The last thing you want to see is people leaving your webinar early and not hearing your offer. In this episode of the Influence By Design podcast, we have a fascinating conversation on how to create engaging webinars for higher conversion with Johnny Beirne.
Johnny has vast experience working for corporate multinationals and small businesses. He’s found success in creating and launching online courses and he’s enthusiastic to help others do the same.
Johnny is also a master of addressing the elephant in the room of webinars – death by PowerPoint, which is caused by different factors – numerous distractions, attention deficit, and sheer boredom.
About 60% of people leave the webinar even before the host makes their offer, and this significantly impacts sales outcomes. Although it’s challenging to increase webinar engagement, he guarantees it’s achievable. You can do so by tweaking and improving some of your systems and setups.
If you want to avoid boring your audience and discover how you can create an interactive webinar that keeps your prospects hooked right to the very end, be sure to listen and WATCH Johnny demonstrate his tips and expertise.
IN THIS EPISODE YOU’LL DISCOVER:
- How Johnny addresses the elephant in the room with his audience (01:50)
- Tips to keep people interested and the importance of pattern interruption (04:40)
- The cost of a good webinar setup and recommended equipment (12:25)
- Presentation space and design guidelines (19:03)
- Potential outcomes with fun and interactive webinars (22:41)
- “If people don’t like what they see, they presume they won’t like what they are going to get.” -Johnny Beirne
- “The quality of your audio is very critical. It gives a sense of authority and professionalism.” -Johnny Beirne
RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
WHERE TO FIND JOHNNY BEIRNE
- Website: https://johnnybeirne.com/
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/johnnybeirne/
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ABOUT JOHNNY BEIRNE
Johnny Beirne has over 25 years of experience working in corporate multinationals to small businesses.
He successfully launched several online businesses and in 2019, sold one of them to a Belgium company. Since June 2008 he has trained over 800 small business owners with 15 Local Enterprise Offices.
While in the past 3 months, he has trained over 400 business owners with 12 LEO’s. Over 90% of these course participants are from the expert industry with plans to sell their expertise and experience in the form of an online course.
He’s been successfully creating and launching online courses since 2013 and now helps others to do the same. He recently wrote ‘Say it Once. Sell it Often’ which details a simple and effective 9-step framework for producing, promoting, and selling online courses and programmes.
Furthermore, he helped some of Ireland’s highest profile trainers, coaches, and public speakers create and launch their own online training business.
TRANSCRIPTION (AI Generated)
Johnny Beirne Snippet 0:00
So the audio is critical. And you know, your audio as a podcaster is booming through. And it has a sense of authority, a sense of professionalism, a sense of quality, that is critical. And it’s almost as important now in video as it would be for podcasting that it has been for years.
Samantha Riley Intro 00:21:
My name is Samantha Riley, and this is the podcast for experts who want to be the unapologetic leader in their industry. We’re going to share the latest business growth, marketing, and leadership strategies, as well as discussing how you can use your human design to create success in business and life. Inside and out. It’s time to take your influence, income, and impact to the level you know you’re capable of. Are you ready to make a bigger difference and scale up? This is the Influence By Design podcast.
Welcome to today’s episode of influence by design, I’m your host, Samantha Riley. And today we’re going to talk about webinars and specifically how we can make webinars more interactive, and even more importantly, more interesting so that our prospects stay engaged. And hopefully they buy from us is what we’re going for. So I’ve invited Johnny Byrne to join me today. So thank you for staying up late, Johnny, welcome to the show.
Johnny Beirne 1:22
Thank you, Samantha, I’m missing out on my beauty sleep. And you can see that I need as much of it as I can get. So I’m making an exception just for you.
Samantha Riley 1:31
Well, thank you. We appreciate it. It’s very late, where you are and I very early where I am. But that’s I guess the beauty of being in a global world, we can still catch up even though both of us have got our eyes hanging out of our head.
Johnny Beirne 1:45
Yeah, absolutely. It’s all good. I appreciate you and the time for this. So
Samantha Riley 1:50
why don’t you share a little bit about what it is that you do and the kind of people that you work with? Because I think that’ll give us a little bit of context around today’s topic.
