ClickMeeting Blog Webinars Tips & Tricks Mon, 23 May 2016 15:42:57 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Why Face-to-Face Communication Works for the Workplace Mon, 23 May 2016 15:42:57 +0000 Read more]]> Communicating effectively with colleagues and clients over long distances has a history of posing a challenge in the business world. Sure, you can get by on an audio-only conference call to get the job done. E-mails will get the message across, too. Neither of these modes of communication is as effective or natural as communicating through videoconference, however.

We’ve grown accustomed to doing business through the impersonal means of telephone or VOIP audio communications or shooting off a message via e-mail. We’ve also gotten complacent. There’s a lot lacking in other forms of communication, whereas videoconference is able to fill in the gaps. Though it’s not exactly the same as in-person communication, it’s the next best thing and provides the same benefits. The key is face-to-face contact, which can greatly improve overall delivery of message, tone, and meaning. Here’s why:


Meetings become more effective with immediate and direct contact

Being able to talk directly with members of a work team through videoconferencing gives the advantage of speed and efficiency. Rather than talking over one another on an audio conference call, or sending messages back and forth all day through e-mail, videoconferencing provides the option to have an effective, impromptu or scheduled meeting that can allow for efficient decision-making and consensus. The natural rapport that develops through a face-to-face meeting far exceeds that which can be garnered through audio-only or written correspondence.


Nonverbal clues hint at implicit or hidden meanings in speech

The majority of meaning in human communication takes place without even considering the words that come out people’s mouths. The nonverbal communication that we show through facial expressions, eye contact and hand gestures, among other formats, says a lot on its own. It’s easy to tell in a virtual meeting whether you have the attention of the room, or their patience is lagging; the same goes with knowing whether people understand you, agree with you, or are engaged the discussion. Without being able to see someone’s face and upper body, a lot of communication is missed, even if verbal cues like tone of voice and volume are being used. There’s just no replacing the high level of communication that occurs when you’re engaging someone the way humans were meant to, and this can all be done virtually through videoconferencing.


Face-to-face communication gives a personal touch

Many people find talking on the phone to be awkward, because it can be difficult to know whether everyone is on the same page or when it’s your turn to talk (among other reasons). While there are some people who prefer to communicate via e-mail, there comes a point where it’s just easier to deliver the message face-to-face. On the whole, other methods of communication that do not facilitate a face-to-face environment can seem impersonal, lacking the means for socialization that help develop a sense of community among meeting participants. When a sense of camaraderie is needed – and it’s always needed for a meeting – connecting through a videoconferencing can bring in that extra level of comfort and personal touch to help form and strengthen the bonds that build good working relationships.

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9 Key Tips For An Effective Panel Discussion In Your Webinar Fri, 20 May 2016 13:15:39 +0000 Read more]]> There are many elements which combine to create an effective webinar. They need to be informative, educational, and engaging for the audience. In order to accomplish this, it’s important to use elements like interesting slides, a Q&A session, live demonstrations, and videos.

However, many webinar hosts tend to shy away from hosting panel discussions as either part of their webinar, or for the whole webinar. Some fear that panel discussions are difficult to manage and plan and that there is more of a risk that something unexpected will happen. However, a webinar panel discussion can offer tremendous value for your audience and it can take your webinar to the next level.

If you are want to plan for an effective webinar panel discussion, what are the key points that you need to take into consideration for it to be successful?


Here are the top key tips on managing an effective panel discussion in your webinar.

1. Audience Comes First

The first key tip to moderate an effective panel discussion is to remember that your audience has to come first. They are the ones w`ho have taken time out of their busy schedules to receive something of value from you. Therefore, you need to make sure that the panel discussion and the panelists don’t draw attention away from the goal of your webinar. The panelists come second after the audience.


2. Get the Right Panelists

Usually, you have great freedom to pick your panel members. So, you should look for authority figures in your industry and then find ones with varying points of view. This can form the basis for a lively discussion. You have to make sure and choose just the right number. Usually about 3 or 4 panelists are enough.


3. Preparation

The next key point in managing an effective panel discussion is to prepare well. This can help you make sure that the panel discussion is informative for your audience, without it getting out of hand and running over time.


