A webinar can be a powerful tool for connecting with customers. However, hosting your very first webinar, it can be a bit daunting. Even though the webinar is shared virtually over the internet, it doesn't make it any less nerve-wracking than actually standing up in front of people and giving a presentation in person.
Even though you can’t see your audience, you know they are out there, anticipating your shared wisdom land expertise. And If you want to be thought of as an expert in a particular niche, webinars can help you to develop that expertise. When you deliver a seminar or workshop over the web to a large audience, you automatically get credibility points and it makes people more apt to buy things that you recommend as well as being more willing to pay for your information.
Preparing an Effective Webinar
If you really want your webinar to be effective you have to keep people engaged. Use the following essentials to learn how to prepare for a webinar including presentation tips to make you better at engaging your audience and tips on camera, lighting, microphone choice and more.
- DO conduct a dress rehearsal or practice run through. Have a friend, family member or colleague sit through your webinar presentation and write down anything that went wrong or needs to be improved. Also, it would be helpful to know if they thought any areas were slow or losing momentum so you can spice things up. You can also test your technical equipment and internet speed and test how things will run when you live. Always check your hardware in advance. Test things like camera, sound, audio, slide presentation and live chat functions.
- DO have a tech expert on standby on webinar day. Just because everything went right on the tech side on the dress rehearsal doesn’t mean it will when you actually present your webinar. In fact, it probably won’t. NOTE: You can solve this by choosing a webinar platform that offers customer service with your session. Having the right tech can take away the stress of running a webinar.
- DO remind your participants (and then remind them again) about the webinar. People are forgetful and some of them will forget until the very last minute. Send multiple emails.
- DO spend five minutes explaining how the webinar will work and what the outcome will provide at the end. People are more likely to watch the webinar and stay engaged if they are aware fo the journey. Talk about how people can ask questions; explain if there will be a recording that they can review and anything else they need to know.
- DO Prepare. When you host a live webinar, you can actually answer your attendees questions. This is one of the big benefits of a webinar over other types of information transfer. People can ask you about something if they don't understand it. So have some frequently asked questions and answers prepared ahead. Have them on hand for when and if those questions are asked. Communicate how and when questions can be asked.
- DO set up your lighting, camera, backdrop and audio properly. Make sure that you aren’t washed out or in shadow, that your backdrop is neutral and consistent (not your untidy living room), that your camera angles are good and that your mic is positioned properly.
- DON'T record your webinar on the same machine you are presenting on. You’ll probably have lag problems and sometimes this can result in lost audio, video or other elements.
- DON'T use budget equipment. If you are using a cheap microphone and webcam your presentation will have much less value to your participants.
- DON'T take yourself too seriously. Be authentic and act and talk naturally. This will put your audience at ease and build a better connection with them.
- DON'T just read the slide or from a script. Enhance your presentation with stories, details and explanations. and don't use text heavy presentation slides. Long full walls of text are not engaging and your audience might be overwhelmed.
Enjoy the journey of sharing webinars with your audience. Be sure to follow up with them within a day or two of your webinar. Reach out to them and thank them for attending and you can ask for any feedback. And send along any items you might have promised during your presentation like handouts or a copy of the slide deck.
Have any questions on how to set up your next webinar? Need help preparing your presentation? Drop me a not at firstname.lastname@example.org