Ways to Host a Great Webinar

By Jamie Davidson · May 24, 2016

Learn To Run A Successful Webinar

There are basic elements that are essential for any successful webinar, regardless of the topic. But how can you elevate your webinar from solid to fantastic? What’s the secret sauce that makes some webinars stand out from the rest?

Be yourself!

We’ve all been to good and bad webinars – and you know the difference. There is nothing more engaging than someone who comes out swinging with an authentic voice. While you always want to showcase your authority on the subject at hand, doing so in unique way will be so much more interesting to your guests. Tell personal stories, add in some humor where appropriate, and don’t worry too much about being 100% polished at all times.

“A strong, authentic, compelling voice is the expression of identity, guided by vision, and achieved through mastery.” –Todd Henry, Author “Louder Than Words,” Inc.

Listeners will be much more willing to go along for the ride with you if you come across as a genuine, real person than a stiff corporate robot. And yes, it is possible to be professional and human at the same time. Let your true self shine through to make a real connection with your audience.

Also, don’t forget to practice your presentation in front of a few trusted colleagues or friends before you host your webinar so you can assess how it plays for an audience. But remember, even if you make a mistake or a joke doesn’t land – that’s ok, just acknowledge it, laugh, and move on.

As you craft your webinar, keep the following ideas in mind:

  • What unique perspective or insight can you and you alone bring to the table?
  • How can you make this one webinar different than other webinars on the same topic? What hasn’t been said, or hasn’t been said in this way?
  • What actionable content can you provide your audience that they can go out and use in the real world?

If you can provide a unique experience using a sincere and candid voice – your audience will remember you. They’ll turn to you when they need more content and services you offer. It’s a matter of salience – what will stand out in their mind the week or month after your event? While your event can (and should) be professional and on-message, get creative with how you convey what you need to say. Your webinar attendees will thank you.

Presenter’s Checklist – Dos and Don’ts for a Great Webinar

Avoid these common problems that can put off viewers:

  • Start on time – people have set aside time in their day to attend; don’t make folks wait for stragglers. Start no more than 2-3 minutes after the set start time.
  • Don’t immediately jump into your product or service – especially in an educational webinar. Get some insight from registrants on topics of interest.
  • Turn your phone and any computer notifications off to avoid any disruptions. Close all other unnecessary programs too to ensure the best performance and a distraction-free event.
  • Run your event in a quiet, private room so there are no sound interruptions or snafus.
  • Create a plan for fielding questions. Will you take them? How many and in what format? Plan this step in advance so you’re not caught off guard.
  • Have a timer or clock nearby so you can track your progress and keep the webinar moving at a good pace. Know how long each section should take in advance.

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