The other day, my friend Swapnil (who is in Developer Relations) and I were talking about some good practices for people who organise or host online webinars / workshops.
#1. Platform familiarity – Speakers just have to present things, you as a host might need to mute people, keep an eye on the chat and more. So make sure to be familiar with the platform.
#2. Record your voice – A lot of us have over the past two years specifically conducted meetings, webinars online. But it is good practice to record your voice and listen to it.
#3. Write down your introduction – This seems easy but writing down an introduction and reading it aloud a few times helps give a good intro.
#4. Ask about pronunciation of names – Avoid trying to wing it with your pronunciation of names. Ask them if you are getting the pronunciation correctly before going live.
#5. Test things out, before going live – We all have been in a situation where suddenly when you screen-share, it won’t show up. Sometimes browsers need to be granted permissions, some tools work in certain browsers better. Also browser plugin might have conflicts with your choice of platform. testing things out before going live allows you to avoid all such things.
#6. Remember to breathe – Being well prepared will help but a good start is important to get into a good flow. Remember to breathe slowly and deliberately before you start and even during the time you are live.
#7. Have a glass of water around – This is self-explanatory. Having a glass of water will help you keep solid.
#8. Be ready to intervene and moderate – You might need to find ways to ask people to not interrupt the speaker. This can be uncomfortable so it’s also a good idea to have a couple of short sentences you can use to intervene and moderate.
#9. Write down questions beforehand – The floor is open for questions and there are none. There is an awkward silence. At this point of time, it’s always good to have maybe one or two questions you have handy.
#10. Thank everyone and direct next steps – Make sure to not just thank the presenter, but also the audience. Thank the sponsors too if there are any. Finally, leave some next steps for the audience, for example a webinar would likely have a call to action, if there is a clear action you would like the attendees to take, it’s a good idea to send them a follow-up email. This would also work out great to ask for feedback.
It’s all practice
If you are not happy with how you hosted a particular event. That is okay. Always remember, doing something over and over again is when you get really good at it.
This was jointly written by Swapnil and I (Aditya). Putting gifs in the content was totally Swapnil’s idea. 😬