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Webinar Best Practices

Preparing a presentation through a webinar is only half effective as the preparation that goes into the webinar presentation. Webinars can be very cost effective and can reach a broad audience. The webinar can be as official, or as informal as the host wishes it to be. Depending on the sophistication of the marketing and IT departments, the webinar can be robust or elementary. Read on for Webinar Best Practices…

The goal is to effectively communicate with the intended audience. At this point it is presumed that the host has decided that the webinar is the most effecting medium to communicate the host’s message.

1. Select Your Presenters and Speakers

Your message cannot be effectively communicated if you chose the wrong communicators to convey your message. Understanding the type of medium that you are using with your webinar and the speaking style of your presenter. Your presenter may not be comfortable speaking during a webinar format. This should be addressed with a short test run prior to the actual presentation. Some speakers can be coached to present in the webinar format while others may find it difficult to adjust.

2. Determine Your Presentation Format

How you present your information is just as important as what you are trying to say. You will have to see you webinar presentation from the perspective of the your audience. Your presentation may be viewed on different mediums, including smart phones tablet devices, laptops as well as desktop computers. Again a test shot of how you may want to present your presentation is not as important as how your presentation will be received. If you ask two or three friends to view a five minute segment of your presentation you may receive valuable feedback regarding the proper manner to organize your information.

3. Plan Your Exhibits and Visual Displays

Your visuals are critical in a webinar. Depending on the receiving device graphics, it may not be visible to someone participating with your webinar using a smartphone or a tablet device. Some exhibits and visual displays may need to be distributed to the webinar participants prior to the presentation starting. Others may have to be simplified too so the images or graphics can be viewed easily.

4. Select Your Webinar Medium

There are many services that offer online meetings for free, and there are several for webinars as well. Most have a modest cost for their use, but will allow a free trial so you can see if the medium is easy to use and whether it is a site or program that you are comfortable with. Again you should decide on a webinar medium that is reliable and is easy for your audience to sign in to use. Also, you may want to compare the various features between the mediums. Use of graphics and playback ability are important in the communication of your message.

5. Determine Your Webinar Registration

If you have a specific guest list for your webinar you may want to ensure that your webinar facilities have the capability of easy registrations so you are able to tell who from your target audience is actually participating on your call. This will help you to determine if you need to take additional steps to advertise your webinar and the presentation subject matter. Webinars allow for very specific audiences and messages in a compelling way, with limited interaction. Ideally you’d want everyone on your business’s mailing list to attend, but don’t plan on it. You may also want to determine if you desire the registration list to be viewable to other participants of the call.

6. Prepare a Detailed Agenda

This is the most important part of your webinar. You must first decide how long your webinar will be and then literally script each segment of your webinar. If you plan to have a period for questions and answers you should plan a set amount of time for questions and answers and stick to that time period so you do not run out of time. Otherwise, members of your audience will start to fall off the webinar if they feel or sense that there is no structure to the presentation. Additionally, once an agenda is shared, your audience will know what subject matters are going to be covered and when to present timely questions.

7. Set and Execute a Dry Run in Front of a Test Audience

After you have put your presentation together you should do a real time presentation with a test audience to see if all facilities of the webinar work properly. This will help you to perfect your presentation and will keep your audience engaged.

8. Reserve and Check Your Equipment and Space

Prior to the commencement of your webinar presentation you or your staff should do a check of all of the systems to be used for your webinar. This includes making sure that call in or login numbers and passwords are working properly. This will avoid any unforeseen delays in the start of your presentation. Studies have shown that if someone has difficulty signing into a webinar then they will leave before 10 minutes and that audience is lost.

All and all, with these tips you’ll be on your way to a better, well-prepared webinar presentation.

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