Non-standard Methods of Conducting Webinars

conducting webinar

There are certain rules for conducting webinars, which guide the organizers and presenters when organizing and holding the event itself. Following the positions of the rules allows you to make your online training as efficient and interesting as possible. Just before the start of the online conference, you must perform the following steps.

Download all demonstration materials on the server site, check their availability and readiness.

Check all the necessary equipment: microphone, headset, webcam.

At the very beginning, the method of conducting a webinar involves the following sequence:

Welcome address to the participants of the event.

Make sure that all or most of the participants are present at the conference and proceed to the main part.

Directly the main part of the webinar itself includes the following positions:

Mandatory recording of a webinar followed by provision to all participants (both those who were and those who were only registered, especially if the event is paid).

When displaying materials, it is recommended to enable full-screen mode, which will allow participants to take a closer look at slides and demonstration materials.

Should maintain a visual contact with the audience, do not recommend to go beyond the field of view of the camera.

Do not recommend communicating with latecomers – the welcome message was at the very beginning of the event.

The method of conducting webinars involves the involvement of technical experts to solve various issues and problems that often arise during the event. Best of all, if it will deal with an individual who has relevant experience in the operational elimination of technical difficulties and problems.

If the topic of the event is very complicated and during the webinar, participants may have questions, it is best to enlist the support of the administrator. At the same time, he will be faced with the solution of such problems: collecting questions from the participants of the event, providing answers to the hot-button issues, drawing up practical recommendations for the participants of the event, communicating with the participants in a chat.

Attracting additional specialists and sound enforcement to the regulations will help you fully concentrate on the topic of the event and hold it at the highest and highest quality level.

Last preparations before the start of the webinar broadcast. On the day before you:

  • Set up event reminders (one hour and 15 minutes before the start);
  • Upload presentation and additional materials to the webinar room;
  • Ensure that all the presenters are registered.

How to conduct a webinar successfully?

Before starting a webinar. Preparation of speakers

Try not to make changes to the materials and not to hold rehearsals on the last night before the webinar. Usually, this is just once again tiring and bad for the appearance of the speakers. You need to have some good rest, sleep enough before having a webinar. In the pursuit of cheerfulness, try not to overdo it with coffee: it is very dehydrated, and your mouth dries during a speech.

The cut of one’s jib

Choosing clothes for the air, avoid drawing in the form of small cells and stripes, such a pattern will ruffle in the wind. It is also best to avoid clothing in the background color on which you will sit. If you put on a white shirt and sit on the background of a white wall, they will merge, and you will get a comic effect of the head without a body.

The webcam tends to emphasize skin imperfections, even the smallest ones. If you want to achieve a better effect (this is mainly for girls), it makes sense to make a more dense, corrective makeup. And do not sit back or side to the unshadowed window – from this perspective, there will be a dark face on the screen.

About your voice

It is necessary to warm up your organs of speech so that the voice sounded beautiful and the tongue did not stumble. There are many techniques from different public speaking coaches. I like the ten-minute video of TED star Julian Treasure “How to speak so that others would like to listen.”

It will be great if you and your speakers can do gymnastics recommended by Julian for voice. If there is no secluded place for gymnastics, and you are embarrassed to frighten unsuspecting colleagues around the office, at least you can drink warm water to warm the bundles and eat a banana. Yes, yes, I am not kidding; it is a banana. It contains magnesium, calming nerves, and you get a good workout for the lips and jaws.

Warm water is also needed while airing. Be sure to put some glasses of warm water next to the speakers on the table. Even if you did not strain your voice at rehearsals at all, during the broadcast, you would worry more. Often, from excitement, it dries in the mouth, and an unpleasant tickling in the throat occurs, which interferes with speaking.

Besides, observations show that such touch is contagious: you will begin to cough – with a high probability, it will shut your colleagues’ throat. Quickly get rid of these symptoms will help a sip of warm water.

Preparation of equipment and a room

equipment

Ventilate the room in which you will hold the webinar well, and hang a sign on the door so that you were not disturbed.

I advise you to use headsets with a microphone, like a call center operators. The built-in laptop speakers or smartphone headsets sound quality is much worse.

Check the charge level of laptops and headsets, and better connect them to a power source. It would be nice and neat if there were a spare laptop with a headset. Sometimes strange things happen, and the technician suddenly refuses to work during the broadcast.

