How to Design a Webinar…

On May 24 2016 I will conduct a webinar for the VALERU project via adobe connect. It will cover learning theory, earning outcomes and assessment. The idea of the webinar is based on Module 3 of the VALERU VNIL expert training.

I already conducted face-to-face training session, but I haven’t conducted a webinar myself yet. As a participant, I already took part in a webinars as a part of the audience.

From my expierence as participant I can recall a few important aspects of a webinar.

My assumptions: What to consider…

  • Looking for a suitable tool/online room (eg. skype for less participants, adobe connect, google hangout)
  • Preparing slides you can share during the webinar.
  • Asking the participants to check the tool a few minutes before the start of the conference, so they have time to get acquainted with the tool.
  • Knowing who is participating: Having an idea about the target group helps to shift the webinar in the right direction.
  • Start of the webinar: Welcoming, introducing – if few people are participating, a short introduction round could be beneficial to getting to know each other.
  • Give an outlook what will be done during the webinar
  • Try to get people engaged with little tasks, let them talk and discuss.
  • Give participants time to ask questions.
  • Record the webinar to understand what went well and what could be improved or also to share it with the participants or a wider audience after the webinar!

A few of these point can be also applied for face-to-face sessions of course.

Surfing the Internet: Great Webinar Top 10

After brainstorming what assumptions I already had about “good” webinars, I also searched the internet.

I found following article: 10 Things That Take a Webinar From Good to Great” by hubspot.

1) Interact with your audience before the webinar. E.g. via e-mail, even better via social media. I communicated via e-mail, as just 5 participants will attend the webinar and it’s not publicly open to everyone.

2) Create a kick-ass deck. This is also what I assumed. You need interesting, visualising slides to keep the audience enganged!

3) Use a hashtag dedicated to the webinar. I guess this would be a good idea especially for big webinars. Unfortunately my audience doesn’t use too much twitter. Anyway – I will definitely use a hashtag: #VALERU!

Hashtags have multiple uses: “During the webinar, we use the hashtag to interact with the audience, answer technical questions, and gather questions for the Q&A portion. Finally, after the webinar, we use the hashtag to follow up on any unanswered questions and send additional information.” (See hubspot)

4) Have one or more awesome speakers. I am afraid I will be the only speaker, but I try hard to be awesome 🙂 I think that having more than one speaker adds a special dynamic to the webinar.

5) Use speaker and company Twitter handles. Again doesn’t apply to much to my situation but anyway a good idea to give it all a personal touch.

6) Have at least one host or moderator. I guess I will be moderator and speaker at the same time, but I think I can handle it since I just have 5 participants in my webinar. Let’s see how it will work out.

7) Try out various types of media. I will definitely add media like videos, interactive interfaces, etc. to complement my webinar.

You’ll also want to consider a variety of media types for your webinar. I think I will try screen-sharing directly! I really need to check out all function on adobe connect first…

8) Perform a thorough sound check. Need to do this, too of course.

9) Take other time zones into consideration. I definitely need to consider different time zones. I keep forgetting that we actually have CEST not CET here in Austria at the moment. This can lead to great confusion. We always try to find a suitable time for all people attending, fitting to our time zones.

10) Find a quiet place to talk. I think/hope my office is quiet enough. Maybe at home would be even better (no phones ringing etc)? Need to think about this still.

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