Think you don’t have what it takes to host a professional web conference in an online conference room? By the time you finish this article you will know that you do! Everyone has a webinar inside of them just waiting to be created and then shared with an audience. You just need to know how easy it is to do it well.
What is a Webinar?
The term webinar hasn’t been around that long because even though it is sometimes hard to believe, we have only had the internet at our disposal for a relatively short amount of time. A webinar is simply a business meeting, presentation, or conference that takes place on the internet instead of in a conference room in your office. Participants or attendees can take part anywhere they are located as long as they have internet access.
Why Should I Host a Webinar?
The benefits of conducting a webinar are simple: you save time, money, and frustration by reaching many people at the same time that don’t have to be physically in the same room. Whether you are putting on a webinar to promote your services by sharing information with your customers or simply taking advantage of the format to hold an international business meeting, a webinar will make your job easier.
How Do I Prepare to Host a Webinar?
You can do all the production work yourself or you can choose a web conferencing provider who will make it easy with their software and services. They can offer all types of extras- interactive whiteboards, chat functions, and video streaming are just a few of them. Be sure to take their tutorial so you are comfortable with the way their program works. Then follow these simple tips to ensure you have a successful hosting experience:
- Prepare your presentation in advance. Don’t leave it to the last minute or you won’t have time to practice.
- Upload your presentation a few days prior to the conference so that you can pick up on any issues that need fixing.
- Do a trial run. You will quell any anxiety you may have once you identify anything that can be improved and spend some time repairing any technical issues.
- Make sure you are comfortable with all the buttons in the conference room. You can even have someone phone in as a test call to see if the audio is working well.
- Check to make sure your web conferencing company allows you to videotape your presentation and have it ready to go.
What Should I Know About the Actual Conference Day?
The fact that you spent time getting prepared is going to make a big difference in the quality of your webinar. But there are some things you can do on the conference day to make your webinar appear polished.
- Have someone available to greet people as they log on for the webinar. They can verify how much time is remaining and make the attendee feel welcome.
- Begin with a brief overview of the points you will cover during the presentation.
- Maintain a professional appearance. In other words, act confident even if you aren’t. You want to project a strong positive image.
- Ask the audience to hold questions until the end or else you will have to keep stopping due to interruptions. That will only throw you off schedule and there’s a chance you will lose your place.
- Bring a cheat sheet of bulleted points that you don’t want to forget to include. Don’t write out too much because you don’t want to sound like you’re reading a script.
- Smile so that your confidence shines through in your voice.
- When I was a child, my parents had a friend who kept a sign on his desk that said “breathe” which never failed to make me giggle. But it’s good advice. Don’t talk too fast. Slow down and keep breathing!
- 8. Keep an eye on the clock so that you finish on time.
By now you should see how capable you are of hosting a terrific webinar. It just takes a little prep work, some practice, and a bit of confidence to use a webinar to share information with the people you need to get it to!