So, you should prepare these important points:

  • Research the topic well. Find different angles to cover the topic from and don’t be afraid to bring up controversial points in the discussion.
  • Develop a bullet-point agenda. Choose between 3 and 5 main points that your panel discussion will cover. This should be sent to your panelists well in advance so that they can prepare. However, the discussion shouldn’t be overly-rehearsed beforehand.
  • Don’t use slides. The whole purpose of the panel discussion is to gain insight from the panel discussion and slides will only draw attention away from that.

The next key points for managing an effective panel discussion deal with the actual presentation.


4. Moderate, don’t perform

If it is your job to moderate or manage the panel discussion, you need to take a backseat and let your panelists perform. Much like a conductor manages an orchestra, where it is his job to make sure that all the musicians work together in harmony; it is your job to manage the panel. He would never start playing an instrument. He also makes sure that no one instrument dominates the music. Make sure and do the same in your panel discussion.


5. Get to the Point

The panel discussion should focus its attention on the main topic of the webinar. This means that you should only introduce the panel discussion with a couple of sentences and state the objective clearly from the outset. You are the one who should introduce each of the panelists and remember to only mention items about their experience that is relevant to the discussion.


6. Don’t Let the Panelists Pitch

The whole point of the panel discussion is to make a point in case about the main topic of the webinar. If a panelist starts pitching about his product, then this will just dilute the overall theme and it will frustrate your audience. So, beforehand inform your panel members what you expect and if the discussion starts becoming a pitch, try and steer the discussion back to the main point.


7. Vary the Discussion

Don’t have all your panelists answer the same one question. If you do this, you run the risk of the discussion becoming boring and rather than engage with your audience, you lose them. Usually, for one question it’s enough that just 2 panelists provide answers. Sometimes, you could have a third opinion, but try to keep the conversation flowing. Of course, you can design questions that one leads on to another one and this way you can engage all of your panel members on the one main point.


8. Get the Panelists Involved

In your preparation work, you can get them to think of one question to ask another member of the panel. This can make the discussion livelier and get everyone involved. Of course, it is good if you know beforehand what the questions are so that you can manage them properly.


9. Conclude Properly

Never finish your panel discussion with the phrase “one final thought.” Use the concluding comments to round up what everyone has learned or finish with a question that will be answered in the next webinar or panel discussion.

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Videoconferencing and Sign Language Interpretation Go Hand-in-Hand Wed, 18 May 2016 13:15:46 +0000 Read more]]> Speakers of other languages are fortunate to have videoconferencing when they need an interpreter but there’s not one available in-person. With a webcam, microphone, videoconferencing software and a solid Internet connection, those who might otherwise not be understood can communicate clearly and easily through a remote interpreter. Having video enhances the conversation and makes it more of a personal experience, just like having an interpreter in-house.

But for people who use sign language to communicate, videoconferencing is essential if an interpreter is not available on-site. Audio-only is not an option. Video remote interpreting (as interpretation services given remotely are called) for deaf individuals provides a much-needed service that can deliver information and even save lives. It was one of the earliest consistent uses of videoconferencing solutions designed to meet a specific need.


How does it work?

During a video remote interpretation session, the interpreter listens to the speakers and then signs the message to the webcam, which the deaf person sees through their video display. The deaf person will in turn sign their message into their camera, which is viewed by the interpreter, who then relays the message verbally to the listeners.


Where is remote video sign-language interpretation most needed?

Hospital emergency rooms are one of the most common settings for its use. Retaining a sign-language interpreter on-site at all hours can be costly for hospitals, so instead they will contract out the work to interpreters who are available during rotating hours. Having quick access to a sign-language interpreter via videoconference allows nurses and doctors to complete triage and intake procedures without delaying care and treatment. Courtrooms and other legal settings are other locations where video remote interpreting for deaf people is commonly used.

Businesses and schools are also taking advantage of the simplicity, convenience, and practicality of video remote interpreting for the deaf. For many organizations, it doesn’t make sense to hire a sign-language interpreter full-time if they are only needed once in awhile for meetings and conferences. Also, many times an in-person interpreter might not be available, especially in locations where there are few sign-language interpreters serving the area. Remote sign-language interpretation services accommodate any kind of interaction, whether brief or long, simple or complex, and can initiated quickly.


