“What’s the best way to run a Webinar?”
To run a Webinar successfully, you have to present your webinar with the same energy you’d give in addressing a room full of people, without getting any of the immediate visual feedback you get from facial expressions. This requires all the same skills required for public speaking, with careful planning to make sure your Webinar is a success.
The starting point for any Webinar is a carefully constructed outline on the topic you’re speaking about. You can get a good idea of what to include in your outline by polling your own subscribers to see what they want to learn about. Once you’ve got a plan, running a Webinar is a simple process. Sign up for a Webinar service, schedule the Webinar, contact potential attendees and announce to the world. When the day arrives, arrive on time for your Webinar and present with practiced skill.
Here’s a list of 7 things to keep in mind when running a Webinar:
1) Choose a reliable Webinar service You don’t want to wonder whether people on the other end are having technical difficulties. Avoid the temptation to use free Webinar services; you get what you pay for. By choosing a proven webinar service provider, you get better call quality and scalability for a large audience. GoToWebinar does a great job of handling webinars with up to 1000 attendees.
2) Plan everything in Advance Hosting a webinar is like hosting a conference session, only instead of attendees coming to you, you are going to the webinar attendees. Just like a conference, you need to plan the schedule of events, set a date for the Webinar, collect registrations, promote the Webinar, and deliver everything you promise in a timely way. Choosing a reliable webinar service can help make sure your event goes off without a hitch.
3) Know When Attendees are Available When scheduling a webinar for people throughout the U.S., consider an early afternoon time so that you catch all people while they are still at work. If your audience is from around the world, you need to plan your webinar for a time that maximizes attendance. This may not be the most convenient time for you. For an international event, it becomes more complicated because catching people in the morning in Asia has people in Europe in the middle of the night.
4) Keep the Audience Engaged Pacing is important. You can tell when a live audience is starting to tune out, because you can see their faces. A webinar won’t give you that same visual feedback, because you can’t see your audience surfing or checking their email instead of paying attention. You typically start losing people’s interest when one topic lasts longer than 10 minutes, so switch things up to maintain interest. Run through your slides several times before the Webinar to get your timing down – if any concept runs long, figure out how to subdived it.
5) Audio Options Offer webinar participants both a computer option and a telephone option for audio. This is especially important if you have an interactive question and answer session, because you can’t count on everyone in the audience having a microphone they can use on their computer.
6) Avoid Video Playback Videos can be a great way to demonstrate a point, but not in a Webinar. The way your screen is shared in a webinar results in choppy video playback. Stick to PowerPoint slides and still images to communicate your message.
7) Optimize Registration When someone signs up for your Webinar, it’s the primary chance you have to know something about that person. Use the sign up as a way to gather demographic information on each participant, so you can better gauge the audience and tailor your presentation to the audience.