Johnny Beirne 1:58
Absolutely, yeah. So I guess the main thing that I do is I help people address the elephant in the room. And the elephant in the room really is where 60% of webinar attendees leave before the end, because of attention deficit, distraction, and sheer boredom with death by PowerPoint. So what I help webinars and subject matter experts who deliver webinars and speakers, trainers, authors and coaches, who go on camera a lot, I help them to avoid death by PowerPoint and boring the pants off people where they don’t stay for that offer at the end. And if they’re not there for the offer, then they’re not going to buy, you know, because they haven’t seen the offer. So let’s increase the chances reduce that 60% of those who leave, so at least they’ll see the offer, right. And if they see the offer, at least we’re in with a chance that they may take us up on that invitation to take up on the offer. So that’s what I help people to do. It’s really using an age old technique at this stage called pattern interrupt, where you basically seamlessly transition into your slides without breaking eye contact, without even having to share your screen. And for your listeners, what I’m doing there is actually appearing as if I’m part of the presentation, without actually having to reach for my mouse and share the screen. And that’s really what I teach is pattern interrupt. It’s quite popular in NLP psychotherapy and psychology, you may remember as a child, Samantha, if you were crying, and your parents give you a lollipop, or you might do it now with with your kids. And I know I do what my look at the doggie outside the window. That’s pattern interrupt, right. And suddenly they go from one state to another. And that’s really what we’re teaching here.
Samantha Riley 3:53
And if you are listening, I do recommend that you go and head over to the show notes page at influenced by design podcast.com. And actually have a look at the video that we’ve got up there because an elephant really did actually just join us in the room. It wasn’t just a matter of our speech there. We were joined by an elephant. Exactly. So you’re talking about death by PowerPoint. And we all know what that feels like. It’s, you know, when you’re in a conference room, it’s bad enough, you know when you have to stop when you start fiddling with your pen or your phone. But let’s face it, we’re giving webinars where people are in their home office, they don’t Stop fiddling. They just leave. So I guess this is such a big question. And I’m sure you’re the expert here and you’ll start to break it down. But how do we start to avoid death by PowerPoint? What are the things to avoid? And what are the things that we can do to overcome that? Yeah, so
Johnny Beirne 4:55
it said that when we’re on stage or when we’re speaking in Public, the key is to maintain attention. And then we’re online, it’s to avoid people being distracted. And that’s what we’re talking about their their only interest from their phone, or they’re watching online, and they could have Facebook open in another tab. So really what we’re looking to do first and foremost is really deliver in our webinars really valuable, quick win educational information. And then along with that, on top of that, what we do is we break pattern. So rather than welcoming people full screen, and then going to a presentation, where particularly in zoom, and indeed in GoToWebinar and other platforms, we kind of disappear up into the corner, and then it’s slide after slide. So what I’m doing here and again, for your listeners, we urge you to watch the video for full effect. What I’m doing here is without even breaking eye contact, I’m moving into the slides. Okay, I’m transitioning into the slides, where I can continue to present. Okay, so I’m presenting the slides and part of the presentation, as if I was on stage with a big screen behind me, like you’d often see in a TED talk. And then again, without breaking eye contact, I can disappear and continue to present. Again, no messing around with a mouse, sharing the screen, which makes us look unprofessional and unprepared. Particularly when it doesn’t work or takes too long to happen, then we might reappear somewhere else and continue to present our presentation. So really what we’re doing to the viewers brain, rather than just slide after slide, even though there’s something different on the slide. People are acclimatized, particularly because of COVID. After watching so many zoom meetings and webinars, they’re climatized to just a slight change into another slide. So what we’re doing here is we’re adding to that their brain is going hold on a second. He was over there a minute ago, or is actually an elephant in the room? Or let’s say, I don’t know, I actually walked by my own. You know, it’s actually really funny. Yeah, so it is it’s kind of edutainment, as they say. So. And it’s not, it’s not to distract so much that they’re losing sight of the message, or they’re missing out on, on the message, all of the things that I show are used in context. So like me, walking by my own window live is an exaggerated example, almost, of pattern interrupt, if we’re talking about the offer, you know, you can go your museum or the offer is going to bring in some money. And literally, money falls out of the sky live as you’re presenting. Again, all of these things are adding to the overall education and entertainment and getting a little bit of a laugh. And as, as people say, if people are laughing, they’re learning. The other thing you can do is bring in a little bit of B roll our footage, as we call it B roll, where like a three second clip, rather than a static image on a slide really draws people in. So I would say something like, Is this how you imagined yourself before your first webinar? Is this how you imagined yourself setting up your own studio? And people say to me, that looks exactly like me. They can relate and we’re empathizing. So it’s really a combination of those couple of things. The other thing we can do is we can just open it up here, we can open up a whiteboard. And you know, if we feel for whatever reason that this would make sense during our presentation, we can start to draw out stuff, A plus B equals whatever. And we can appear on the whiteboard and say, Is this making sense to like, yeah, absolutely. Keep going, like, cool. So that’s, it’s just another example, if we change camera, if I show people behind the scenes, let’s say in a live presentation, or I want to go to this other camera to show people the green screen, changing camera angles is another form of pattern interrupt. So there are a few very simple ones. I use a couple of cameras to show people behind the scenes. Typically in a webinar, one camera is fine. But this one camera and this camera is the same camera, or this scene, and this scene, as I should say is the same camera. So it’s really about just mixing it up without it being too busy or too distracting from the main message of the webinar. They’re the main things and then it’s just not PowerPoint anymore.
