Hosting a webinar can be a great way to engage your audience and get a conversation going around your cause, as long as you put in the thought and energy to make it a great interactive experience.
There’s some very good, free webinar software out there, such as Ustream, so you can create new and interesting content at very low cost!
Last week, I was lucky enough to help 101fundraising with the setup of the first ever webinar streamed live from the International Fundraising Congress (IFC) in the Netherlands. It was a great success and I picked lots of tips for making a great webinar:
Test – Check bandwidth, audio and visual, recording function and the chat function well in advance of the beginning of the webinar.
Plan – Webinars shouldn’t sound too scripted, but make sure there is a structure to the webinar and that any guest speakers don’t get bamboozled by tricky questions!
Set up – Arrive early, put phones on silent, have your notes visible from where you’re sat, so there’s no need to shuffle papers, and make sure the lighting and positioning of speakers look good on screen.
Bring in multiple speakers – Webinars can work well with just one person talking to the camera, but the most stimulating webinars often have several people on screen. Try to bring in a couple of people who can provide varying opinions, tied together by a confident host – this can lead to an energetic discussion and draw in comments and questions from the audience.
Monitor – Have somebody other than the speaker monitoring the chat and the twitter feed so the speakers can keep focused on delivering an engaging webinar. The best questions can then be filtered out and handed to the speaker.
Promote and continue the conversation – share webinar details with your social media network well in advance and give reminders on the day to make sure people don’t forget to logon. Use a hashtag and keep the conversation going during and after the webinar.
Re-purpose the webinar content – Get the most out of your webinar by using the content to create follow up infographics, blog posts, slideshows, social media posts etc.
The 101fundraising webinar at the IFC delivered an awesome discussion on fundraising leadership. Rebecca Davies, from MSF / Doctors Without Borders, was an amazing host and brought together the thoughts of Tony Elischer and Rory Green, resulting in a thought-provoking and energetic webinar.
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