You don’t need to pay a lot for expensive camera equipment, lighting, or a studio if you’re planning on hosting a webinar. It’s possible to host one using basic desktop tools in your own office. However, even if you’re hosting your webinar on the cheap, there are a few things you can do to make your webinar more professional—at no or very little cost. Here are some ideas.
Test everything beforehand. The more complicated the webinar, the more important it is to test all your tech before the big day. Establish a test webinar and give it a trial run; go through all the audio, slides, and video you plan to show to make sure it all loads smoothly.
If you’re having guest presenters or panelists, have them test their headsets to make sure they can hear and be heard. If any presenters have their own visuals, run those through the testing process as well. Crucially, make sure your recording equipment or software is functioning well and produces a video file that can be easily downloaded and used, and any polls, challenges, chat boxes, and other interactive functions are in full working order.
Assign someone to run damage control on the big day. No matter how thoroughly you test, chances are there will be glitches when your webinar goes live. Get a coworker or employee to help any attendees or panelists fix technical problems so they don’t hijack the webinar.
Get your tech ready. On the day of the webinar, be sure any applications that might slow your computer down are closed. If your phone is in the room, turn it on silent and make sure any notifications are shut off. Be sure nothing could go off unexpectedly during your webinar—no dings, text messages, phone calls, or other incoming alerts.
Get your space ready. If you’re going to be using notes, be sure they’re organized and in order—and laid out so that you won’t have to spend a lot of time shuffling through them and making distracting rustling noises. If you’re working from a home office with kids in the house, make sure someone is there to take care of them and keep them out of the way while the webinar is running.
Schedule yourself to sign on early. Sign on fifteen minutes or so early to make sure everything is in working order, your sound levels are good, and unexpected glitches are handled before the start.
You can make sure your webinars are professional and well run—on any budget. Follow these tips to reduce technical glitches and prepare for the worst, keep your webinar on schedule, and enlist an employee or colleague to handle anything that comes up during the presentation—and you should be able to run a smooth, well-functioning webinar.