Video sign-language interpretation advantages

The use of video remote interpreting, especially in high-stakes situations, such as a hospital or courtroom, is criticized by some as not offering adequate communication access to the deaf. They argue that videoconferencing is an unreliable means of providing an interpreter. However, responsible and appropriate use of videoconferencing services provides the same services that an in-person interpreter would. It is important to provide high-quality equipment and a clear Internet connection so that good communication can be facilitated and nothing becomes “lost in translation.”

Many language services companies now offer virtual services, including sign-language interpretation, through videoconferencing. Performing these services virtually saves travel time and costs, benefitting both the service provider and the client. Best of all, videoconferencing allows for increased access to high-quality, professional interpreters to people who might not otherwise have it. Virtual interpreters can make all the difference, whether they’re helping a doctor understand a patient’s symptoms, communicating a testimony in court or facilitating a parent-teacher conference.

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4 Ways To Convey Expertise During A Webinar Mon, 16 May 2016 13:15:48 +0000 Read more]]> Simply put: authority sells. People will be more willing to buy a product or use a service from a person or business who they, or others, view and an expert or authority in the industry.

Generally, people who are not yet your customers will be naturally skeptical about your products or service.

After all, you are asking them to part with their money and they donít yet have any guarantee that the product will work for them. However, if you convey your expertise during a webinar you can do much to build your authority and turn a skeptical consumer into a satisfied customer.

Webinars are fantastic tools to build authority and show your expertise. However, just because you host a webinar and are prepared to talk for 45 minutes on a given subject and answer the audience’s questions doesn’t automatically make you an expert.


To help you convey expertise during a webinar, here are 4 ways you can do that:


1. Find a New Angle

The first way to convey expertise and build authority in a webinar is to find a new angle to develop a topic. Webinars offer the chance to engage with consumers anywhere in the world and speak to them on an individual basis.

During your webinar, you should choose topics which are interesting enough for a wide audience, but specific enough to be informative. It has been said that there is nothing new under the sun. While it is true that your topic may not be new, you can certainly think of interesting ways to develop the topic.

It may take some time, but if you can present your topics in an interesting way, you will build up a larger and larger community which will help you build authority. After all, if many people attend your webinars and follow you on social media, you must be good!


2. Content Curation

What is information curation? Information curation shouldn’t be confused with information creation. To curate information means simply to gather together valuable pieces of information that your audience is interested in and present it in your own unique way.

This is similar to how museums work. The curator in a museum looks for interesting artifacts from around the world on a specific theme and puts them together as a display. The museum then becomes an authority on the specific topic. Presenting curated information during a webinar is another way to convey expertise.

Of course, you should give credit to the creators of the content, but the fact that you have sifted through much information and picked the most valuable items will do much to build your authority.


3. Answer questions

You probably know more about your product or service than anyone else. This puts you in a position of authority and expertise. When your audience can see you talk enthusiastically about your product, see you demonstrate how the product can benefit them, then hear you answer questions on the product, you convey a high level of expertise.

Then, when your audience starts using the product and benefits from it, your expertise in their eyes will grow. This means that they will probably come back to you in the future when they need a similar product or service.

Think about how Google has managed to do this. Google doesn’t host or generate any information that comes up in the search results. They have developed a system to provide people with the best and most relevant answers to the questions and issues that people have. People now turn to Google whenever they want an answer to a question.


4. Collaborate with Authority

If you haven’t yet had the chance to build authority, then you can convey expertise during a webinar if you invite guest speakers who are already viewed as authority figures. In the eyes of your audience, their authority will ‘rub off’ on you.

It’s important to cultivate relationships with authority figures in your industry and connect with them. Many will be more than happy to share their expertise as a guest speaker during your webinar. After all, who wouldn’t be flattered by receiving an invitation to speak as an authority? It also gives them a chance to expand their audience. So for you and your guest speaker, it is a win-win situation.

