For most chairpersons, running a webinar is just a tiny part of their job description and they don't have the time to learn every nuance of a technology platform (especially if they run webinars on multiples services).
Here's a quick and easy guide to the ReadyTalk chat feature to empower it to make your live events easier and more stress-free.
Get the Bird's Eye View: The chat feature's default location is in the lower left corner of the Conference Controls, but you can customize that layout very easily using the familiar drag-and-drop and resizing techniques. Click-hold-and-drag on the blue header bar that says "Chat" and pull it "out" of the Conference Controls window. Then click-hold-and-drag in the lower right corner to make it bigger. Move the Controls window to the top of your screen and place the chat window below it -- voila! See the chat like a bird sees the city.
Filter Your Recipients: Only want to see the chats from your Co-Presenters? Don't want to risk chatting to the entire audience? Select "All Co-Presenters" and send a quick message like "Hi Fellow Co-Presenters!" Then right-click (Mac users will Control-click) and select "New Window" from the menu that appears. You can move and resize that new window, too, and it serves as a private chatroom just for you and the other co-presenters! You can do the same thing with individual participants by right-clicking their name in the participant list and selecting "Chat" from the menu.
Keep It Simple for Keynote Speakers: Do you want to keep the general chat out-of-sight for a keynote presenter but make sure she can see questions and timestamps and move-closer-to-the-microphone messages? That's an easy one. Right click on her name in the Participant List and select "New Window" from the menu. Then send a quick message like "hello" and instruct her to right click and select new window to create a private chatroom for you and her. Then have her click on the two little upward arrows on the right side of the blue header bar where "Chat" is written -- this will "minimize" the main chat feature and leave her with only the messages you send. So copy/paste questions/comments into that private chat window and you are good to go.
- Prepare Pre-Written Stock Messages: Do you know that you'll be providing the recording by email a few days after the webinar? Do you want participants to use a Twitter Hashtag? Do you have forgetful or "super busy" participants who might forget the dial-in number? Are your participants going to get credit for attending the webinar? Don't want to answer these questions on the fly or retype your answer 100 times? Great -- pre-write your responses! Open a text document or email and get ready to copy/paste as necessary. Here are some ideas:
- "Hi everyone, thank you for attending today. The audio can be heard by dialing ###-###-####. Thanks!"
- "Ladies and Gentlemen, please submit your questions using the chat feature throughout the presentation -- we will answer them at the end and as time allows."
- "Continue the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #readytalk"
- "Ladies and gentlemen, we will provide a recording of today's presentation via email in a few days -- stay tuned!"
- "Want to follow along? Download the slide presentation now at this link: www.yourwebsite.com/webinardeckdate.pdf"
- "Do you need credit for attending today? Forward the follow-up email we send you to firstname.lastname@example.org!"
- "Experiencing technical difficulties? Call ReadyTalk Customer Care at 800.843.9166. Thanks!"
So there you go -- you're a Chat Feature Pro! And ReadyTalk is full of features like this that can make your life (and your webinars) easier if you just know how to put them to use. How do you use the Chat Feature?