- based on experience producing Nonprofit Marketing Guide’s Weekly Webinar Series (more than 100 webinars in last two and half years)
Just because you are great in person doesn’t mean you’ll be great at webinars. None of the same cues are there. You have little to nothing to respond to.
I learned an incredible amount about doing good webinars from my friend Claire Meyerhoff. She’s worked at ABC and CBS radio, as well as XM.
If you are quiet for more than 2-3 seconds, people assume a technology failure. Babble or hum, but do something. If you realize there's a problem, keep your listeners informed, tell them you're working on it.
Be aware of &quot;room noise,&quot; and especially what you're doing while you're talking. You may be used to tapping a pencil, or swiveling in your chair, but the microphone picks up those sounds. Squeaking chairs, typing on keyboard, nervous tapping habits Heavy breathing Loud pets, ringing phones Echos (use headsets!! No built in mics)
Make a clock and have &quot;posts&quot; that you need to hit by a certain time. If you know you need to be at your &quot;Top Ten List&quot; by :15 after the hour, your &quot;Three Rules&quot; by :30 and your &quot;Do's and Don'ts&quot; at :45, you will have a great sense for the timing of your entire show. Beginners should hit even more posts, and know where they can add or cut later in the program. It always takes longer live than it does in practice. If you hit it perfectly, you’ll have more time for Q&A. That’s much better than running over.
- Without the constant audience response, you go more quickly. - Changing visual once per minute helps keep people engaged. (I typically have about 50 slides on average for an hour) - Use extras slides to make points more clearly, not to cram in more stuff. - Use real examples or metaphorical images -Flickr creative commons by license for free images (many used here) -istockphoto.com has the best search engines for metaphors
Multi-taskers actually appreciate some good text on the slides – especially true when you rattling off lists, or numbers, or domains. Can I look at the deck on slideshare and still get the main points? Think about slide text as being “tweetable”
“ Practice” mode in the tools isn’t good enough. You need to practice live, even if it is just you connecting through three different computers. Watch audience view carefully
Be able to cut and paste pre-written text into chat windows Leave a custom voice mail Have someone monitoring email
Always move forward. If you suddenly remember a key point from a topic you covered five minutes previously, don't say, &quot;Oh, and one thing I wanted to say about xyz is 123.&quot; Instead, when you remember that key point, jot it down and you can use it when you sum up a section or at the end of your webinar. Moving forward is important when you make a mistake, too. In some cases, the listener may not have noticed, so you don't need to call attention to your error. Be fast on your feet and always thinking ahead
Something will ALWAYS go wrong, so come up with your contingency plans for the most likely problems and the catastrophic ones. What would you do if . . .
Get their attention and keep it by being conversational. Think about how you would explain things to an intelligent friend who is NOT in your field. You may assume everyone knows what you know. They don't. Be friendly. No one wants to hear a lecture. Your listener is less likely to tune you out if you use a casual, upbeat style. Smile. Even if it's a serious topic, the listener can't see you. Smiling while you talk forces you to speak more clearly, and you just sound better, overall. Try it!
Drop in some reminders. In radio, you never know when new listeners are joining you, so don't assume that they heard what you said three minutes ago. In a webinar, don't assume the listener has hung on to your every word. They haven’t.
Build polling and chat into presentation (include it in your run of show) Do what Beth says next!
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