This also has an added benefit that you will also learn from them and you will get a feel as to how to present yourself as an expert, thus building authority even more.


It can be very simple to convey expertise during a webinar, even if you are just starting out or have only presented a few webinars. If you follow these 4 ways to convey your expertise, then you will build authority and successfully market your product.

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10 Ways To Excite Your Audience About An Upcoming Webinar Fri, 13 May 2016 12:20:27 +0000 Read more]]> The key to a successful webinar is creating one that contains value for your attendees. However, before people attend your webinar, you need to create an air of excitement and expectation about it.

Creating an air of excitement about your event can do much to boost the amount of people who attend. It also means that the more that people are excited about attending it, then the more willing they will be to take part in it.

What can you do to create excitement about your upcoming webinar?


Here are top 10 ways to excite your audience about your webinar:


1. Pick an Engaging Topic

The topic that you choose for your webinar will often affect how excited people are to attend.

So, what makes a great topic? Ask yourself these questions:

  • Does the topic intrigue?
  • Am I promising to let them into trade secrets?
  • Do I promise to tell them something new?

It is also important that your topic is broad enough to appeal to a wide audience but specific enough to be interesting.

To do this, you could choose a wide topic to appeal to many people in the industry but focus on one or two specific aspects on how you can address the issue. You also should do some keyword research so that you increase the chance of your webinar being picked up in the search engines.


2. Promise Something Special

You can create excitement for your upcoming webinar if you offer something special to your attendees. You could offer to give away something of value, like a free gift, money-off coupons, or some other promotional item from your company.

You can also run a competition beforehand, asking registrants to tweet something original about the webinar and then you pick the winner during the webinar.


3. Create an Exciting Landing Page

Your landing page can set the tone of the webinar. It should be clear and informative without being too wordy.

On the landing page you should state the following:

  • Who is presenting the webinar and why they are presenting it.
  • What topics will be discussed and how the attendees will benefit.
  • When it will take place.
  • Where it will be held and how early before the start can someone attend.
  • Why you are holding the webinar.

If your information is clear and informative, you will help to create some excitement about your webinar.


4. Send a Thank You Confirmation

Once a person has registered, you should send them a confirmation with a note of thank you. You can also leverage this email to add a bit more of value for the webinar. For example, you could let them know a bit more about it or you could send links to a video of a previous webinar.

Remember to add a link so that they can automatically add the event to their calendar.


5. Reminder Emails

You can build on the thank-you email by sending out reminder emails before the event. You should also remember to add something of unique value to each email. So, you could send an eBook, a link to a video or relevant blog post. Try to make do something that they only receive because they registered for the webinar.

When should you remind registrants about the webinar? Send reminders one week beforehand, one day beforehand, and then one hour beforehand.

Be sure to include the key topics of your webinars in the reminder emails, this helps build anticipation and excitement and allows people to begin to look forward to your topic.


6. Use Social Media

Social media is a great way to generate excitement about your webinar and also make sure that more people attend. If you can create a buzz on social media, then the excitement will continue to grow organically. To do this, remember to create a unique hashtag for your event and use this every time you post an update.


7. Use Guest Speakers

If you can, have a guest speaker at your webinar and preferably one who is well known in the industry. This can generate much excitement for your webinar. Your guest speak can also promote the event and this way you can reach an even wider audience.


8. Use Paid Ads

Although you will want to market your webinar organically, using paid ads is also a great way to generate excitement for your webinar. If you have done your keyword research properly, it can boost attendance figures and generate more interest if, in the search results both organic and paid results for the webinar show up.


9. Blog

You should use your own blog to create some excitement beforehand about your webinar.

You can write blog posts about the various topics you will discuss and the angles that you will approach them from. Of course, you are not going to give too much away, but just enough to build excitement.


10. Use Your Homepage

Probably, your homepage is the page that most visitors come to first of all. Use your homepage to promote your webinar, making sure that there is a call to action for people who haven’t registered yet. You could also have a countdown timer to show days and hours until the event.

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6 Key Benefits Of Using An Assistant For Your Webinar Presentation Wed, 11 May 2016 13:43:40 +0000 Read more]]> Webinars have become a powerful marketing tool which can be used by bloggers, small local businesses, and large multi-nationals. They enable marketers and business owners to reach a wider audience and engage with their customers on a whole new level.