Samantha Riley 9:45
Totally. And when you actually flicked into that screen where you were showing, like sort of the behind the scenes, the thought that I immediately get is now we’re not just talking face to face, but it almost feels like we’ve got more connect chin, it’s more intimate because we can actually see behind the scenes of what you’re doing, and it completely changes. You know, it’s like, I feel like I know you more than just seeing your face on the camera, huh?
Johnny Beirne 10:11
Yeah, absolutely. So we’re basically welcoming people into our office, where even if I didn’t do what I do, I would probably do another angle with the camera, just to show a little bit of the less polished, a little bit more vulnerable. And it’s not for everybody that would want to do that, what you would see very polished webinars, and yet, they would show a second camera to say, Hey, I’m a real person just like you. Just because I, for the first 10 minutes, it was very polished and almost TV, like, you know, I’m a real person just like you. And there’s times that works really, really well. And especially for me, of course, when I can show people behind the scenes, but it is it is that open door policy that fly on the wall. Hey, come and see inside my, my office from my house, you’re welcome to see it. I have nothing to hide. And that kind of builds rapport quite well, as well. So yeah,
Samantha Riley 11:10
and relatability. All of a sudden, it’s like, oh, okay, yeah, I can do that. Love that. Yeah. Yeah. Because I
Johnny Beirne 11:17
want to show people as well, Samantha, that it’s achievable. You know, I don’t want people to look at this production, and say, Oh, it’s easy for you, Johnny, you know, you’ve got it all figured out. I’m like, well, first of all, it wasn’t always like this. I look back at videos, and they make me cry and laugh at the same time. I’m just like, Bluey color, and you can barely make me out. And the audio was terrible. And I kind of joke about I look like something in a witness protection program. So but you gotta, as Les Brown would say, you don’t have to be great to get going. But you have to get going to be great. So showing people that I haven’t got a lot of space, the equipment, isn’t that expensive. I got a little switch on my desk, that with the right software, you can get going pretty quickly with the right guidance and setup. So yeah,
Samantha Riley 12:08
yeah, totally. So let’s talk about the setup. Because you did mention our journey, but it’s different for you. And you know, we hear that all the time as experts, you know, but it’s different for you people are making up all the stories. A, what is this? The costs that we’re looking for to set that up?
Johnny Beirne 12:27
Yeah, so the first thing I always say to people is you don’t need everything that I have unless you do what I do. And if you do, you wouldn’t be watching this. Okay, so I have what I have, because it grew organically over time based on my budget and the availability of new gear. But I kept everything to reuse where possible, and to show people different options based on the size of their room and the size of their budget. But we’re talking about hundreds of dollars, not 1000s. Definitely when you’re starting out a reasonably good webcam 100 200 $300 whatever you can afford, typically the more you spend within reason, the better they actually are. So the go to is that Logitech C 920. After that maybe the Brio after that may be the new Elgato face cam pro at about 350 is almost as good as a DSLR. The Insta 360 that will move with you is a fantastic webcam for about 350 quality quality. But you’d be surprised. I mean, if you only had $300 I would spend 100 on a webcam and 200 on lights rather than the other way around. Yes, yeah. Yeah. Because lighting is again for your audio audience pop over to the video because I just turned off my lights and you just see, like, again, this is the witness protection a lot that a lot of people you know you can it’s like you’re on a you’re on some sort of crime show and you can show your face. So I mean, even to turn on one light makes a massive difference. Yeah, doesn’t make me any better looking. But it definitely makes me more visual. So I underestimated the importance of lights for a long time. So that will be my go to would be if you have 300 spent 200 on lights and 100 and the camera the other way around. No camera within reason unless you spend an absolute fortune is going to create light. So you need to create light and then the camera will find it easier. So in the low hundreds microphone. Again, your kind of go twos that are quite popular. Your snowball your Blue Yeti, some USB mics, the Elgato wave three. Personally, I go for a shotgun microphone that’s attached to my teleprompter. So it’s not on the desk. I’m not going to hit it over. I don’t have to wire myself up. There’s no back Truth required or any of that. So if budget allows, I will go for a shotgun microphone. So the road go to starts about $100, you can go into 1000s, if you wish. And he rode shotgun within reason for 100 200 $300 is going to be a great microphone. It reduces echo by default, the reason it’s called a shotgun, it’s directional. It’s not a brand, it’s just a category of microphone. And don’t again, underestimate the importance of audio. In fact, you could leave your camera, if your camera broke, people would stay on to hear you, if your microphone broke or was breaking up like a bad cell phone signal, they will just tune out. Okay, so it’s one thing if they can’t see you, they’ll forgive you almost forgotten, okay, his cameras gone a bit, whatever. But if they can’t hear you, there’s no point in being able to see you. So the audio is critical. And, you know, your audio as a podcaster is booming through. And it has a sense of authority, a sense of professionalism, a sense of quality, that is critical. And it’s almost as important now in video as it will be for podcasting that it has been for years.
