of your viewers. Remember, the more feedback you get, the more relevant and actionable your data is. Here are three short tips to ensure you secure a response:

  • Make the survey concise to encourage easy compliance.

  • Send the survey post-webinar, preferably within two hours after finishing a live event or on the webinar platform just as the webinar concludes, so the participants don't forget or ignore it.

  • Make the questions easy to understand.

  • Show genuine gratitude to those who take the time to complete forms or give feedback. You can do this during your next webinar, so your gratitude feels more personal.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get more live attendees for my webinar?

To increase live attendees for your webinar, employ a multi-faceted marketing strategy. To create awareness and generate interest, begin by optimizing your promotional efforts across various channels, such as social media, targeted email newsletters, and your website. Craft compelling and concise content highlighting your webinar's value and relevance. Offer early bird incentives or exclusive perks to encourage early registrations. Leverage partnerships or collaborations with influencers and industry leaders to expand your reach.

How do I make my webinar stand out?

Making your webinar stand out involves delivering unique and valuable content that addresses your target audience's needs and interests. Focus on incorporating engaging multimedia elements, interactive features, and real-world examples to maintain active participant involvement. Create visually appealing slides and adopt a dynamic presentation style to capture and retain the audience's attention throughout. Encourage audience interaction through live Q&A sessions, polls, and discussions, fostering a sense of community and increasing engagement. Leverage the expertise of compelling speakers or guest presenters to add credibility and diversity to your content.

How do I choose the best webinar software?

Selecting the best webinar software involves considering several key factors. Begin by defining your specific webinar needs and objectives, such as audience size, interactivity, and content delivery requirements. Assess the platform's user interface, ensuring it is intuitive and aligns with your team's technical capabilities. Look for features like customization options, analytics, and integrations with other tools to enhance the overall webinar experience. Evaluate the platform's reliability and scalability to accommodate your growing audience.

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