The right webinar presentation can be a powerful asset in any marketer’s toolkit. More than half (53%) of B2B marketers report webinars are a successful lead generation tactic. And in the last year, more marketers (67%) increased their webinar investments. If you haven’t learned how to make a webinar presentation—now is the time.

Here’s more: 2-5% of webinar attendees end up purchasing from the host with 20-40% of attendees becoming leads.

This makes it clear: not only are webinars a great resource for internal communication and remote training, they also help generate leads for sales.

But hosting a webinar isn’t enough. It’s all about creating and presenting a compelling webinar that holds attention. So how do you do it? Thankfully, we’ve got some presentation ideas and tips for you.

We know webinars are a great way to attract leads, convert customers, and share your brand’s story. While webinar promotions and the right content will attract your audience, keeping their attention is all about nailing your live presentation.

In this post, we’ll dive into the nuts and bolts of how to make a webinar presentation, designing a deck, presenting your content, and gathering feedback, too. By the end, you’ll master the fundamentals of presenting an attention-arresting show. Here’s what we’ll review:

  • How to make a webinar presentation in 5 steps
  • 5 webinar deck design tips
  • 5 tips on writing a great webinar script
  • 6 webinar presentation tips
  • Post webinar feedback surveys

We’ve got a lot of ground to cover, so let’s dive right in.

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How to make a webinar presentation

We’ve distilled the art of creating a webinar presentation into 5 easy steps.

Need more tips? Learn how to create a webinar or check out Vimeo’s Webinar Confidential to hear real-life stories of virtual event mishaps and tips on how to run a great event. Watch now

1. Work out the webinar’s structure and presentation style

Dedicate this first step to planning the nitty-gritty details of your webinar. What topic will you cover? Who is your audience? Will your webinar be live or recorded?

Also ask yourself how the webinar will unfold—the sequence it will follow, who will present, and the order of topics/content to share.

Once you’ve planned out the webinar’s layout, work out which presentation styles will complement your show: slides and audio, screen share, webcam, or a combination of the three. Ideally, show yourself and/or the speakers to connect with your audience.

2. Dump your thoughts into an outline

So you’ve ironed out details about your presentation style, webinar speakers, and structure. What’s next? A brain dump so you can start organizing your thoughts.

Start with writing down the key message you want to deliver at the top. Next, write down all your topic-related presentation ideas. At this point, it’s advisable you don’t hold back or try to filter or pause to evaluate if an idea is good or bad. Simply 👏 write 👏 it 👏 down. 👏

As you jot down your thoughts, don’t forget to add any supporting evidence to your points. Think examples, data, stats, and customer stories that tie into your main webinar thesis.

Now, work on refining your brainstorm into an outline. Here’s a three-step process to get your outline in top shape: 

  • Filter: Whittle down all your information so you have no more than 3-5 key takeaways.
  • Distill: Select the most impactful data and examples to back your points.
  • Polish: Make sure everything in the outline aligns with your webinar’s goal and is relevant to your target audience.

Remember that it’s important to only present the most important, most impactful content.

As Chris Anderson, curator of TED, describes in the Harvard Business Review, try to limit abstract language and focus on concrete examples:

“If you try to cram in everything you know, you won’t have time to include key details, and your talk will disappear into abstract language…You need specific examples to flesh out your ideas. So limit the scope of your talk to that which can be explained, and brought to life with examples, in the available time.”

Your final outline should read like a script or guide that will map the webinar presentation.

3. Make sure you have a plan to engage your audience

There’s nothing more disappointing than a bland webinar that does little to excite the audience.

In fact, in a recent survey, we found that the main reason participants exit webinars is technical difficulties (59%), followed by poor moderation (46%) or boredom (44%). This means it’s imperative to have your production in order and content that’s concise and relevant.

Of course, grabbing your audience’s attention with well-designed presentation slides is crucial—we’ve got tips on that too, but getting your audience to interact during the live event is important.

Online whiteboard software Miro’s Customer Education Manager, Jennifer Clark, acknowledges the importance of improving your attendees’ user experience for this. Not only does it help convince participants to stay till the end, but it also encourages them to attend more of your webinars.

Here’s how Clark plans and optimizes Miro’s customer educating webinars for a memorable user experience:

“I [engage attendees] by welcoming folks with music, asking interesting ice breakers to warm up the chat, and offer several opportunities to raise hands or respond in the chat throughout the session. Humor is critical too – if we don’t have someone’s attention or we aren’t interesting to listen to/look at, we’re not going to retain our learners long enough to teach them something cool.”