However, in order for webinars to be effective, they need to run smoothly. One way to make sure that they are successful and run smoothly is to use an assistant for your webinar presentation.


How to Find an Assistant for Your Webinar

It can be a challenging prospect to organize and host a webinar. Although webinars are a great way to reach a wider audience in a very cost-effective matter, they can be quite technical to setup and run. Even if you have the technical experience to run a webinar, it is still helpful if you have an assistant.

How can you find a good assistant for your webinar? There are 3 main ways to find an assistant for your webinar presentation:

  • Use someone from your company’s IT department. If your company has its own IT department, then they could assist during the presentation.
  • Hire a virtual assistant. A virtual assistant can help during the presentation, and they don’t have to be in the same room. Webinar platforms allow for virtual assistants to be located anywhere and they can handle any technical issues that come up.
  • Have a friend help you. This is probably the cheapest way to use an assistant, but your friend will need to be trained in using webinar software.

Why is it worth investing some time and resources in hiring an assistant for your webinar presentation?


6 Key Benefits of Using an Assistant During Your Webinar


1. They Save You Time

You already have so much to do in organizing your webinar and you don’t want to spend a lot of time learning the intricacies of webinar software. There are also time issues of preparing material, landing pages, sending and responding to emails, and following up on leads. These tasks can be assigned to your assistant


2. Resolve Software Issues

Although you probably know the basics of how webinar software works, it can be difficult to help participants resolve issues that they have. This could be problems like:

  • Video doesn’t work
  • No sound
  • Attendees having logging in issues

Your assistant can prepare a guide for your attendees on how to successfully ‘attend’ their first webinar. This can avoid many problems at the start.

Your assistant can also help answer queries about how to set everything up.


3. Resolve Technical Issues

Your assistant can help resolve any technical issues that come during the webinar presentation. So, if your computer freezes, the Internet goes down, or there are some other problems ñ your assistant will resolve these allowing you to concentrate on your presentation. Appearing stressed and in a panic during a presentation will only result in attendees logging off.


4. Technical Support During Q & A

Most webinars have a Q & A session because this gives you valuable feedback from your audience and you can also address their concerns. During your Q & A session, your assistant can monitor questions coming in and prioritize those for your consideration. The assistant can then help in filtering out duplicate questions and make a list of questions to be answered in a follow-up email.

This allows you the chance to be completely focused on your presentation and keeping engaged with your audience.


5. Lets You Present Material Professionally

The biggest benefit of using an assistant for your webinar presentation is that it helps you present your material in a professional manner. Because you have more time beforehand to research and prepare material, during the presentation you can forget about any technical issues.

This means that you can focus on the main purpose of your webinar ñ presenting high-quality, professional content.


6. Makes Sure Every Runs Smoothly

When your assistant will help make sure that everything runs smoothly because they can resolve any technical issues that come up, moderate the Q & A session, and help you focus on delivering a killer presentation. The end result will be a webinar that delivers high-quality value content to the audience.

This can be especially useful for smaller businesses or bloggers because you can give the impression that your business is larger than it actually is. This can help build authority in your industry and help you expand your customer base.


Even though you may want to try and ‘go it alone’ in your webinar presentation, you will benefit greatly if you use a competent assistant for your webinar presentation.

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What to Do After a Meeting to Make It Worth Your While Mon, 09 May 2016 10:54:55 +0000 Read more]]> When you finish a good, productive meeting, there’s a sense of accomplishment that can’t be denied. Meetings can be trying – team members don’t always agree, much has to be done in a set amount of time, and then there’s meeting fatigue that inevitably sets in. So when you and your team have done a good job, it’s something to celebrate.

Give yourself that pat on the back – but don’t get too self-assured. The hard work of the meeting has been accomplished, but the harder work of checking off your to-do list has just begun. Until your next follow-up meeting, your mission is to follow through with the tasks you were assigned – and keep up to speed with what the rest of the team is doing, too. After your meeting, do these four things to stay aligned with your goals and make the meeting worth it.


