Best practices for getting your webinar speaker ready

Sanchi
• September 23, 2020
Best practices for getting your webinar

W

ebinars are a critical piece in your marketing strategy. They are a powerful tool to generate leads, attract a broad audience, establish authority, improve brand awareness, boost ROI. Your webinar speaker holds the key to the success of your webinar as they’re the ones who keep your participants bound to their seats during the session. Therefore, speakers’ sessions are the crux of the matter of an ideal webinar.

Rather than being blinded to unforeseen circumstances, as a host, it’s wise to be aware of possible challenges and prepare your speaker to make the webinar successful. 

Read along for a list of 10 best practices to prepare your speaker for a smooth webinar and neutralise any threats that may disrupt your live webinar.

(Read: What is a Webinar? Getting Started with Webinars? Here’s what you need to know

1. Conduct dry runs for the webinar

An excellent presentation or performance requires preparation and practice. The crucial part here is to update and rectify the issues faced during the dry run. These may be related to content, speech, smooth transition of slides, audio or video quality. 

During your dry-runs, check the functionality of the engagement tools, like using the chat, how to conduct Q&A session, and polling features. 

That will also help schedule the webinar within a defined time frame. Be sure to make the required corrections in the slide presentation before it goes live. Time spent on planning always reaps benefits.

2. Coach your speakers on effective presentation skills

It’s great to find an experienced speaker, but sometimes the speakers are either not so experienced or not so comfortable with a live session. It is a good idea to coach the speaker for effective presentation skills so that the webinar is engaging, interactive and not a “Death by PowerPoint” presentation. 

The speaker’s voice shouldn’t be monotonous but vibrant to connect with the attendees.   

3. Prepare to engage

To break the tedious presentation, add some fun, interesting activity. Attendee participation can bring life to your presentation. Select a webinar platform which lays focus on interactive features like raise hand, emojis, chats etc. The Speaker should be familiar with using and understanding these features. 

Start by playing some team-building games or ice-breaking exercises. 

The presentation should include some images and video-clips or maybe some fascinating facts. It is always a good idea to add relevant statistics and case studies.

Speakers should portray relaxed body language and modulate the tone and pitch of the voice to make the speech exciting.

4. Create compelling content structure and script

If the speaker is great, but the script is weak, the webinar will fail to deliver the expected results. The script of the webinar is like a map; it guides the complete session. The content should be informative, cover all key areas, and should be easy to understand. 

The script should highlight areas to stress. It should indicate precisely when to call for Q&A, poll, pause, and end. If the script is compelling, the speaker will be confident and prepared, and the result would be a flawless presentation. 

Rather than being blinded to unforeseen circumstances, it’s better to be aware of possible challenges and prep your speaker to make the webinar successful.

Rather than being blinded to unforeseen circumstances, it’s better to be aware of possible challenges and prep your speaker to make the webinar successful.

5. Train your speaker to become comfortable with the webinar platform

A speaker should be well acquainted with the webinar platform in advance to present and interact seamlessly. Despite technical assistance, there are instances when a speaker has to manage the webinar platform. That takes away the focus from the webinar and takes a toll on the audience experience. 

Speakers should be able to navigate the control panel and interact with panellists comfortably. The speaker should be hands-on with basic features like advancing the PowerPoint slides, asking and answering questions in the chat or putting attendees on mute, etc. otherwise, it may impact the flow of the presentation.

6. Speaker’s look and ambience setting

The speaker should be ready, mentally and physically. He/she should be dressed appropriately during the live event. The background should be neat and clutter-free. The place should be well-lit and the camera set at the right angle and distance. 

All potential distractions, such as cell phone, email and other apps should be moved away. Also, aim to minimise surrounding sounds. 

7. Log in the webinar early

All the key players of the webinar must log in 30 minutes before the start of the webinar. Utilise this time to tick the last minute checklist, browse through the sequence, set-up of the platform, test the features, audio check, etc. This final dry run is very crucial for the success of the webinar. 

8. Have a contingency plan

Even though your speaker is completely prepared, you should always have a Plan B for any possible failures or unexpected situations during the webinar. For instance, keeping a power back-up, second internet connection or maybe a hot spot, can help you be better prepared. 

Keep a document ready with all potential technical errors and their resolution that may happen, like an audio failure and how to fix it. This way, there is no scope of panic when any technical error occurs. 

9. Prepare for Q&A

The speaker has prepared a compelling webinar content, but they should be equally prepared to face the questions. They should know the audience and what type of questions may come up. Coach your speaker to address relevant questions confidently and politely pass on questions that are repeated or off-topic. 

It works best if the speaker shares his/her contact information to the webinar registrants, so that the queries may be resolved post-event.

10. Aim to maximise results

When the speaker creates a good rapport with attendees, a more profound connection is established, and it helps in lead generation post-webinar. When the speaker focuses on audience engagement and delivering value, this type of relationship becomes possible. 

The best way to continue lead generation is to repurpose your webinar. It can be done by recording the live webinar, sharing the content on social media, through e-books or short videos. 

Wrapping Up

The ten points mentioned above will definitely help drive higher value from your speaker. 

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