Samantha Riley 16:18
I love that you mentioned the authority piece, because when someone shows up and you can’t hear them properly, or you can’t see them properly, the first people don’t even realize they’re thinking it but they’re thinking, Oh, this person’s amateur, or maybe they don’t know what they’re talking about. And I think that it’s really important to bring out in the open and say, people actually won’t take you seriously if you don’t have a professional setup.
Johnny Beirne 16:44
Exactly. And you know, the same what you see is what you get. So if people don’t like what they see, they presume they won’t like what they get. I mean, this is the shop window, whether it’s fair or not, you know, we have no control over that. And maybe back in the early days of COVID Osher the poor fellas working from home, and it’s, it’s grand, you know, maybe he didn’t get any equipment, or we’ll forgive him. And then after a couple of weeks of COVID, and working from home in the norm, and people actually investing and starting to look good. People very quickly start to see smarter what good look like, and therefore forgiveness went out the window. It’s a look, you know, make an effort here. And I’ve turned up in sales meeting where sales meetings where people were presenting software that could be 510 $1,000, and they show up. And I’m like, dude, like, based on what I see, rightly or wrongly. And I don’t mean to judge. But if your software is anything like what I see right now, I ain’t buying. And that’s people. It’s the shop window and perception is reality. And it I think it’s disrespectful, to be honest, not to show up in a way that you would offline. I mean, you wouldn’t show up at your lunch all over your face. You know? Yeah, offline. So metaphorically, why would you do something that’s unprofessional online. And I get that. I mean, people make the excuse art expensive and technical. And I would say, there’s a technical element to it. But it’s a lot easier than you think. And hey, it can be learned. And your reputation is on the line, your business is on the line, your income is on the line, your profit is on the line, how people say about us on the line. So for the sake of a couple of $100 some training, I don’t think we have an excuse and it ain’t going away. So no, you know, if anything, it’s become more, more of a than ever before. So we got to embrace a gentle.
Samantha Riley 18:56
Absolutely, absolutely. So you talked about the kinds of technology that we can use. Let’s talk about the space that we need. Sure. Because, you know, some people were like, well, actually, I don’t have the space or I don’t know how to set it up. So what sort of area do we need to have aside for this setup?
Johnny Beirne 19:19
Yeah, so ideally, what I would say to people if standing is an option is to stand up for their arms out and do kind of a Wonderwoman twirl. And that’s kind of the roughly the space you need. I mean, there’s a few additional pieces that you could look at in terms of equipment, and But ideally, you’d be looking at to be comfortable, you will be looking at about three meters square. Now I work in a smaller space in the corner of my living room with a pull up green screen, which is the distance between the green screen and the wall, not my desk, but the actual wall is two meters. So about two meters square for sitting and presenting when we pull up green screen So you don’t need a lot of space, you could set up a nice beautiful background like you have. Or if that’s not an option for people get the pull up green screen, just stay far enough away from the green screen, that you’re not casting a shadow on it. And ideally be in control of the lighting on the green screen. Otherwise, you’re going to have trouble. But green screens are optional. I mean, if you want the full, immersive experience, you need a green screen. But there are ways to immerse yourself in the slide in a circle where people can see your background, but you’re still transitioning nicely into the slide. So you don’t really need a lot of space just don’t feel confined, because you won’t present. It’s like if you were putting on a very, very, very, very small stage be like, I can’t really see you do you do need a little bit of freedom, but nothing like what people like if I hit this button here. You know, I can just about reached the green screen, I can just about reached the camera. So arms out? That’s a rough rule of thumb really?
