How to Run an Effective Webinar

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Here we share some best practices for delivering a webinar to keep your audience engaged

Preparation

  • Review your current webinar provider tutorials
    • Make notes on key points
    • Change your setup accordingly
  • Create the agenda and background info in Word
    • All the webinar services are under huge pressure at present, so info doesn’t always “save” online first time
    • Create all your text in Word first, then copy/paste it into the relevant fields online as you set up your meetings
  • Set up your “studio”
    • Position your camera so there’s a plain background behind you
    • You can hang a sheet if needed
    • If using Zoom, you can set an image to be your background to hide your own surroundings – see my how-to video at http://tiny.cc/5whnlz
    • Position an LED light in front of you & above your head height to illuminate your face

Delivery

Online is different to in-person. Talking to camera can be daunting – just relax!

  • Start the webinar 10-15 minutes early
    • People need time to connect in, and get familiar with the setup
    • Greet people by name if they’ve had to register for the webinar – creates a sense of community and friendliness
  • Keep online sessions to less than an hour
    • Attention spans are far more limited in front of a screen, and they’re tough on the presenter too!
  • Send out pre-reading beforehand … and ask everyone to show up prepared having read through the materials
    • Set everyone to Muted by default. Ambient noise can be a problem if everyone has their mic open, so at the start of the meeting ask everyone to keep their mic muted unless they are speaking
  • Have your webcam roughly at eye height
    • Use books or a stand – otherwise everyone will be looking up your nose – not a good angle!
    • If the background is bright, you’ll just be a silhouette, so place a light in front of you and slightly above your head height for best effect

 

Joe Houghton is an Assistant Professor & Programme Director teaching Project Management at the UCD Smurfit Graduate School of Business in Dublin, Ireland.
He also consults, coaches and trains companies and non-profits, as well as delivering photography tuition and talks all over the world. Connect on LinkedIn

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