Due to the pandemic ravaging the world, many people are working from home and doing their best to deliver the work expected from them. But staying at home away from all your team members can make it difficult for colleagues not present in the same room to work together on projects, presentations, and other things that need a team effort.
However, the job must be done even when all members of your team are in their respective homes. You need to improvise and make do with the things that are available to you. It is also important to ensure that you make an effort to produce quality results.
If your job is to do presentations, then you are probably already preparing to make a webinar. A webinar is a term coined from the words “web” and “seminar.” The purpose of hosting webinars is to share knowledge and ideas and provide updates to people who share the same interest as you, or business affiliates and partners.
A webinar is different from hosting a seminar where participants are physically present with you in the room. Thus, it could be difficult to hold their attention and they may be easily distracted. So if you will be hosting a webinar, you and your team must do it properly even when you are all staying at home.
Here are the steps to create a webinar with your team:
Unify Your Communication
For a team to work, they must be able to communicate clearly and effectively with each other. They must know the roles and the tasks they have to perform and proceed with their jobs.
If you are the leader or you are heading the team, your teammates should not need a constant reminder from you. However, they should give you an update now and then to inform you of their progress. If they need help or encounter any problems, they should know that you will be there to help as well.
For communication to be effective, everyone must be able to respond to updates or questions from each other. But people use many different platforms to connect nowadays. So to unify communication between team members, having a platform like podium.com will be very helpful.
Decide The Roles
It is also important to decide which team member gets what role in the preparation and during the webinar. Assign who will be the host and who will be the researcher and other essential roles early on, so that everyone will be able to plan.
They should also have adequate time to prepare themselves and complete the things they need to get done. Asking each team member for a timeline to complete their tasks will also help coordinate the goals of the team.
Decide The Topic For The Content Of The Webinar
One of the crucial aspects to decide on when creating a webinar is choosing a topic to discuss. Some experts in their field are so eager to share their expertise that they often choose a topic that is too broad and expansive to fit in a time-limited webinar. Colleagues can suggest their ideas to other team members, and then a unanimous decision can be taken on the most suitable topic.
The key is to choose a topic that is more focused on a certain field of a broader topic. For example, if your area of expertise is SEO Strategy, you would not want to discuss SEO in general. Instead, choose the topic of Social Media and how it helps in creating a better SEO strategy.
If you would like to share all of your knowledge on SEO strategy, create a series of webinars instead of sharing your ideas in one very long webinar. Holding webinars for prolonged periods may result in a distracted or, worse, bored audience.
So when you are deciding on the topic, keep it focused. Make sure that the content is relevant to the topic and keep it relatively short. Don’t make your visual aids or slides look complicated. Keep it simple and easy to understand for everybody.
Determine The Format Of The Webinar
A webinar, like seminars, can be done in different formats. Each format requires different preparations. The type of format that you will end up using would depend on the topic you have chosen and the number of speakers. Below are the different types of formats and how to prepare for them.
In an interview format, the speaker will be joined by a host who will interview him or her. The host will chat with the speaker regarding the topic and maintain a steady pace to move forward.
To prepare for an interview format, the host must prepare the questions and ask the speaker to answer them. This way, they can go back and forth during the discussion and come up with other follow-up questions so that the audience can get as much information as possible.
In a panel discussion, there will be several experts in different but correlated fields. A facilitator will also be present to steer the conversation and make sure that every expert in the panel will be able to express their thoughts and opinions on the subject at hand.
To prepare for a panel discussion, it is important to inform the guests or experts who their panelist will be. They must all be comfortable with each other and get along well.
Inform them of the topic that will be discussed and the mechanics. For example, inform them who will go first in answering the questions, and the amount of time they will be given to answer the questions.
It is important to inform the panelist about the rules and the topics that will be covered so that the webinar will flow smoothly and effortlessly. They will also have ample time to organize their thoughts and express them in a time-efficient manner.
Question and Answer
A question and answer format is quite similar to an interview format. The main difference is that the host does not create the questions. The questions are collected from the audience.
The host can collect the questions from the audience by announcing some details of the webinar in advance. Using social media or email, the host can reach out to the audience and ask them if they have any questions for the guest speaker regarding the topic of the webinar.
