• Dr Emma Derbyshire

Webinar Wisdoms

Webinars are gaining popularity with rapidity.  We can now sit at home and absorb new knowledge without having to fly to a conference (thus saving carbon emissions) or travel on congested trains.  The COVID-19 pandemic has given these a further boost as, for the time being, it is difficult to physically present.

I have increasingly been asked to undertake Webinars recently and thought it may be useful to share a few Webinar Wisdoms.  As enjoyable as these are working from home is different and a few things cropped up – some are humorous and others hopefully productive.  Hope you enjoy the post!

  1. PREPARE, PREPARE.  Just a you would prepare for a lecture or formal presentation you need to be equally prepared for a Webinar.  Run through it, get the content in your head, compile flash cards and work out your timings beforehand.

  2. ENGAGE.  Your audience may not be physically present but you can still captivate and engage them.  Ask an open ended question, give real-life examples and encourage viewers to think reflectively at the end of the presentation.

  3. GESTICULATE.  You may be behind a screen but gesticulation is equally important.  Smile, shrug, relax and use your hands.  This all helps the Webinar to come across more naturally.

  4. EYES UP.  Find where your camera is located on your lap top, or desktop and remind yourself to use that as a focal point when you are presenting.

  5. POST ITS.  Placing post-it notes around your lap top, or desktop it a useful way to give you prompts without affecting your eye contact.

  6. PUT A NOTE ON THE FRONT DOOR.  I learnt this one the hard way.  No, you don’t want Amazon ringing the bell just after you have gone live.  So, place a polite note on the door in advance of Webinars.

  7. HOUSEHOLD RULES.  I have undertaken Webinars from my office outbuilding and inside the house for better lighting.  When inside the house it is all too tempting for partners, housemates etc to use the kettle, put on the TV or generally thump around.  So set some Webinar rules for your household.

  8. INVEST.  If this is going to be part of your business in these changing times invest in good equipment including a dual headset and mic and side-lamps.

#Webinars

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