Tips for a Successful Webinar – Part 1 – Preparing for the Webinar
Planning and hosting a webinar may seem like a daunting task, but the truth is webinars are a cost effective way for your business to stay competitive and market your brand, product or service to hundreds of people at the same time and with very little out of pocket expense. Just as with hosting a live seminar, webinars require planning. In order for a webinar to be a success, proper time and effort must be put into the preparation and follow-up. Constructing a plan, staying on task and following up will help to ensure a thriving outcome.
If your business is ready to reap the rewards of a powerful webinar, adhering to 15 easy tips will help avoid getting in over your head and provide a template to work off of for hassle-free business success. Below are the first 7 tips on how to properly prepare yourself and your team:
Prior to the Webinar
Have a reason to great number a webinar – Think about the reason why you will be hosting this webinar. Are you releasing a new product? Do you want to spread breaking news about your company? Do you want to provide a “how to” workshop for prospects and clients? Remember to keep topics current and applicable to your industry, in addition as set goals for the outcome.
Build a team – Hosting a webinar is not a project you want to take on all by yourself. Work with one or multiple colleagues to help you prepare and present the information you are looking to proportion. When you are ready to start planning, give everyone a task and a timeline.
Decide on a date and time for your webinar – Take a look at a calendar and choose a date that will not conflict with holidays or occur on a day where another webinar may be taking place. When deciding on a start time remember your attendees may be located in different time zones; make sure to schedule a start time that will be comfortable for everyone. Tip: Hosting a webinar mid-week eliminates attendees who like to take long weekends.
Use various ways of promotion – First off, if you have the resources to do so, build a landing page or a website page that caters specifically to your event. Next, post your event on as many websites and in as many appropriate places on the Internet as possible, including on your business homepage, blogs, Facebook and Twitter. Send out email invites or already advertise in newsletters or online publications. Remember to point all links to the landing page you produced where possible attendees can get all the information needed to register. Send out reminder emails the day before the event.
Prepare useful and valuable content – Any information you choose to convey to your audience should provide value; think about this when preparing your presentation and slides. There are three basic types of learning styles: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. Since your audience will most likely consist of all three styles you must be prepared for this.
**Make sure your presentation allurement to those who learn visually by creating PowerPoint slides with graphics and data.
**For attendees who are auditory learners make sure you verbally point out important details that may be on the slides.
**Creating interactive audience surveys and surveys will help those attendees who are kinesthetic learners feel engaged in the presentation. Holding an interactive question and answers session will also spark their interest and give them the “hands on” feeling they need to learn and retain information.
Test hardware prior to the event – When using technology, you are bound to run into technical difficulties at some point. To help avoid this, it is important to test all hardware prior to your event. If using VoIP make sure you get a good quality headset and try to avoid using a stand alone microphone as this may cause feedback issues. When presenting over a telephone conference line, make sure your telephone headset does not have static. If using a wireless telephone headset, make sure to fully charge the battery to avoid getting disconnected during the middle of your presentation. Do not use a wireless internet connection. Wireless connections are very unpredictable and connections may cut in and out. Make sure your computer is hardwired to a landline internet connection for best results. If presenting a webinar with live streaming video, make sure your web camera roles properly and you know how to use it.
Practice prior to the webinar – Make sure you and all participating hosts are comfortable with the information being presented. The day before or morning of your webinar, conduct a run-by with everyone involved. This will avoid hiccups in the presentation, insure everyone is on schedule and verify everyone knows how to use the webinar software you are using.
Properly preparing for the Webinar will allow you to smoothly move on to the next phase of hosting a webinar, which is presentation. I will cover this and more in the next two articles; if you cannot wait for these articles, please feel free to contact me at the email listed in the bio section of this article and I will make sure you receive them before they are released.