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10 Webinar Hosting Tips for Self-Service

Michelle Houghton
23-Nov-2016 10:39:55

We’re finding that more and more companies are confident enough to host webinars on a self-service basis.  One of the major reasons for this is that webinars are more mainstream now, and software is more intuitive for less experienced users.  Another reason is that self-service gives you ultimate flexibility to deliver webinars wherever and whenever you need to. 

Although you’re all super experienced now, I thought that you might still like a few tips that we’ve learned over the years.

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Marketing is key – so don’t leave it until the last minute!

We recommend between 2 and 4 weeks to market your event.  This gives you time to big it up on different platforms and send out a couple of mail shots without making your leads feel like you’re spamming them constantly.  Marketing your event is the only way you’re going to get attendees – so don’t forget about it!

Do a test event

Our event managers always do a test event and rehearsal.  They do hundreds of events every month, but they follow the same process for each one.  Organise a suitable time with your presenters and dial in to the phone bridge.  From here you can do sound tests, test that your internet connection is fast enough and, most importantly, that your presenters are comfortable using the platform.  If you do this at least 48 hours before the event, it gives you time to rectify any issues in good time.

Dial in from a landline handset

We often get asked about how to get the best sound quality on webinars.  The easiest and cheapest way to get great sound quality is to use a landline handset telephone.  This means no mobile phones, VOIP, or conference call speakerphone contraptions.  Mobile phones have a tendency to drop signal, VOIP puts unnecessary strain on your internet connection and speakerphones pick up every little background noise.

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Use animations and video

If you’re using WorkCast, you can put as many animations and videos in to your presentation as you like.  Static PowerPoint presentations are boring – we see them all day every day at work.  Video is the most engaging form of content on the web so use it to keep your audience’s attention.

Use interactive features

Continuing on with our theme of engagement… When thinking about webinar hosting don't forget using interactive features throughout your webinar will make sure you keep your attendees right until the end of your event.  Polls are a great way to get genuine interaction with your audience, and a Q&A provides a platform for attendees to ask their burning questions.  The other great thing to use is a twitter feed to create a buzz around your event and see comments from those attending. 

 Have mocked up questions ready

Best practice is to let your audience know at the start of your event that they can submit questions whenever they want.  Having said that, people tend to wait until the very end to submit questions.  Probably because they want to see if their question is answered in the main presentation first.  This creates a bit of a lag between you moving on to Q&A and the questions starting to come in, so it’s best to have at least a couple mocked up that you can pretend have been submitted.

Remember to breathe!

This sounds obvious, but we really don’t want you to keel over during your event from lack of oxygen!  Take your presentation slowly.  Talking too quickly will make you sound nervous and rushed.  You’ll risk your audience losing concentration if they can’t make out what you’re saying. 

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Keep it short and sweet

With the best will in the world, people don’t generally have a huge attention span.  Pick a single topic and create a 20-30 minute presentation on this topic.  This is probably one of the most important webinar hosting tips. You can then fit in a short Q&A session.  After 50 minutes we usually see attendee numbers drop significantly.  Drilling down on a specific topic also means that if you’re generating leads, you’re going to get an audience that are more qualified.

Get the on demand turned around quickly

Not everyone will have been able to view your event at the time you broadcast.  Plenty will want to watch it in their own time though, so make sure that you create the on demand version of your event and send an email out through the platform to all of your registrants.  You can also use this as a marketing asset at a later date. 

And when all is said and done… Try to have fun!

Aside from the nerves and anticipation, try to enjoy the fact that you are organising and taking part in an event like this.  It’s excellent that we live in an age where companies can easily be in contact with prospects worldwide!  Not to mention the fact that you’re more likely to engage your audience if you sound like you’re having a great time!

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