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How to Successfully Host a Webinar: The Basics

April 2, 2020

Okay, we’re all Zooming now. So how can you make your webinar or virtual meeting a successful one? (The basics might just save you.) Here are our essentials.

Get Connected

Like the old days, set yourself up next to your router and hardwire your computer into an internet connection if possible. Hardwiring can be a pain but what’s worse is losing your WiFi connection during a meeting. Don’t tempt fate!

Designate a Co-Host

Even the best multitaskers can get overwhelmed trying to present, engage, listen, and manage the meeting all at once. Ask a colleague to be your co-pilot on the journey.

Text First

If you’ve collected cell numbers, text reminders right before the event from your personal phone. There may be a lot going on at home while people are trying to work; a reminder could be very appreciated (and it discourages flaking out).

Nice To Meet You

Making personal introductions before the webinar warms up the conversation and can put people at ease. Take the time to shoot an email not only introducing yourself to the group but also introducing participants to each other. (Example: “Jane Doe and John Smith, you’re both registered for tomorrow’s webinar. I wanted to connect the two of you ahead of time as I think you would both benefit from knowing each other for [specific reason]. If you have the chance to do a quick call with one another before or after our webinar, I think it would be an excellent idea!”)

Say Their Name

Address a person by name before directing your question. This helps to keep the meeting’s momentum going, avoids confusion, and keeps people engaged. Know something about each participant before the meeting begins so you can call out to them individually with specific questions or comments of appreciation. (Bonus: Connect with participants on LinkedIn before the meeting begins to learn about them and ensure you can remain in touch.)

Survey Time

Send out an online survey after the webinar and find out what you could do to improve next time. Ask what topics participants would want to learn more about or what resources they are hoping to see that you haven’t yet shared.

The Power of Snail Mail

Don’t let things end forever with the close of a meeting. Mailing a physical asset either before or after your webinar can be a huge value to your participants. For example, a thank-you note or a printed blog post or white paper. Utilize this great opportunity to mention your next webinar or another call to action.