How to Host A Webinar
I know it can be really overwhelming to plan out or even deciding to do your first webinar. Hosting webinars for my business has been an amazing way to grow my list and connect with my tribe - my list has doubled every time I've hosted a webinar! After you've decided on your webinar platform and gotten your attendees registered now you just have to figure out what to say and how to arrange it. So after hosting many of my own and helping other creatives bosses host and plan their own webinars I've created this step-by-step guide to help your next webinar run smoothly.
Spend the first 1-3 minutes with the video on your face as opposed to immediately going into slides. This helps remind viewers who you are and that you're a real person hosting the webinar - rather than it just being a recording of slides. Expect a delay anywhere from 5-45 seconds depending on your webinar host. To make this delay less awkward I generally keep speaking and repeating a few phrases until I get acknowledgment that my viewers can see and hear me.
A sample intro:
"Hey all! We are live right now! You are here for "Super Awesome Webinar"! We are going to get started in just a few minutes so if you can just leave a comment in the chat box that you can hear and see me then I'll know we are good to go! Feel free to tell me where you're from/your social media handles/your industry/your favorite dessert. So please leave me a comment so I know you can hear me and then we will get started in about 1 minute."
Once people start typing in you can begin acknowledge them by name or whatever you asked them to post. This helps reiterate the fact that you are live - people love getting called out on air!
Things to Keep in Mind
start as close to on time as possible, be mindful of your viewer's time
don't feel weird repeating yourself for those first couple of minutes - some folks don't sign in right away and may not have heard you the first time
- if people are having viewing/connection issues ask them to shut down and sign back in or to close other programs/windows they have open
- remind people at this point that there will be a replay (if you are enabling a replay) so they don't freak out if they lose connection
Now you can start getting into your content. I would let viewers know you are switching to presentation mode and there may be a slight lag (this should correct itself). I make my presentations in Google Slides and go to "present" so it shows full screen for my viewers. I would spend the bulk of your time during the content share portion. Be sure to let your viewers know they can ask questions throughout by popping them in the chat box (but tell them you will answer all q's at the end of the webinar). Don't try to answer too many q's during the content portion because it's super easy to get side tracked.
A Suggested Order
- Title of webinar + name of host(s)
- What people will learn in your webinar
- Why they should stay until the end (think about adding a bonus to people who hang around)
- Introduce yourself + establish your expertise + share your journey
- Get into the core content of your presentation
- Remind people what they learned/wrap up the content
- Make your call - to - action clear (purchase your product, download a freebie, hire you, etc)
Depending on your webinar content now is the time you either leave your CTA up on the screen and wrap up the webinar or head into live Q&A. If you head to live Q&A I recommend you flip back to the video of yourself rather than the slides. If you have a link that you want people to head to to buy your product I would type that in the chat box or have it as "the lower third" of your screen. Now you just browse through the chat box and pull out any q's that you want to address. Viewers really love this part of webinars!
As q's start to die down or you get close to your end time it's time to wrap it up. Thank everyone for coming, let them know about a replay and how to stay in touch with you. That's it!
Things to Keep in Mind
- if there are technology difficulties just take it in stride - don't panic!
- communicate with your viewers about the entire process of the webinar so they know what to expect
- you don't have to have a specific CTA for your viewers - you can have a webinar just to hang out with your people
- wrap up when you said you would - be mindful of your viewer's time
- have fun, be relaxed, breathe!
So excited for your next webinar! Let me know in the comments what you're next webinar is about!