I’ve been a presenter on a webinar before, but it’s been a while, so I wasn’t sure what to expect when I went into Redback’s new studios to record a live studio webinar, Creating Compelling Content for your Webinars.
Luckily for me, the team at Redback Connect knows how to keep things relaxed to get the best on-camera outcome, both for presenters and for the audience.
In the lead-up to the webinar, my customer success manager held a briefing meeting and a webinar planning session with me.
The initial briefing meeting a few weeks prior to the live recording date was to explain the deadlines for the end-to-end webinar marketing and filming process. This included when different assets needed to be ready, such as the topic overview and landing page copy, as well as the webinar slide deck and a pre-recorded video.
The week before the live event, we followed that with a webinar planning meeting to run through the actual content and plan interactive elements, such as polls.
I also met my host, Michelle, who was to handle the introductions, interactive elements and generally keep the event moving. I went through my ideas for the flow of content, and we talked through the best way for the event to run.
On the day of the live event, I arrived about an hour before the scheduled start time. Usually 45 minutes is enough, but I wanted time to have a look around the studios.
A Redback Connect team member met me at the door and brought me through to the presenters’ lounge.
The studio set-up is COVID-safe, meaning it conforms to all public hygiene and physical distancing requirements.
I had ample time to familiarise myself with the staging, have some water and do my vocal exercises. Only joking… I didn’t have any water, I had a glass of wine.
Okay, okay, I didn’t have any wine, and I didn’t do any vocal exercises either. I probably should have, as public speaking is usually not my favourite thing. But the whole experience was so relaxed I felt fine.
Then Michelle arrived, and we had a chat and went into the studio together.
The team at Redback Connect is very friendly and approachable, so you can ask any questions you like. We chatted about the staging and the best way to attach the microphone to my dress and in the process got quite comfortable on the set.
Once you’re on-set, you’ll see a TV screen that shows you what the audience will see, as well as another screen above the camera showing your private copy of your webinar slides, with any notes added to help you remember all your talking points.
The producer has a run-sheet of the event, with the order of key elements such as polls, video and Q&A noted.
If you would like to move your own slides as you’re presenting, you’ll be given a clicker. If you have a moderator, they’ll have one as well to ensure they’re able to keep the event on track.
Michelle and I both had one, and she also had an iPad, on which live polling results appeared during the event.
We had loads of time, so we did a quick run-through of the content and fixed a few last-minute coordination issues so we knew who would move the slides during different parts of the event.
Then the producer counted us in… And we were live!
As the webinar got underway, Michelle welcomed the audience and ran through housekeeping issues such as how to use platform features to ask a question, and how to vote.
Then she introduced the topic and asked me the introductory question. I felt like it was quite easy to talk through the content I’d planned, and we got lots of responses to our live polls, which helped me connect with the audience on the other side of the camera.
Half-way through we showed a pre-recorded video during the event. It was simple — the producer counted Michelle in so we knew when the video was due to start, and then we picked up again on the other side.
There were a few things I forgot to say, but overall I felt like it went very smoothly!
When there are two or more of you in the studio, it’s much easier to interact, smile and chat, which makes for a better viewing experience.
It was a short webinar, and we kept to time, so it wasn’t long before we were done and asking the audience for their feedback!
After a final chat with the studio team about how it went, viewing statistics and engagement metrics — all of which are available on Redback’s account management portal — it was over!
If I was doing it again, I’d probably call for questions early in the event and consider answering them along the way to encourage interaction with the audience early and often.
I’d also write my notes at the bottom of my slides, which are visible to presenters just above the studio camera. If you place your notes at the top of your slides, you appear to be looking over the head of the audience.
But we live and learn! Overall it was a great experience, and the Redback team made it much simpler and easier than I expected. I’m off to work on my next webinar presentation!!
You can watch a recording of my webinar, Creating Compelling Content here