A few years ago, telling colleagues you were going to run a webinar would have prompted lots of questions.
These days, webinars are an accepted part of the marketing mix, especially when selling to other businesses or making presentations to clients.
However, running a webinar is a skill in itself. Many people get the basics wrong, so here are five tips on how to run a webinar.
1. Run your webinar professionally
Your audience might be on the other side of a computer screen, but that doesn’t mean you should be any less than professional when you host your webinar.
Some people believe they behave more professionally and work more diligently when kitted out in smart attire. If you’re getting ready to run a webinar, consider dressing as if you were attending a real-life meeting.
That means no pyjamas, tracksuits, or — dare I say it — onesies!
2. Don’t multitask while hosting a webinar
If you’re trying to figure out how to run a webinar, one piece of advice is simple: keep your attention on the webinar at all times.
Don't be tempted to send a quick text or check your emails while you’re hosting the webinar. People may twig that you’re not fully engaged. And if you’re not, why should they be?
Shut down any software on your computer that isn’t related to hosting the webinar. You don’t want notifications or embarrassing emails popping up while you share your screen.
3. Be an accommodating host
You’re the one running the webinar, so it’s your job to make sure it starts when schedule. In fact, it’s a good idea to get there early so everyone has a chance to get to grips with your webinar system’s interface.
If people run into difficulties while the webinar is running, be as accommodating as possible. After all, not everyone is tech-savvy.
4. Check your video and audio settings
It's important your webinar’s audio and visuals are as good as possible. Set your screen’s resolution to 1024x786. This should display well on most computers without consuming too much bandwidth.
If you need people to follow what you’re doing on screen, don’t move the mouse too quickly. Double-check your volume, as well. You want to be clear, but not deafening.
5. Be a friendly webinar host
When you start running the webinar, take the time to introduce yourself and everyone else who’ll be presenting. Make sure you explain how the webinar is structured, so people know what to expect.
If you’re hosting an online meeting with discussions, encourage everyone else to introduce themselves too.
Webinars are a powerful way to connect with people in different locations — even when they’re on different continents. Encouraging people to attend is often the hardest bit. Once they’ve logged on, make sure you give them something they won’t forget.
Copyright © 2014 Gary Gould, co-founder and CEO of Compare Cloudware Ltd