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Fear Factor: You Mean I Have to Conduct a Webinar in Two Weeks!? Don't Sweat It.

Posted by Shawn Cardinal on
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afraid of webinarsLet’s face it, unless you are regularly conducting web meetings or webinars, you’re going to be nervous.  And, as a matter of fact, a majority of people I talk to are thrown into it last minute. Yikes!  For the occasional user, conferencing may be a low priority and some may wait until the last minute to prepare. I mean, you have your “current” job to do and now you have to do this!? Couple this with not being able to see your audience and maybe you're new to presenting? That would make anyone anxious, uncomfortable, and downright scared.

Break it down into the basics to get through the first one. Think of this as your high level survival guide. I have found that fear of a new technology or delivering new content can paralyze many people; use the K.I.S.S. principle to get through it. We’ll get to more advanced marketing and content marketing ideas in later installments.  For right now, we’ll simply think of this in three categories and won’t over complicate things.

 

Pre-Meeting or Pre-Webinar

  • Send invitations/registrations
  • Create your slides and talking points
  • Practice both using your web conferencing tools and giving the presentation

Make sure your invitations have clear instructions for audio and web connections as well as a Customer Care or support number in case there are technical questions. Keep your invite simple and easy to read. As for content, hopefully you know at least something about the subject. If you are under the gun, bullet or outline the talking points as soon as you can in a cohesive flow. Then, whenever you can, pre-visualize and practice what you’ll say for each talking point. (I’m not a fan of scripts unless there are specific legal terms or corporate policies that need to be adhered to). Build your slides as a complement to your talking points. You don’t want to end up reading your slides.

In-Meeting

  • Relax
  • Double click the slide you want the audience to see and talk about it
  • Deliver your content that you’ve practiced so well
  • Click stop and hang up phone

Get to know your web conferencing tools. I can’t tell you how many times people just wing it. Don’t. With ReadyTalk, you could literally get away with dialing a conferencing call, clicking two buttons, and then double-clicking the slide you want the audience to see. Point being, find an easy-to-use conferencing solution so you can concentrate on delivering your material and not boring the audience to death because you’re so intimidated by all these things that could go wrong. Don’t worry, you’ll be fine if you've practiced.

Post-Meeting

  • Enjoy all the positive feedback
  • Send follow-up emails.
  • Done. (and start preparing for the next one)

Like your Mom always said, send thank you cards! There are many ways to follow up with your participants. Do it. Whether it’s through email or calling them to thank them personally, I promise they will appreciate it.

 

OK…so maybe that does sound like a lot, but again just break it down into easy steps. As you develop your webinar and web meeting skills you’ll get more comfortable with talking to "nobody" yet reaching dozens, hundreds or even thousands of people.  I heard a great term once - "doing the basics brilliantly." I think I that applies in so many ways. Know your stuff, know your conferencing tool. Now, time to get ready for the next one...

For more advice on getting started see Think before you speak: Top 10 must-dos before presenting on a webinar or join Shawn on a live training.


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