I had mixed emotions about my first webinar. Excitement and anxiety were two of them. Excitement because I love new experiences, and anxiety for the very same reason – it was a new experience and I wasn’t sure what was involved.
By giving some thought to what I wanted to achieve, I enjoyed this new experience in both its preparation and its delivery. Here are my preparation tips.
1. Know why you are running the webinar
You’ve made a decision to host a webinar. What is your purpose? Is it to inform or sell? Or is it a combination of both? If you know your purpose then you can design your material to meet it.
2. Decide upon the outcomes
What do you want to achieve as a result of the webinar? Be clear on your desired outcomes so that your content is geared toward achieving them.
3. Prepare your key take-aways
As the name suggests, your take-aways refer to the main points that you want your audience to be able to use or reflect upon.
In my case, I wanted my attendees to take away tips on:
- How to connect with their audience
- The power of the story through imagery
- How to use colour to add impact
- Where to find great online resources
To help you determine your take-aways, ask yourself:
- What is my message?
- What value will I give my audience for their time?
- How will my slides support and enhance the message?
Want more articles like this? Check out the podcasting and video tips section.
4. Find ways to engage your audience
It’s important to consider how you will engage your audience.
- Will you use polls?
- Will the visuals be interesting enough to capture their attention?
- What questions will you ask?
By keeping your audience actively involved you are more likely to have their attention for the whole time. Otherwise, it’s only a click away to disconnect.
5. Learn the system
Ensure that you are familiar with the platform you’ll be using during the webinar. Do a trial run so that you are comfortable with the options available and feel confident using them. These include knowing how to go from slide to slide and how to conduct polls.
6. Prepare yourself
Have a good night’s sleep before the webinar. You need to be alert and sound refreshed because your audience will pick up your enthusiasm in your voice. Have a glass of room-temperature water available, you’ll be speaking for most of the hour so you need to stay hydrated.
7. Prepare your environment
On the day of the webinar, give yourself enough time to check that everything works, such as your computer, microphone and your internet connection. Organise your notes and anything else you need.
By following these webinar tips, you will feel more confident and be able to present yourself in a professional manner.
When the day came for my webinar I felt prepared and ready for the experience, in fact, excitement had overtaken any feelings of anxiety. I enjoyed sharing my tips and connecting with people from around the world. The feedback following the webinar was very positive and I’ve learnt a great deal from the process.
How do you prepare for webinars? Or what are your thoughts on webinars you’ve attended?