12 Vital Tips for Conducting a Successful Webinar


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”.

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Remind Everyone

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.

Be Human 

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.

Use  Video 

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. 

Get Assistance

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.

Twitter for Business Step-By-Step Guide: How to Run a Twitter Chat that Benefits your Business

twitter-influenceOne phenomenon that has sprung up since the advent of Twitter is the Twitter Chat.  Based around a hashtag, Twitter Chats are most often used to promote an event as a one-time Chat; or to enjoy a group discussion around a niche topic or interest on a regular, recurring basis – for example, a weekly meeting of the South Dakota Bird Watching Society.

Here’s how it works:  A hashtag is created for the Twitter Chat.  If it is for a particular event, the hashtag would be used extensively to promote it:  If for a recurring event, the hashtag might be used every cycle.  The recurring chat might be held weekly, monthly or at any other interval your group decides on; for example, every second Tuesday morning at 10 a.m.  (There are also streaming, continuous Twitter Chats, but these are rare.)

If yours is a closed group and your Twitter Chat is open only to members, the hashtag would be circulated internally, from within a forum or in a monthly newsletter, perhaps.

On the other hand, if your hashtag is being used to promote a specific, one-time event (or a course, book launch, product launch or workshop series) you want to get it out there and spread it as far and wide as possible.

That’s where Twitter Chats come into their own…


Why Hold a Twitter Chat?

twitter-bird-blue-on-whiteTwitter Party, Tweet Chat, Twitter Chat…it doesn’t matter what you call it, each of these terms means people getting together online at a specific time or on a specific day or week; and talking about your hashtag topic – in real-time.

It’s the “real time” element that gives Twitter Chats their sparkle, bonding people together as a unique, exclusive group.

A great Twitter Chat leaves people feeling connected to each other, much as if you were to meet someone in person at a weekend conference in Toronto, Canada.  The feeling is:  “Oh, I know her.  We were at that conference together – we sat together at dinner every night.”  Or if you went to boarding school together.

Your Twitter Chat also has the potential to generate a trending hashtag on Twitter.

Once you’ve participated in a great Twitter Chat, you’re now forever part of the same “club”.  You start following the people you met at the Twitter Chat; and whenever you see a new tweet from that person, you read it and pay attention… because you know that person.

Real-time interaction on a common topic not only creates bonding, it can also generate two emotions vital to group event success:

  • Anticipation
  • Excitement

It also firmly cements both the event and its date firmly in the forefront of people’s minds, as well as generating new followers for your Twitter account.


Step 1.  Say Hello to TweetChat

Before we go any further:  You don’t need to think solely in terms of creating and running a Twitter Chat, however – you can also join Twitter Chats strictly as a networking tactic to gain visibility and strengthen your personal branding by finding and participating in multiple Twitter Chats around a single topic.

TweetChat provides a calendar of ongoing or upcoming, official Tweet Chats.  You can select a topic and follow it, participating at the appointed time.


You may or may not be asked to authorize the TweetChat app when you enter a hashtag and press “Go”.


To join TweetChat:

  1. Go to the TweetChat calendar
  2. Select a topic and note the hashtag.


  1. Click on it
  2. Schedule and set notification to your preferences, and start tweeting and searching the hashtag.

(Note:  You can also check out the online “room” it will take place in, if it’s a specific-time event.)  This would be the website URL (where you can find out more about the event – before or after joining), webinar link or chat room.


You can also find Twitter Chats at:

And if you search, you’ll also find that various interest groups, or government groups like the National Institute of Health, will often provide a schedule of Twitter Chats for the year, month or season.


Step 2.  Deciding on Your Own Twitter Chat

Before you can plan a successful Twitter Chat for yourself, you need to decide on:

  • The topic
  • The date, time and time zone
  • The Twitter Chat frequency (will this be recurring or will it be a one-time event?)
  • The Twitter Chat’s unique hashtag
  • The location

Selecting the actual hashtag is the most vital part of this process.  You don’t want to choose a hashtag that anyone else is using – particularly if it is already associated with something negative.


Make sure you search Twitter for your proposed hashtag, to ensure it is unique.

Also search Hashtags.org to see if your hashtag already exists.


Your Role as Moderator:

But as the Twitter Chat host or moderator, you will have other responsibilities and tasks to perform:

  • Deciding on and creating an agenda
  • Deciding on the event format
  • Booking an online chat room or webinar room, if you need to
  • Promoting your event/Twitter Chat
  • Asking others to promote your Twitter Chat

Twitter Chats can be highly flexible in format, so choose the type that best suits your target audience and your business branding.