Distribute and review meeting notes

Even if each and every team member took notes during the meeting, for consistency’s sake, it’s important to have an official set of meeting notes to send out after the meeting. That way, there’s no confusion over what was said and decided – a consensus can be reached. Meeting notes should be distributed within a day of the meeting itself. All team members should be encouraged to review the notes, so they can ask questions and be clear on their responsibilities.


Follow up with team members

Whether you’re the boss or a team member, it’s imperative to keep the rest of your crew up to speed with your progress – and vice versa. Group projects are like an ecosystem in which every aspect depends on others. A team member might need you to finish something before they can move on to their part, or information from your task might inform another. Let people you work with know where you’re at and whether you’re on schedule to meet important deadlines. If you’re the boss, don’t let your team members fall off the radar.


Prioritize your commitments

Follow through with all of your tasks, and set milestones for reaching your goals. Figure out which items need to be taken care of first, then work on them in that order. If you stick to your milestones and timeline, you will stay on track. Always do what will make the biggest impact in that moment without getting distracted by little things that pop up but can wait.


Keep the lines of communication open

No matter what stage you at in a project, staying connected is the only way to make sure that the job gets done right. Never hesitate to ask questions – it could save you a lot of time and effort later. Make sure that you truly understand your colleagues when they communicate with you. If something goes wrong, let people know – don’t try to cover it up, as it can come back to bite you. The afterwards of a meeting is all about being accountable and taking responsibility. Communicate both the good and the bad to your team members and your leadership for the best outcome for the project – and for you and your career.

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Tips for Maintaining Appropriate Time Management in a Webinar Presentation Fri, 06 May 2016 12:45:27 +0000 Read more]]> One of the biggest challenges of hosting a successful webinar is to manage time properly. Time in a webinar is finite and before you know it, the end of the webinar can be approaching and you still have so much to say.

It is a must for any webinar host to keep to the allotted time. This allows you to discuss all the topics you had planned to say and it also shows respect for your audience. There can be nothing more off-putting for an audience if you have to rush through material, start panicking, and then miss out topics that you had promised to discuss.


There are usually two main reasons why a webinar host runs out of time:

  1. The host has planned to discuss too much material for the allotted time.
  2. The host didn’t take into account factors like giving out handouts, showing slides, and hosting a Q & A session.


What are the best tips to maintain appropriate time management in a webinar presentation?


1. Plan Properly

Proper planning is the key to maintaining appropriate time management in a presentation. For this, you need to prioritize information in a logical order. So, start with your main points and arrange them in a logical order. This will actually save you time because our brains are programmed to process information in a logical way. You, therefore, can speak less to get the main points over.

The next step in the planning process is to find supporting arguments for your main points. You should now think about what kind of visual aids to use and how these can emphasize your ideas.


2. Be Flexible

You should avoid writing out your presentation and delivering it verbatim. This will only negatively impact on your presentation because your audience will sense that you are reading it. Also, a word-for-word script doesn’t allow for any flexibility.

For example, there could be some technical glitches that can take up more time. Or, a Q & A session could go longer than you planned. Sometimes, even just being in a ‘live’ setting takes a longer time than you planned for.


3. Rehearse Your Performance

There are many technical aspects to hosting a webinar and it is important to well rehearse all aspects of these. Usually, a webinar will contain slides, maybe a video presentation, guest speakers, and some handouts. All of these transitions take time.

Most webinar platforms allow you to host a demo webinar. So, make sure and go through the whole presentation in a calm manner. This will help you streamline distributing handouts, showing slides, and introducing guest speakers.

A few words of caution: Avoid the pitfall of not showing slides long enough for them to be effective. It can be frustrating for an audience if, while they are reading the slide, it changes. Don’t try and rush the presentation to cram in more material. Sometimes less is more, and not always cramming as much information as possible into a presentation means that you are delivering value.

You should also rehearse your presentation audibly, not just speak the words ‘in your head.’ This is because we think faster than we speak and we have the tendency to ‘speak in our mind’ faster than we say the words.


4. Divide Your Time Up

On your outline, you should specify how long each main point should take ñ when it should start and when it should end.

