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Best practice for delivering a killer webinar

If you’ve followed the guidelines on how to plan and promote your webinar in our previous blog post, now you are ready to discover how to deliver a killer webinar on the day itself.

Drawing on the experience of working with many different clients, here’s our best practice tips on delivering an audience-engaging professional webinar, and one that goes without a hitch.

Four weeks prior

First up, focus on your content for the webinar. Here are the essentials to tick off your checklist.

  • Write a synopsis – a short summary of your webinar content.

Include what you’re talking about, why, and what the audience will take or learn from the session. Sense check the topic and that the angle you’re taking is compelling and specific.

  • Create the webinar agenda – list of topics and bullet points

Use your synopsis to create the webinar agenda and some bullet points on the key themes you want to cover during the webinar. This will help you be a better host, as talking for up to an hour, even about something you know well, can be very hard, especially when you know hundreds (maybe thousands) of people are listening in.

  • Involve your panellists and presenters – collaboration is key
    Share the agenda and bullet points with your fellow presenters so they can contribute to what is covered. Organise a conference call with all presenters to give you a chance to talk the agenda through and for people who don’t know each other to create some rapport ahead of the day itself.

One week prior

Now is the time to check how things work in practice, and you still have time to make any changes needed, so don’t skip this step! A little preparation now will go a long way to creating a professional and smoothly delivered webinar on the day.

Work out who can help you during the broadcast. You’ll need:

  • Someone to manage any technical issues, should they arise, which of course they shouldn’t if you have rehearsed everything in advance. But even the best- laid plans can sometimes be at the mercy of the tech gremlins.

  • Someone to manage the chat window and collate any questions.

  • Someone to monitor social channels, both for any problems attending the webinar but also to engage with viewers and their questions or comments on the topic.

Next, really test the content to get a feel for how everything flows. Practice talking through your key points (out loud) and time yourself and any other presenters speaking. Work out how quickly you should move from one point to another and make notes on anything that needs tweaking.

Other things to check:

  • How to use the webinar platform – logging in, navigating the system and how to use the chat window.

  • Decide who will be in control of changing slides, and check they are formatted correctly.

  • Think about a process for answering viewer’s questions – when and by whom.

  • Prepare some questions and answers in advance that can be used if needed.

  • If using video, what will the viewer see behind the presenter? Do you need/want advertising or branding in the room?

  • Is additional lighting needed (if using video) and is the sound quality good?

  • Location(s) are booked (e.g. meeting rooms) well in advance – ideally as soon as you’ve agreed a date for the webinar.

Day before

It’s rehearsal time. Make sure panellists and contributors are available to practice the webinar with you. Preferably in the room you’ll be using on the day, or at least in a quiet space, and ask other panellists to do the same.

Don’t forget to check:

  • Video and/or sound quality of all panellists and presenters.

  • All equipment is working and you’re familiar with how to use it.

  • Let your panellists know when questions will be answered and by whom.

  • Remind your panellists of timings for the day, and ask them to be online at least 20 minutes prior to the start of the webinar.

Day of the webinar

Ok, you’ve done the prep, so today is the day to keep calm and enjoy the process. Firstly, get everything ready in the room and your equipment set up. Next, let everyone in the office know you’ll be running a webinar at the chosen time to minimise noise and disruption outside the room. There’s nothing like an innocent but noisy chat among colleagues outside the room to put you off your game!

Don’t forget to continue promoting the webinar:

  • Send your pre-prepared reminder emails one hour before the start of the broadcast; “Don’t miss today’s webinar on…starting in 1 hour”.

  • Add reminder posts to your social media channels.

  • Ask your panellists to add posts to their social media channels too.

During the webinar

At the start of the broadcast, let attendees know how long today’s webinar will be, what will be covered and encourage them to ask questions, explaining when they will be answered.

Once you’re live make sure your helpers are monitoring Twitter and other social channels for any problems accessing the webinar. If you plan to offer the webinar on-demand afterwards, let them know when it will be available to view, as a solution for anyone having trouble.

People often ask interesting questions on social media too, so don’t miss the chance to get the conversation going outside of the webinar platform itself, and live tweet some of the panellists’ expertise.

Your nominated person should monitor the platform’s chat window for questions. They can also keep any early attendees warm by adding comments such as “Hello, thanks for tuning in today, where are you watching from?” This is such a simple thing but reassures attendees they are logged in correctly and are being heard by the presenters.

Make sure you have a timer running so you keep the webinar moving along as planned. Be concise and as clear as possible, and ensure all panellists have their chance to contribute and speak.

Immediately after the webinar

As tempting as it might be to feel good about a job well done and move on to the next project, now is the time to reap the rewards of your hard work. Here’s our favourite ways to nurture the valuable leads we have created:

  • Send a thank you email to all attendees within 24 hours of the webinar, including how to access the on-demand version if available. This should be provided free- to-access for all attendees.

  • Send an email to those who registered but didn’t attend, a “Sorry we missed you” type message, and offer them the chance to view the webinar on-demand.

  • Add the on-demand webinar to your website behind a webform and landing page to promote to new prospects.

Here we’ve shared our tried and tested approach to delivering a professional live webinar, but there’s always more to learn, and new ideas to try. If you think we’ve missed something, or have other top tips to share, add them in a comment below.

What about after the webinar?

Look out for our next blog post on what you can (and should) do after the webinar to continue generating leads, driving website traffic and overall engagement.