To create a memorable user experience for your webinars, try a few things like including an intro slate, preparing a handful of ice breaker questions to fire up the chat, and remember to pause between sections. This gives presenters and speakers time to comment live by answering audience questions from the chat or to pose questions to the audience to help them retain more info.

Clark also focuses on paying attention to the small details to make your webinar stand out:

“I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to think through the end-user experience for the webinar itself. The sound and video quality should be high, the field of view should be clean if you’re sharing a screen, and ‘do not disturb’ mode should be on.

We shouldn’t see any bouncing apps or notifications. I think those little details mirror what I’ve done in person as an educator. In the past, that lets your audience know you care about the small things and want their experience to be seamless.”

Technical execution is critical to keeping folks engaged in webinar content. Be sure to schedule a rehearsal before the live event to troubleshoot any issues with video and audio prior to the live stream.

How do you structure a webinar?

Typically, webinars contain an introduction, the meaty show time, and a Q&A session to wrap things up. But you can get creative with presentation ideas, too, by trying anything you think will engage your audience.

4. Prepare a short but engaging introduction

A poor introduction can make attendees feel like it was a wrong decision to sign up, so they wouldn’t hesitate taking the exit route. Translation: you need a strong introduction.

So what makes a good introduction?

  • Start with a greeting

A simple yet effective way to start is with a ‘Hi! Welcome to [webinar title].’ It’s also a good idea to thank participants for taking the time to join you.

  • Reinforce the webinar is worth the time investment

Be quick to tell attendees how the webinar will benefit them. Consider sharing the takeaways in bullet points – 3-4 points maximum so you aren’t overloading things to the point that you make them easy to forget.

Or, you can share a one-line take home message. For example, a webinar on Google Analytics to track blog post traffic can have the following what’s-in-it-for-me message for its attendees: ‘You’ll leave feeling ready to use GA for tracking your blog performance.’

  • Share why you’re an expert in the topic you’re presenting

Jump to introduce yourself next. Explain what makes you an authority on the subject. But instead of reading out your resume, consider summarizing your career highlights – packaged as a story. Stories are personal, therefore, they help you connect with your audience and gain their trust. Not to forget, a story is always way more memorable than a plain speech on what you’ve accomplished so far.

  • Share your webinar’s structure

Think of this as your general housekeeping. It helps set audience expectations, which makes it an absolute must component of your introduction.

Simply tell viewers what’s in store for them. Have a live Q&A session at the end? Tell them so they can start writing down their questions. Have polls in place throughout the sessions? Again, tell them.

Example: Vimeo’s masterclass on hosting engaging town halls shares key takeaways in four simple bullet points:

Source: Vimeo Master Class Series

Pro tip: Create a useful template, checklist, or framework to get your audience to stick around till the end. Tell them you’ll be sharing a gift or freebie at the end. But, don’t reveal exactly what it is – build the suspense instead.

5. Prepare your presentation slides

With the legwork done, start creating your presentation slides. Use the outline you’ve created to write copy for the slides. Roughly, you’ll need to work on the following slides:

  • Section headers/dividers
  • Text heavy slide
  • Combination text + image(s) slide
  • Big stats slide
  • Pull quotes

The key, however, is to make sure you don’t stuff the slides with too much text. A good presentation slide formatting rule that can help here is the 5-5-5 rule:

  • Add no more than 5 words per line
  • No more than 5 lines per slide
  • No more than 5 consecutive text-heavy slides

5 webinar deck design tips

Now, for some expert tips from Vimeo’s design team. Don’t worry, you don’t need design chops for this.

Variety is the spice of presentation slides

Text-based monotonous slides are the recipe for losing audience attention. Our in-house design team suggests leveraging animation, GIFs, motion, imagery, or iconography to break the monotony. Short video tutorials such as screen recordings illustrating a point also work well. For example, showing a product feature in action.

The general rule is to have less text and more visuals since you’ll be voicing over information as you present.

Make sure your slides are easy to read

Use a legible font that’s displayed at minimum 30 points. This is important for making your slides accessible to attendees joining using their smartphones.

Brand your slides

Design using your brand colors and logo in your slides for brand consistency. This will also help leave a memorable impression on participants, especially, if they continue to join more of your webinars.

Splash, for example, creates presentations decks using their brand colors.

Examples of webinar branded
Source: Splash

If you choose to keep your logo, but want to experiment with other colors, follow this expert advice from a Vimeo designer:

“Choose colorways that are complementary and provide enough contrast to be legible. (i.e. don’t do white text on an off-white background).”

Highlight key information

This helps you catch attendees’ attention better. Our designer advises you “make important callouts big and bold! Whether that’s a quote or a key stat that you want to highlight.”

