Best Practices for Presenting a Webinar

Let’s face it. If you’re a speaker for a webinar, you probably don’t have time to learn the conferencing platform on which you’ll be presenting.  And often, all the features that you’ll learn on a technical tour just aren’t applicable.

What you need to know, and quickly, are the bare bones basics: how to push slides, how to manage chats, and how to share your desktop or applications. You probably will not need to know the more advanced features, as someone will either be doing those for you, or you just don’t need them.

With that said, here is your opportunity to shine…we’ve created a short deck just for you! Next time you’re speaking on a ReadyTalk powered webinar, reference this handy cheat “sheet” which provides those ReadyTalk basics.

Use this as a guide to push slides, manage chat, and share your desktop. Additionally, the deck includes a map of the ReadyTalk interface and a URL to test your computer compatibility. We’ve also included a handful of additional slides for added functionality, just in case you are feeling adventurous. And at the end, there is a line for ReadyTalk Customer Care…if you need help or have questions.

Click here to view the deck .

And feel free to reference the blog from Webinar Success, written by Ken Molay. He discusses some best practices helpful to guest speakers on webinars, and was the inspiration for our handy guide.

Good luck with your webinar, and let us know if you have any questions. 

Form Reposting with Eloqua and Closed Loop Reporting

At Eloqua Experience in Orlando I spoke  about how to do a server side post in Eloqua using javascirpt, cURL and some JSQuery.  A server side post is different than a direct post in that in a server side post, the server is doing some processing before it reposts back to Eloqua. This is often needed when the form in question collects credit card information or some other confidential information you dont want posted back.

The problem we had was that our free trial and a buy now form are not Eloqua forms. They collect credit card information and therefore posts directly into our server. As a result, we experienced several issues:

  1. Submitters are not cookied. These form drive the greatest percent of our conversions and we need to cookie these people.
  2. I lose campaign tracking when our nurture tracks drive people to these forms as a call to action
  3. I cannot run workflow of the submission process since it is not an Eloqua form

The solution I came up with is to do a server side post using cURL. I did several things:

  1. Create a form in Eloqua that matches the our Free Trial/Buy Now form
  2. Add hidden fields for ElqCampaign ID
  3. Use cURL to let our server post the form submission to Eloqua and in the process cookie the submitter

This allowed me to solve all of the issues we were previously experiencing.

You can see the entire presentaiton here.

Improving Team Collaboration with Web Conferences

 

Web Conferencing for CollaborationThe use of web conferencing  tools can support improved communication and collaboration within work teams, no matter the project size and scope. Webinars and virtual meetings provide a secure space in which to share information and ideas, while simultaneously increasing team member accountability and project success. Yet, too few corporate meeting organizers understand the true power of virtual team collaborating using webinars.

To help your team make the most of web conferencing services, here are some suggested best practices for encouraging team collaboration and increasing efficiency:

Scheduling Tools – When setting up a new webinar, it’s important to take advantage of built in email and calendar scheduling to increase team participation. Meeting invitations, notes and even files can be shared with team members, along with email reminders and attendee trackers to make sure everyone attends.

Screen and File Sharing – During the virtual meeting, a way to increase engagement is to share the presenter’s screen and relevant files. This sharing can be adaptable so that several co-facilitators can share the screen and upload their meeting files, including interactive slides and pre-recorded videos.

Questions and Polling – A great way to get virtual meeting attendees engaged is to include a series of question and poll sessions at regular intervals. Between topics, add a poll question, with results revealed to stir conversation. Then plan a question and answer session at the end, documenting all FAQs for use in follow-up meeting notes. 

White Boarding and Annotation – Giving webinar guests a chance to whiteboard ideas and make notes helps them to stay engaged in the presentation. Provide a private note area, and invite team members to draw out any ideas they have during the virtual meeting.

Multiple Device Access – Today’s business professionals often work remotely from locations around the world. Being able to access web conferencing services from any mobile device or laptop connected to the Internet can ensure team engagement. Choosing a collaboration technology available from ReadyTalk can bring project managers together from wherever they happen to work.