Make sure you have an internet connection with good speed. All platforms for webinars have a list of technical requirements for Internet speed, screen resolution, browser version, and Flash Player. Some platforms provide a service “on duty” by a tech support specialist at your webinar to quickly troubleshoot the difficulties that arise.

Soundcheck

soundcheck

Before the start of the broadcast, be sure to conduct a sound check with all the speakers to make sure that they have an image from the camera and sound. There are different approaches to how to do it correctly.

1. Soundcheck in the webinar itself, but half an hour before the stated start. Leading, in turn, go on air for a while, check the video and sound. Before sending or publishing a webinar entry, this part will need to be cut off. The option is convenient, but the first viewers can come in advance, see your sound check, and correspondence in a live chat.

2. You can do it differently – create a separate mini-webinar for the speakers an hour before the broadcast and test the sound and video there. No one will see you, but there is no 100% guarantee that there will be no problems with going on air in the main webinar to which you have gathered the audience.

There are also different opinions on how to conduct the remaining time after the sound check before the official start of the webinar. Some webinar organizers ask the presenters to stay on the air with cameras and microphones turned off. It is safer than leaving the airwaves, because if you reconnect, you may suddenly have difficulty. Yes, indeed, there is such a risk.

However, I do not really like this method, because the empty windows at the site of the alleged speakers usually irritate the viewers. Connecting to the webinar, they are afraid that the webinar has already begun, and they do not have video and sound. Then they start to write disturbing messages in the chat, and the moderator has to calm panicked viewers. It is not a very convenient beginning of the webinar, so we do not do that. We go off the air after sound check, leave on a screen a screensaver with the name of the webinar, photo speakers and the start time or the first slide of the presentation.

How to behave oneself during a webinar

We launched a webinar room, conducted a sound check, a webinar screen saver, and viewers are gradually gathering. Let us talk about webinar etiquette.

The webinar starts with the launch of the webinar room, in which guests gather and wait for the speakers. It is necessary to greet guests, to remind the start time of the broadcast. If you have several moderators, they should all say hello to the guests in the chat.

See how many people you have going. Next to the chat is usually indicated the number of viewers of the webinar. A good turnout is 30-50% of the registered.

If suddenly a few spectators have come to you, do not be discouraged. The webinar goes to the recording that you send to all registered and put on your YouTube channel for everyone. However, it will still be necessary to analyze the reasons for low turnout and take action in the future.

One minute before the start of the webinar, announce the minute readiness to go on air. Press the “Go to air” button, wait three to five seconds, then start talking. Usually, viewers see and hear you with a delay of a few seconds, so if you start speaking right away, the beginning of the phrase will be cut off.

How to conduct a webinar in a better way: with a camera or to leave an off-screen voice only?

Many novice webinars do not dare to speak with the camera turned on, embarrassed by their image. Some experienced webinar organizers ask their invited speakers to talk without a camera in order not to overload the Internet channel.

camera vs off-screen voice

I advise you to overcome shyness and conduct webinars with a video camera from the very beginning. Therefore, it will be much easier for you to maintain contact with the audience, and for the viewer to perceive the information. You must agree, we understand a partner in conversation much better when we see his face.

Going on air, greet the audience and make sure that they see and hear you well. After that, introduce yourself and introduce your colleagues if you are not conducting a webinar alone. Meet the audience; invite them to write something about themselves in the chat. Tell us about the planned duration of the webinar and whether you will send the recording and presentation to the participants. After that, you can go to the central part of the report.

In the course of the presentation, monitor the number of visitors to your webinar. Usually, within a few minutes after the start, visitors still arrive, and then their name should stabilize. If you see that a sharp outflow of visitors began in the middle of the webinar, then something is wrong. Most likely, the audience was bored; the speaker lulls them with its monotony, or, conversely, tires with excessive temperament. It also happens that the stated topic of the webinar does not correspond to the content, and the report is frankly advertising – the audience does not like this.

Our task is to keep most of the visitors to the end of the webinar.

In addition to an interesting report and charming speakers, use interactive tools to hold attention:

1. False animation
Give out the information in parts, so that the audience is not distracted and waited for every next slide.

2. A pick device or a cursor
Help the audience to follow your thought, pointing a virtual pointer to the desired items on the slide.

3. Painting
Highlight essential points on slides right in front of the audience with the pencil tool. You can take a chance and invite them to underline something or write on your slides.

