Best Practices When Hosting A Webinar
Webinars are a great way to host, engage and deliver content to remote audiences. Whether you run internal webinars, client webinars, or both, here are some best practices that will make your delivery process more audience-friendly and productive.
Have a Strategy
At the very beginning of the webinar process, outline the key purpose of hosting this webinar and what you and your team hope to achieve by delivering it. Then cater a powerful topic headline and supporting points that enhance what you are trying to achieve. Aligning on a strategy pre-presentation will help guide your content and delivery to funnel back a more influential delivery.
Additionally, have a post-event follow up strategy or action plan is a great way to maximize your objective. If the objective was to generate leads, create a post-webinar engagement strategy on how and when you are going to follow up with your attendees. If your objective was more educational, Build reminders to support the retention and application of the information delivered.
Set up in advance. It is good practice to begin setting up your webinar at least 30 minutes before you go live. Based on the profile of your webinar you may even want to consider setting up hours in advance, doing so ensures you begin on time. Be sure to turn off device notification sounds, mute laptop speakers, and close any open programs that are not applicable to your webinar.
Account for technical difficulties. Technology has come a long way, but technical difficulties still frequently occur. Testing your equipment and software before you begin broadcasting avoids keeping your audience waiting, and that you are courteous of their time. If you will be recording the webinar for future playback, test the recording function to ensure the content is in-fact being recorded. Testing the connection, sound quality, and platform functionality with coworkers before going live, can help you become more comfortable, and efficient when you are ready to begin. Make sure your laptop is connected to a charger to avoid pop-up disruption or an unexpected ending.
Choose an appropriate location. A quiet, enclosed boardroom works ideal for a clean, focused webinar delivery. If you are delivering from a large room, however, be sure to have the appropriate technical equipment, such as a dedicated microphone, a focused camera with live feed capabilities, and noise cancelling capabilities to account for background noises. Avoid public places where possible, as it becomes difficult to control surrounding elements. If you are presenting from a room, it’s a good idea to let your group know and put a do not disturb sign up to mitigate disruptions.
Rehearse your content. Know what you are going to say and be confident on your topic. That begins with practicing and rehearsing your webinar before delivery. Have a dialogue guideline that directs the impression and lessons you want the viewer to absorb, but try to avoid reading word for word. If you did not build the slide deck yourself, acquaint yourself with the lead pages, graphics, and existing content so you may expand effectively on what is being shown. Having a printed version of the presentation is a great back up option. Presenting hands-free allows you to be more comfortable and engaging.
Prepare for questions. It’s always a great practice to have some time for question and answer at the end of your webinar, this allows your audience to interact and clarify any aspects presented. Based on the number of viewers you may want to have a few of your own questions prepared. Ask a co-worker to chime in and to submit the questions to build and elicit dialogue. Think of questions that create dialogue around your webinar objective.
Choose the Right Platform
Allows you to cast your webinar to 1000 attendees per presentation, and is ideal for larger audiences. It has the ability to interact with your audience through polls and group discussions. You are also able to host multiple presenters at the same time which is great for topic interviews, collaboration, and scenarios with multiple presenters.
Webex is a simple platform that reaches large audiences up to 3000. The viewer must install the program onto their device to begin participation. Webex is ideal if you are just looking to stream a single presenter, without audience collaboration.
Preparing and delivering a webinar involves a lot of work. If you are able to create habits based on the guidelines in this article, you will be set for success in the next online conference you produce.