You should also clearly show in your outline when to distribute handouts, change slides, and show other media content. This means that you don’t have to double-back to a point because you forgot to change the slide. It also has the added benefit of making your presentation appear slicker.

Even though you may run over time on one or two topics, if you have a clear time schedule for each main topic it will help you running out of a lot of time at the end.


5. Use a Clock

This may seem obvious, but you should keep a clock in a visible position for easy reference. It can be very easy to be so engrossed in your presentation that time goes much quicker than you think. Remember to mark in your outline the actual time when you should start each topic. So, let’s say that your presentation starts at 2pm and you plan for a 5-minute introduction. You should write 2.05pm beside the first main topic, and then do the same for each subsequent main topic.


It’s a challenge to make sure that webinars don’t go over time and to always allow yourself enough time to discuss your main topics in detail. However, if you follow the 5 great tips on maintaining appropriate time management in webinar presentations, you will always be able to finish on time.

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The Newbies Guide to Webinar Creation Wed, 04 May 2016 12:15:45 +0000 Read more]]> The prospect of hosting your first webinar can be a daunting experience. If you are an internet marketer or you run your own business, then it will probably be the first time that you will connect with your customers in a virtual environment. For many, this is a big step outside of their comfort zone.

So, what do you need to know to create your first, successful webinar? Here is the ultimate to guide for newbies to successfully create their first webinar. First of all, what are the challenges in hosting a webinar?


The Challenges of Hosting a Webinar

You already realize that webinars are a powerful marketing tool and they can be one of the best ways to build your brand, establish your authority, and become even more successful. However, they are not without their challenges. For example, you need to decide on the following things:

  • The best platform to host your webinar
  • How to promote your webinar to reach the widest audience
  • How to speak in a way to engage your audience
  • What happens if something goes wrong

The good news is that you can plan for all eventualities and with the proper planning and strategies in place, you can host your first successful webinar.


Here at the top 3 basic steps you should take if you plan on hosting a webinar.


1. Preparation

This sounds like an obvious step, but you should start preparing for your webinar at least 8 weeks before the event. This is where you will plan out what you want to achieve with your webinar. View the preparation step as the foundation of your first successful webinar. You will need to decide on the following:

  • An engaging topic. The best kinds of topics are solutions to your audience’s problems. If you can think about what are the problems that your audience is most concerned with and then address those, you will go a long way in making sure the webinar is successful.
  • Date. Your audience and where they live can have an impact on the date and time of your webinar. If they live in different countries then you will have to consider factors like time zones and local holidays. In the US, the best time to host webinars is in the afternoon Eastern Time which is morning Pacific Time.
  • Webinar platform. For your first webinar, you will need to choose the proper platform. Many webinar platforms offer a 30 free trial. You can try free platforms like Skype and Google Hangouts, but they lack many of the technical aspects that are needed to create a successful webinar.


Now that you have got your basics planned and organized, you can start preparing and gathering your material. Around 4 weeks before your planned webinar, you have some more preparation to do.

  • Create a landing page. In order to make sure you generate the most leads possible for your webinar, it is essential that you have a good registration landing page. This is where attendees will register with their email address. Most webinar platforms have an integrated landing page that you can use.
  • Set up your platform. Depending on which webinar platform you use, you will have to set up the technical side for your event. You should familiarize yourself with all the technical parts of the webinar software you plan to use. You can also set up autoresponder emails.
  • Practice. There is no better preparation for your first successful webinar than proper planning for the event. Usually, each webinar platform will have a demo mode where you can rehearse how to present your material. This helps you familiarize yourself with the webinar platform to make sure that everything runs smoothly.


