Have you ever wondered how to make all your online webinars successful? Exactly what webinar basics you might be missing? Is there anyone that can help you?! WorkCast’s webinar services are designed to do just that.
Our online event coordinators are here to help you make the best webinars and virtual events ever. In the meantime, our webinar support expert, Emma, has some top tips...
The Absolute Webinar Basics (from an actual webinar coordinator)
A good event coordinator will collate as much information about your event as possible. Are you pre-recording the webinar? When is the technical rehearsal? Do extra speakers need access? What presentation format will you use?
You’ll need to know this same information if you’re going to run a successful webinar.
Plan: The key to success is planning and spending some time thinking about the following questions… Who is the target audience? What do I wish to accomplish from this webinar? What is the topic of my presentation? Check out the resources below.
Prepare: Give yourself plenty of time (at least 8 weeks) to plan, record your media, write a script, and finalize your webinar slide deck. Avoid leaving anything to the last minute so there’s always time to make changes.
Practice: Practice really does make perfect! Always rehearse the content that you’ll be discussing in your webinar, and ALWAYS run a technical rehearsal on your webinar platform. Ensuring you’re comfortable with the platform will make your live webinar experience feel like a breeze!
WorkCast Top Tip: WorkCast can take the stress and worry out of your webinars, so you can focus on your content. Every online webinar is different, we spend time with you to establish exactly what you’d like from your event. Our premium webinar services are designed to ensure smooth event delivery, every time.
Communicate: A clear and well-laid plan is almost useless if nobody knows what it is. Make sure you communicate clearly with everyone that’s involved. Consider setting up a Slack channel rather than getting lost in endless email threads.
Platform: Choosing the right webinar platform is commonly overlooked when you’re planning a webinar. Our blog on how to find the best webinar platform might help.
Make sure you confirm your webinar goals, understand how you'll use webinars, determine the type of webinar platform and software you need, and test the webinar platforms yourself.
Webinar Guidelines: Rules for Attendees and Speakers
You naturally follow unwritten social rules at business meetings and events. But it’s often harder to know what’s social best-practice at online events. You’re not physically in touch during online webinars so there’s a different form of etiquette to follow.
Whether it’s your first webinar or your hundredth, here are some handy tips to ensure you get the most out of your webinars as a speaker and an attendee.
Webinar rules for attendees:
- Timing: Once you’ve registered for an online webinar, you’ll receive information with the dates and times of when it will be live. It’s essential that you turn up on time to ensure you don’t miss any vital information. Make sure you save the date in your calendar and set a reminder.
- Take notes: There’s a reason why you’ve registered for an event in the first place, why not make the most of it and jot down all the information you learn!
- Ask questions: There’s always an option to ask questions throughout a webinar. Interacting with the speakers will bring extra value to the session for everyone involved.
- Interact where possible: Sometimes, speakers will push out live polls. Responding to polls is a great way to get your opinion known. And who knows, it might help improve the next webinar you attend from the same company.
- Technical issues: If you’re experiencing technical issues get in contact with the webinar providers. They should be able to assist you and resolve any problems so you can get the most out of your webinar.
Webinar guidelines for speakers:
- Keep it natural: Keeping your language and conversation as natural as possible is a good way to keep your attendees engaged throughout the duration of your live webinar. If it sounds like you’re reading from a script it can make it difficult to listen to what you’re actually saying.
- Have great content: If you’ve planned your webinar content well then this should happen naturally. Remember, it’s important to align your content with your audience for maximum impact and engagement. Learn more with our webinar on Knowing Your Audience.
- Timing: Timing is essential. Aim to keep the full presentation, including the questions and answers session to one hour maximum. People have busy schedules and anything past an hour risks them dropping off to carry on with their day. Ideally, use smaller 15-20 minute sessions when delivering content on a broad range of topics.
- Be interactive: Make your webinar fun and utilize the many features your webinar platform (WorkCast) has to offer! Break up your webinar with video, by changing your speakers, and pushing out live polls. This will help your audience to understand the information and keep them engaged from start to finish.
- Mute/Unmute: “You’re on mute” has to be in the top 10 of the most used phrases over the last 18 months. It’s important during a live webinar to be on mute when you’re not speaking to avoid any background noise being picked up. However, if you want your webinar to be slick, remembering to unmute when it’s your time to speak is crucial. If there’s a huge silent gap during the handover of speakers, it can make the webinar feel unprepared and unprofessional.
