6 key elements for your next webinar

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Running a good webinar shouldn’t be a matter of chance. Too often, though it is. People show up thinking they just need to re-heat their last face-to-face talk. Do that, and you’re letting yourself and your participants down.

Make you next webinar better – and easier – by covering all 6 essential webinar elements.

What are they?

In no particular order: structure, voice, content, visuals, anecdotes and interaction.

Which of those do you think is the least important? You might be surprised at the answer.

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This mail made my week

Last week I received a mail I hadn’t been expecting. It came from Joanna Kori. Jo is an colleague in the L&D field whom I coached for a Learning and Skills Group webinar in 2013.

The mail was triggered by the publication of Webinar Master, my ebook on how to deliver presentations well online.

I thought Jo would have forgotten all about our couple of sessions together, but apparently not, as I read:

Just a note to say how pleased I am that you’ve got this ebook out – I still have the notes I made from when you coached (or maybe I should say coaxed!) me through the LSG webinar on the Flipped Learning Model this time 2 years ago.

I remember your advice on pacing, expression and tone of voice, and most importantly to feel confident about getting the audience to participate – asking questions not just lecturing.

The positive experience of that webinar was quite a turning point for me.

As I read, I had to stop for a moment to catch my breath. I was delighted that Jo had found what we did together useful, amazed that she had kept the notes for 2 years, and honoured that she had taken the time to mail me about it.

Like most people I’m pretty busy, trying to get the most out of each hour, but mails like this from Jo make it all worth while, because this is what coaching is all about. Anyone in L&D will agree that there is nothing better than helping people realise their potential. It puts the relentless pace and the battle to wring the most from each day entirely into perspective.

Thank you, Jo, for taking the time to share your thoughts.

Do webinars need to be dull?

In the book ‘Webinar Master’ I use the word ‘webinar’ to mean a particular type of event – an online presentation where the speaker(s) and audience are connected through computers, linked together over the internet.

The presenter almost always has slides to show, and will sometimes also be visible over video. There is usually at least one other person involved – often an MC or host, who introduces the speaker and who may also handle a Q&A. Typically, the audience can use the webinar chat function to communicate with each other and with the speaker; sometimes they can also speak.

Get engaged
There is nothing in this rather wordy description requiring that webinars be dull. Nevertheless, that is their general reputation, and for one very simple reason: most events involve no interaction and no attempt at engagement. The audience is expected to sit, listen and look at slides.

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