Dry run practices allow the speaker to test their location, equipment and setup as well as become familiar with the webcasting software and practice delivering their content as if it was a live presentation. A dry run is important to ensuring speakers are prepared and confident for the live day and should ultimately foreshadow the live day presentation. Speakers should follow all the preparation best practices for location selection, computer/network settings, telephony and audio/video setup in addition to following these dry run tips.
Tips for a Successful Dry Run
- Practice. Practice. Practice.: Speakers should be able to give their presentation without having to look at each slide. Practicing multiple times allows the speaker to be able to make better eye contact with the camera (the audience) rather than the content and gives them the confidence to take/pose questions throughout the duration of the webcast.
- Create “Seed Questions” for the Q&A: Sometimes audience members can be slow or nervous to type in questions. Prepare 3-5 questions the speakers are comfortable answering in case they need to get the ball rolling. These questions may spark an idea in the audience and help them to ask their own questions.
- Know What’s Expected of You: Understand what is needed for the live day. This includes knowing how long the session should be, how much time should be left for questions, the must include and avoid topics, what time to arrive on the live day, etc. Knowing well in advance what is expected from you will help you to prepare and have all the moving components in place when you practice and during the live day.
- Know the Audience: Tailor the presentation to the audience and present at their level. If speakers are unsure of the audience’s knowledge level, ask a polling question early on and prepare to adapt to their responses. Having a good idea of the audience will help you to deliver information that is more meaningful and will help everyone to get the most out of the webcast.
- Know the Plan: Understand the webcast technology, flow of the session, how to change slides, pass the microphone (if needed), answer questions and participate in the chat. Being familiar with the webcast platform will help you to move within the environment more smoothly on the practice and live day.
- Practice Contingency Plans: Prepare backup plans in case of audio/video malfunction, loss of connection to the internet or other scenarios that may arise while presenting. It’s important speakers understand what could happen and know the proper procedure for managing this while live so as to keep the webcast on track. The last thing you want is to have attendees drop out of the presentation because of technical difficulties.
- Use Same Location/Equipment: To ensure a proper test of delivery, the speaker should be in the same location, using the same equipment, on the same network that will be used for the live day for at least one dry run. The purpose of this is to simulate a live presentation to ensure everyone knows what to expect and get comfortable with the technology and content.
When prepping for a webcast the dry run should be set up as close to the live day as possible including location, technology, and content. Being properly prepared for a successful webcast requires a lot of pre-planning and practice, especially content delivery. Following these 7 tips will help you to get ready for your dry run and ultimately your live webcast.
For more tips and bet practices for planning a webcast check out our “Interactive webcasting guide,” and 9 tips for the live day of your webcast. Please visit our website at www.inxpo.com for more information on how to start creating your own webcasts for lead generation, product announcements, and more.