Webinar Dry Run Checklist

Webinar marketing pros make delivering one look easy. Don’t be fooled. Marketers have a team behind them. They also often have a partner to help them manage the webinar while they focus on presenting. Now throw in a training component to the mix and there is a whole world of multi-tasking that marketers know nothing about. I do all of my webinar courses solo. No back-up. No team. Just me. But, I’ve been doing this for ten years. I think most experts can deliver solo. Unless you’re very tech savvy or very comfortable with the webinar platform you’re using, start out with a partner to help moderate and troubleshoot if necessary so you can focus on teaching. The one thing you MUST do is…practice. Remember, it’s not just knowing your content, it’s also managing the technology (and any glitches you encounter when your live). The last thing you want to feel is ill-prepared and insecure. Here are some tips for gearing up to your live training. I’ve also included a practice checklist to use during your dry run.

Know Your Webinar Software

Make use of any training offered through the webinar service you are using. Most service providers offer group training, video tutorials and user guides. Or you can hire someone like me. >grin< Then get on in there and practice! Invite a friend or colleague and play around with options and be sure to test audio.

Practice Makes Perfect

Do at least one dry run with all the people who will be part of your “webinar staff;” include guest speakers, the host (if any) and anyone helping you during the webinar.

  1. Instruct the webinar staff to join the dry run from the computer they will be using for the live event as well as the location. A common mistake is practicing from one location or computer and presenting from another…and then encountering embarrassing surprises such as faulty audio, unfamiliar computer desktops or disruptive background noise.
  2. Record your dry run. It’s easy to get absorbed in managing the dry run, so watching the recording later will give you a chance to review it and make adjustments.

Optimize your computer

In a webinar, there is the potential for some audience members to experience a little lag time in screensharing; this is simply due to computer and internet bandwidth. Unfortunately, you can’t control these things on the attendee’s side, but you can optimize your computer for best performance. And it’s best to run through this in your practice session.

  • Plug in and use your LAN cable instead of using wireless
  • Close out of all applications not part of your presentation (Outlook, Skype, backup drives, instant messaging etc.)
  • If you are recording, join the audio over the phone instead of using VoIP
  • If joining audio via phone (land line), keep your cell turned off or away from the phone

Practice Checklist

Once you’ve got your practice session up and running, use this checklist as a guideline.

Webinar Strategy Session

Have you been thinking about doing webinars but are not sure where to start?  Check out our Webinar Strategy Session. Customized to your needs, we’ll help you get clear about your training objectives, learn the fundamentals of good design, and come up with a plan to get you moving towards making your webinar a reality.

Good luck!

Corena Bahr is a webinar consultant and producer determined to end the average webinar snoozefest. Through her consulting company, YourWebinarGuru, she teaches how to transform one-way marketing webinars into two-way interactive learning experiences that deliver value, build relationships and add income.