The secrets to a great webinar

The secrets to a great webinar

If you have ever used GoToWebinar you will be familiar with just how easy it is to use, that being said there are still a few things you can do in order to ensure that your webinar is successful.  The following tips are all about preparation. It doesn’t matter how interesting or important a subject is, or even how passionate the speaker feels about it if they are not prepared when the time comes to present.

Preparing for the webinar

  • If you plan to present from a laptop be sure to use a headset and mute your laptops microphone, this will ensure your Attendees can hear you clearly and there is no annoying echo.
  • It doesn’t matter if you are planning to Host your webinar from a Windows PC or a Mac, you should always run through the applications you plan to use and make sure they are functioning correctly.  If you plan to be using more than one of them at a time be sure to do a couple of practice runs to check that they all work together in they way you want.
  • Have a back up computer ready to go just in case. You never know what’s going to happen, and as a believer in Murphy’s Law I recommend having a second computer join as a Panelist and promoted to an Organizer.  Not only does that mean they can take over the webinar should something go wrong with your main computer, it also allows a colleague to manage any Q and A while you focus on presenting.  Also if you happen to be presenting from a Mac and have a Windows PC as your back up, it can perform the recording duties for your webinar.
  • Check your connection.  If you are using a Windows PC to host your webinar, run the GoToMeeting Connection Wizard to ensure you have the best possible connection to the Citrix Online servers.
  • Planning to share some audio/video during your webinar? Be sure to read my previous posts and also do a couple of test runs well in advance.
  • Prepare a written intro and outro for your webinar so that you sound professional and do not ramble. It’s also a good idea to  run through a brief “house keeping” where you explain to your Attendees what to expect and who/how to ask for help. This is also a good time to tell your Attendees if/when you are planning to have Q and A time.

Put that second computer to good use

  • GoToWebinar features a “Waiting Room” that your Attendees will see until you start the webinar.  You can customize the waiting room to a point, but another option is to prepare a PowerPoint or Keynote slide to display the information and pictures you want.  Do this from your second (back up) computer and share it’s screen with out clicking the Start Broadcast button and then when the time comes make your main computer the Presenter and begin the webinar.
  • Broadcast music or any other audio to your Attendees while they are waiting for the webinar to being. Simply follow this guide and click the Start Broadcast button and give your Attendees something to listen to while they wait.
  • Have a colleague manage the Questions and Answers from the second computer while you are presenting, that way you can keep focus.

During and after the webinar

  • Some people do not like the beep that you hear while you are on hold wait for the Organizer to Start the Broadcast, you can dis able this. You can also disable the Entry/Exit chimes for when an Organizer or Panelist joins or leaves the conference call. Simply go to your Audio pane in the GoToWebinar panel, and click on the small Edit button, as shown here:

  • Instruct all Panelists on the conference callto mute themselves when they are not speaking, this will reduce background noise for all listening.
  • Finally, at the conclusion of the webinar once you have finished your outro and thanked your Attendees for taking part, be sure to end the webinar and conference call.  Many Organizers have been caught out having post webinar conversations with their Panelists or showing their Email etc to and Attendee who decided to hang around!
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