When I did my very first teleseminar, it was a bit of a stretch, and it reminded me a whole lot of the way a certain person once attempted to teach me how to swim by dropping me into the water at the deep end.

Compared to the results from my scary learn-how-to-swim (or not) experience, my teleseminar was a full success. Sure, I made some mistakes, but I learned a lot too. Not only that, but I immediately started planning my next one, incorporating all the cool tips and tricks I wish I had thought of before the first one. Here are seven key things I want to share with you to help you do your own teleseminar without having to learn it all the hard way:

1. Give yourself enough time to learn ALL the key features of your teleseminar service before you get started with your call. Make sure you know where to look for the questions people may ask, especially if you use a service that allows them to type them into a form and submit them to you in that format.

I'm sorry to say that I didn't find mine until afterwards, and they would have been very good to have while I still had a chance to fix the problem. What were they about? Several participants alerted me (or tried to alert me) to the fact that I was next to impossible to understand due to some serious background noise.

2. Check your equipment. Does your modem create noise in your phone line? I know this isn't supposed to happen, but it does in my phone. I had no idea how bad it sounded until I listened to the replay. Ouch!

3. Create an outline of what you want to talk about. For your own benefit and for that of your listeners. It'll help you structure your teleseminar and prevent you from running out of things to say. It will reduce your own stress, and make your seminar much easier to follow.

4. Use the outline. Be very explicit as to what you're talking about. Signal any change of topic clearly. If you think "linear" and "very explicit sign-posting" when it comes to your organizational structure, you'll make your audience very happy.

5. Remember that this is audio. This is important for two reasons: Only a small minority of people is primarily picking up their information by listening to it. Unlike an mp3, however, a teleseminar is usually in real time - when it's over, it's over. For the audience that means, if they missed something, it may be gone forever (or until they download the replay). For you, this means that you should be direct, speak slowly and clearly, and repeat key points at least once or twice.

6. Plan what (if anything) you want to sell ahead of time. Then mention it early in the seminar, at some point in the middle, and once again a little before you're ready to sign off. Explain what it is, and why your listeners would want it. Explain why they should get it NOW. Make the offer compelling and give it a deadline to get your audience to act right away.

7. One more thing: if you tell people about your teleseminar, some of them will actually show up. Not all of them, but quite a few, enough to give you feedback later. Don't believe the naysayers who warn you that "nobody" will be there. Somebody might, or will. Be ready to wow them!

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