Webinars are a great way to connect with people and share your message. But there are some webinar etiquette do’s and don’ts that you need to know to ensure that the virtual meeting goes smoothly for everyone involved.
And if you’re reading this, chances are you’re about to host a webinar or attend virtual meetings soon. In this article, we’ll go through everything you need to know about hosting and joining webinars.
We’ll talk about etiquette for both attendees and presenters to help you prepare accordingly, regardless of which side of the screen you’re behind. Let’s go.
What is Good Webinar Etiquette?
While “web” implies a laid-back atmosphere, webinars are a professional environment and should be treated as such.
Webinars are often used as opportunities to network and build relationships, so it is essential to make a good impression.
Like in any other professional setting, certain webinar etiquette should be followed when participating in or hosting a virtual meeting or conference. By adhering to webinar etiquette of politeness and respect, the presenter and participants will have an enjoyable experience.
Tips and Tricks to Make a Good Webinar
The following part of the article is divided into two parts – tips and tricks for webinar hosts/presenters and attendees. This way, both you and your audience can understand what to expect and how to behave.
Being a webinar presenter is a big responsibility. Let’s go over some of the major points you need to consider if you’re given this opportunity.
Webinar sessions can be a great way to connect with potential customers and deliver valuable content. However, if the webinar software and tools are not properly tested before the webinar, it can result in issues in technical aspects that can ruin the event.
For example, the audio might cut out, the slides might not advance properly, or the video clips might freeze. To avoid technical issues, testing the software in advance is essential. By doing so, you can identify and fix any potential problems before they have a chance to disrupt the webinar.
Before presenting in front of your webinar attendees, it is vital to do a practice run first. It will help you determine if your webinar presentation slides is engaging and exciting enough to keep your audience’s attention.
It is also an excellent way to test the delivery of your material and ensure everything flows smoothly. Additionally, doing a practice run will allow you to time yourself so you know that you have enough time to finish your presentation slides.
Sound and Video Quality
As with any form of communication, it is essential to ensure that the sound and video quality are of a high standard. It will help avoid technical difficulties during the webinar and ensure that the audience can hear and see the host.
Poor audio quality can make it difficult for the audience to understand the presenter, while poor video quality can make it difficult to see what is happening on the screen.
One of the most important aspects of a successful webinar is audience engagement. Unengaged people will likely tune out or even leave the webinar entirely. One way to ensure engagement is to have a Q&A section where people can ask questions. It allows people to get clarification on points they may be confused about and gives them a chance to contribute to the discussion.
Additionally, the Q&A section can provide valuable feedback for the presenter. By listening to the questions people ask, the host can get a sense of what topics are most confusing or exciting to the audience.
It is important to set some ground rules at the beginning of the online events to ensure everyone has a positive experience. It will help you ensure that the session runs smoothly and efficiently.
Because most of you don’t know each other, you want to ensure that there will be no misunderstanding and that everyone is on the same page and knows what to expect during the webinar. This way, everyone will know what is expected from them.
Consistency and Punctuality
Being consistent and on time as a presenter during the webinar is crucial to engaging the audience throughout the presentation. First impressions matter, and being late or not starting the presentation on time would give a negative first impression to the audience.
Starting on time would also set the tone for the presentation, showing that the presenter is professional and committed to delivering the content. If the host is inconsistent with the messaging or delivery, it would confuse the audience and result in a loss of interest. Moreover, consistency ensures that the audience receives the same message regardless of when they tune in during the presentation.
Record the Webinar
Recordings can be a great way to review your performance and identify areas for improvement as a presenter. It can help you ensure that your next presentations are always of the highest quality and reach the widest possible audience.
Recording a webinar allows you to create a permanent record of the event that can be referenced at any time. In addition, recordings will enable you to capture the presentation’s content so that you can review it later or share it with others who could not attend. You can also use the recordings as marketing tools to promote on social media platforms and other channels.
Now, if you’re about to attend a webinar, there are some things you can do to demonstrate your respect and attentiveness. Let’s talk about them.
Many people choose to attend webinars as a way to learn more about a subject or topic. Listening to an expert speak on a case can be very informative, so take notes. Taking notes helps you focus on the presented material and allows you to reflect on the information later.
It can be easy to get distracted when listening to a webinar, but if you have specific notes to refer to, you will be able to review the material more effectively. Additionally, taking notes can help you to engage better with the material. As you listen to the host and write down key points, you’ll actively process the information, which will help you better understand and remember it.
Prepare a List of Questions
Make sure you have a list of questions ready to go and take some time to review the material beforehand so that you can be sure to understand everything that is being discussed. Don’t hesitate to contact the host or the organizer if you have any concerns or questions.