2. Promotion

The second main step in creating your first successful webinar is to promote it well. Obviously, if you are investing a lot of time and resources in your webinar, you want to reach the widest possible audience. There are many ways that you can do this:

  • Social media. Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are great tools to promote your webinar to your existing contacts. You can also run an ad campaign to help you reach an even wider audience.
  • Email list. If you already have an email list, then you should definitely run an email campaign to advertise your webinar. Also, remember to send out reminder emails to those who have already registered.
  • On your website. On your website make sure and have a clear call to action for website visitors to register for the webinar. You can also write a blog article on the topics that you plan to cover.
  • Affiliates
  • Blogging


3. Content

If you are a newbie and you plan on creating your first webinar, then you need to follow the best practices for creating content. There are certain dos and don’ts to follow when it comes to content.
If this is your first webinar, you should break it up into 3 sections:

  1. 5-minute introduction.
  2. 25 minutes for the main presentation. This is best broken into 5-minute sections.
  3. 10 minutes for Q & A.


A word of warning about slides: don’t try to have too much information in them. Make them colorful and just outline the main points that you want your audience to remember.

Although planning and hosting your first webinar is a challenge, it is definitely possible for you to host a successful webinar. If you follow these 3 basic main steps, you will successfully present your first webinar of many.

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How To Provide Value To Your Customers With An Educational Webinar Mon, 02 May 2016 13:13:26 +0000 Read more]]> One of the biggest mistakes that webinar hosts can make is to turn the webinar into a sales pitch. Most people will register for a webinar so that they can learn something new. Therefore, if you want to provide value to your customers, you should always schedule educational webinars.


What is an educational webinar?

An educational webinar is one that designed to highlight problems and issues that your customers may face with your niche or industry. They usually don’t focus on sales, although some soft sales pitches can be made in them.

They can also include training on using a particular product or service. Educational training webinars are particularly useful for your audience. These types of webinars can help customers see how a product works and allow them to ask questions. Educational webinars also emphasize that you care enough about your customers to provide them value for free.


What are the benefits of educational webinars?

There are many benefits of hosting educational webinars.

  • Brand building. Educational webinars are great for brand building. The webinar will allow you the chance to showcase your skills and expertise in your industry. This can have a positive impact on sales in the long run because customers are more likely to buy products or services from authorities.
  • Build relationships and trust. When customers see that you make their needs and problems a priority, then they are more likely to keep engaging with you. Over time, this can build up more interest in future webinars because they know that they will get something of value.
  • Less customer service calls. You can actually reduce the amount of customer service calls if customers have received instructions and training on using the product. In addition, educational and training webinars can be edited, repackaged, and sent out as short training videos to customers.


How to provide value in a webinar

For an educational webinar to be truly valuable, various factors should be taken into consideration.

  • Keep a clear goal of its purpose. If you start trying to push sales after 15 minutes then you will lose your audience. Therefore, when planning for an educational webinar, make sure that each topic has something of value.
  • Focus on quality content. This is why your attendee registered in the first place ñ they want to hear quality content. Quality content can come in many forms. First of all, make sure that your attendees really learn something. Slides and visual aids are also great ways of providing value. Slides should be used to reinforce your point or message, don’t use them to repeat what you said.
  • Give something away for free. You could repackage some of the content you created into a PDF training guide. This can be offered as a handout during the webinar. Alternatively, you could have a webpage with a recording of the webinar and useful links to other material. If you password protect the content, then this can be an exclusive offer to attendees.
  • Provide solutions to problems. The most valuable thing for each attendee is to learn solutions to problems that they face.
  • Use a soft sales pitch. If done properly, it can be possible to include a soft sales pitch at the end of an educational webinar. To do this effectively, you need to make sure that the main goal of your webinar was to educate. If you plan a soft sales pitch at the end, make sure that you offer material for free and provide great solutions to common problems throughout the webinar. At the end, the audience could be offered something of even greater value for a price.
  • Use interactive sessions. Educational webinars don’t need just to be a one-way affair. Make sure and interact with your audience. This can be done by using polls and surveys as well as question and answer sessions. Don’t just leave the Q & A time to the end, but provide opportunities throughout the webinar for this. Polls and surveys are good ways to elicit feedback on products and services. Questions allow for the audience to get involved and let you show your expertise about your product or service. If a common problem is identified, then this can also give you material for a future educational webinar.


Educational webinars are an important part of a marketing strategy. They allow a business or marketer to provide true value to their customers. In turn, customers will appreciate the care that has been taken to prepare valuable material. Other types of webinars also have their place, but you can provide awesome value to your customers by presenting an educational webinar.

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