Collating and organizing the questions so the transition from one question to another becomes smooth would be dependent on the host. So the host must always prepare well and not just wing it.
There are also times when a question and answer format is incorporated in other webinar formats. It is often added to the later part of the webinar so that the audience will have a chance to interact with the experts on the webinar.
The presentation webinar is probably the most popular form of a webinar. It can also be used to make a report on progress or to share information. The format is easy, as you just have to create slides as a visual aide and have a pre-written speech that discusses your topic.
Although this format is the easiest to do, it can be difficult to pull off due to its tendency to become boring when the presenter is not enthusiastic and energetic enough.
Decide A Date And Time Frame For The Webinar
Deciding the date and time for webinars can be tricky. There is no right or wrong way to decide when to hold a webinar.
Ideally, you should consider the target audience for your webinar and think of when they might be available or interested to watch a webinar. If you are unsure, you can always create a poll and opt for the date and time that your audience chooses.
Moreover, you can always post your webinar online in any video sharing platform like Youtube so others can view the webinar at their convenience.
Still, it is important to make sure that you have a high attendance during the live webinar so that the audience can interact and ask questions from the guest expert. It will also give you an idea of what type of topics they are interested in.
Create The Slides For The Webinar
Whether you are doing a panel discussion format or a Q&A format, you may still need to create a few slides as visual aids to help you emphasize key points during the webinar. When you do so, be careful not to let your slides become overwhelming by using lots of words.
Don’t write lengthy paragraphs in your slides. Keep the visual aides concise and only use keywords and short phrases. Be sure to arrange them in bullet points instead of paragraphs or sentences. Add graphs and charts to show and compare information, too.
When choosing the aesthetics for the slides, make sure that it fits with the atmosphere and topic of the webinar. If you are going for fun, choose bright and cheerful aesthetics. If you are going for a more formal approach, then opt for clean and muted aesthetics.
Take note of each team member’s strengths and utilize them to the team’s advantage. For instance, some might be wordsmiths, while others may be great at graphics.
Choose The Right Tool To Host Your Webinar
There are many available tools that you can use to host your webinar. MyOwnConference, for example, offers free webinar hosting. Right now, when people hear that it’s free, they become attracted to the tool and just use it without considering other factors.
When you are choosing the right tool to host your webinar, here are a few factors to keep in mind:
Purpose of the Webinar. A webinar should not be created just to share information. One of the goals and objectives of a webinar is also to engage the target audience. This way the creators will also know the wants of their audience and be able to cater to them in the future.
Thus, when choosing the perfect tool for hosting, use one that allows you to achieve your other goals in creating the webinar.
Easy to Use. Creating a webinar is tiring enough in itself, so you would not really want to spend too much time practicing or getting ready just to ensure that you know how to use the tool to host your webinar.
So make sure that the interface of your chosen webinar tool is easy and straightforward to use for everyone.
Budget. Money matters are one of the most important considerations in choosing a tool to host your webinar. There are free hosting sites that can do the job, and there are also paid hosting sites that can accomplish the task.
Whether you spend some money or take advantage of free hosting websites is up to you. But if creating webinars is your main source of income, it is only right to spend a little bit, right?
Promote Your Webinar To Your Target Demographic
Promotion can be done in many ways. First of all, you can promote through email marketing and get in touch with people that you already know are interested in your product or service. They will be the ones who are most likely to respond to your invitation since they are already subscribing to your newsletter.
Second, you can reach more potential customers through social media. Social media sites like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter are very helpful in targeting audiences that may have similar interests as you. You can also use hashtags to get more people interested.
Third and last, you can also reach influencers or people who have already established a reputation and have a big following on social media to promote your webinar. Of course, you can’t just contact any influencer. Make sure that their audience would also be interested in the webinar you are promoting.
Practice Until The Day Of The Webinar
To make sure that your webinar will go smoothly and without a glitch, you have to practice and practice until you have perfected everything. Think of what could possibly go wrong and look at the possible solutions. This way, none of you will be caught off guard if a problem arises.
It is not easy to create a webinar, and creating it while your team members are far from you doesn’t make it easier. But with clear communications and coordination amongst your team members, it can be done well. Just stay focused and work hard. Your efforts will definitely not go to waste.