6 webinar tools to actively involve your learners

They’re in front of a huge distractor.

Their computer.

Not to mention the cell phone right next to it.

So how do you keep your webinar participants engaged?

By utilizing various webinar tools.

They keyword being TOOLS, plural.

You see, if you get into a routine of overusing any one of these tools, your learners will get bored and tune out.

(I’ll let you guess which of the tools below most trainers tend to overuse.)

Mixing it up is critical if you want to engineer curiosity in your learners.

This blog will give you our top 6 webinar tools you can use to involve your learners, so that they stay engaged, retain your content, and apply it in their daily life.

So what are these tools, and what are the best ways to use them?

1. Whiteboards

This is where you ask learners to interact with your slide content through various annotation features.

These include drawing, stamping, typing on the screen, etc.

Be sure to have simple directions across the top of the slide, so that learners know what you want them to do in the space below.

This is especially valuable for brainstorming, guessing the correct answers to your questions or fill-ins, etc.

2. Polling

This has plenty of overlap with whiteboards.

You can use whiteboard slides to allow learners to annotate in ways that express their preferences on a variety of topics, prior knowledge on a topic, etc.

But there are other ways to use polls aside from whiteboards.

You can use the built-in poll features on Zoom or other platforms.

You can have learners stand up.

Then you can read a series of statements and invite learners to do a “Sit-Stand” (sit down and quickly stand back up) if a statement is true for them.

3. Breakout Rooms

Challenge yourself to use breakout rooms differently from most trainers.

Most trainers teach their learners the content, then send them to rooms to discuss.

To mix it up and foster more curiosity, send learners to breakout rooms to make their best guesses together regarding a series of questions or fill-ins.

Then bring them back from the rooms and debrief them on the correct answers.

They’ll be more engaged in your teaching, because they’ll want to know if they guessed correctly.

You can even make it a competition between breakout rooms!

Try breaking out your learners based on the items you shipped them ahead of time, such as their Play-Doh colors, playing card suits, etc.

You can also break them up by birth month, eye color, etc.

Of course, there's nothing wrong with using the automatic breakout room selector, which allows the webinar platform to randomly divide your learners into groups.

It’s not as fun, but it’s a quick solution in a pinch.

4. Application Sharing

It’s important to move beyond slides.

Use gamification tools like C3 Softworks.

Quiz and raffle tools like UMU.

Animated video tools like MySimpleShow.

The list goes on!

5. Web Browsing

Send them on a scavenger hunt.

You could have your participants go do research on the web and report back with what they found.

Maybe you want them to go scope out a competitors' products and share their findings with the group.

Or maybe you lead new hire employee orientations, and you're letting them poke around the company site to find the policy manual.

Come to think of it, how about you open a new tab in your browser right now and go to bobpikegroup.com. Under “Resources,” click “Free Webinars,” and sign up for an upcoming session that intrigues you!

6.Text Chat

As you can imagine, this is by far the most overused tool.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use it!

It’s a great way to ease participants into your class and help them get accustomed to the various tools you’ll use to involve them.

It’ll help you identify trends.

It gives more introverted learners a less intimidating avenue for sharing their ideas than unmuting their mic.

Just be sure to mix it up along with other tools.

And have a producer to help you keep track of key questions and observations in case the chat box gets busy!

Which tool do you need to start using more often?

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