Don’t share important info in an overlapping slide

Make sure no important information is delivered in an overlapping slide. “If the presenter will overlap with the on-screen slides, be sure to keep that in mind when designing (i.e. don’t put important information in the area where they will overlap).”

5 tips on writing a great webinar script

A webinar script is a written version of what a speaker delivers in their presentation.

You need it as a guardrail that structures your thoughts into a cohesive layout while helping you communicate key points efficiently.

Besides outlining your introduction, webinar agenda, and call to action, use the script to include timing details (how much time you’d dedicate to each section and speaker) and navigational instructions such as which slides to share, interactive elements to intro, and more.

Begin writing your script as soon as you’ve finalized your presentation topic – go back to the outlining step in the section on how to create a webinar presentation for a refresher if needed.

 How do you write a good webinar script?

1. Know your audience

Your webinar content can only be as relevant to your audience as your knowledge of them is.

The more you know them, the better you’ll understand their struggles, how to solve them, and how to present that solution within your webinar. By extension, you’ll be able to engage attendees better. Briar Goldberg, the director of speaker coaching at TED talks about this:

“When your audience doesn’t feel like your words apply to them, when they don’t understand what you’re trying to say, or, worse yet, they don’t care about your ideas, then your carefully-crafted slides, agenda or jokes simply don’t matter.”

A useful starting point then is one that Goldberg shares: ABC or Audience Before Content. Translation: before you put pen to paper, research your audience. The following 3 tips will help;

  • Ask the marketing team to share audience demographics and buyer’s persona.
  • Understand why attendees are making time for the webinar – what do they really want to learn?
  • Figure out your audience’s expectations and how you can meet their expectations (social listening and asking this question in your sign up form are two helpful ways to find your answer).

2. Know your goal

When learning how to create a webinar presentation, it’s important not to saturate your content with too many ideas. Doing so dilutes your main message.

SEMrush’s Head of Influencer Marketing, Anton Shulke, stresses on the need to have a clearly defined goal:

“Before doing a webinar, ask yourself why are you doing it, and if you have multiple reasons – just drop it. Webinars as any type of content serve one-two purposes, [therefore], defining them before starting the work is absolutely essential.”

Revising your webinar’s goal is also crucial for writing a script that aligns with your goal, helping you tie in goal-relevant examples, screens, product tutorials (if needed), and call to action.

3. Leverage storytelling

Good presentations are ultimately about telling a great story. Stories and real-life examples fascinate where business speak bores people. There’s science behind this too.

But what does this mean for you? Start with a story and build your ideas into your narration. This can help differentiate your webinar content – making it memorable and more human.

In a product-led webinar targeted toward people at the bottom of your funnel, for example, this would mean you don’t focus on your company or product. It means you tell a story about a customer, their problem, and how your solution can help them achieve their goal.

At Vimeo, we’re fans of sharing our customers’ success stories. It’s why in our masterclass on engaging town halls, we shared how Rite Aid created a successful all-hands meetings with video.

Example of a webinar presentation slide from Vimeo Master Class series
Source: Vimeo Master Class Series

Pro tip: If you plan to back your story with data, choose only 2-3 mind-blowing statistics. Dumping a laundry list of numbers is ineffective as too many stats quickly increase your audience’s mental load.

4. Use the 3-5 takeaways rule

This one’s a hat tip to Vimeo’s Content and Programming Lead, Julie Bergstein, who leads our event strategy.

The plan is easy: strip your script down to its simplest form. Why? Because simple is easy to understand and easy to remember.

One good way to keep things simple is by reducing your audience’s take home messages to 3-5 points according to Bergstein.

“I always like to highlight 3-5 key takeaways that our audience will walk away with so that they know exactly what they’re in for. Then, I always map the different ‘sections’ of content directly back to those 3-5 takeaways. At the end, I’ll reiterate the takeaways on a slide (in slightly different wording than the earlier slide) to really drive home the main points.”

Here’s more on how you can write a simple script:

  • Remove business speak or jargon.
  • Get rid of heavy vocabulary and an overload of abbreviations.
  • Use as many short and medium-length sentences as possible.

Most of all, always front-load sentences so that important information is at the start of it.

5. Trim your script to fix in the presentation’s duration

Before you consider your webinar script done, give it one last round of edits.  

Take care of two things in this final step:

  • Write for your listeners. Read each sentence out loud so you know how it sounds to the ear. Rewrite or get rid of sentences that are overly complex, don’t add value, and aren’t easy to understand in one go.
  • Time your script. Read your script with the timer running in the background. Don’t stop even as the time exceeds your presentation’s duration. This will help you shorten the script.