Samantha Riley 21:06
Totally, totally. No, I know that you have a free resource that you can share with our audience, I’d love you to tell us a little bit about what that is.
Johnny Beirne 21:18
Yeah, so the free resource is called present tation presentation transformation. And it basically, in about 1012 pages with some diagrams, it takes people through a lot of what we talked about some hints about the equipment, and some links to the go to equipment that I would suggest. I’m not saying you throw out what you have just and by what I say Use what you have, if you get the desired result, it talks about pattern interrupt and slide design as well. But more recently, I added an interactive version. So you can download the full PDF, or you can read it online and ask questions. So I will get an alert if you ask a question. And I will answer. So the there’s an interactive version of which means you can ask the author. And we can answer some specific questions as well. We have an equipment list of everything that I have, as I say nobody needs everything that I have. But if you like what you see, and you want to look at different options, you can get all the Amazon or different supplier links in one spreadsheet as well. So there’s the couple of resources that I have prepared. And I’m glad to share that with your viewers and your listeners.
Samantha Riley 22:33
Absolutely. So head over to influence by design podcast.com And get a copy of these free resources. Johnny, I would love you to share some or a case study of someone that was running webinars before? And how did their I guess, show up right? Engagement, conversions change once they change to this system? Because I mean, that’s really what it’s all about, right?
Johnny Beirne 23:02
Sure. Yeah. So the show up rate improves for you do a better registration page video. So if you have a video on your webinar registration page, you can definitely look more professional by using this system. For some people, they don’t have a video on the registration page, and that’s fine. So the viewer only starts to see how professional it is when they join the webinar. So what we’ve helped people to do is reduce the 60%. So the industry average of people leaving before the end is 60%, we’ve helped people get that down to 54%. So then their conversions go up, sometimes a percent or two, sometimes three, four, or 5%. Because there are more people there. And they’re getting better at it now under bringing in now that they can see what’s possible with as the example the elephant in the room or whatever it might be. They’re starting to think, what else can I do with this? And they might reach out to me they come up with their own ideas. But the big feedback is that the viewer kind of says, Look, this is better than I’ve seen, most webinars done, okay. Because if your viewers and your listeners take this on now, they will still be better than 90% of webinars that are going on at the moment. So that’s the sort of feedback they’re getting. And the feedback I get personally from my clients and students is it’s so much fun. It’s so enjoyable. It’s so effortless, whatever the practice, it’s like no more sharing screen, and that enjoyment comes across to the audience, which comes back to the presenter which goes back so there’s this kind of new dance of we’re all having a good time here. So it’s definitely put more money in people’s pockets because more If people stay to the end, therefore more people saw the offer, and more people bought the offer. And they’re growing it and growing it and growing it from there. And the great thing about the setup as well, is that you can use it for making courses. You can use it for speaking at summits, you can use it for being on a video podcast, you can, you know, really helps you make courses faster, as well, if you’re in online courses, if you want to jump on a LinkedIn live or any other live stream platform, you can use it for that as well. It will work anywhere you turn on your camera. People ask me, or does it work on Zoom GoToWebinar stream yard? Google mes Google Hangout, anywhere you turn on the camera, Microsoft Teams, it works with all I
Samantha Riley 25:48
love that so much. And can I just say for someone that hasn’t shared a screen for a couple of years now? Because I do have the tech to transition? Yeah, not only is it more seamless, it makes me more confident because I’m not thinking about something else. But also for the viewer. It’s just it happens. We don’t have to sit there and wait until someone hits a button. So I just love it. Not sharing screens is
Johnny Beirne 26:12
awesome. Yeah, that really, really is.
Samantha Riley 26:16
Yeah, Johnny, thanks so much for coming and sharing your genius with us today. We really appreciate it.
Johnny Beirne 26:22
It’s been my pleasure, Samantha. Thank you very much.
Samantha Outro 26:25
Thanks for joining me for this episode of the Influence By Design podcast. If you want more head over to influencebydesignpodcast.com for the show notes and links to today’s gifts and sponsors. And if you’re looking to connect with other experts who are growing and scaling their business to join us in the coaches, thought leaders, and changemakers community on Facebook, the links are waiting for you over at influencebydesignpodcast.com
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