Address any issues and ensure an engaging webinar experience.
Introduce your webinar speakers and technical team members to each other. Clearly explain each person’s role, and who to go to if they need assistance or have questions.
Specific roles to highlight include:
- Creating the slide deck.
- Creating graphics and sourcing photos. This may be the same person as the slide deck creator.
- Technical specialist experienced in the webinar platform and all services and software involved.
- Marketing professional managing the promotions of the webinar.
Write this down for future reference, and share the notes to everyone involved in the webinar production and execution.
Review and recap the specific webinar platform you chose, ensuring each person who is using the platform and tools know how to accomplish the task they’re responsible for.
Specifically review the specific features or additional apps or tools you’re using for this webinar that are critical for webinar success, such as an audience chat room or a built-in audience polling app.
Complete the review by directing your team to the internal contact person or webinar specialist who can address further questions. Also detail where the team can find relevant training materials or user guides if they need to quickly double-check a process or find something in the platform.
This should include:
- Who speaks when.
- What their action signals or cues are.
- When specific on-screen elements need to appear.
- What transitions have to happen between different stages of the webinar.
- The main takeaway or objective for your webinar.
It’s helpful to assign responsibility for webinar actions, both on-screen and off-screen, to specific stakeholders. Everyone should be very clear on what their role is.
Complete a slide-by-slide complete review with your speaker and your technical team to verify your webinar achieves your basic requirements.
Verify that the webinar slide deck covers all of your webinar’s main talking points and satisfies your webinar’s main objective. Ensure it flows well, feels engaging to your audience, has smooth transitions between webinar stages, and incorporates audience engagement tools like polls or chat rooms.
Test your webinar platform and equipment setup with an audio test, a features test, and a recording test.
Ensure everyone’s equipment, logins, and internet connection are working. Test any critical plugins or features, such as chat rooms, reassigning a host or speaker, screen sharing, and going through a Q&A session with audience members.
Make sure the lighting doesn’t fade out the speaker or cast dark shadows, and that the background isn’t distracting. This is especially important if you’re doing a remote webinar and speakers are presenting from their home office.
Load your webinar slide deck, have your speaker log in, then press record in your chosen webinar platform and conduct a dry run of your webinar from start to finish. Let the process flow organically. Avoid coaching or correcting any delays, technical issues, speaker mistakes, or technical missteps at this stage.
If time allows, have a real audience of coworkers who weren’t involved in the webinar production. This can give you valuable feedback on how engaging or interesting each slide is to your audience.
Review the recording of your dry run for content problems, and write down all adjustments that need to be made.
This may include a team member forgetting to launch an audience poll, a CTA link pointing to the wrong landing page, or poor audio quality during the audience Q&A.
This take on the mirror method is a common strategy used by Toastmasters and other public speaking organizations to ensure you’re coming across the way that you intended. Example content issues include speakers or team members missing a signal or a cue, slide deck formatting problems or missing content, or the speaker forgetting to highlight a specific talking point or call to action.
Make all necessary changes to address the problems that you and your team identified during the dry run.
After the review, create a customized checklist that includes:
- Actions required to set up the webinar.
- Technical tasks to complete to avoid the problems you identified.
- Important links to key tools, such as the live feed on the platform, the backstage area, the CTAs, the email follow-up sequences, and the contact for your technical support person.
Do dry runs until your speaker and your team are comfortable with the entire webinar flow, feel satisfied with the outcome, and have resolved any content problems or technical bugs and errors.