6 webinar presentation tips

We’re almost at the end of how to create a webinar presentation! There’s only one thing that you need to practice now: how you’ll deliver the presentation.

It’s easy to think you’ll wing it. But here’s where things can go wrong in minutes since nobody enjoys a rambling webinar host (trust me, I’ve been there!).

So here are six simple tips to present like a professional:

1. Practice each slide

Without practice, you’re likely to ramble instead of making a concise argument. Plus, you’ll likely shower your audience with a ton of ‘umms’ and ‘ahs.

Delivering such a presentation does little to hold your audience’s attention. That’s a given. The solution? Practice. Lots of practice. In fact, if you can, get someone on the team to help you. Or, record yourself and listen to where you’re stammering or going off-track.

If the webinar has more than one speaker, it’s a good idea to chart the webinar’s flow including time slots for each presenter. From there on, do a run to see how each presenter is doing and to ensure the flow (and transition between speakers) is smooth and timely.

2. Rehearse your speech and tone

You don’t need to change the way you speak. But your pacing will need work. As will making sure each word you say is delivered clearly. Miro’s webinar host talks about this, too.

“Pacing is critical; the audience shouldn’t feel like we’re blazing through features [or pointers/ideas] or spending forever on one feature [ideas]. It should take advantage of attention while moving freely enough to capture wandering minds.”

Practice will help you strike the right balance for pacing. Here are three tips for nailing your speech and tone.

  • Get a professional microphone. Research proofs audio quality ranks higher than visual quality. This means your laptop’s built-in microphone simply won’t cut it. Consider investing in a lavalier or clip-on mic that can save your audience from straining to keep up with you.
  • Speak clearly with micro pauses. Consciously take steps to clearly say each word to make sure your audience is able to digest your message.
  • Work on your tone. A slow, lazy tone indicates the webinar is going to be a slow-kill. An energetic tone, on the other hand, is welcoming – helping retain your audience.

3. Check your internet connection

Poor internet speed can cause your presentation to stutter or freeze. Since your aim is to provide an amazing attendee experience, make it a rule to check your internet speed a week before the event.

You’ll need minimum 1.5 Mbps upload speed for hosting a webinar, but an exact estimate depends on audience size and the hosting platform.

4. Host from a noise-free webinar environment

This ensures your voice is clear. It also removes distractions for you, making it easy to keep up with your train of thought.

To this end, make sure you:

  • Close all background tabs—you wouldn’t want a song playing in the background only to find out it’s coming from one of your zillion tabs. 😬
  • Host from a room with carpet and curtains as they absorb sound, reducing echo. If you’re working from home, make sure the room is inaccessible to children and pets.
  • Wear your headphones. It reduces background noise and echo.

Have some extra budget to spare? Get a boom arm for your mic so it’s positioned close to your mouth to minimize background noise.

5. Have a team to help you pull it all off smoothly

For large events, you may need a few more teammates to help pull everything off smoothly. A moderator, for example, helps manage comments pouring through your live chat or Q&A or moderates the most upvoted questions to the speaker(s).

A spotter, on the other hand, is an extra pair of eyes that regulates all the technical stuff during a webinar.

6. Curate questions for the Q&A session in case engagement is low

This will help you fire off a Q&A session immediately without having to fill the awkward silence until attendees share their questions. Gather questions using the webinar sign-up form or ask your social media or newsletter community to share their questions.

Post-webinar feedback surveys

A successful webinar doesn’t end once you reach the last slide. Post-webinar feedback helps you understand how much of your hard work translates into value for the attendees. But be sure to tell participants you’ll be sharing a survey form as you wrap your presentation.

Some presenter feedback survey questions you can ask are:

  • What’s your biggest takeaway from the presentation?
  • How can we make the webinar better for you?
  • What would you like to learn next?

You can also ask participants to rate a few questions such as:

  • How likely are you to recommend the session to a colleague?
  • Would you like to learn more on this topic?
  • What percentage of the content shared with you was new?
  • Rate the host’s presentation skills, presentation pace, and knowledge on the topic

Wrap up: how to create webinar presentations

Hopefully, you have a stronger idea of how to create a webinar presentation that will wow your audience. With these expert insights and presentation ideas, you’ll be able to host an awesome webinar that keeps your audience glued to their screen till the end.

Take a deep breath. Success is in identifying your presentation’s goal, packaging information in 3-5 takeaways, and practicing your script beforehand. Don’t forget to create breathable, clutter-free slide decks and engage your audience with polls and Q&As. And just remember: your ultimate goal is to connect with the person on the other side of the screen.

Go live with your next webinar

Originally published on July 2, 2021. Updated on November 8, 2021.