There are specific rules for conducting webinars and guiding the organizers and presenters when organizing and holding the event. Following the positions of the rules allows you to do your online training as efficiently and interestingly as possible. Just before the start of the online conference, you must perform the following steps.
So, How to Conduct a Webinar?
- Download all demonstration materials on the server side, and check their availability and readiness.
- Check all the necessary equipment: microphone, headset, and webcam.
- At the very beginning, the method of conducting a webinar involves the following sequence:
- Welcome address to the participants of the event.
- Ensure all or most participants are present at the conference and proceed to the main part.
- Directly the common part of the webinar itself includes the following positions:
- Mandatory recording of a webinar followed by the 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, allowing participants to take a closer look at slides and demonstration materials.
- Should maintain visual contact with the audience, do not recommend going beyond the camera’s field of view.
- Do not recommend communicating with latecomers – the welcome message was at the very beginning of the event.
- The method of conducting webinars involves technical experts’ involvement in solving various issues and problems that often arise during the event. Best of all, it will deal with an individual who has relevant experience in the operational elimination of technical difficulties and problems.
- If the event’s topic is very complicated and participants may have questions during the webinar, it is best to enlist the administrator’s support. At the same time, he will be faced with the solution to 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, and communicating with the participants in a chat.
- Attracting additional specialists and sound enforcement of 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?
✔️ Preparation of speakers
Try not to change the materials and not 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 and sleep enough before having a webinar. In pursuing 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 a white wall’s background, 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 speech organs so that the voice sounds beautiful and the tongue does 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, 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, you would worry more during the broadcast. In addition, it often dries in the mouth from excitement, and an unpleasant tickling in the throat 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’ throats. Getting rid of these symptoms will quickly help with a warm water sip.
Preparation of equipment and a room
Ventilate the room where you will hold the webinar well, and hang a sign on the door so you are 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 webinar software has a list of technical requirements for Internet speed, screen resolution, and browser version. Some platforms provide a service «on duty» by a tech support specialist at your webinar to troubleshoot the difficulties that arise quickly.
✔️ Soundcheck before conducting a webinar
Before the broadcast starts, conduct a sound check with all the speakers to ensure that they have an image from the webcam and microphone. There are different approaches to how to do it correctly.
- Soundcheck in the webinar itself, but half an hour before the start. Leading, in turn, goes 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 and see your soundcheck and correspondence in a live chat.
- 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 soundcheck 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 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 does 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. After soundcheck, we go off the air and leave on a screen a screensaver with the name of the webinar, photo speakers, and the start time or the presentation’s first slide.
How to behave oneself during a webinar
We launched a webinar room, conducted a soundcheck, and a webinar screen saver, and viewers are gradually gathering. Let us talk about webinar etiquette.
The webinar starts with the webinar room launch, 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.
Do not be discouraged if a few spectators have come to you suddenly. The webinar goes to the recording you send to all registered and put on your YouTube channel for everyone. However, it will still be necessary to analyze the reasons for the low turnout and take action in the future.
One minute before the start of the webinar, announce the minute’s readiness to go on air. Press the “Go to air” button, wait three to five seconds, and 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.
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 they see and hear you well. After that, introduce yourself and your colleagues if you are not conducting a webinar alone. Next, meet the audience; invite them to write about themselves in the chat. Finally, tell the audience about the webinar’s planned duration and whether you will send the recording and presentation to the participants. After that, you can go to the central part of the report.
During the presentation, monitor the number of visitors to your webinar. Usually, visitors arrive within a few minutes after the start, and their names should stabilize. However, something is wrong if you see that a sharp outflow of visitors began in the middle of the webinar. Most likely, the audience was bored; the speaker lulls them with its monotony or, conversely, tires them 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 visitors until the end of the webinar.
In addition to an interesting report and charming speakers, use interactive tools to hold attention:
- False animation — Give out the information in parts so that the audience is not distracted and waiting for every next slide.
- A pick device or a cursor — Help the audience follow your thought, pointing a virtual pointer to the slide’s desired items.
- 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.
- Ask questions while talking — Let them answer in the chat, and take a test.
- Share your screen — Show something interesting on the subject of the report. For example, we show our client request processing system on our webinars – this works better than a few dozen slides.
- Give Presents — Encourage viewers to download valuable 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 beginning, which is good. If you do not want to be distracted during the webinar, you can not 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 giving a presentation, your colleagues can answer questions, and then you will explain the remaining or new ones.
When something goes wrong when you conduct a webinar
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 air again. If two or three attempts do 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 whether the headset 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 helped, promptly connect the technical support technician on the duty of the webinar platform MyOwnConference.
✔️ 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 with 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 from 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, and 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 them 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 to 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, you need to send a letter to alit 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, and 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 that you will enjoy webinars with pleasure and benefit.
Melisa Marzett is a writer of guest post articles living in Phoenix, Arizona and working for my papers and findwritingservice. She was a journalist and a translator for about ten years has a particular interest in translation techniques and keeps an ear to the ground. She has focused more on writing and composing for the last four years.