- Smile and enjoy: It’s easy to forget that you’re always on camera during a live webinar, even when you’re not speaking. If you want your audience to stay engaged, you also need to look like you’re engaged. Use simple but obvious body language like a nod of the head every now and then or even taking notes of what other speakers are saying to show your own engagement.
Hopefully, these easy tips will make a huge difference to both your audience and speakers during your live webinar. Simple, but effective! The more online webinars you run if you’re a speaker, or watch if you’re an attendee, the more these tips will become almost second nature.
How To Conduct A Great Webinar
Online event coordinators run several online webinars a day. Needless to say, they’ve seen a lot of webinars. Follow these tips and turn your good into a great webinar.1. Plan a rehearsal before the live webinar
A full rehearsal gives you the opportunity to get to know your fellow speakers, get comfortable with the platform, and refine your webinar content. WorkCast offers a managed webinar service to help run these rehearsals for you.
Often moderators and speakers come from various backgrounds and roles and first meet during the pre-call of the live webinar, it can be a little awkward if you’ve never met before presenting a webinar together.
Planning a rehearsal beforehand gives you that extra time to put names to faces and become familiar with each other so that when it comes to the live webinar you can bounce off each other. Trust us, it’ll make a huge difference to your audience.2. Create a running order of everything the live webinar involves
A webinar running order ensures you have a structured plan that’s understood by everyone. Outlining this structure helps cue speakers, estimate the length of your webinar sections, and outline when video content is expected to play.
A running order will help your webinar flow smoothly from start to finish and helps to deliver a professional-feeling experience for your attendees.3. Make your slide deck visually attractive
There’s no need for death-by-powerpoint in 2022. Use visual hierarchy, graphs, color, easily read information, and embedded videos to improve your visual presentations.
Try to avoid chunky paragraphs as it’s difficult to listen and read loads of content at the same time.
WorkCast Top Tip: Include a progress bar in your webinar slide deck. It’ll create a positive user experience for attendees and they’ll understand how your presentation is progressing.
4. Include a question and answer section (Q&A session)
A Q&A session provides a great opportunity to interact with your audience and gauge their interest, understanding, and engagement.
Using a question and answer section at the end of your webinar can make your audience feel like they’ve been heard, but it also gives you great anecdotal insight into the thoughts and opinions of your attendees.
Always have some pre-planned questions (seed questions) to kick it off and encourage the attendees to submit their own.
WorkCast Top Tip: Use this information to seed new webinar topics and improve your future events.
5. Include useful webinar resources
Make the most of your attendees (and give them a great experience) by providing loads of useful resources after the webinar session is finished. Providing easy and obvious ways for your attendees to get in touch is a great idea too.
Your webinar resources could include:
- A PDF version of your slide deck
- A certificate of attendance - especially if your webinar delivers some form of training or CPD element
- A link to your website or a specific webpage
- PDF documents that support your discussion
- Easy to find contact details for all your speakers
- Any tools or web apps you use in your webinar
- Templated copies of documents
The best webinar resources will always be those that are specific to your topic and that make your audience feel like they’re getting something special. Add as much value as you can and you might get some excellent word-of-mouth promotion from your audience.
Over to you
There’s always room for improvement, even if you’ve been running webinars for years. This top tips blog should help you find some interesting opportunities to improve your own webinars in the future.
Are you planning to run more online webinars? Remember, WorkCast’s premium webinar services are designed to help you make the most of your webinars. Take the stress out of webinars or just get an extra hand running your events with WorkCast’s premium webinar support.
Get more from your webinars with our Workcast webinar planning resources:
- Ultimate Webinar Checklist Blog
- The Ultimate Webinar Handbook PDF
- Webinar Best Practice: Planning Your Webinar
About the Author
Emma has been a part of the wonderful WorkCast team since April 2021. Since then she has helped to run 100s of webinars. Her undergraduate degree in Broadcast Media Production, and several years in the event industry, have given her a wealth of real-world experience.
“WorkCast has allowed me to develop my skills and passion even further. I love the feeling when a live webinar has been a success after all the planning that goes into it.”
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