Hosting a seminar isn’t easy. Making sure that it’s a success is even harder.
But just when you thought you’ve gotten the hang of it, and booked your training room rental, you now can’t hold them at all. Due to the circuit breaker measures in Singapore, your planned seminars will either have to be postponed, cancelled, or moved online.
If you’re taking the route of shifting your seminars online, you’ll have to know that face-to-face seminars and webinars are a whole different ballgame. While the core elements like your topic and the importance of your speakers remain the same, the way you present your seminar will have to be quite different. Not to mention, there is a whole slew of technical aspects you need to get used to.
To help you get started with hosting your webinars, here are some tips:
1. Use more visuals
In a face-to-face presentation, your audience has the luxury of looking at the slides, or putting their focus on the speaker as they speak. However, in a webinar, you can only show one thing at a time.
If the visuals on the screen remain the same for a long time, your audience’s minds are more prone to wandering off sooner. Using a variety of visuals on your slides including animations, photos, and text, can help to better engage your audience. Where appropriate, you can also incorporate live demonstrations.
2. Have a moderator for the session
One major shortfall of a webinar is that it is difficult to speak, coordinate the audiovisual setup, while also keeping track of your audience’s response at the same time. When you have more than one speaker, it also becomes immensely more difficult to control the flow of the discussion.
Assigning a moderator beforehand can help you keep things on track. Their role will be to gather the responses and questions from the audience via the online chat, and direct the flow of the conversation.
3. Do a trial run
Although technology offers us so many capabilities, you need to be familiar with it to maximise its potentials. Your trial run shouldn’t just ensure that all your gear is working properly. You should also rehearse your actions along with your speech.
For example, make sure you figure out beforehand how to set up a secure virtual meeting room, toggle the view modes of your screen and perform screen sharing. You could also appoint a spotter to help you during the session itself. This person will alert you to any technical problems faced in the video-conferencing as seen from the audience’s point of view.
4. Incorporate audience interaction
Webinars definitely lack in the area of human interaction – but it doesn’t mean you can’t still try your best to engage your audience. Audience interaction helps to get them involved, and value adds to the session. Otherwise, your audience might be better off just watching a pre-recorded video.
Q&A sessions are the easiest way to interact with your audience, but don’t leave this till the end of the session. Keep them engaged with Q&A opportunities at the end of every section or subtopic. If you feel more adventurous, you can also cook up some simple activities that you can have your audience take part in as they watch the webinar.
These 4 tips should take the pinch out of hosting your first online seminars! You may not have the luxury of a fully-equipped seminar room rental, but with a few tries, you can turn your home into a pretty good makeshift webinar studio. Try these tips to make the most of your webinars today!