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Here at WorkCast, our Online Events Team helps to deliver thousands of online webinars with a multitude of clients, with topics ranging from veterinary nursing to email marketing to aircraft maintenance.
No matter what the event or topic, presenting a webinar can be a nerve-racking experience - especially if you’re ill-prepared - which is why we have compiled our top 10 tips for webinar presenters. With these handy webinar tips and tricks in your artillery, you can ensure your webinar is a success.
One of the major benefits of webinars is having the ability to present from anywhere in the world. However, this can come with its problems - mostly through background noise or interruptions. If you’re presenting a webinar, organize a nice, quiet environment with a good quality landline phone and a reliable internet connection, preferably wired.
If you’re presenting from home, make sure that you send everyone out of the house for the day to minimize unexpected interruptions. A great way of doing this is to post a note on the door for the postman or ask a relative if they can dog-sit for the duration of the webinar.
If you’re at work, put a note on your door or book a quiet meeting room, so you can present your webinar in peace.
Be mindful that the WorkCast webinar platform allows you to interact with your audience in a number of ways. If you are running a webinar for 30 minutes or longer, you must make the most of every second to keep your audience engaged throughout.
You can interact with your audience by hosting a live Q&A, poll or different medium, such as videos, throughout your presentation to maintain your audience’s interest. All of these interactions can then be measured in the WorkCast platform, so you can use the data gathered from your webinar to inform your future webinar strategy.
It may sound obvious, but ensuring that you prepare engaging content ahead of the presentation is essential for webinar success. This will not only ensure that your presentation skills are slick, but it will also make the webinar sound natural to attendees - as you know both the content and the platform.
In addition to helping with the flow of the event, properly preparing will highlight any areas of the presentation that may need amending or trimming down. You may find that if you go over the allotted time your audience will start to drop off.
As the old cliche goes: practice makes perfect. The same holds true for your webinar presentation, so make sure that you log into the webinar platform a couple of days beforehand to familiarize yourself with the software and figure out what you’ll need to be doing on the day.
If you’re struggling with the platform and require any assistance, you can book in a rehearsal with one of our webinar experts who will walk you through the ins and outs of the WorkCast platform.
When presenting a live webinar, it’s easy to get distracted by incoming questions or chat from the audience, which is why it’s important to work with a moderator for your webinar.
If possible, organize for another presenter to act as moderator, introducing the session, looking after any polls and moderating the questions before you answer them. Doing so will ensure that the presentation flows smoothly between each section and you are able to answer all relevant questions in good time.
Ensure the day of the presentation runs as stress-free as possible by logging in with plenty of time to spare before your webinar begins.
If you are running a monitored or managed event your Event Manager will be available an hour before the event, so you can ensure that you can hit the ground running when the time comes.
Logging in early also means you will be able to do a final check of your PowerPoint slides and chat to your fellow presenters, without the audience being able to see or hear you - which should help to ease any nerves.
“Good afternoon” might be a correct greeting where you are in the world, but it may not be for your global audience. Be mindful of your audience and tailor your opening and closing statements to reflect the difference in time zones when presenting i.e. keep your intro open.
An example of an open introduction would include greetings, such as “welcome” or “hi everyone, thanks for attending”. That way you don’t alienate your audience by only greeting a percentage of the population of attendees.
Plan for the worst and hope for the best! If you lose your internet connection or your phone gets cut off what are you going to do?
Making a plan A, B and C ahead of the presentation will make any potential issues seem immediately less stressful. Try to always have a printed or local version of your slides with you, so you can continue to present if you experience any problems with your internet connection. Remember, your moderator or fellow presenters can transition your slides for you while you log back in.
If you lose your phone connection your moderator can come back on the line and keep the audience informed. The Auditorium Interactions in the WorkCast platform also offers you a way to push out a message while you dial back in, so there are plenty of different ways to handle these scenarios.
Above all stay calm.
While your audience may not be in the room with you, you must remember you are speaking to human beings, so use language and terms that they will understand and engage with.
If you are pre-recording your content don’t over-edit, keep it conversational e.g. a natural pause is fine. Finally during the Q&A, don’t be afraid to say that you will answer a question offline, the Q&A function allows you to talk to the moderator, so that should help you to keep it natural.
When you are concluding the webinar remind your audience what happens next.
Let them know where they can access an on-demand copy of the presentation for future reference. If you are sending follow-up emails, let the audience know, so they know to keep an eye out for them. We often get asked about access to slide decks or materials, so if you would like the attendees to have post-event access let them know.
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