10 Pro Tips for Creating Great Webinars 

By redback

Over the 13 years we’ve been running webinars at Redback Connect, we’ve learnt a thing or two about what makes the best stand out from the rest.

So what makes a great webinar, as opposed to a good, or even a bad one? For the answers we went straight to the experts — our staff — who, in 2020 alone, helped conduct more than 1,500 webinars for small and large corporations, government departments, industry associations and not-for-profit organisations.

Here are our top 10 pro tips for creating great webinars.

 

Tip #1 Set up your camera correctly

 

Always test your camera before you join a meeting or event remotely. While a laptop camera will suffice on most occasions, external webcams often provide better quality.

Whether you’re using a stand-alone webcam or the camera in your laptop or other device to show video of you speaking, position it so it’s level with your face.

If you’re using your laptop camera, raise it so your audience isn’t looking up your nostrils (no need to go high tech here – a simple pile of books will do the job).

If you generally plug your laptop into a separate monitor, consider unplugging it for video calls so you can look into the camera and maintain eye contact.

Make sure the area behind you is uncluttered, even if the rest of the room isn’t. The camera only sees a small area.

Carla Giurleo (Assistant Manager Digital Events Delivery) and Jordan Moll (Digital Event Producer)

 

Tip #2 Smile, you’re on camera

 

When you’re speaking on camera, especially if you’re presenting, make sure you smile.

Smiling releases chemicals including dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin, which are the brain’s own feel-good drugs.

What’s more, research has found that smiling not only makes you feel happy and, as a result, more relaxed and confident, it also makes people you’re presenting to feel more comfortable as well.

Smiling activates the part of your brain that processes sensory rewards, so when you smile at someone, they feel rewarded, and the audience will also feed off your positive energy.

Michael Harris, Head of Digital Event Delivery

 

Tip #3 Pretend you’re live even if you’re not

 

If you’re pre-recording your webinar, pretend you’re broadcasting it to a live audience which will limit mistakes and reduce the number of times you have to shoot a sequence more than once.

If you do make a simple mistake, see if you can get away with it with a quick acknowledgement, make a joke of it and quickly move on. It will also show your human side and inject a bit of spontaneity into proceedings which will also help to keep your audience engaged. Remember, nobody’s perfect.

Melanie Forbes, Customer Success Manager

 

Tip #4 Choose a private place

 

Make sure you’re in a quiet location where you won’t be disturbed.

Lock the door or put up a ‘Do not disturb’ sign if possible, because no one wants to be that person trending on Twitter whose child or other family member walks in unexpectedly, or even inappropriately, mid-presentation.

Michelle Walker, Presenter Experience Manager

 

Tip #5 Get familiar with your video conferencing platform

 

Make sure you and your presenters spend some time getting familiar with the online platform you’ll be using to host your webinar.

You should know how to mute, and unmute, your microphone and attendees if required, where to turn video off and on, how to share your screen and where to open a chat.

It’s also important to make it as easy as possible for your attendees to join. Some platforms like Redback Connect allow participants to join a webinar without dialling a phone number or entering a passcode — you just have to click on a link.

Michelle Walker, Presenter Experience Manager 

 

Tip #6 Make sure your presenters are prepared

 

Get to know your presenters before your event. It’s imperative that they are passionate, can speak confidently, have access to the right resources, and know their topic back to front.

They should not only be comfortable speaking to a group of people, they should also be familiar with the online environment, where it can be harder to interpret visual cues from the audience.

Where possible, consider having two or more presenters instead of just one, which will provide more opportunities for conversation and a wider range of opinions.

You should also consider the technology your presenter will be using. Do they know how to use the platform, share their screen and make the most of other features, or will you have to train them?

Alicia Hawkins (Business Development Manager) and Brett Cowan (Sales and Marketing Operations Manager)

 

Tip #7 Get everyone involved

 

When you’re presenting with other guests in a studio or another location, speak to both the camera and the other people seated with you, rather than focussing your attention on just one or the other.

Interaction between everyone on screen will help to keep both your viewers and presenters engaged.

While spontaneous discussion is a great way to keep everyone involved, it’s also a good idea to share a couple of questions with each of your live guests before your webinar so they can come prepared with answers.

Jason Hooker, Digital Event Producer

 

Tip #8 Make sure your internet connection is up to scratch

 

Your dream webinar can quickly turn into an embarrassing nightmare if you or your remote presenters or other guests can’t get online, or your video is glitchy.

If you’re presenting your webinar from an office or studio, test the connection beforehand.

If you’re presenting remotely, make sure anyone else you’re sharing the connection with doesn’t start streaming an HD movie or undertaking any other type of bandwidth-intensive activity at the same time.

Sometimes Wi-Fi can be unreliable. For the best possible connection plug your laptop or computer directly into your modem using an ethernet cable.

Ensure your webinar offers attendees the option of viewing a lower-resolution version. Redback Connect’s webinar platform lets attendees select the appropriate setting for their local internet speed.

Gianno Punla, Presenter Experience and Customer Marketing Manager

 

Tip #9 Arrive early

 

Don’t leave everything until the last minute. Get everyone settled and comfortable on set, or if you’re presenting from a remote location, set up your space, and join as early as you can.

The more prepared you are, the less stressed you’ll be when everything kicks off.

Chona Gomez, Head of Customer Success 

 

Tip #10 Don’t be afraid to be yourself

 

Remember, video is a visual medium so don’t be afraid to be expressive.

Positive body language can make both your fellow presenters and viewers more engaged.

Don’t be afraid to dress colourfully, but remember if you’re broadcasting from a studio and using a green screen background, don’t wear green! Do wear a piece of clothing onto which a microphone can easily be clipped.

Most of all, just be yourself — the more relaxed you are, the more relaxed and comfortable your audience and guests will be.

Jason Hooker, Digital Event Producer

 

For more ways to make the most of your webinars this year, read our 21 Webinar Trends and Tips for 2021.

 

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