In our last post, we discussed webinars as a training tool, primarily designing them to be interesting.
We covered some of the general things to think about during the creation of a webinar. Now we’re moving our focus on to something more specific: how to host a webinar, and do it well.
Whether you’re hosting a webinar as a marketing tool or using it to train your employees, the basics of great hosting are the same.
Here are our top eight tips that will help you put that wow factor into your next webinar:
- Plan thoroughly. No matter how well-versed you may be in the topic at hand or how experienced you are with in-person training you still need to plan your webinar. Winging it isn’t going to work if you want your employees to get the most value from the experience. Even if you’re a great presenter, without planning you may lose your train of thought or begin rambling to fill time. With thorough planning, you can put yourself in a better position to avoid these pitfalls.
- Along with planning comes script writing. No, you don’t have to follow the script word-for-word during the actual webinar, but you need some framework from which to base your webinar. Within the script, you should go ahead and include questions you’ll pose to the audience as well. The best webinars tend to have interactive moments and critical thinking questions thrown in between small chunks of information, to keep employees active throughout the process.
- Try to build a personal relationship with trainees. If you’re training employees within a relatively small business setting, this may be easier since you may already be familiar with attendees. If you’re training employees you don’t know, you can still start developing a relationship. Send personal emails leading up to the start of the webinar. Then at the beginning of the webinar make the effort to get to know a bit about attendees.
- Give attendees the option to ask questions as they go. One of the biggest problems we often see with webinars is that presenters wait until the end to take questions. It’s more efficient to let attendees and trainees ask questions in-the-moment as they have one. It’s a simple way to improve everyone’s experience.
- Give trainees materials to go along with the webinar. This is an incredibly helpful learning tool and it’s also going to help the people attending become more engaged. You can give them a variety of materials from worksheets to follow along with to hard copies of the slides you’ll be presenting. This is also a useful tool for employees to refer to later when they’re actually in the field or on the job.
- A great webinar host is someone who’s able to present alongside visual features. Think about incorporating elements like pictures and videos to reinforce what you’re talking about in your presentation.
- When you’re presenting, do so in a way that’s conversational and feels natural for you. Don’t try to push yourself too far in any one direction because that’s going to come across to your audience. If you’re worried about your ability to be conversational, give your webinar a run through a time or two with a co-worker as your audience.
- Consider having someone present along with you. A co-presenter can be a strong resource, particularly when it comes to employee training. You’ll have someone who can help you engage employees and you can build on each other’s knowledge. If there are questions from trainees that one of you can’t answer, you can rely on the other.
How do you host webinars that dazzle? We’d love to hear from you!