Bait and Pitch

Bait and PitchLast week an organization that I like invited me to a webinar. The webinar promised that a marketing guru would teach me how to increase my business. Since I had no meetings scheduled that afternoon, I figured I’d give it a listen, since sitting in on webinars can be a a good use of time if I get even one good idea from it. I also like to see how different sales and marketing people present their webinars.

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This webinar started off with lots of talk about what we were going to learn but offered no actual educational material. Instead, I was treated to a 37 minutes pitch on the presenter and his company. About 1 hour into it we were presented with some cursory information about marketing. Meanwhile, I had started generating a list of things that wreck a webinar:

1. Proofread your slides. Numerous spelling errors don’t make a great impression.
2. Slides with a cluttered background don’t add to the content – they take away from it.
3. Don’t insult your competition with disparaging remarks. It makes you look classless.
4. Lose the profanity. It is never needed in a professional presentation.
5. If you are going to use a quote, attribute it to the correct person who said it. Also, you better check the quote to ensure you have it correct.
6. Page after page of bullet points and clip art is no way to engage an audience.
7. Instead of telling me how talented you are, let your presentation do it for you.
8. This is the big one! Deliver what you promise to deliver. Don’t bait the audience with promises of help and then pull a switch to make it a sales pitch.

Do I have an agenda to discredit this person because I also do marketing webinars? Certainly not. I have a vested interest in helping people have a great experience when they attend webinars. I determined awhile ago that webinars are going to be a corner stone of my own marketing efforts, and we are working with a number of clients to develop and promote webinars for their business.

If you go to a webinar that is great and helpful, you are more likely to attend another one – maybe even one of mine. If you get the Bait and Pitch and what you thought was going to be an educational experience is actually a hard sell sales pitch you are less likely to attend another webinar.

I won’t let my bad experience keep me from other potentially great topics. There are a lot of ways that webinars can help your business, and they offer many benefits for attendees. Don’t let a bad webinar experience turn you off forever.

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