Online webinars have grown in popularity more and more as organisations are moving their business online. From education and training to networking and meetings, an online method of communication allows companies to reach more people easily. Moving your communication and content towards a digital solution solves many logistics issues that would typically make planning a conference, business meeting or training session difficult. Although, conducting and planning these events is one thing but how does that translate into a webinar?

Moving towards a webinar solution brings its own set of questions and things to consider but the process is not as daunting as it may seem. We have some advice for anyone getting started with webinars and we hope that the following tips help you to take your content online.

Choose the webinar platform that is right for you

One of the first things to consider when beginning to host your own webinars is finding the platform that best suits your needs. There are many webinar platforms currently on the market that provide different experiences for you and your attendees. For instance, ‘GoToWebinar’ offers a hassle-free set-up, analytics and following up with attendees, ‘Google Hangouts’ works with a Google account which most users will already have and works through a simple email link and ‘Zoom’ provides webinars for up to 10,000 users which can be monetised. Taking the time to look into each of the platforms that interest you is an important step and will ensure you select one that offers everything you need. These platforms may also be integrated already with services you use, for instance, Learnium’s Communities features webinar services provided through integration with GoToWebinar.

Test-run and rehearse your webinar

With a webinar platform chosen and a concept in mind, it’s time to plan out your presentation. It may be worth doing a test run of the webinar so that you can take the time to troubleshoot any potential issues and get a more accurate estimate of how long it will take. Setting up the webinar beforehand allows you to test your hardware and software as well as any other part of your set-up that could be an issue later such as the internet connection. A test run also allows for a rehearsal of the presentation itself and can be a helpful tool in figuring out what you will be saying. You can rehearse your script (if you have your presentation scripted) and your timing and find what works for you. Depending on how long you have in total for the webinar, it may be worth planning how much time you would like to spend on certain sections such as a Q&A where the time taken may vary depending on the questions of the audience.

Include a visual component

As well as your presentation, the content of your webinar should be able to keep an audience’s attention for the duration. For, instance you may have PowerPoint slides or other visual aids that help to convey information concisely. Having a visual component to complement your presentation is valuable for several reasons. An audience’s attention may drift if they have to focus solely on one source of information and people process information in different ways. Some may be more visual learners and benefit from having a visual cue. Some of your audience may find processing speech difficult or maybe hard of hearing and will appreciate the visual cue as well.

Engage with your audience

At the beginning of the webinar, it is worth mentioning the subjects you will be covering later in the presentation. That way, the audience will know what is coming up later and will already be thinking ahead. It also helps to ask questions of the audience. Asking questions will keep the audience’s attention while making the presentation feel more interactive. You can get a show of hands or ask for answers to a question to gauge opinions and then reveal the answer as audience members will want to know the answer more when included in the question. Additionally, including a Q&A, or Questions and Answers section, allows the audience to get involved at the end of the webinar. Remember to allow some time for the Q&A at the end of the presentation as it may be difficult to gauge its length once the audience is allowed to get involved.

Conclusion

Hopefully, our advice has been helpful and you feel more confident in setting up and running your own webinars. If you’re interested in a more integrated webinar solution that also allows features similar to having your own social network, please get in touch and ask about Communities. We can also help if you have any further questions or would like any advice.

Good luck in providing content to your new online audience!

Bibliography

Carter, E. (2021, April 11). 9 Tips for Hosting a Successful Webinar, from
https://www.webfx.com/blog/marketing/9-tips-hosting-successful-webinar/
BigMarker. (2017, April 6). The Definitive Guide to Successful Webinar Hosting from https://medium.com/@BigMarker/the-keys-to-successful-webinar-hosting-ef27c40227ea
Goodwin, D. (2020, September 17). How To Digitise Your Educational Content Retrieved from https://www.searchenginejournal.com/webinar-planning-best-practices-guide/231301/#close
Pappas, C. (2015, October 5). Top 7 Tips To Be A Successful Webinar Host from
https://elearningindustry.com/top-7-webinar-tips-successful-webinar-host

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