9 Important Things to Do Before Conducting a Webinar

Your company assigned you to conduct a webinar and you do not know where to start. Let’s first understand what a webinar is. According to Merriam-Webster definition a webinar is a live online educational presentation during which participating viewers can submit questions and comments.

That’s a good start! Now you know that a virtual presentation will be delivered by you and you will have to answer questions. Before you conduct the webinar, you will need to do some preparation work.

The 9 important things you need to do before conducting a webinar are:

1) Select the webinar title. The title should be appealing and it must be tailored to address the audience perspective

2) Webinar promotion. Design an advertisement that will describe the benefits of attending your webinar and select the notification media: email, social media or periodicals. Include the registration link or telephone number where the attendees can register

3) Registration. This will be your first contact with the potential attendee. Define a registration form and only request the data that is needed, make sure that the attendee will receive a confirmation email with the webinar details

4) Prepare you presentation material. This will be your “face” to the audience, it needs to be powerful to attract and retain the audience attention. Include slides in which you can interact with the audience (i.e. pools). In addition to your presentation include lobby slides that will be displayed during the minutes before the webinar start

5) Select your webinar team. Your team should include a host, moderator, and technical staff. Your host will introduce you and close the webinar. The moderator will take care of interaction with the audience (i.e. collecting questions, ask questions, read pool results). The technical staff will ensure audio, video, and webinar platform are working OK. With the support of the team you will be able to focus on the webinar

6) Event Schedule. Schedule each component of the presentation. Plan for a 60-minute presentation and identify who from the team will take care of each component. Consider forty-five minutes for your presentation, thirteen for Q&A and two minutes for closing

7) Rehearsal. Preparation is king for any kind of presentation. Consider several individual rehearsals before having the group rehearsals. The event schedule should be followed during the group rehearsal

8) Define a back-up plan. It is better to be prepared in case of human or technological issues. Identify the potential points of failure and define a mitigation plan so you can maximize the delivery of your webinar

9) Mark your calendar. Block the webinar date and time. Make sure you will be available at least one hour before the webinar for the final checking

Fulfilling this preparation work will ensure that your webinar will be a successful one. Get ready to engage your audience and share your knowledge.

You are now ready to rock & roll!

Conrado Morlan has more than 15 years of experience managing programs and projects in the Americas, Europe and Asia and has led multigenerational and multicultural project teams. Mr. Morlan was one of the first people to attain the PMI Program Management Credential (PgMP) credential in Latin America and the first one in Mexico. Mr. Morlan is a frequent guest speaker at Project Management congresses in America and Latin America, is an avid volunteer with PMI chapters in America, Mexico, Costa Rica and Spain, and is a contributor for PMI Community Post and a blogger at http://thesmartpms.posterous.com/