Your content is everything. This step will take the longest, but if done right, your content will be worth it. Not only do webinars engage in the moment, but they can also be used after the fact on-demand, or be repurposed into eBooks, infographics, and blog posts.
Tips for hosting a great webinar.
1. Find the Right Topic
A great webinar starts with great content. What do your customers, prospects, employees, and those in the industry want to see? What products is your organization trying to drum up interest for? Once you have an initial idea, then you can refine it. You have your purpose, now you need to create a webinar topic that will match your purpose. Webinars to educate? A how-to webinar will go over well. Trying to spark discussion in the industry? Start thinking of expert speakers to bring in for a poll. The right topic can only be chosen when you have an audience in mind. Who is this webinar for? The topic you choose should interest potential attendees and align with a pain point they need to be solved.
2. Pick Your Webinar Content Format
This is where content creation gets interesting. Webinar tools have grown leaps and bounds in the last year. You no longer have to put up with a pre-recorded webinar built of simple slides, no video element, and no live Q&A. You have options!
Popular Webinar Formats:
- One speaker
- Multiple speakers
- Panel discussion with moderator
- Live Polling with moderator
- Interview led by a moderator
3. Choose the Right Date
While a webinar can be thrown together quickly, the best ones take preparation, especially if you’re planning to market the webinar. A strategic email marketing campaign cannot be thrown together at the drop of a hat. When choosing a date and time for your webinar, first consider your webinar process. How long will it take to find a speaker, build the event, create a marketing campaign, and so on?
With an idea of how long it will take to execute, it’s time to open the calendar. Go as many weeks in advance as it will take to build the webinar. Webinars that take place on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday see higher registration than those on Monday or Friday (and much higher than those on the weekend).
If your webinar is global, consider that when choosing the time. Otherwise, choose 11:00 am or 1:00-2:00 pm as your start time. Participants are unlikely to attend webinars early in the morning, during lunch, or late at night.
Most importantly, be aware of holidays or special events. If you decide to plan a webinar on a government holiday, there is a good chance you will have very few registrations. Remember, attendees want times that are convenient and don’t take away too much time from their lives.
4. Choose a Relevant Title
Many companies have their own terminology and are used to phrasing things in a specific way. But that doesn’t mean attendees speak the same language. As you refine your webinar topic, look to SEO keywords to guide the way. You’ll want to create an engaging title that will show up in search, one that explains what the webinar is about.
How to pick a title that will show up in search
- Find trending keywords using Google Trends and keyword tools
- Think about industry terms
- Utilize keywords in the title
- Keep the title short and keyword focused
- Make sure the title properly conveys the topic of the webinar
- Test a few titles with others in the company to see which resonates
Find the Perfect Webinar Host, Speakers, or a Moderator
The webinar speaker is a major draw of a webinar. Whether you choose to have one speaker, multiple speakers or include a moderator, the decision should be made with thoughtful consideration. You’ll want to choose an expert on the topic. From there, a well-known speaker can draw in more registrants. Use your speaker as a tool to create the best webinar possible. Without an engaging speaker, you won’t see as many registrations or high attendee engagement during a session.
Choosing a group of speakers can be a challenge, but can also help to vary the webinar format. A team of speakers that is well-practiced at switching back and forth and sharing their thoughts on topics they excel at can help to keep attendees engaged.
A moderator can be used when there are many speakers or if the webinar is a Q&A or an interview. A moderator should be thoughtful, able to think on the fly, and good at keeping the conversation moving. If you’re doing a live poll, your moderator will need to understand how Movazi Eventsworks so one can pull questions from the live audience.
Webinar Presentation Tips
Presenting virtually isn’t easy. Set your presenters, speakers, and your webinar, up for success by providing speakers with the following information about tips and tricks.
Rehearse; Your body language translates on camera and if you are not prepared is it extremely amplified. It will be very clear who has rehearsed and who has not. Take the appropriate time to rehearse your script and presentation flow alone, as well as with fellow panel. A polling session or interview will be more relaxed, but look at the questions ahead of time and formulate an outline of your answer.
Presenter Essentials; Script outline or presentation slides, remote IT support, personal laptop, additional microphone and lighting equipment, reliable internet
Remote Script; If you have notes or a script, keep the digital or printed document on a stand at eye height close to your camera. If this is not possible, keep the text in front of you below the camera. Try to memorize notes as much as possible so you maintain direct eye contact with the viewer. If you and a fellow presenter are both speaking together remotely, it is recommended to work out of the same document so you can follow along when not speaking.
Attire; Think carefully about your clothing. Be comfortable in what you wear. If you have a pale background, wear something with color and vice versa. Avoid highly patterned fabrics (distorts on camera), all black or all white (camera accentuates contrast).
Makeup; Depending on the lighting you may need to add some light makeup. Neutral, muted shades are recommended.
Eyeglasses; If you wear glasses, check for reflection in the lenses and change position accordingly. Take extra steps with the angle of your shot if you wear progressive lenses or bifocals. If you are required to read text on the screen through the lower part of your lenses, your head will tilt back creating an unattractive camera angle.
Camera Framing; The position of your camera and seating is very important. Take time to assess your options before rehearsal and try to establish a position so that you are correctly framed and centered in the image.
Lighting; Please use a lot of front light to shine on your face. Use a ring light and place the ring light directly above and behind your webcam
Background; Personalized space is good, but it should not be cluttered. It is suggested to add color to your background or use a virtual branded background.
Audio; Place your microphone anywhere from 8 to 12 inches away from your face. You may need to play with the distance to get the microphone to sound optimal. Test audio beforehand.
Body Language; Avoid waving your hands or gesticulating at all. Avoid touching your face. Avoid leaning forward into the camera.
Here is a quick list of best practices.
- 60 minutes or less
- Schedule for Midweek at 11 am or 2 pm
- Pick a title that is SEO optimized
- Make sure the presentation is branded
- Follow presentation best practices
- Vary formats during the presentation
- Engage attendees with quizzes, chat, and surveys
- Break long sessions into a webinar series
- Provide speakers with instruction or tech
Webinars are often lower effort than in-person, virtual, or hybrid events, but the benefits they provide long-term can be just as impressive. From establishing your organization as a thought leader to gathering leads, webinars play a big role in your total meeting and events program. With a great team that combines the expertise of planning and marketing, your event program can be a huge driver for sales and impact the organization as a whole. As you build your webinars, do it thoughtfully and strategically, make quality content, and track your success.