Teleseminars were extremely popular several years ago but have declined somewhat in popularity due to the rise of webinars and Google Hangouts. Yet, they remain a viable means by which to deliver your content and you’ll find Telesummits centered around a central theme featuring multiple speakers still available from time to time.
Of course, teleseminars can also feature only one speaker—you—in a single or multi-part series. Whether it is you individually or a group of different speakers spread out over a single to a few days there are definitely some things you can do to increase the consumability of your teleseminar content.
First, study closely the target market that you want to reach. Is there a particular day of the week and time of day that they are most likely to be available to listen to your content live? Are you accessing a worldwide audience? As best you can, you should schedule your teleseminar for the time most convenient for your audience and not what is most convenient for you.
You’ll get as many different answers as there are stars in the sky as to the absolute best time to do a teleseminar. Most people avoid Fridays through Sundays because people like to keep their weekends free generally. Other says to avoid Mondays because people are just getting into their week and aren’t ready to be mentally “in” to a teleseminar that early in the week.
Generally, Tuesdays through Thursdays are the most popular. A majority of people try to schedule their teleseminars to start early evening on the East Coast in the United States. Again, it depends to a large extent on who is your target market. If you’re wanting new moms to listen to a teleseminar than you might start after 9 pm after the kids have been put to bed. Or, if you’re targeting people who commute to work each day you might try for an afternoon drive time slot.
A majority of your listeners may opt to listen to replays of any sessions rather than listen live, so you’ll definitely want to make replays available for those people who registered for your teleseminar but weren’t able to attend live. In fact, if the content you’re offering is free, you probably want to offer the replay up to everybody on your list. You should always record every teleseminar that you do.
It’s a given that to keep people listening on a teleseminar you should have an engaging style and provide high quality content that is relevant to what folks are wanting to learn. Previews of upcoming content within a teleseminar session and of future sessions at the end of a session should be utilized. By using a “hook” and telling them about something that is coming up you’ll engage their curiosity and they’ll likely hang on to find out more about what you were teasing them about.
How long should your teleseminar be? As long as it needs to be to cover the topic(s) you want to cover sufficiently. We’ve seen people remain on webinars for 2 to 3 hours or more if they are really interested in the topic. We’ve also seen people bail out within 10 minutes if they were bored and you didn’t grab their attention right away. Overall, with our trainings we shoot for around an hour in total length, with the first 40-45 minutes being training and the last 15 minutes being set aside for questions and answers.
Our good friend Alex Mandossian has had wonderful success with his teleseminars by incorporating other media within the teleseminar. He usually has some type of pdf action guide that the listener can download and print out to follow along with the content while they are listening to the teleseminar. This guide will have a lot of fill in the blank pages and the audience will need to remain on the call to get those answers to fill in those blanks and complete their guide.
If you are doing a multiple speaker teleseminar summit event you should have an overall schedule put together early in the game that you’ll share with your participants. This should include specific information about when each speaker is presenting, what they are presenting, and how to access the teleseminar.
Frequent email reminders about upcoming sessions and how to access replays of any sessions should definitely be part of your consumption strategy. People probably won’t want to listen to every speaker but if you communicate effectively and remind people about what’s happening when you should have a better attendance rate to your events. You’ll want to nicely push people to remember to add the teleseminar to their calendar with an appropriate alert.
It’s almost a given that the audio quality of any teleseminar should be top notch. A static filled, hard to hear call will call listeners to bail quickly. You should test your conference service line quality in advance of a call. You should also encourage any guest calling in to do so from a land line if possible because that generally provides better quality audio than cell phones. Not always though, so find what will work best. Always have any guests call in a few minutes early so you can check there audio quality and have time to make some adjustments if necessary.
Teleseminars will definitely remain a viable content delivery method for a long time to come. There are certain advantages you have with teleseminars compared to, say, webinars that sometime make the teleseminar format the logical choice through which to deliver your content. Know your audience and know there desired consumption format and be prepared to deliver teleseminars when that format is called for.