How To Give Effective, Quality Webinars

Webinars are a great way to capture leads and provide information in a virtual meeting setting. They can be educational, promotional, or instructional. They can be free or you can charge for them. Obviously, free webinars get higher attendance than paid webinars.

Over the weekend I spoke at and attended MarketingCamp Silicon Valley. It was an “unconference” and a great place to network with fellow marketers. The cool thing about the event is that the morning session topics were pre-selected by attendees voting on the topics ahead of time. Then the afternoon sessions were voted on during lunch. All-in-all there were 40 sessions presented. The “unconference” method was about making it informal and more of a dialogue rather than drab presentations.

One of the highlights for me was a session on how to give effective quality webinars in your niche. Presented by Sharyn Fitzpatrick of Marcom Gurus, and author-publisher Mitchell Levy from HappyAbout, who together have given over 1,000 webinars, they shared some of their best tips on quality webinars.

Some highlights from their presentation on how to give effective, quality webinars:

  1. Always have at least two people implement/moderate a webinar to ensure technical difficulties and glitches don’t ruin your webinar.
  2. Plan your webinar like you plan a marketing event by always having a back-up plan in case the technology should fail ( or a hurricane should knock out the power for example).
  3. Best times to host a webinar are Tues, Wed, Thurs between 10am-1pm PT (tweet this tip!)
  4. Send out a survey ahead of time to ask for questions. At the end if no one has any questions you can always pull from that pool or create some on the fly to cover any important points you want to reiterate.
  5. Try and make it interactive with polls, incorporating video, or exercises.
  6. Make sure you have good audio, meaning invest in a good microphone and test it out ahead of time.
  7. Practice giving your webinar at least SIX times before you actually give it live.
  8. Create a script for your webinar so that you have specific times on when to advance the slides
  9. Consider pre-recording the speaker and playing it during the webinar making it seamless to participants and sparing your speaker exhaustion and potential nervousness.

I’m going to give a free webinar before the end of the year on the Art of Using Twitter, are you interested?

Some Webinar tools to consider: ReadyTalk, GoTo Meeting, WebEx Social.

What webinar tips would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments below.

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About Tracy Sestili

Tracy Sestili is CEO and Chief blogger at Social Strand Media. She is also the author of Taking Your Brand from the Bench to the Playing Field -- Social Media Fundamentals for Business.