Typical Twitter Chat event formats include:

  • Open discussion Q & A
  • Discussion with Q & A afterwards
  • Webinar or teleseminar
  • Weekly or monthly group meeting, with the moderator introducing the topic and others providing input
  • Continuously streaming Chat (e.g. creating hashtags like “#AskMeAbout” and letting your target audience know you’ll be available to answer questions; or using that hashtag to find topic material for your next fixed Twitter Chat)

The only hard and fixed rule is:  “Decide on the format your target audience would find most comfortable.

 And also decide whether you want your Twitter chat to be:

  • A continuous Live Twitter stream
  • A one-time event, with pre- and post- promotion and follow up
  • A regular recurring event

That brings us to Rule # 2:  Choose the Chat type that will best increase your business branding and keep you in touch with your target audience.


Step 3.  Promoting Your Twitter Chat

After you have decided on your event type and hashtag, it’s time to start promoting it.

  1. Submit your event to Hashtags.org for their Events Directory


It will then appear in Hashtag.org’s Event Calendar.  (Note you can also instantly share your event from this location across several social networking platforms, once your event populates in the calendar.)


  1. Tell your Followers about your event in your Twitter feed.
  2. Ask them to share your Hashtag – either publicly, if all are welcome; or within a certain group, if it is a closed Twitter chat.12-buzz
  3. Blog about it.  Talk about what people will learn or gain; create a contest around it; show why it’s going to be priceless and unique.
  4. Create a buzz.  Share it across all your social platforms – not randomly:  Create a Sharing Campaign!


What your Twitter Chat will do is indelibly stamp you as an authority figure in your niche… if your event is well-run and delivers on its promises.

And you can use Twitter Chats to promote paid as well as free events too.

The important thing is to get the conversation going.  Don’t spam – but don’t be shy about asking others to use your hashtag.

Do your best to ensure it’s a fun hashtag to use!

What Makes a Great Event Hashtag:

Creating successful hashtags can be absurdly simple so don’t re-invent the wheel.



 Obvious keywords that everyone instantly thinks of for a product, business or event (e.g. #HollandParkFestival, #RoyalBaby)

   Keywords that only make sense to an elite group – providing your event IS for that elite group.  Your hashtag should make them want to “prove” they know what it means. (e.g. #BrassicaWorld)

   Fun keywords (e.g. #WhenPushComesTo Shove)

   Hashtags that make people want to finish a line (e.g. #YesterdayWe)

   Short keywords (e.g. #InkFest)

   Keywords that invite engagement (e.g. #AskObama)

   Keywords that act as reminders to recurring group events (e.g. #MondaysWithAbi)

Acronyms (e.g. #FVwmsa)

   Overly long hashtags (e.g. #iwantedtowaitintheparkbutitgottoo)

   Obscure hashtags that only make sense to an elite group (e.g. #BrassicaWorld) when you’re promoting an event to the general public

   Boring hashtags (e.g. #carboattraingoing)

   Hashtags whose actual spelling causes visual confusion to the point of “hiding” the actual meaning (e.g. #carrusttutorial)

   Hashtags in all lower case letters (particular if the hashtag is long:  e.g. #iwantedtowaitintheparkbutitgottoo)


Going for the obvious keyword is often the best strategy, as the Twitter Development team succinctly states here:


The trouble is, obvious keywords (e.g. #love) are often already “taken”.

That’s when you have to get creative.


Step 4. Tracking Your Twitter Chat Hashtag

Once your own unique, custom hashtag has been created, you can search it in Hashtags.org also; this will show you:

  • How it’s behaving – or trending
  • Who has tweeted it
  • Your hashtag’s most “Prolific Users”
  • Estimated tweets per hour
  • Related hashtags

In particular, checking its usage over a 24-hour period can tell you which times are best to promote it.  Seeing actual usage also tells you not just the times, but when your target audience is online.


You can also use other apps and tracking sites, such as Tagboard.


On the down side, Tagboard has no analytics, but it is a fast, simple interface that instantly shows you a Pinterest-type display of search results, if you type in your hashtag.



Keyhole is definitely another tracking choice you should explore further:  For one thing, it provides a special tab for promoting and finding Twitter Chats!


Tracking is important – but it’s only helpful if you learn from it and apply what you learned to your next Twitter Chat.

The really important take-aways to note are:

  1. Choose your hashtag and event to suit your audience
  2. Check to make sure it is not related to an offensive hashtag or already being used
  3. Actively promote your hashtag and event (and ask others to do so too)
  4. Don’t spam (no multiple tweets from  one person, five times an hour)
  5. Track your hashtag and learn from its peaks, lows and performance

But there’s one more important step to take…

→ Create your next Twitter Chat!