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8 Tips on How to Run Your First Webinar

8 Tips on How to Run Your First Webinar

If you have come up with a great idea for a webinar, the next step is to start creating your webinar. The first thing you need is great content. Make sure that the content you use is as specific as possible, and that you go into a lot of detail. This is going to help you stay focused on the topic, and keep things running smoothly without going off-topic. For example, if your topic is about pet care, narrow it down to a specific type of pet care. Once you have content, you can start getting into actually creating and running the webinar. Here are some tips to help get you started.

1. Find speakers.

It is a good idea to choose a speaker who is an expert on the subject that the webinar will be about. After all, you need to know that it is someone who knows the subject inside and out, and who is able to be comfortable in front of a camera. They also need to be able to answer any and all questions from viewers, which is bound to happen eventually.

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2. Choose the right platform.

When choosing a platform, look for one that offers a free trial period. This gives you a chance to try out the product before making any long-term commitments. You get to see how it works, and you can try various platforms, such as ClickMeeting, Adobe Connect, and Google+ Hangouts until you find the one that best suits your needs.

3. Understand the technology.

It is important that you know how to use all of the webinar tools and technology before you actually go live. Make sure that you are comfortable with them before going live so your webinar looks professional. Your learners are likely to notice if you do not know how to use certain tools, and this can lead to disengagement of their eLearning experiences.

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4. Choose the right format.

Next, you have to decide on the format of the webinar. Will it be hosted by one presenter, or will it be a question and answer webinar featuring two or more speakers? Two factors in choosing a format will be the subject and the availability of speakers who are qualified.

5. Test the webinar.

Before going live, it is a good idea to test the webinar to make sure that everything is going to go smoothly when it is showtime. If you wait until the last minute, there are dozens of things that can, and likely will go wrong. Get friends and family members to log into the platform, and take part in the test webinar and get their feedback.

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6. Give learners clear instructions.

Even if you are familiar with the platform, your learners may not be. So, take a few moments to show them the functions and features that they will need to use. Show them where they can ask and answer questions, take part in polls and surveys, etc. Remember, you are using webinars to develop relationships with customers, so make sure that you do what you can to make things easy for them.

7. Create a webinar-ready space.

Make sure that you have a space to work in that is quiet and free of disruptions and distractions. This is another way to make your webinar look professional. If there is a lot going on, learners are not going to be able to concentrate on the webinar itself. Make sure that your computer is ready for recording, and close any apps that you don’t need.

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8. Record the webinar.

When you host live webinars, be sure to record them so attendees can watch them at a different time, and to allow learners who were not able to attend the chance to see it. You may even want to use the webinar as part of a larger eLearning course, or to reference later. Just be sure to record the webinar only, and not the personal data of your learners.

Featured photo credit: startupstockphotos.com via pexels.com

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Jane Hurst

Writer, editor

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

When giving a presentation or speech, you have to engage your audience effectively in order to truly get your point across. Unlike a written editorial or newsletter, your speech is fleeting; once you’ve said everything you set out to say, you don’t get a second chance to have your voice heard in that specific arena.

You need to make sure your audience hangs on to every word you say, from your introduction to your wrap-up. You can do so by:

1. Connecting them with each other

Picture your typical rock concert. What’s the first thing the singer says to the crowd after jumping out on stage? “Hello (insert city name here)!” Just acknowledging that he’s coherent enough to know where he is is enough for the audience to go wild and get into the show.

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It makes each individual feel as if they’re a part of something bigger. The same goes for any public speaking event. When an audience hears, “You’re all here because you care deeply about wildlife preservation,” it gives them a sense that they’re not just there to listen, but they’re there to connect with the like-minded people all around them.

2. Connect with their emotions

Speakers always try to get their audience emotionally involved in whatever topic they’re discussing. There are a variety of ways in which to do this, such as using statistics, stories, pictures or videos that really show the importance of the topic at hand.

For example, showing pictures of the aftermath of an accident related to drunk driving will certainly send a specific message to an audience of teenagers and young adults. While doing so might be emotionally nerve-racking to the crowd, it may be necessary to get your point across and engage them fully.

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3. Keep going back to the beginning

Revisit your theme throughout your presentation. Although you should give your audience the credit they deserve and know that they can follow along, linking back to your initial thesis can act as a subconscious reminder of why what you’re currently telling them is important.

On the other hand, if you simply mention your theme or the point of your speech at the beginning and never mention it again, it gives your audience the impression that it’s not really that important.

4. Link to your audience’s motivation

After you’ve acknowledged your audience’s common interests in being present, discuss their motivation for being there. Be specific. Using the previous example, if your audience clearly cares about wildlife preservation, discuss what can be done to help save endangered species’ from extinction.

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Don’t just give them cold, hard facts; use the facts to make a point that they can use to better themselves or the world in some way.

5. Entertain them

While not all speeches or presentations are meant to be entertaining in a comedic way, audiences will become thoroughly engaged in anecdotes that relate to the overall theme of the speech. We discussed appealing to emotions, and that’s exactly what a speaker sets out to do when he tells a story from his past or that of a well-known historical figure.

Speakers usually tell more than one story in order to show that the first one they told isn’t simply an anomaly, and that whatever outcome they’re attempting to prove will consistently reoccur, given certain circumstances.

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6. Appeal to loyalty

Just like the musician mentioning the town he’s playing in will get the audience ready to rock, speakers need to appeal to their audience’s loyalty to their country, company, product or cause. Show them how important it is that they’re present and listening to your speech by making your words hit home to each individual.

In doing so, the members of your audience will feel as if you’re speaking directly to them while you’re addressing the entire crowd.

7. Tell them the benefits of the presentation

Early on in your presentation, you should tell your audience exactly what they’ll learn, and exactly how they’ll learn it. Don’t expect them to listen if they don’t have clear-cut information to listen for. On the other hand, if they know what to listen for, they’ll be more apt to stay engaged throughout your entire presentation so they don’t miss anything.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm4.staticflickr.com

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