Recording and Distribution – During a virtual meeting, it’s also critical to document the interaction and information flow between team members. This is accomplished by using a reliable webinar recording and distribution service that doesn’t require added training to use. Simple record the meeting and then make sure to send it out to meeting attendees, or use in future training initiatives.

Using the right web conferencing service can improve your ability to keep business teams connected and working towards a collective goal. Select a virtual meeting product that includes all of the elements above and use these tips for successful engagement.

Why Your Webinar Should Include Q&A Sessions

Q&A SessionsIn order for a webinar to be successful, it’s extremely important to engage the audience. Also, attendees who feel as if they were fully engaged with the event are more likely to sign up for future webinars. One of the most well known best presenting practices is the inclusion of several Q&A sessions in each webinar. Throughout the webinar, attendees are invited to submit questions related to the general topic or specific content of the conference. At prescheduled times, the presenters take a few minutes to answer some of the questions. This process helps with engaging an audience in a number of ways.

 

 

Firstly, it gives attendees something to do other than just sitting there and being talked at for an hour by a disembodied voice. If people are allowed to submit questions and can hear them being answered, they feel as if they’re actually taking part in and contributing to the event, rather than just observing it. By thinking up questions to ask, they also get to use their brains for more than just absorbing information.

If the web conferencing software has a function where attendees can 'raise their hand’, Q&A sessions can be even more interesting. People can ask the panelists their questions during the Q&A. While this does put the presenters on the spot, as they won’t have seen the questions beforehand, it can make the event more engaging and valuable. By coming up with relevant, informational answers off the top of their heads, the panelists will be proving the width and depth of their expertise to those in attendance.

However the questions are asked, Q&A sessions break up the monotony of a conventional webinar format. With audio conferences, there’s not much that can be done with the format. It’s usually just a case of a few people talking and everyone else listening. A Q&A session is a way to add variety to proceedings while also continuing to inform and entertain everyone present.

It’s a good idea to spend several webinars experimenting with Q&A sessions before deciding upon the best way to include them. Try varying the number of sessions in each webinar and finding different ways for attendees to submit their questions. Once it’s been decided how best to integrate them into a webinar, be consistent with the presentation of Q&As in order to see levels of audience engagement soar over time.

What tips do you recommend for Q&A in webinars?

Why Your Webinar Should Include Q&A Sessions

Q&A SessionsIn order for a webinar to be successful, it’s extremely important to engage the audience. Also, attendees who feel as if they were fully engaged with the event are more likely to sign up for future webinars. One of the most well known best presenting practices is the inclusion of several Q&A sessions in each webinar. Throughout the webinar, attendees are invited to submit questions related to the general topic or specific content of the conference. At prescheduled times, the presenters take a few minutes to answer some of the questions. This process helps with engaging an audience in a number of ways.

 

 

Firstly, it gives attendees something to do other than just sitting there and being talked at for an hour by a disembodied voice. If people are allowed to submit questions and can hear them being answered, they feel as if they’re actually taking part in and contributing to the event, rather than just observing it. By thinking up questions to ask, they also get to use their brains for more than just absorbing information.

If the web conferencing software has a function where attendees can 'raise their hand’, Q&A sessions can be even more interesting. People can ask the panelists their questions during the Q&A. While this does put the presenters on the spot, as they won’t have seen the questions beforehand, it can make the event more engaging and valuable. By coming up with relevant, informational answers off the top of their heads, the panelists will be proving the width and depth of their expertise to those in attendance.

However the questions are asked, Q&A sessions break up the monotony of a conventional webinar format. With audio conferences, there’s not much that can be done with the format. It’s usually just a case of a few people talking and everyone else listening. A Q&A session is a way to add variety to proceedings while also continuing to inform and entertain everyone present.

It’s a good idea to spend several webinars experimenting with Q&A sessions before deciding upon the best way to include them. Try varying the number of sessions in each webinar and finding different ways for attendees to submit their questions. Once it’s been decided how best to integrate them into a webinar, be consistent with the presentation of Q&As in order to see levels of audience engagement soar over time.

What tips do you recommend for Q&A in webinars?