A web-based seminar, or “webinar,” is a presentation, lecture, workshop or seminar that is transmitted over the Web using video conferencing software. The benefit of a webinar is the interactive elements: the ability to give, receive and discuss information in real-time, with an audience worldwide.
Planning your webinar may seem like an overwhelming task, as there are many details to be concerned about including presentation, technical matters, and publicizing. With these tips, you can avoid major flops and pull off a successful webinar.
Make sure you choose the right location to deliver your presentation. Find a quiet or soundproof room that’s comfortable for you. Make sure there are no other people around to disturb you and keep external sounds in mind such as cars, construction, and children.
To avoid technical and connectivity problems, try to use an Internet landline instead of a wireless connection. Don’t rely on built in microphones; opt for a quality external microphone instead. Also consider quality speakers or a headphone so you can hear questions clearly.
There is a wide variety of webinar software, and which one you choose depends on your needs. Consider number of participants, cost of the software (many are free), and which features you require.
Research how the software handles audio. Some products offer integrated, web-streaming audio, which allows participants to listen to the presentation through their computer speakers or headsets. Other webinar platforms require that participants and presenters dial in to a special phone number.
Decide whether you would like the webinar recorded for later viewing. If you can, try to find an assistant or a support team to learn about the software so they can assist if there are any technical glitches.
Determine the format for your webinar. Make sure you deliver your content in an interesting, relatable way. It’s important to keep your audience’s attention since they are sitting at their computers (with multiple tabs of other forms of entertainment available!) and not in a face-to-face auditorium or conference room.
Start with a story or some humor. Use real-world scenarios and limit the text in your slides. Use attractive infographics, pictures, videos and even music. Break up your presentation up by using Q&A and asking for feedback.
Try addressing your audience by using “you” in your sentences. For example, instead of saying “Today I’m going to be sharing…” instead say “Today you will learn…”. Instead of “Does anyone have any questions?” ask “Do you have any questions?” Hearing the word “you” makes your audience feel more engaged.
Don’t underestimate the power of practicing. Record yourself and evaluate your tone, clarity, and pace. Have someone else listen and give honest feedback. Make sure to remove every “um” and “like” from your vocabulary.
Webinars are here to stay. With these tips you can set up a successful webinar and reach a much wider audience than traditional means of lecturing. The potential for growth is boundless. Just remember that with every webinar you do, the next one will be even better. Good luck!
Submitted by Zehava