Webinar How To Steps: Plan, Promote, Present

Webinars have become popular in the past couple of years for several reasons, the main one being logistics in terms of not having to leave your home or office to give them or participate in them. From a geographical standpoint, you can immediately see the advantage in the amount of time you will save.

Here is a quick and easy three-part guide to staging a successful webinar:

1- Planning. You will need to pick a date for you webinar and set up the software in advance. There are several choices for webinar software and services. I happen to believe that GoToWebinar is a good choice. So, you will need to register an account, pick the date of your first webinar, and then do a couple of practice runs with the software before the actual date of the webinar.

One good tip at this point would be to use two video screens, so that you can put the control panel for the webinar on one screen, and use the other one for your presentation; that is the screen that the participants in the webinar will see.

2- Promoting. If you are going to run a successful webinar, you need to promote it. You cannot rely on anybody just finding it by accident and wanting to register.

There are, of course, several ways to do this. One of the most efficient ways is to send out an invitation to your personal and professional mailing list. Many of the more popular webinar software and services will allow you to do this.

You are going to make the email as value driven and compelling as you can, so that it makes someone want to register. I would not recommend charging a fee your first time out. Get your feet wet by offering a free webinar, and in your invitation explain in detail what it is all about.

Another way to promote webinar is to use your social media connections, whether that is Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or MySpace. You can simply let your connections know that the webinar is taking place, and again you must make sure the message that you send is clear and concise.

You could also promote the webinar through grassroots marketing word of mouth and through the telephone if you wanted to, but I think the most efficient way is defiantly by email.

3- Understanding the difference between your content and good context. Your content is, obviously, the information that you want to share, while context is the way that you share it.

If at all possible, I would recommend that you take some presentation training courses, but if you want to go it alone, there are a couple of points.

Make sure that your introduction, or the first five minutes of your webinar, includes an overview of what you will cover, so that people have enough reason to stick around for the duration.

Also, make sure that the introduction includes a little bit of what we call ETR (Earn the Right).

Tell a good story which shares your experience in a more entertaining way. Stories are fun to listen to, but they also help you keep your audience engaged, and help them learn more about you, so that you can build a little bit of trust along the way.

Try to stay away from PowerPoint as much as possible, so that you are able to change up your content when the questions start to come in. Remember, you do not always know what they want to learn, and it might be a good idea to ask them.

Finally you have to back in your webinar. It means making an offer for your product and/or services, which is really the whole point of the webinar, so that you can promote your business. We will discuss how to make a compelling offer in another article.

I would recommend in closing, if you have not ever staged a webinar before, that you try to seek out information from experts on how to do that. While you will learn from your mistakes, it is much easier to learn the information from somebody who is already giving successful webinars.