Tips for Webinar Presenters
- Make sure the web registration page works. One firm had a great seminar description page, but when I clicked to register I saw a generic “page not found” error that suggested I contact the webmaster. After a week, I contacted the competition instead.
- Figure out the minimum information attendees need to give to register. There were two webinars I thought of attending, but because the firm asked for too much info, I stopped.
- Please tell me on the registration page how long the online conference should last.
- Tell me beforehand what the system requirements for attending are. I don’t want to log into a webinar only to find I need to download software or use a specific web browser. Also keep in mind some participants may not be able to install software on their own computer for security reasons.
- Immediately confirm the user’s successful registration.
- Start and end on time. Don’t delay me because you expect more people to log in.
- Send several reminder emails to me about the web meeting. One vendor made the process easy. They provided a confirmation email with a link that added the event to my calendar for my time zone. It also included the URL, pass code, audio dial-in number, webinar’s software requirements, agenda and the phone number for technical support.
- Please do a “trial run” of your presentation. On the last webinar I had today, the presenter couldn’t figure out how to stop the “on hold” music. His instructions were competing with the song lyrics till someone came to his rescue.
- Confirm that the attendees can see your screen or slide when you start. It also helps to have a “spotter” who can alert you to problems such as audio or desktop resolution issues.
- I suspect you have great presentation skills so don’t waste them by reading just your PowerPoint deck.
- “Oh, my gosh…did you know Tom Brady has a cast!” And that was one of the tamer lines I heard in the background conversation. Find a quiet conference room and tell your office mates not to interrupt unless they also want a cast.
- Let me know early on if the presentation will be available for downloading. Don’t assume I can stay for the duration.
- Most presenters need to slow down. I don’t know if it’s nerves or that you can’t see your audience. This can be a real problem if you’re demoing software as there can be a latency factor so your words and actions don’t sync.
- If the conferencing software allows you to mute attendees’ phones, please do so unless it’s a well-behaved group.
- Tell attendees what the policy is for asking questions and if all will be answered.
- If you plan on using audience polls, please prepare your questions beforehand. Don’t ask me to rate the webinar before the end.
- Turn off instant messaging or auto email notifications on your presentation computer unless you prefer us to watch that YouTube video your friend just IM’ed.
- Don’t use a computer that prominently displays icons showing you haven’t installed your latest software patches or anti-virus updates. Make sure your desktop doesn’t contain anything that might be offensive to your audience.
- Don’t show me real customer data unless it’s your own or tell us you have permission to use it. I’d much prefer to see scrubbed data than to have someone’s information revealed.
- Ask for feedback on your presentation if you want to improve.
- Send a follow up email telling me that the presentation has been posted and where to get a copy. This is also a good time to answer any questions I submitted, but didn’t get answered during the allotted time.
Tips for the Webinar Attendees
- If you don’t want to run the risk of getting unsolicited email, don’t use your primary email address. Use an alternate, but valid email address.
- Most webinars provide an email with the URL to join. Test this link well before the web meeting starts. You won’t be able to join the conference, but you should get an idea of whether you’ll need other software like an ActiveX component.
- Put you phone on mute if possible especially if you’re eating or listening to music. It’s amazing how much background noise such as people typing comes through especially for attendees who wear headsets.
- Don’t put your phone on “hold” during the webinar. The other attendees don’t like hearing your “hold” recording or music during the presentation.
- This is not the time to play “stump the chump” or file a grievance with the presenters. Don’t be one of those people that create the most obscure hypothetical question for the sake of getting the presenter to admit they don’t know the answer.
- Be respectful of others when asking questions. Ask the presenter if it’s OK to ask another question rather than assuming it is. You’re seldom the only one with questions.
After watching these webinars, I’m glad I don’t have to do these presentations. I did my share and made my mistakes. I found out the hard way that some web conferencing providers don’t like dual monitors and that I speak too fast. The best webinars I attended were ones where presenters and attendees had a mutual respect for each other and their time.
Last Updated (Wednesday, 09 April 2008 04:47)