The live webcast day is when the audience is going to login to watch and engage with the session, the speaker and other attendees. It’s important to have everything in place before you are set to go live to ensure that everything runs smoothly and the audience has a great first impression to the event. Speakers should follow all the best practices for location selection, computer/network settings, telephony and audio/video setup in addition to following these tips for a successful live webcast.
Tips for a Successful Live Webcast
- Arrive at least 30 Minutes Early: This gives the speaker or engineer time to setup their equipment, test the equipment, do a quick slide run through and prepare additional seed questions. Speakers can also interact with the audience during this time to get them excited and engaged.
- Start on Time: Go live at the published time. Attendees may continue to join but speakers shouldn’t punish the ones who were on time by starting late. Starting on time shows you are professional and are well prepared with the material and technology.
- Look Into the Camera: For video sessions, don’t swivel, look down at notes, or look around the room. Connect with the audience by looking into the camera. Having the speaker make eye contact with the camera helps to keep the audiences attention and creates the illusion that the speaker is looking at an audience. Keeping contact shows you are confident in the information you are sharing.
- Tell the Audience What’s Expected of Them: Review how to properly use group chats, Q&A, polls, etc. so that attendees participate right from the start. If the audience is familiar with all the features and tools they will more likely use them, be engaged, and have a better experience.
- Be Conscious of Timing: Use the timer to stay on pace and make sure to complete the content with time for Q&A. Practicing delivering the content will give you a good idea of how long the presentation will be and help you to map out how long of a time you should leave for questions and wrap up. If the webcast runs over, let attendees know they can catch the rest of the Q&A on demand if they can’t stay.
- Don’t Announce Problems: If something does occur or the speaker is unsure of how to do something, use the presenter tools to address issues instead of announcing it to the audience. If the audience thinks there’s an issue they may leave and the announcement of an issue will be on the final recording.
- Have a Glass of Water Handy: Have a glass of water in case the speaker becomes parched. It’s not uncommon for speakers to get nervous and get distracted when their mouth gets dry. A glass of water will help the speaker take a pause, regain composure and continue the webcast with out a problem.
- Have a Copy of the Slides: Speakers should print a copy of their slides with notes and have them on hand in case of emergency. If the speaker uses a teleprompter or loses their train of thought a quick glance at the slides will help to pull everything back together.
- HAVE FUN: If the speaker is smiling and seems interested in the content, the audience will be too. It is important to stay professional but show some personality. If you are having a good time, most likely the audience will too.
For more information on best practices for webcasting take a look at some of other resources including “Things People Forget during a Webcast” or “10 steps to master when planning a webcast” to get you prepared to have the best possible experience for your audience and as a presenter.