Running a Webinar for Toastmasters using GotoWebinar

A great blog post from Marketo about how to promote your webinar http://blog.marketo.com/2011/05/how-to-manage-successful-webinars-a-checklist.html

Manual Checklist for GotoWebinar http://www.gotomeeting.com/webinar

Schedule a test call with your co-presenters before your live event. (at least one, if the co-presenter is having difficulties or seems very uncomfortable, make sure you schedule at least a second one closer to the event as well)

Schedule your webinar meeting, pass along the webinar registration link to anyone that’s going to be advertising it and/or have it available where you are going to advertise it, i.e. website, social media, etc. as far in advance as possible.

Add any co-presenters as panelists and/co-organizers, anyone can be made a presenter, including attendees while the webinar is running, so if you forget to invite someone they can login using the registration links for regular attendees.

Add any polls ahead of time (choice of one choice, or multiple choice polls) ask the co-presenters in advance if they are going to run polls, and coordinate when during the webinar they will be run.

Ask for any handouts ahead of time and pre-load them in (up to 5 files) once the webinar is in session you can’t add them, but can add them in the webinar toolbar but it’s occasionally glitchy.

Prior to the webinar, turn off or unplug any phones, neighboring computers you might get feedback from, and make sure your “space” to going to be quiet. Free the rooms from potentially barking dogs and other distractions. Don’t have anything in the oven that can potentially set the smoke alarm off even if you have someone in the house, you can’t rely on them to take care of it.

Start early before you go live to give yourself time to get logged into everything and quickly fix any issues or restart/reload any windows/applications, check video/sound, etc.) At least 15 minutes prior to the webinar, ½ hour is much better, make sure any co-presenters login in AT LEAST 15 minutes prior if not before, recommend ½ hour pre-login as well. Logging in right before the webinar starts one always runs into a technical glitch.

Make sure you have your introduction ready for your co-presenter and have rehearsed walking through it. Check for name pronunciations prior to the webinar.

Until you hit start broadcast, you and the other presenters and/or panelists can speak with each other and technically attendees can’t listen in until you hit the start broadcast button (do not rely on this as it has glitched) ie don’t discuss anything confidential or personal.

When you are ready and the co-presenter is all set to go, switch control to them, hit start broadcast and then don’t forget to hit record before giving your introduction.

As part of your introduction, I always mention we will be doing some housekeeping before our presenter starts, ie. Mention the webinar is being recorded, it will be available ……………………………………….. Everyone by default all the attendees are muted. If you have questions, please ask them to the right in the question bar to your right and mention that its best to ask the questions as they occur to them. You will answer questions at the end of the presentation.

The runner of the webinar should ask questions, have the co-presenter answer them instead of having the co-presenter read and answer (frequently they will forget to read aloud the questions and just verbalize the answers leaving attendees in the dark as to what they are talking about). It’s best to have to motive/move questions put together ahead of time in case there is a lag in questions or in some cases people may not have any but some general Q&A can spark discussion. It’s best to stick with questions being typed instead of unmuting people.

When the webinar Q&A is done, thank the presenter, mention that if there are questions that occur to attendees after the webinar is over please feel to email and it will be passed along. Mention again the webinar was recorded it will be available……………………

Thank everyone for attending, have a great night/morning afternoon and stop the webinar by going to the X at the top of the right hand side by box.

As soon as you close the webinar a box will come up and Convert recording into a viewable file.

Running the Webinar Tips

  • Be connected to the Internet via Ethernet/Hardwired connection. Wireless connections will work, but your audio and video quality will suffer and you may have playback issues if you are recording.
  • If you plan to use music, videos, or images, remember to use only what you have permission to use. YouTube can and will remove all sound from a video with copyrighted music.
  • Wear a headset if possible, it cuts down on external noise and audio and mics are easier to hear and have a better sound quality then having someone call in on their phone.
  • Have at least several cups of water handy and remind your co-presenter to as well.
  • Turn off any program or device that will compete for your bandwidth. This includes things like Google Drive and Dropbox that automatically update.
  • Make sure any popups, ie. antivirus reminders are not going to pop up during your presentation, pass that along to the other presenter as well.
  • When screen sharing be aware that everything can be seen, including bottom taskbars and if you are using the internet, bookmarks as well as open tabs on a browser. Remind the co-presenter of this as well including right before starting a live broadcast.
  • Recommend having two computers if you are running and moderating the webinar, one to be the presenter/moderator, the other to be logged in as an attendee (make sure and mute the sound from this one) This helps for two reasons, one there is sometimes a small time lag and if you are speaking you want to make sure the slides you are speaking to are consistent to what the other attendees are seeing. If you haven’t run a lot of webinars speaking “to” the extra computer screen to the right or left of the main screen is sometimes easier to speak to if talking conversationally then addressing the computer right in front.
  • Don’t depend on the internet, so if displaying things on webpages, better to do screenshots and pull up the net “live” if time at the end.
  • Be prepared for interruptions, door bells ringing, dogs barking, kids etc.
  • Be prepared for things NOT to work, the presenter can’t get on, they don’t have audio or visual, etc.
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About Chef Forfeng

Innkeeping Tip and Tricks: Please check out some marketing ideas for Inns and B&Bs, Blogging ideas, Facebook Tips and Social Media Tutorials http://chefforfeng.wordpress.com/marketing-for-lodging-resources/
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