How to have a successful webinar: Part 2, Presenting your webinar

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You have everything in order – your topic, your content, and your ultimate learning objectives for the attendees. You’re getting ready to put your presentation together, so now you need to think about how you’ll deliver your presentation to inform the attendees and raise awareness about your service or product. We’ll take a look at the presentation and the presenter best practices to strategically plan for success!

Presentation

Your content is planned out, but now it’s time to organize your presentation. First, figure out what software you will be using; PowerPoint, Google Slides, or something else. You want to use something that will have a visual appeal and that is user-friendly and easy to navigate for the person driving the presentation. Decide your theme; whether it be brand colors, something bright, colorful and fun, or a professional, neutral colored design. Select your layout, font, and colors so you stay consistent throughout. Your slides should contain a short amount of text, that is easy to absorb while you dive deeper in your explanation and examples. It’s smart to use bulleted or numbered lists, bolded or italicized font for keywords, and colored text boxes to break up text. Be sure to include photos, images, graphs, and/or graphics to represent your message visually as well.

Now, you may have a lot of information but think about the time allotted for the presentation. You probably don’t want to have 100 slides for a 50-minute presentation; or you’re only going to be spending 30 seconds per slide… or you’ll spend more time per slide and won’t be able to cover your content. Lastly, if your webinar host allows you to use polling questions, take advantage of them! Ask questions of your audience to learn more about who they are, the work they do, and the customers they serve. Polling questions are interactive and keep the audience engaged and provide valuable information for lead generation.

Presenter

You have your presentation in order, now it’s time to get yourself ready. Even though it may seem like a simple presentation, you could probably give in your sleep… we’re working with a lot of technology, so we want to tech check (and prepare for) EVERYTHING!

First thing, you want to make sure you have a stable, preferably strong, internet connection. Wired networks are generally much faster, and don’t get weighed down by unexpected or unnecessary traffic. If the Wi-Fi at your home or office is strong, that works just fine too. It’s probably not a good idea to try to run off your phone’s hotspot or the free Wi-Fi at the local restaurant.

Next, we want our presenters to be comfortable with the webinar software, and at Insightful Accountant, we host our webinars through Zoom. It is best for the presenter(s) to have the Zoom app downloaded on their desktop, so the program is not running through a browser. If you are not familiar with Zoom, it’s a good idea to schedule a “practice” just to log in, check out the video and screen sharing, other abilities, and anything else you want to check or ask about before the day of the webinar.

Just before your webinar, we will log in early for a tech-check. Clear audio is the most important part of the presentation and for the best auto quality, the presenter should use a microphone to speak. An easy way to find a mic is to use wired headphones, or a headset, that has a mic attached. In a webinar with one presenter, it is not mandatory to have headphones/mic, but if there are more panelists added (or in a Zoom meeting) it is absolutely necessary to avoid feedback. Obviously, you want to be in a quiet place to avoid background noise, but also remember you are mic’d up – so if you’re tapping your fingers or clicking a pen… we can hear you.

Now that sound is taken care of, we can check the video feed. It is completely up to the presenter if they want to be on camera, or just present with their slides. In cases where you have a weak or unstable internet connection, it may be best to stay off camera to save your bandwidth for the presentation. If you so choose, and everything is working properly, video can be a great asset to your presentation, to give a more personable delivery. Check yourself first to make sure you are happy with your appearance and what you’re wearing. Make sure your background is tidy and not distracting, and if you choose to use a virtual background, again, make sure to choose something clean and professional.

Finally, grab a glass of water, make sure you have access to a timer or clock, and get your notes… you are ready to present!

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Emily Hedrick
Emily Hedrick is the Media Director for Insightful Accountant. She handles webinar set up and facilitation, ad and content creation, customized social media, graphics, online marketing, and evaluating analytical results and more. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations from Auburn University. When not working, Emily loves to listen to bluegrass music and play outside with her dog, Banjo. Emily always dreamt of going away to a big college, and landed in Auburn, Alabama in August of 2011. Building on her interests of communication and business, she found the public relations major as well as a passion for female education, leadership, and sustainability. In December 2016, she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations and was ready for another adventure. Emily began working as The Communicator for Best Gurl, inc. in January 2017. She has collaborated in strategic planning to promote Best Gurl products and services; created an editorial calendar, reinvigorated the social media platforms, planned marketing campaigns, and reworked and published a new company website. In March 2019, Emily began working as a project and communications consultant. She currently works with companies and organizations like Best Gurl inc., The National Association of Branch Campus Administrators, Wanda's Clocks and Trophies/ B&M Engraving LLC, and the annual Women Empowering Women Symposium hosted by the American Business Women's Association, Emerald Coast Chapter. When not working, Emily loves to listen to bluegrass music. Every Memorial Day weekend you can catch her back in her hometown, volunteering at DelFest, a bluegrass festival hosted by Del McCoury and family.