Webinar Best Practices - Part 2 - Conducting the Event


Registration for your webinar is complete. The date for the webinar is near, and any technical surprises on the day of the event will compromise the success of your webinar. You need to understand the technical restrictions of your web conferencing platform and be trained on the software. During the content planning phase, you should have communicated any restrictions to presenters so they understand the technical requirements regarding materials they will be using. You should have enough bandwidth to avoid buffering and presentation delays. You want to maximize the audio quality, following a few simple recommendations:

  • Use a handset if possible (otherwise a headset)
  • Don't use a speaker phone
  • Be on a landline, not a mobile phone
  • Consider background noise
  • When a speaker is not presenting, mute their lines

Hold a dry-run the week before the event with a contingency plan in place in case technical issues occur. Pre-webinar testing is important, so it is worthwhile to take time for a pre-conference with presenters immediately before the event to go over the game plan and test and resolve any potential issues. Tell your presenters to: start and stay on time, speak loudly and slowly, be passionate about the subject matter, and allow time for a Q and A. All presenters should have practiced their delivery, using the software and meeting time constraints. Call into the webinar at least 15 minutes early to make sure everyone knows they are at the right meeting. Use pre-webinar slides and announcements so people know it is working. Start on time.

Inform participants during the introduction how questions will be handled. When presenting, wait 5 seconds whenever you change your screen to allow for variance in user's bandwidth. Don't assume that everyone can see the presentation. Say what the topic is and have all presenters act like nobody can see the presentation by describing what is there. Add photos and a short bio of each speaker to personalize the presentation. The presentation should be visually inviting. It is best to keep the slide template simple and to use one universal template. Presenters should not read verbatim from the slides or the audience can tune-out. Also, don't overload the slides with too much information. Have talking points highlighting key points in a clear and concise way.

Keep participants engaged and encourage interaction through Q & A's, polling and tweeting (one suggestion is setting-up a Twitter hash tag for tweeting during and after). Make sure you leave enough time for participants to complete any exercises. Keep your formal presentation under 45 minutes to allow for questions. You can consider different formats to keep interest, for example, panel discussion and point-counterpoint. It can be beneficial to have multiple speakers for interest. Close-up your formal presentation with contact information and a call to action. For Q & A's, have someone from your organization monitor the chat and assist with the Q & A portion.

Don't expect that everyone who signed up will attend; experts state that less than 50% will. If no one shows, still do the presentation. You should record the webinar and use it on your web site, for blogs and other social media, as well as putting it in your training archives. Thank the participants and follow-up at the end of presentation with a way for all registrants to access the presentation later. Provide a call-to action by directing them to a post-event survey or a URL. You should also have a mechanism for participants to submit questions after the session. You want to deliver an event that has value to your participants.

View other articles from the Webinar Best Practices 3 part series:

April 29, 2014 | Categories: , , | Tags: bandwidth, post-event survey, Q & A, technical requirements, webinar


Contact us about becoming a reseller or to discuss a collaboration opportunity.


Access your online meetings with a single click when you're on the go. Download Apps for your iPhone, Android or BlackBerry.


Try our Audio Teleconferencing Service and any of our Web Conferencing Services for 14 Days.
Free Trial