Also, during the Q&A session, pay attention to the questions other people are asking so that you can also learn from them. By being prepared, you’ll be able to get the most out of the webinar and make sure that your questions are answered.
No Side Conversations
For those trying to learn, side discussions can be very distracting. It can be challenging to concentrate on the speaker when you can hear other people talking in the background.
For networking webinars, side conversations can also be a problem. If you’re trying to talk to someone, it’s easy for your discussion to be cut off if someone else starts talking. Not only is it rude, but it makes it difficult to get to know someone.
Mute Your Microphone
Do this when you are not speaking. Once the presentation has started, mute your microphone unless you are called upon to speak. It will reduce background noises and ensure everyone can understand the speaker.
It is just a simple gesture, but it shows politeness. Muting the microphone also ensures that only one person is speaking at a time, which makes it easier for everyone to follow along. If you’re unsure whether your microphone is on mute, take a quick look at the screen to see if the icon is highlighted.
Sometimes, we can’t expect everything to go smoothly. Accidents and mistakes do happen. Here are some you should watch out for. Again, we’ve divided the following part into potential pitfalls for presenters and attendees.
Even seasoned presenters are not immune to making mistakes. Here are a few things to watch out for.
You Didn’t Record the Webinar
Not recording your webinar has several disadvantages. For one, you will not have a record of the content if you need to refer back to it later. Additionally, if there are technical difficulties during the live broadcast, you will not be able to go back and edit the recording to ensure that viewers experience a smooth presentation.
Recordings can be repurposed into other marketing materials, such as blog posts or social media content. You are missing out on an opportunity to generate additional leads and sales by not recording your webinar.
When you’re a presenter in a webinar, it’s vital to engage with your audience and be attentive to their needs. However, you may become self-absorbed or arrogant if you’re too focused on yourself.
Being too self-absorbed makes you miss important cues from your audience that would help to improve the quality of your presentation. For example, you may fail to notice when people are having trouble understanding a concept, or you may miss an opportunity to address a question.
For webinar presenters, it can be frustrating when the audience engages in side conversations or otherwise distracts from the presentation. It usually happens when the material is engaging, or the participants are not invested in the topic.
However, there are a few things that you, as the host, can do to help keep everyone on track. Try to create interesting and relevant materials. If the attendees are interested in what you’re saying, they’re more likely to pay attention. Be aware of your body language and energy level. If you appear bored or disinterested, your audience will likely follow suit.
If you’re an attendee, make sure you don’t do one of the following things.
Distracting the Presenter
Pay attention when you’re in a webinar, so you do not distract the presenter. If you have questions, wait until the presenter asks, or there is a designated time for questions. Do not type in the chat box unless you are instructed to do so by the host.
Webinars can be recorded and made available for people to watch at a later time, so if you have a question that is not urgent, you can’t wait to ask it later or email the presenter afterward. The best way to ensure that you do not distract the presenter is to pay attention and be respectful of their time.
Making a Scene
During the webinar, remember to maintain a professional demeanor. Although you’re not in a physical meeting room doesn’t mean that basic manners don’t apply. Making a scene, whether talking out of turn, interrupting the speaker, or causing a commotion in the chat box, is disruptive and rude.
Making a scene will not only affect other attendees’ ability to learn and enjoy the webinar, but it also reflects poorly on you and your company. If you must step away from the computer for a moment, do so quietly and turn off your microphone to avoid distractions.
In addition, if you know that there are distractions in your environment, it’s best to use a virtual background so that other people will not see.
It can ruin the experience for everyone. Chat spamming is when someone posts irrelevant or repetitive comments in the chat box, making it difficult for others to follow the conversation. Not only is chat spamming annoying, but it can also be disruptive and make it difficult for people to learn.
Chat spamming also prevents the presenter from delivering their message effectively. If you’re in a virtual meeting or conference, take a moment to think about whether your comment is relevant and respectful before you post it.
Excessive Use of Emojis
While emojis have their place in the virtual environment, using them sparingly when attending a professional webinar is essential. The overuse of emojis can be unprofessional and distracting for both the presenter and other participants.
In addition, some people may find particular emojis offensive, so limiting yourself from sending too many emojis is best. Consider using words instead because that’s easier to understand.
Webinar etiquette is critical whether you’re attending or presenting a webinar. After all, the goal of webinars is to offer a smooth, beneficial, and engaging presentation.
Knowing what to do and what not to do will also help avoid conflict and ensure that everyone’s questions got answered. We wish you a successful webinar, and don’t forget – just like in real life, etiquette goes a long way.