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7 Tips for Hosting a Professional Webinar

Webinar hosting gives you the opportunity to meet with people from anywhere else in the world from the convenience of your own computer. One thing that makes the process smoother is being a professional webinar host for your audience. All your hard work with marketing, promoting, planning, and researching for your event won’t do a bit of good if  the audience isn’t satisfied.

webbinarYou might choose a system for web conferencing. This can help take some of the stress off you as the host. Interactive features for Q&A sessions, live chat, connections to social media networks like Facebook and Twitter, and other easy to use perks help make the webinar a more fun event as well.

When I hosted my first webinar, I was sure that my performance was just fine. Watching the recorded playback showed me ways I could improve when hosting future events. In hopes of saving you from suffering the same fate, here are some of the things that I have learned from the experience of both hosting and attending webinars.

1. Be prepared physically. The night before your webinar presentation, get a good night’s sleep. That morning, even if you don’t feel hungry, try to eat a healthy breakfast. During the presentation, remember to smile, and keep a bottle of water handy to keep your throat from going dry. In addition to your own physical health, make sure the physical health of your equipment and web conferencing system is in good working order, too.

2. Believe in your material. Motivational speaker Jim Rohn once said, - Effective communication is 20% what you know, and 80% how you feel about what you know. Your web conferencing system can display slides that are graphically attractive with information that will benefit each member of your audience. But if you don’t believe in the information presented on the slides, then it will do no good to your audience.

It’s okay to fake it. We all have bad days, but even if you’re having a really horrible day, don’t let the audience know it. Smile, even if they can only hear your voice through the web conferencing system. Did you know people can hear your smile? When I’m having a rotten day and it’s time for me to host a webinar, I find it helpful to remember the words of Alistair Cooke who said, - A
professional is someone who can do their best work even when they don’t feel like it.

3. Rejection isn’t personal. Just because 250 people sign up to attend a webinar or other web conferencing system event is no guarantee that they will all show up. Just because those who show up are there does not mean they will participate in any kind of interactive features. Some things you can do to boost attendance and activity are to send reminders through email, offer tips in the email to help them enjoy the event, and provide clear instructions on where the event is located and how to log in once there.

4. Offer special, live content. Planning to replay the webinar or offering copies through email is a great way to promote the reason for your web conferencing system event. Unfortunately announcing it in advance could drive down the number of guests in the live audience. One way to solve this problem is to offer special content during the live webinar that won’t be available during the replay or available recordings.

5. Don’t look down. Recently I attended a webinar where the host spent most of the time looking down at his notes. Even though his web conferencing system software was top-notch, it gave the impression that he hadn’t taken the time to give the webinar the preparation it deserved. As an audience member, it made me wonder why I was spending time attending a webinar that the host couldn’t spend time preparing to launch.

6. Cheat a little. When hosting a webinar, I would be lost without my cheat sheet. It helps me keep focused during the event and sometimes, depending on the web conferencing system that I’m using, reminds me how to use certain features. I find it helpful to take my outline somewhere around my webcam. Since my webcam is built into the top of my monitor, I usually keep a small (but still easily readable) version of my outline right above it so I can quickly glance without being too obvious.

7. Have fun. Last but not least, just have fun with it. This doesn’t mean you have to pull off a comedy routine. It means don’t sweat the small stuff. If you are nervous and stressed out, then it will be easy for your guests to sense those feelings. Think of your webinar as a way to share the things you know with other people via web conferencing system software, without the hassle and expense of a conference that takes place at a physical location.

After your webinar, be sure to send thank you notes to your audience members. If you wish to poll them about their experience, attaching that to the thank you note is perfectly acceptable. You can also inform them about how to get a copy of the webinar or, if you plan to have it transcribed into a text document, a written version of the event as well.

Don’t forget to tell them about when to expect your next webinar so they can put the date on their calendar.

A resident of a successful, attractive neighborhood that was once an old quarry site; William Barcelon appreciates developing new uses for current things. It was this mindset that led to the development of Web Conference Classroom, a site that reviews webinar software designed to make communication easier between business owners and their staff members. When not working on his latest project or conducting video conferencing software reviews, Barcelon enjoys family events that include vegetarian cooking, entertaining stories, and singing karaoke.

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