Webcasting is a collaborative endeavor between you and your audience. And while a webcast is presentation-based, it should not be a one-way street. The best communicators don’t approach their presentation as a linear experience. Good hosts allow each presentation to be transformed in response to audience input, while still following their predetermined agenda.
We have done hundreds of webcasts over the last 18 years and have accumulated some solid advice for how to plan the perfect webcast.
Preparation is Key
Work hard to build interest before your webcast even airs.
A compelling and clear abstract, coupled with a dynamic speaker will help to engage viewers on your webcast. Company-wide emails and posts on internal channels can all generate interest in your webcast.
Plan, outline and rehearse your presentation in advance.
Get a feel for timing, come up with anecdotes to share, and questions to seed conversation. Be prepared for open-ended questions and discussions with your audience members that can take you in new directions. Create PowerPoint slides to help keep your audience engaged.
Test your technology.
Having the perfect presentation won’t matter if your technology fails you. It’s important that you test your local network connection, test your delivery network, test your playback devices and software — and understand the limitations of each. If you’re part of a large organization, working with your IT and network teams can be crucial to the success of your event.
On The Big Day
Start out strong with a story, question, statistic, or another memorable opening act. Make sure that you introduce yourself to your attendees and answer any questions they have about the event.
Follow your own rules, especially those that relate to timing, during the course of your webcast. Be interested in your own presentation, entertain your audience, and let your audience members get involved.
Poll your audience members.
This will help you verify that they are comprehending and retaining information, or to gather opinions. Using the information you glean from polling, you may be able to come up with discussions questions or your next webcast. Live polling is a great way to break up a long meeting. Don’t be a “sage on the stage.”
Answer the audience’s questions in a Q&A session.
Do this either at the end or throughout the session. Addressing their questions clearly and concisely is an important part of making sure they feel the presentation was beneficial.
Some potential benefits include more engagement and more trust. These benefits come from live streaming a robust Q&A session.
Use strong calls to action to get your audience members to download or upload documents, create and share content, promote your webcast on social networks, contact sales representatives, and more. People rarely take action without you telling them to do so. Give them a little nudge in the right direction and they will be much more likely to respond.
Surveys are great to use to gauge satisfaction.
You can collect data on both the topic of your presentation and your presentation itself. This is an excellent tool for planning for future webcasts—and making improvements to products, services, and more.
Make sure to get watch time statistics from your webcast service. This is your most concrete engagement data.
Evaluate the data.
Review your webcast and all the participation logs you have of chats, polls, surveys, downloads, and more. Use the analytic information your webcasting software generates to draw conclusions about your audience members, their interest level, and what you can do next time to get them even more involved.
Like any other skill, hosting a webcast takes some time and effort to develop. You’ll learn many lessons from your first presentation, which are all part of the process of growth.
Keep refining your presentation style based on feedback from your audience, and you’ll eventually pick up not only the concrete elements of presenting, but also the intangible essentials, such as an open trust between management and staff.
Follow these tips to plan the perfect webcast and pay attention to the unique things you and your team have. Webcasting is all about direct, honest communication, so the best advice is to be yourself.
About Lime Crane
Lime Crane creates collaborative and engaging experiences for our clients and their audiences. Our unique webcasting solution enables clients to stream live town halls and panel discussions with every employee in their entire organization – even while all speakers, staff, and production crews are working remotely. We integrate our webcasting technology with your existing video conference systems to overcome the limited capacities of Skype, Zoom, Webex and others.
If you would like to learn more about virtual events and high-quality broadcasts to large unlimited audiences, contact the live stream experts at Lime Crane. Our team offers a rare mix of high-level expertise in Video Streaming Technology, Video Production, and client relations that you will not find anywhere else.