Chatting is something we all do in our daily lives. Whether on the coffee run at work or chatting with friends on an evening, we all chat.
So it makes sense that people may want that freedom during a webinar. Having live chat allows attendees to communicate directly with one another, which can give your webinar a whole new dimension.
This blog post will explore the best uses for chat during a live webinar.
Start the chat early
During webinars that only have a private Q&A function it is common for attendees to wait until the end to submit questions or comments.
This is something you want to avoid when using chat. Looking at an empty chat box for 30 minutes to an hour can be quite off putting and make you wonder if you are the only person watching the event.
The solution to this is to submit chat as early as possible. Even if the presenter will be focussing on the presentation for most of the time get them to welcome everyone with a quick message in the chat. If you get this chat in early enough it will be there to greet people as they log in for the event.
Get people talking
You can’t force people to talk with each other, and nobody likes being the first to start a conversation, particularly about a topic they perhaps aren’t knowledgeable about.
So start things off with a simple question. Where are they from? What time is it there? Who do they work for? These questions will get people talking. A great example of this happened recently, I used a loyalty card and the clerk was amazed that I once lived in her home town. Simple facts bond people and instigate conversation.
During these sessions conversation will quickly dry up if questions aren’t being answered.
Don’t feel obliged to answer all questions via the live chat. Some can be fielded during a live Q&A session, or even offline afterwards. However, give responses to those questions that don’t need to be answered during the Q&A, that way people will know that someone is online.
Who should be chatting?
It’s a big decision deciding who should be responding to live chats. The presenter should definitely keep their focus on the presentation itself, unless it has been prerecorded.
If there is a product being demonstrated you need to ensure that the individual responding to chats is suitably qualified to provide responses or give advice. Alternatively have a colleague of the presenter giving the responses, if you have multiple presenters have multiple people on the chat.
If you are showing data following a research project or following a scientific study, have people that were on that project available to chat.
Either way it is always important for those chatting to give a good introduction of themselves, either on their first response or at the start of the event. It’s great being an expert when it comes to a specific product, however if your audience doesn’t know this your responses may not have the same impact.
Remember who is reading
If you want to chat to another presenter, someone on your team or your event manager it is always best to do so via a private chat.
Remember chat’s are public so if your connection is dropping or you are having any other issue with the platform it is best to keep these comments private. If any attendees read comments like this it can often cause them to drop off or opt to watch the event on demand instead.
On the other side of the coin if attendees are saying that they are having issues you will often find other attendees replying to let them know all is well. Likewise if you are replying to let them know all's well that is definitely something to do via the open chat.
So, armed with more knowledge on chatting - how are you going to start yours? Request a demo with one of the team today to see how you could be making your webinars more interactive.