You've got your registration page and attendee process all set up, but now it's time to prepare for the big event. Eeek!
Totally understandable! It can be a bit daunting thinking about going live to an audience, so we've prepared a list of steps that will cover your bases and set you up for success.
(In fact, even taking the time to review these steps and proactively prepare for the webinar will be a great first move.)
First, you'll need to secure a reliable, high-speed connection to make this event awesome (and enjoyable for everyone involved).
Running a speed test can be helpful, but doesn't always accurately predict how capable your connection will be to run a webinar (since general speed test services don't test against the webinar platform's servers). It's generally more helpful if the webinar tool you're using offers something you can use to directly test your connection instead.
With Demio, we have a built-in connectivity test that allows you to determine the best testing methods.
Here's a great article that covers all of your bases: Connectivity Best Practices
Tip: If you find your connection starts to suffer during your webinar, try reducing what you're sharing to just your microphone and a presentation deck (turning off any webcams and/or screen-sharing which require larger amounts of bandwidth).
Remember, Attendees are there to listen to you and engage with the presentation. External noise that you may be accustomed to (e.g., office chatter, busy city streets from an open window) can often distract your audience, so you'll want to mindful of that and choose a quiet location.
If there are environmental sounds you can’t control, be sure to let the audience know and give them the heads up—they'll surely appreciate it! If it's a bit more intrusive (think the odd siren blaring through the streets), don't try to compete with the noise. Simply pause for a moment when it occurs and then continue on without making too much fuss.
Finally, aim to reduce any potential interruptions. Similar to an important meeting, inform any colleagues or associates that you won't be available at the time and indicate that you shouldn't be disturbed.
It's important to make sure your audience can hear you loud and clear. These days you can have access to professional-level equipment, even on a small budget.
We've compiled a few great picks!
Microphone: One personal favorite of ours it the Blue Yeti (Amazon). It's a simple plug-n-play USB microphone that comes equipped with the flexibility for all kinds of webinars—one-person presentations, interviews, group calls.
Webcam: Any webcam from the Logitech HD Pro Webcam (Amazon) lineup works marvelously. Of course, many modern laptops come with great built-in webcams that work just as well, as long as you're presenting from a well-lit room.
Headphones: While using any pair should work (including not using a pair at all), they're helpful for reducing any echo/audio feedback on any webinars where multiple people are presenting.
It's usually a good idea to close any unnecessary applications and restart your computer prior to going live.
This helps ensure that your webinar will run as smoothly as possible by allowing any pending updates to complete, freeing up resources from competing applications or services.
If you're going to be bringing on others to help you present/moderate the event, it's important to make sure that you have the invites sent out early. It can be easy to miss this step only to realize it last minute, leaving you scrambling to get it done.
It's often smart to set up a mock event and do a complete run through of the platform to make sure your event admins know what to expect on the day of the big event.
This also allows you to check that everyone has the proper equipment, connection quality, and familiarity with the platform needed to be successful.
Tip: Ensure you have another way to reach the other admins in case they're disconnected from the webinar.
It's a great idea to give yourself a comfortable window of time to get prepared for the event—we recommend logging in at least 30 minutes prior to the start of the webinar to set and test everything up.
You can take this time to test your connection, ensure any devices are correctly connected, check any resources/materials that should have been added and do a final review of the content.
This also gives you a good buffer in case you need to troubleshoot an issue.
Last, but certainly not least: smile and have fun! Oh and make sure you bring water too.