This article was first published on 30 July 2020 and has been updated.
Short for web-based seminars, webinars essentially refer to presentations or workshops hosted on the Internet. As business owners turn to digitise their trade, webinars and webcasts become popular platforms to tap a wider audience base.
Here’re three simple steps to starting your own webinar sessions.
Step 1: Choosing Between Live And Pre-Recorded Webinars
While both have their pros and cons, the type of webinar you decide on should ultimately best fit your needs.
For instance, recurring webinars can be pre-recorded to ensure consistency while maximising productivity. Pre-recorded webinars are also ideal if you’re looking to perfect the presentation – though a considerably higher amount of effort may be required.
However, do note that pre-recorded webinars offer less adaptability in terms of presentation and aren’t the best option when presenting products or services with flexible natures e.g. price points.
On the other hand, live recordings allow greater room for adaptability and tailored content for different audiences. They also allow greater levels of engagement, by allowing you to immediately address questions. Live webinars or live streaming has also become a popular way to conduct certain business, such as for e-commerce and influencer marketing.
However, the quality of live webcasts is more susceptible to the environment – such as potential audio and connection issues – so be sure to test your setup and your crew’s proficiency throughly before hosting your webinar.
Step 2: Setting Up Right
This brings us to the next point – preparing your setup.
While the front camera on your laptop, tablet or phone does the job, we recommend using a laptop when hosting a live webinar. The reasons are simple – the laptop allows you to refer to or take down notes during the session without having to toggle between devices. This also allows you to keep eye contact with your audience, to keep them engaged.
Especially so for live webinars, consider investing in an external mike for better quality sound and external lights for added visibility. After all, nothing says professional like a studio-like environment. If your webcast comprises of demos that requires switching in-between feeds, consider investing in a video switcher for a seamless presentation experience.
If you are doing a live video conference, you may also need to work with a vendor or set up internal processes so you can manage questions, create polls or even use simple visual effects.
Step 3: Deciding On The Platform
One of the most popular options in the market is GoToMeeting. A reliable webinar platform, its key features include hosting a maximum of 3,000 attendees, a function that alerts the organiser if an audience member wishes to speak and the option of a poll that increases interactivity.
Depending on your needs, the starter version starts from USD$89/month, with features including up to 100 participants, polls & Q&A, and automated email invitations/reminders.
Alternatively, other popular wallet-friendly options such as Zoom and Google Hangouts are also available. While they may offer similar features, do note that these platforms are more suitable for one-off or non-recurring webinars. If you’re looking to start a regular series of webinars, it makes sense to invest in a service with more full-featured offerings.
Finally, webinars and webcasts might be cost-effective mediums to reach out to your audience, they are just a medium, and the defining factor for success is the quality of your content.
In your effort to go digital, you can also look beyond webinars and into HR and payroll matters, cloud and online collaboration tools, accounting, digital marketing, business banking and more. You can Go Digital with OCBC to learn about these solutions as well as comprehensive tools to operate online, sell online and bill and pay online.
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