You have scheduled your first webinar. Now what?
How can you plan for your webinar? What might go wrong?
This guide will help you to prepare and to cope with the inevitable glitches when they happen.
There are five aspects you need to look at in detail: hardware, software, your team, your audience, your presentation.
You need a microphone, a webcam, and lighting. If you try to scrimp on any of these, then your webinar will look amateurish.
Two standalone microphones stand out on Amazon:
- Blue Microphones Yeti USB Microphone – Silver ($125)
- Samson Meteor Mic USB Studio Microphone – Chrome ($70)
Either of these will give you good volume and a low background noise signal for your webinar.
Amazon have a wide choice of webcams from $7 – $50. Any $25+ webcam will work for your first webinar, and you do not need to spend $500 on a pro cam.
Using a separate webcam rather than the one built into your laptop or screen will give you better color and a clearer image that is less distorted.
Lighting is crucial to looking good on camera. The cheapest solution is a portable lightbox such as the Neewer® 700W Professional Photography 24″x24″/60x60cm Softbox from Amazon for $70. This lightbox comes supplied with daylight CFL bulbs so that you can use them in a room with a window. (Mixing lower temperature tungsten bulbs with daylight from a window is a recipe for disaster.) Using a light box will give you a diffused light source that will help to avoid harsh shadows.
You need webinar software that is simple to use and reasonably priced. ClickMeeting is one webinar solution you should consider.
Screenshot – Source
Invite people from your email subscriber list, advertise the webinar on your website and promote it using social media. Leverage the power of friends and influencers to increase your reach. Inviting an influential contact as a co-presenter is a great way to boost the number of attendees, though it will require compromises regarding your planned content. Co-presenters are likely to want an opportunity to promote their own services, so you need to be certain that these are aligned with your audience’s needs before asking anyone to sit alongside you.
Respect your audience. Each attendee has committed to spending a whole hour of their time with you. That is a gigantic slice of their day, so make sure that each person gets so much value that they spread the word about your webinars and how useful they are.
You want to look your best because first impressions do count. Pay a visit to your hairdresser or barber. Make sure the camera is not showing all your office clutter and wear something plain because bright colors and patterns can be very irritating on camera.
Make a deliberate effort to speak more slowly and clearly than you usually do because listeners may be unfamiliar with your accent. Remember to have a glass of water to hand in case you become hoarse from talking so much.
Having two presenters will make your webinar presentation more interesting than having just one. Discussion and questions are a more natural and interesting way of covering issues compared to a monologue from one presenter.
Your presentation must focus on solving problems your attendees have told you about. Keep your focus on your attendees and avoid the temptation to slip into selling mode, which would make your attendees exit immediately.
If you do use the webinar as a selling opportunity, then make it clear at the start and ensure that even those who choose not to buy have a good experience. Avoid using 50 minutes of your hour to build up to your selling pitch. Rather, every minute of your webinar should be valuable for each and every attendee.
Putting it All Together
A webinar is a great way to destroy your reputation rather than building it if you do it the wrong way, with a lack of respect for attendees. Following this guide will help you to make your webinar a positive experience, and one that attendees will want to repeat.