4. Ask questions while talking
Let them answer in the chat, take a test or query.

5. Share your screen
Show something interesting on the subject of the report. On our webinars, we show our client request processing system in action – this works better than a couple of dozen slides does.

6. Give Presents
Encourage viewers to download useful webinar content live on the air.

How to answer questions

You can solve both in the course of the story if you are not afraid to stray from the thought, or in the particular Question-Answer block at the end of the webinar. In any case, the guests will start asking you questions from the very beginning, and this is good. If you do not want to be distracted during the webinar, you cannot answer them. However, be sure to say that you see the questions in the chat and answer them later; otherwise, the audience will be offended. While you are giving a presentation, your colleagues can answer questions, and then you will explain the remaining or new ones.

When something goes wrong

go wrong

Let us talk about the webinar “horror stories” – the most common situations when something can go wrong on the air.

Voice troubles. Your audience does not hear you

Try to get out of airing and come back. Most often, it helps. If not, try to leave the webinar room entirely, go back and go on the air again. If two or three attempts did not help, we give a sign to go on air to your colleague, if you do not conduct the webinar alone.

Next, look for the source of the problem. Check the headset, whether it is enabled. Check the headset settings in the webinar system – it should “see” your headset, not the default device. Try to replace the headset (because you took a spare for the webinar, right?).

Usually, some of these tools help. If none of the above helped, promptly connect the webinar technical support technician on duty.

Video troubles. Your audience does not see the image from your camera

Just as in the case of sound, first try to get out of the air and enter it again.

Turn off on the laptop all the programs in which the camcorder, for example, Skype can be involved. Connect a webinar technical support specialist. If you cannot solve the problem quickly, warn viewers that you will be holding a webinar without a camera, and start.

It makes sense for speakers to upload photos into the webinar in advance, which will be used as avatars if you cannot restore the video. Better viewers see your picture than a blank screen.

Sound or video switched off during the webinar

Viewers complain that they have stopped hearing or seeing you.

If all viewers complain, then the problem is on your side. Therefore, we urgently make all the recommendations from the previous paragraphs. If one or two people complain, then only they have the problem. Offer them to refresh the page (F5 key), and if they do not have a proper Internet, connection, then turn the video speakers off completely. If all else fails, promise to send a webinar recording.

The audience asks too many questions online, so you do not manage to respond

This is not a “horror story,” but one of the criteria for success. You interested your viewers. Choose the most interesting questions and answer them, arguing your selectivity with time limitations.

You forgot your speech, do not remember what is there on the next slide

It is okay because the guests do not know what the text should be. Calmly open the next slide, take a sip of water. If you cannot remember the original version, improvise. Say a couple of phrases and move on.

You do not know the answer to a question

We are all human and cannot know absolutely everything, especially if the problem is narrowly specific. Thank you for the interesting question, tell that you need to think about it, and promise to answer it personally outside the framework of the webinar. However, it is better to answer questions directly related to the topic of your presentation.

There are roundly loaded questions

The general rule does not feed the “trolls.” If you cannot come up with a biting answer right away, it is better to warn you that you do not answer such questions and then ignore them.

No questions

Silence in the chat is scary. Prepare two or three exciting items from the “We Are Frequently Asked” series and tell them while your viewers sway and come up with their questions.

Platform failure happened; the webinar is over. It is all over, chief!

Fortunately, this happens quite rarely, and I have never had such a case even once. However, if this happens suddenly, then you need to send a letter to alit is appropriate in case of forced cancellation or postponement of a webinar.

After air time

Well, I hope nothing terrible while airing did not happen, and you quickly coped with all the difficulties. We complete the webinar. Speakers say goodbye to the audience on the air, then in the webinar chat. The last moderator says goodbye and closes the webinar room. The webinar is over.

After the completion of the webinar, do not forget to process the webinar entry, cut out the unnecessary from it and keep it in sound quality. In many webinar platforms, you can send a record with one button, but I prefer to prepare a full-fledged follow-up letter with a link to the webinar recording, presentation, and additional materials.

And, of course, we in the marketing department process and analyze leads from the webinar, watch the turnout percentage, study interesting questions and wishes of our viewers. We welcome regular visitors and the influx of new points in our marketing funnel. I hope my advice will be useful to you, and you too will enjoy webinars with pleasure and benefit.

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