The skills required for pulling off an effective webinar are different from those needed for a face-to-face presentation. So are the preparations.
Step I: Things to take care of before the Webinar
Designing the presentation – this could easily take to about twenty hours. Be wary of an overemphasis on slides. It is advisable to mix some live demonstrations with a few impactful slides.
Animations and videos are tricky to use, so they should be used with caution, or eliminated altogether. Video shares seldom work seamlessly and may result in waste of presentation time.
Copyright and privacy issues – If the webinar is going to be recorded and distributed to a wider audience, be careful about privacy and copyright issues. For this reason, recording webinars should be done carefully. It is possible to infringe on copyrights and to make private information public if due care is not taken.
Audience engagement – It is a good idea to work on a question for the audience between every five to ten minutes. Questions asked should be direct and meaningful and every participant should be expected to answer. Examples or applications of the technique or new knowledge being imparted could be asked for. Alternatively, the audience could be polled by asking relevant multiple choice questions or true or false answers.
The role of the Moderator – preferably, he should be well-versed in trouble shooting technical problems. He should handle the poll questions and also be responsible for starting and ending the recording. Webinar hosting services or webinar services providers should offer the services of a moderator as part of the webinar support services.
A trial run is of utmost importance. Use the same computer, headset, webcam, and webinar connection that would be used on the day of the event. Test animation features and links. Online events such as online seminars require special attention, given the detailed nature of the event.
Step II: Things to take care of on the day of the Webinar
Arrive at least 30 to 45 minutes early to take care of any unforeseen technical problems that may crop up, need fixing and then calming down sufficiently to be at ease during the presentation. Make sure all the files are loaded before starting the webinar.
Webcam sharing is best confined to the beginning and the end of the presentation to eliminate issues connected with bandwidth.
Give clear direction regarding asking of questions and use of the various features. Point out the text chat window and the protocol for asking questions. Get the participants to introduce themselves.
Step III: After the Webinar
Send a “thank you” e-mail to the participants, remind them of the two or three main points and send them the hyperlinks that you might have shared during the presentation.