I’ve been producing webinars for many years now. I started out in the traditional videoconference world that used microwaves, ISDN lines and eventually the internet. Today, I produce webinars on an almost weekly basis for various clients. I want to share some of my lessons learned with you. For the most part, my focus is on larger scale webinars, not one-on-one or small groups which may be served by Google hangouts or even Skype.
My favorite webinar tool today is Adobe Connect. It’s user-friendly, full-featured, high quality, and doesn’t require users to download any software to view the live webinar or the recording. I’ve developed a document that I give to people who want to deliver a webinar. Some of the content is specific to Adobe Connect and my current work at Denver Public Schools, but I believe it can be helpful to you if you’re planning to hold a webinar. Take a look here.
There are some tips that I have for producing a great webinar that are relevant regardless of platform:
• Plan ahead with good graphic design, targeting your audience and providing as much interaction as possible.
• Load content and activities into the virtual room in advance and have a practice session.
• Use a high bandwidth connection with an ethernet cable.
• Try to use a high quality microphone if you are using VOIP.
• Consider using a photo of the presenter instead of a webcam to save bandwidth and avoid disctractions.
• Always have someone monitoring the broadcast to quickly identify any issues.
Most of the expertise I’ve gained over the years has come from experience, but I also have learned a great deal from Cynthia Clay who works for NetSpeed Solutions. I can’t recommend her enough. If you have a chance to attend a session she is leading at a conference or one of her webinars, don’t miss it. She has published a book that has many helpful ideas for planning and producing webinars. It’s simply called “Great Webinars”. I also recommend this book as a guide.
Finally, her company, NetSpeed Solutions can also give you a checklist for producing webinars. Here is the link.