It’s important to understand how to conduct a successful webinar. Your actual tasks will depend on your technology and the help that you have but in general these tips will be important to learn if you want to conduct a profitable webinar. Consider these webinar best practices.
Remember Time Zones
It happens that sometimes people get mixed up with the time zones and miss a webinar even if they’re speakers or the organizer. Ensure that you understand the time zones and that your computer is set correctly. You can use Google Local Time Feature to find out what time it is elsewhere. In the search box type “time location”.
Using the email list software set up reminders that count down to the event for both attendees and speakers. You can even insert reminders to the speakers to “send tease to your list” or “hey today your content is due send it to xyz now please” and so forth. Reminders never hurt anyone and will ensure a better turn out all the way around.
Practice, Practice, Practice
You and the other presenters need to practice with the technology before the event. Do a complete dress rehearsal. You can even invite a special audience for the dress rehearsal to make it even more complete with audience participation.
Test the Technology
Ensure that you have good Internet service and that your speakers understand the Internet requirements. Often, using wireless can mess up VOIP, sometimes it’s okay. It depends on what technology you chose. Read their requirements and conduct a test to ensure it works. Test your local tech too, such as your speakers, ear phones, desk top and anything else you plan to use during the presentation.
Choose a Moderator
This can be your webinar specialist, you, or someone else who is good at time management. The moderator is going to be responsible for ensuring that everyone sticks to their time limits and Q & A doesn’t get too carried away. Sometimes moderators are also in charge of technology, so be sure that everyone knows what they’re doing.
Provide an Agenda
In one of your reminders before the event provide an agenda to the attendees. They’ll appreciate seeing what is going to happen during the event and it will get them excited to attend.
Start on Time
All speakers and presenters should arrive early to the event even though it’s a webinar so that you can start exactly on time. Guests will not like having to wait on anyone to get started. If someone is late, have a plan in place to switch the order of events. Attendees will get frustrated and leave if you wait around for people who are tardy.
One thing that webinars sometimes miss that in person events don’t is the humanity. Sometimes people giving a presentation online are more stilted and guarded than they would be in person because they are taking in the audience’s reaction. With an online webinar you cannot see anyone’s face. A good suggestion is to suggest that each speaker / presenter post a mirror where they can see themselves talking so that they can maintain a human connection. Sounds weird, but it works.
Mix up presentations from just PowerPoint to other types of information by adding in some video to your presentation. A lot of webinar software today allows the group to watch and hear YouTube.com videos or to upload video to the system for hearing and viewing. This will create more interest and make the presentations more exciting.
Open Group Chat
Many webinar software offers the ability for the attendees to chat among themselves during the event. The reason this is a great feature is because it offers the social proof that other people are there attending, right now. People will feel part of a group instead of alone. This is one huge way in which webinars different from in person events where talking during the event is discouraged.
Ask for Audience Participation
It can get boring sitting there looking at a screen. If each speaker offers a short Q & A session after their presentation the audience will feel more awake and in tune to the event. Most webinar software also allows for instant surveys and polls to be performed during the event, make use of these at least once per speaker for best results. Plan in advance how many questions, or pick a time limit and stick to it. The moderator should be in charge of ensuring that the time is managed appropriately.
It can’t be said enough but putting on an event, even a webinar can be challenging and time consuming. Depending on your own comfort zone you may want help with the technology, or you may need help getting all the materials prepared to the highest possible quality, or both. There are many virtual assistants who specialize in webinars who are ready and willing to help.
By incorporating these webinar best practices into your planning, you’ll create a situation where you cannot have anything but a successful, profitable webinar. After all, you want to succeed with your webinar.