Monday, May 18, 2020

How to Set Up Online Webinars and Meetings

With so many events canceled and people conducting meetings online, now is the time to look into this option. This gives authors an opportunity to reach out to people, offer valuable information, and keep marketing.

There are a lot of companies that offer this feature:
Zoom
Click Meeting
EZTalks
Flow App
Join Me
Click Meeting
Webinar Jam
Mega Meeting
And the list goes on and on…

When trying to decide which is the best for you, here are some things to consider:
  • Overall cost
  • Ease of use
  • Available chat room
  • Slide show capabilities
  • Recording for later viewing
  • Number of participants allowed
  • Is automatic linking available to PayPal for paid events

Once you have selected your platform and set up your account, it’s time to set up your webinar/event. Most have a simple dashboard where you can set the title, the date, the time, paid or free, and how participants will join.

Once that’s set, it’s time to send out invites or advertise. If it’s a paid webinar, create a banner with all of the information and links to register. (See the sample one I created for my own webinar below.)
Register here: JUNE 9 / JUNE 11

During this time, start putting together your webinar. (Note it’s best to have the meeting/event planned before you set it up!) Will there be slides that need to be created? Will you be using a virtual whiteboard? Will you be on live feed yourself? Will you have a chat room during the event? You want it to look as professional as possible, so pick a good background for yourself and/or create detailed slides.

Check your equipment. At the least, you will need a good microphone. You also might need a good camera on your computer or tablet. Run a test meeting/webinar with your spouse or a friend and make sure everything works.

Once you have everything set, do a full test run with one person in attendance. Make sure the visuals and your talk flow smoothly and your participant can access and see everything needed.

After that, continue to practice until you’re sure you are comfortable with the material. Speaking in front of others is one of the greatest fears, but you can alleviate a lot of that by knowing your material inside and out. You don’t want to just read from a script. It needs to sound natural and you need to know your stuff.

Event day! You can either set up an automatic reminder or email the participants yourself. Get to your meeting/webinar room early and make sure everything is set and ready. Be sure to keep your microphone off until you are ready to go live. Confirm materials are ready, you have something to drink, and you are in a private setting where no one can interrupt you.

Once you begin, just relax. Pay attention to what others are saying, either verbally or through the chat. This means you need to be open to questions but remain in control. Address issues without deviating too far from your plan.

Once the event is done and you’ve logged off, congratulate yourself! Even if you messed up in a few places. You’ll get better.

Be sure to send a thank you email to everyone who participated by the following day. They might have more questions for you.

Now, who is ready to take on their own webinar?

Don’t forget that the 2020 IWSG anthology contest is now open.

13 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That is good to know!

Pat Hatt said...

Knowing what you are talking about sure helps one with speaking indeed.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Great tips, especially to do a test run of the meeting with someone.

Fundy Blue said...

Thanks for the information, Diane. I'm looking forward to your webinar tomorrow. I hope I don't screw up on the receiving end. Break a leg tomorrow!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Louise, all you have to do is watch and listen - you'll be fine.

Toi Thomas said...

Good and timely post. Great tips.

Sandra Cox said...

Good info, Di:)

Tyrean Martinson said...

These are great tips! I have been teaching a few students via Zoom and I definitely had a learning curve.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Tyrean, the first time is rough, isn't it?

Chrys Fey said...

Great tips! Doing a test run is very important to make sure everything works as it should and you're prepared in advance.

emaginette said...

You make the tech seem simple. And I like the fact you recommend that the speaker spend some time with the material until they are comfortable. There's wisdom there. :-)

Great post.

Anna from elements of emaginette

Juneta key said...

Great tips. I use Zoom right now. I enjoyed your webinars and I am signed up for the next two. You have a great voice to listen to.

cleemckenzie said...

These are perfect ways to deliver information and connect with people, especially right now. Great post.