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May 20, 2024

The First 10 Minutes: How to Keep Your Audience Hooked

Introduction

Incorporating masterclasses and webinars into your coaching business is a powerful way to build your email list and attract high-quality leads. With all of life’s daily distractions, folks are becoming more discerning about what they choose to spend their time on.

This is why keeping your audience engaged, especially in the crucial first 10 minutes of your masterclass or webinar, is vital. Here are some proven strategies to capture and hold your audience’s attention right from the start.

Start with a Bang

First impressions matter. Kick off your masterclass or webinar with a strong opening—an interesting fact, a compelling story, or a surprising statistic. This sets the tone and piques curiosity, encouraging your attendees to stay tuned.

Provide a Quick Overview or Outline

With a short outline, highlight the main elements of the masterclass or webinar. A clear overview reassures participants that the session is well-structured and worth their time. Make sure to emphasize the most exciting or valuable parts of the session to keep them interested.

Clearly State the Benefits

Within the first few minutes, clearly articulate what your audience will gain from the masterclass or webinar. Whether it's learning a new skill, gaining valuable insights, or solving a common problem, make it clear why they should invest their time in your session.

Encourage Audience Interaction Early

Engage your audience from the start by inviting them to participate. This could be through a quick poll, a request to introduce themselves in the chat, or a prompt to type in answers or thoughts. Interaction helps to create a sense of community and investment in the session.

Use Visuals Wisely

High-quality visuals can significantly boost engagement. Start with an eye-catching slide, a short video clip, or an infographic that illustrates a key point. Visuals help to break the monotony and keep eyes on the screen.

Share Your Story

A brief personal story can help establish a connection with your audience. Share why you are passionate about the topic, how you’ve applied the concepts in your own life, or a relevant anecdote that underscores your main message.

Engage with a Question

Ask a thought-provoking question related to your topic. This not only engages attendees but also primes their minds for the content you're about to deliver. Encourage them to think about their own experiences and how they relate to the question.

Leverage Psychological Hooks

Psychological principles, such as the Zeigarnik Effect, which suggests that people remember uncompleted tasks better, can be useful. Start a story or a concept and indicate that you’ll finish it later in the session. This is often referred to as an open loop. It keeps the audience waiting for the conclusion (or loop closure).

Show Empathy and Understanding

Acknowledge common pain points or challenges participants faces. Demonstrating empathy builds rapport and makes your content feel more relevant. Let your audience know that you understand their struggles and are here to help.

Turn up the Energy

Enthusiasm is contagious. Bring energy to your masterclass or webinar through your voice, facial expressions, and body language. An energetic presenter is much more engaging and can keep the audience’s attention far better than a monotone delivery.

Key Takeaways

By employing several of these strategies in the first 10 minutes of your masterclass or webinar, you'll set a strong foundation for audience engagement. Remember, the goal is to capture attention quickly and keep your audience hooked with compelling content and interactive elements.

A well-planned masterclass or webinar will help you build your email list and attract high-quality leads. However, a captivated audience is more likely to become clients and even loyal fans, eager to learn more from you. By implementing these tips, you will have higher audience retention and the techniques will be invaluable tools in your coaching arsenal.

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Jennifer


Jennifer Sharkey is known as the Virtual Presentation Specialist. Being passionate about seeing people shine and be heard, she leans into her 20+ years of public speaking experience and uses what she has learned from presenting, both in-person and virtually, to small groups all the way up to 5000 people. Jennifer draws from her experience as an associate professor, academic librarian, and coach to help holistic coaches master virtual presentations to grow their business. Her unique immersive program provides practical strategies and methods to build confidence, engage audiences, and generate authenticity and authority.

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