Producing Great Webinars

computer cables small square imageI’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.

Great Webinars Book Cover

Finally, her company, NetSpeed Solutions can also give you a checklist for producing webinars.  Here is the link.

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