The use of webinars to carry out meetings is now on the rise due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. Webinars are suitable for organizations planning to share information with long-distance recipients but have no travel funds or transport modes. Such is also essential now when people are observing social distance measures.
Webinars are used for training, promoting a program, or passing information concerning a new product or service. With limited expertise, any organization or group of people can have a webinar session, provided they have the essentials and follow the right processes. In this article, we will highlight some steps when preparing your webinar.
1.Decide whether it’s the right tool
Webinar communication is not for all types of meetings. Before deciding on it, you need to consider factors to check if it’s the right tool for you. It should match your goals and your audience’s needs. According to this Economic Secretariat’s article, deciding on the best webinar platform to use takes three aspects; the audience, the matter at hand, and the time taken to cover the training topic. The reason for the timing is that most audiences lose focus when the training surpasses two hours. It would be best to inquire from experts their guidance and experience when they use the same to carry out their meetings. If it didn’t work for them, probably it won’t work for you and vice versa.
In a successful webinar session, there are three types of people involved. These include the organizers or facilitators, presenters, and event assistants. An organizer is responsible for the whole process since they locate the speaker, look for the location, and market the webinar event. Their primary function during the webinar session is to introduce the speakers moderating and encouraging the audience.
When it comes to presenters, they should only focus on the material for the webinar. They shouldn’t have any other duty to avoid disrupting the content. The assistants’ primary task is to assist the presenters and organizers when they get overwhelmed by the process, including answering some of the audience’s questions and checking the technical hitches. For a successful session, one needs to get their roles right and be trained before the webinar date.
There are at least four formats used in webinar sessions. These include the one speaker, interview style, moderated panel discussion, and an interactive webinar. For the one speaker webinar, it’s only a person who speaks while the rest listens. It requires fewer people to coordinate and make it happen, while for the cons, it gives only one voice and perspective. With the interview style, the interviewer provides predetermined questions that need the audience’s answers.
The good thing about this session is that it’s more engaging, while its disadvantage is that it requires more people for training, scheduling, and coordinating. The moderated panel discussion uses multiple people placed on the active line simultaneously with a moderator to control their participation. It gives varieties of voices and perspectives, and it’s always challenging to plan and coordinate. The interactive session allows the audience to fully participate and understand the topic entirely due to active engagement. It only accommodates a small group and requires someone skilled as a moderator.
Webinars take into account the visuals and audio for them to be effective in passing and exchanging messages. Those who use plain slides with texts lose the meaning of a webinar and don’t perform well. To make your webinar engaging, you can create an introductory slide informing your audience on how to log in and the time for the webinar and introduce the presenters highlighting their job titles, organizations, and their photos, if available. You also need to provide some quick overview of the schedule and what is expected of the audience.
5.Getting a webinar tool and finalizing
There are varieties of webinar tools available to choose from these days. The right webinar tool depends on several factors: the size of the audience, cost, required features, handling of the audio, and recording the webinar for future viewing. After getting the right tool and having all processes set, you need to set the webinar’s agenda then have a practical session to ensure everything works perfectly. Next, you can reserve your equipment and space before registering members and deciding whether to cost your webinar and at how much. After everything gets set, you can publicize your webinar.
Planning for a webinar is an easy process only if you follow it well and get the right tools, depending on the type of session you would like to have. If it’s a complicated process like the interactive session, you need to get someone experienced to set up the whole session and to regulate the audience.