Hot Tips On How to Host a Webinar

May 30 2010,

Summary:  You can’t expect to have everything perfect on your initial attempt at a webinar.  Following a few basic rules, you will learn how to host a webinar through proper execution and experience.

What are the do’s and don’ts you must grapple with regarding how to host a webinar?  These might change somewhat from one webinar to another based on the theme and content of each webinar.  Primary concerns and subject areas regarding webinar hosting are outlined below.

TIME LENGTH

1) 60-Minute Informational Webinars

Most people who host feel that an hour is about the longest you can hold the interest of a group.  This is usually true with informational webinars.  If you are presenting a concept, product, or service, the 60-minute program is good.  If you go much longer without enough new material, some participants will opt out before you get to the final sales pitch.

2) Q & A Training Webinars

If you are conducting training for members of a joint-venture group, it may take longer than an hour, especially if you are receiving many questions and/or input from several people.  Of course, a training program is not the same thing as an attempt to sell something.

HOW MUCH GROUP PARTICIPATION

1) Captivating the Audience

One of the first things you learn in how to host a webinar is the best way to get and keep the attention of your audience.  You may be very charismatic when you speak, and that might carry you through part of a webinar, but people want more from the experience than just looking at a slideshow and hearing you speak.

2) Opportunity for Input

As long as you hold someone’s interest, they will usually stick with your program, but if they are dying to ask something that you haven’t made clear to them, you must give them an opportunity for input.  The balance of participation and instruction is the secret of anyone’s success in the webinar program.

HOW TO PRESENT OR REPRESENT

1) Maintain Continuity

Information for your audience should be presented in brief, to-the-point outline form so they can jot each item down and make notes as they see fit.  The best way to maintain continuity with a webinar is to pre record the basic program and pause the playback as necessary to keep everyone up to speed on the material that is presented.

2) Format Focus

Keep all your printed outlines, examples, and displays in conformance to the program format.  Don’t attempt to interject subjects that aren’t relevant to the matter at hand.  Humor is optional and shouldn’t be heavily interjected into a serious program.

IN CONCLUSION – EXPERIENCE IS THE BEST TEACHER

It’s not likely that you will be an instant success with a webinar, but the experience you gain with each one you host will season your ability for future webinars.

Learning how to host a webinar takes place during the events sometimes as much as it does in the planning stages.  Ask for feedback from every webinar you conduct, and use it to make successive ones better.

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