This article outlines how best to prepare for a webinar. Our goal is to provide you with a great platform to hold webinars on and expert guidance in how to be best prepared.
Before your webinar:
- Equipment preparation
- Environment preparation
- Practice with guest presenters
- Communication with attendees when going live
- Use a hard wired connection and not wireless if possible – wireless is not as reliable.
- Plug your laptop in as low battery will cause it to go into power saving mode.
- Use a headset, if none is available use ear buds (not speakers) to avoid audio echo.
- Make sure your computer has been rebooted shortly before the webinar.
- Ask others (if on a home network) to stop using the internet while you are presenting.
- If you are on a corporate network, try a Practice webinar and screen sharing to make sure the proper ports are open on the office firewall. You may need to consult with your IT Department.
- Make sure that there are no distractions (the dog is outside, the phone is on silent, etc).
- Check your background if using webcam. Make sure your background is darker than your foreground and is professional. People should be focused on you, not what kind of window dressings you have.
- Check your audio. Are you using a cell phone? Make sure you have earbuds. Are you using speakers with an open microphone? You will likely have echo if you do not use headphones instead of speakers as your speakers play back into your mic. Do a test with an external attendee.
- Upload your presentation in advance to ensure it’s ready to go and give it a quick review.
If you have the time, invite guest presenters to join you in a Practice a day or two in advance of the live event. If you do not have time to use the Practice room, make sure your guest presenters come at least 15 minutes early (30 minutes is better) and join you in the Green Room.
What to practice or prepare with your guest presenters:
- screen sharing (if being used);
- upload presentations;
- run through the slides;
- muting and unmuting yourself;
- organizing as a group so everyone knows their role in the webinar;
- if any tech issues need the IT Department to be called in.
This is also a way to ensure your guest presenters are on time. There is nothing worse than having a presenter be late or not show.
An opening slide is a great way to greet your Attendees and provide them with any message you want in advance of the meeting. This should be your first slide. Attendee comfort is paramount to your success.
- Welcome your attendees and help them get settled.
- Tell them about the Q&A tool so they will ask questions when they have them.
- Let them know about the chat area (if you choose to use chat).
- Give them an outline of what you are doing today in the webinar (an Agenda).
- Let them know if you plan to record and if that will be available to them to see later.