How to Prepare You for Your First Live Webinar

You don’t have to feel the force to know that webinar marketing is one of the best ways to generate leads. You also don’t need a box of chocolates to realize that you never know what you’re going to get for attendance.

See, webinars are not just about sitting in front of a camera ready with some slides full of stats and long sentences. In fact, webinars are about sharing knowledge in such a way that people will be eager to ask questions afterwards, can walk away with a few actionable things they implement right away, getting loads of value from their time spent with you is the name of the game. That makes your webinar memorable – and making them eager to join the next.

Quoting Jaws, “you’re going to need a bigger boat” – if you want to make sure that you don’t sink in the realities of hosting a live webinar. But don’t worry, thankfully these aren’t the droids… Uh, I mean, this is the checklist you’re looking for!

We’ve got you covered with these quotes as friendly reminders of every step of your webinar:

1. “Hang on, lads; I’ve got a great idea.” – The Italian Job

Start by choosing the right topic. Be clear on whether that topic will reach your target audience and goal (education, product news, sale, etc.).

Here are some questions you can ask yourself when thinking of a topic to tackle:

  • What’s the most common question people ask about my product/service?
  • What do I know about my field of work that others don’t?
  • Is there something in my product/service that people often get stuck on?
  • Do I have a piece of content (research, ebook, whitepaper) that I can turn into a webinar?

2. “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us” – LOTR: The Fellowship of the Ring

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Decide on a date everyone can agree on. Once you know the who-when-what-why you can begin creating a stellar presentation for your webinar.

Start planning what you’re going to say and how just as you think of your topic. Don’t wait til the last minute to slap together a presentation!

How does one create an unforgettable presentation? Start with not putting too many words on a slide, information overload will not only overwhelm but will cause people to forget. According to , visuals are processed 60,000 times faster in your brain than text, they’re also more memorable!

Deciding when to hold your webinar? Keep two things in mind:

  1. Day: According to ReadyTalk, the best days to host a webinar are Tuesday and Wednesday.
  2. Time: HubSpot swears by 1pm EST or 2pm EST, because it’s the most convenient time for the largest chunk of most audiences.

3. “Mrs. Robinson, you’re trying to seduce me, aren’t you?” – The Graduate

Once you’ve got your goal and presentation topic down, it’s time that you reach your audience. Create a landing page and an email send out that will cover the most important information:

  • The title of your webinar
  • Teaser or bullet points that explain what people can expect to learn and gain from your webinar
  • Your short bio and picture
  • Social proof (as seen on, featured by, etc.)
  • The time and date of your webinar
  • Call to action (join now, sign up, see you there, etc.)

Sending out an email to your current list and posting info about your webinar on social media is pretty obvious, however, what many webinar marketers forget about is the power of paid social media.

That’s why many choose to invest in Facebook Ads. Wishpond detailed that Facebook Advertising has filled the gap in their strategy and helped their webinar campaign see a 458% return on ad investment – if that doesn’t convince you, I don’t know what will!

4. “A man’s got to know his limitations.” – Magnum Force

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Do a test run before your webinar. Since most webinars take place around 1pm or 2pm EST, be sure that you start early enough to fix a potential problem before you go live.

  • Here are some things to keep in mind:
    Are you keeping your presentation within the allocated time slot? Will there be time for Q&A?
  • Is your Internet connection good? It might be best to connect to a landline or directly into your router just to be sure that you don’t disappear in the middle of your presentation.
  • Is the video and microphone working? What about the sound?
  • Are all possible distractions off? I mean, you wouldn’t want to answer a phone call during your presentation, right? 😉
  • Will you be recording your webinar? If so, be sure to double check that there are no glitches (video/sound).
  • Stop stressing! A known public speaking tip is to keep your focus on your topic – not yourself. Or simply imagine, your on the phone with a friend. Plus, If you’ve rehearsed this presentation, you’ll be more than ready to wow people.

5. “Do or do not, there is no try” – Star Wars: Episode V

Start your webinar! To begin (and to get yourself into the groove) welcome people, ask where they are from, say their name (this is highly engaging) and introduce yourself, then repeat the webinar title, briefly share the agenda of the meeting (will there be a Q&A? Should attendees wait with their questions towards the end of the webinar? – these are worth addressing right away). If you have a bonus for those that stick around, mention it.

If you are going to be promoting something at the end, it’s also good practice to mention, so people don’t feel they were conned or tricked.

Before you begin, ask everyone if they can hear you fine, just to be sure! Once you get those things out of the way, you will feel more at ease with your audience. Another thing to consider is whether or not you will be sending a recording of your video to those who attended, if so – let them know!

6. “Elementary, my dear Watson.” – The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

You’ve watched enough TED talks and webinars, you know how to present! Focus on sharing your knowledge and data, after a presentation, 63% of attendees remember stories, whereas only 5% remember statistics – is there any way that you can add some anecdotes into your webinar?

Making a memorable and selling point is about adding in bits that people can relate to. Once I attended a webinar where the presenter compared the content creation process to different parts of a meal. To be completely honest, it wasn’t my favorite webinar because I could tell how nervous the presenter was, but oddly enough, her points stuck with me! So don’t worry about being nervous or mumbling here and there – you can still make it work.

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7. “I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse.” – The Godfather

Q&A time! Sometimes the outpour of questions might be too overwhelming, don’t get scared – use it as an opportunity. If you start to notice that the time is running out, share an email or contact where you can be reached, use this as a chance to follow up with your attendees to make your sale.

Lastly, thank your audience for their time, once again remind people where they can reach you (email, telephone, social media works as well).

8. “Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.” – Casablanca

Send a follow up to those who signed up and did not attend, sending a simple “We missed you!” or “Hope to see you next time!” will do. If you’re more advanced in your webinar marketing check out the bonus step in the bottom of our checklist.

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If you have a separate list of those who attended, be sure to send them a thank you with more information on you and your product. You can even send an email with follow up questions asking for feedback – the info you get back will come in handy for future webinars.

Bonus. “To infinity… And Beyond!” – Toy Story

A step for those who have recorded their webinar.

Start your second promotion by sending an email with the webinar recording to all people who signed up. This is also your time to create a blog post with the recording, landing page, social media posts, and a new addition to your resources page (if you have one).

You will see many companies, like GoodData, placing their recordings behind “gates”, where they ask for your email address in return for access to their webinar recording. This is an excellent way to get more leads from those who did not sign up in the first place, but did find you later on either via Internet search or your ads.

Conclusion

Webinars don’t have to be hard, in fact, they can become a great tool that you’ll be happy to use in your marketing strategy. All you gotta do is be prepared! And I believe that with my this checklist you’ll feel more at ease:

  1. Choose the right topic
  2. Announce the Who-What-When-Why and then create your presentation
  3. Reach your audience and promote
  4. Do a technical test run before the webinar
  5. Start your webinar by introducing the agenda
  6. Run your webinar with confidence, sell value
  7. Q&A time
  8. After the webinar send a follow up
  9. BONUS – gate your content, create an evergreen marketing plan of your webinar recording.

Is there anything else you’d add to this list? Maybe you have a pro tip of your own? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

Until next time and – “Carpe diem. Seize the day…”

Melanie Richards

Melanie Richards

Hi I'm Melanie Richards, a brand strategist and web designer. I help thought leaders, coaches & consultants level-up their online presence so it reflects their true value and generates more consistent, qualified leads. Need help with your online presence? Book a call to chat!

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