How to Plan a Webinar

ProjectManager.com

As the workforce becomes more mobile, the importance of webinars has only grown. Jennifer Bridges, PMP, shows you everything you need to know to plan a webinar.

Here’s a screenshot of the whiteboard for your reference!

what you need to know to produce a webinar

In Review – How to Plan a Webinar

As when planning any project, Jennifer noted that the first step is to go through the who, what, when, where, why and how of the webinar. Before you begin, she said, make sure you know what value the webinar will have for those watching.

Is the webinar going to be worth the participants’ time and money? Is it going to be relevant and timely? These are all questions to ask prior to planning. If the answer is yes, then you’re all ready to start the plan.

It’s a Project

Remember, a webinar is a project. It has a unique deliverable, with a start date and an end date. You’ll also want to know in advance what the end result of the webinar is. What is its purpose, its intention? In other words, be clear about what people should take away from the webinar.

Know Your Audience

Speaking of people, Jennifer noted that they’re a key part of the webinar. You must know your audience. Who is the target for the webinar? With this knowledge you can work backwards and direct all the information to these people.

Create an Agenda

Therefore, once you know “who,” you can work on “what.” That is, the agenda. Make it as specific as possible, with a timeline. Have agenda items for everything you want to cover, and make sure there’s time allotted to cover it.

Set a Date

The next step is finding a date and time for the webinar. While it will get archived, one of the benefits of a live webinar is the participation, having people on the call, etc. So, pick the best time to have the most viewers.

Get the Gear

Naturally, in order to archive the webinar and have it available for others to view who weren’t able to attend live, you have to record it. Make sure you have the right software to capture your presentation, including the visuals and the viewer participation.

Another crucial aspect of the webinar, of course, is the hardware. You need to have a good audio and video setup to make sure you can broadcast clearly and without glitches.

Send Reminders

Once you have a date and time, send out reminders. It might feel obnoxious, like you’re spamming your viewers, but it’s important. People are busy and like reminders.

Make it Easy to Sign Up

To make sure you have a good group of participants, make it easy for people to sign up, register and attend. The worst thing would be to attract the right person for the webinar, only to have them give up because of a confusing user interface.

Stay Concise

Once you have an audience, don’t lose them by rambling or being verbose. Have your presentation be short, concise and to the point.

Have a Backup Plan

Things can go wrong. You might be on the road when you’re doing the webinar, there could be technical difficulties or any number of issues could arise. Anticipate these risks and have a Plan A, B and C to address them.

Practice Makes Perfect

Before you go live, practice. Practice, practice, practice. That can’t be stressed enough. You want to come across as knowledgeable but also natural, relaxed and enunciating clearly. Great content is ruined by bad delivery.

Build Anticipation

Drum up excitement for the webinar with pre-work and some light marketing. During the webinar, use polls to keep people engaged. You’ll want to set the stage, get the audience prepared and distribute the agenda. Tell them what to expect, and then summarize to make sure they understand what you’ve gone over.

Follow these steps and you’ll have a plan for a successful webinar.

Pro-Tip: Don’t let the name webinar intimidate you. It is just an online presentation. It follows the same rules: prepare, present and follow up.

Thanks for watching!

Transcription

Today, we’re talking about how to plan a webinar. Well, as the workforce becomes more mobile webinars have become more popular. So, today, I wanna talk about a few tips to plan one effectively.

So, first of all, we wanna think about the who, what, when, where, why, and how. So, make sure that the value that you’re giving your participants is worth their time, money, and effort to be there. Make sure it’s relevant and timely to what they’re doing.

Also, this is a project, so it has a unique deliverable, it also has a start and end date. So, think about it and plan it as a project.

Also know the end result, the purpose or the intention for the webinar. What do you want the people to leave either knowing, thinking or doing differently?

Also determine who needs to be there and why. Today, people are trying to get so much done, they have limited time, so you wanna make sure the people who are on the webinar really need to be there.

Also create a specific agenda of all the items that you wanna cover and how much time you wanna allocate to each item, so you make sure you’ve blocked enough time.

Also, you want to be sure to pick the best day and time for those who are going to be on the call. Consider time zones, maybe if there’s certain days that are better for them. Just make sure you make it so that it’s easy for them to be there.

Also, you need to ensure that you have technology for both the audio and video because on a webinar, you’re displaying what’s on the screen so that’s your video, but you also need to have the audio capability. And also for the participants need to have that as well.

Also give the participants advance notice. Give them enough time to plan to be there. Send reminders to let them know. And sometimes people are afraid to send reminders, but most people find them helpful to jar them and remind them to jump on the webinar.

Also record the session because you can send it to the people who did attend and those who didn’t. For those who did attend they have a record and they can always go back and review what you covered in the webinar, and then for those who did not they can take it at their own time and pace.

Also make sure it’s easy to sign up for, register, and to attend. You wanna make it easier for people to be able to do that, so they’re not fumbling around trying to figure out how to even be able to register.

And then once they get on you want the people to be able to understand how it is that they get connected. For some people it’s new, they’ve never been on a webinar, so they don’t understand how they’re supposed to get into the session and if they either need to call in or use the speakers on their computer. But just make that clear for them.

Also make the webinar short, concise, and to the point. Don’t drone on and on about things that can be covered in a minimal time.

Also anticipate technology issues and have a plan A, B and C because between weather, and certain conditions, and buildings, and if you’re on the road or mobile, all…things can always happen.

So, you just wanna make sure specifically, if you’re the one hosting it for the participants, you wanna make sure that you have your plans in place in case something happens with the communication.

And then for the people who are planning to be on the call or if you have a co-host make sure they’ve planned ahead as well.

And then practice, practice, practice. If this is your first webinar, you wanna get comfortable with having a webinar, practice what you’re going to say, your pace, again, how to get on the webinar, how to end the webinar.

And again, if you are having a co-host or other people on the line with you, make sure you test it before the live session. Also create pre-work before the webinar. That helps get people excited about the session. Also, I found using polls during the session helps to keep people engaged.

So, once your webinar starts, be sure to set the stage, meaning let them know what you’re going to tell them. Show them the agenda items and let them know what you’re gonna cover in advance and then tell them.

Actually, cover the agenda items in the time that you have allocated and then summarize the session for them. Go back and let them know what you’ve covered, and again, highlight anything that you need them to leave doing. Do you have any action items or what do you need them to do?

So, of course, you can see this is a plan and a tool is always helpful. So, if you need a tool to help you plan your webinar, then sign up for our software now at ProjectManager.com.

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