Lessons Learned: Tools & Tips for Successful Webinars

Distance Learning & Web Coordinator, Texas/Oklahoma AETC

When you host a live webinar, the last thing you want to worry about minutes before you go LIVE is if the participants/speakers have ALL the information that they need in order to log-in successfully, while wondering what you’re going to say. To address these concerns and alleviate stress during LIVE sessions, the TX/OK AETC has compiled a set of tools to help ensure a seamless live broadcast.

TIPS for Participants(Emailed to participants along with webinar access info) We remind the participants to:

  • Log-in at least 10 minutes early and test their connection before the webcast via the “test your computer” link that Adobe provides. 
  • Complete the “registration verification form” created in Survey Monkey.  Participants complete this form before they are given access into the webinar. It is used to differentiate between participants who register for the event and those who actually attend the event. 
  • Check software/hardware requirements: computer, computer speakers & internet access.
  • Prepare questions before and during the webcast. Speakers typically answer Q&A questions during the last 15 minutes of the webinar.

Webinar Speaker Information Form-  When an LPS expresses interest in hosting a webinar, we send this form (developed by the TX/OK AETC) which requests information including:

  • The title of the presentation, presentation length, date, time, speaker additional contacts   (administrative/executive assistants), learning objectives, speaker bio, and brief description of training. 
  • “Speaker practice session” request, in which we ask the speakers for three date and time options for a practice session that would accommodate their schedule.  During this practice session we review the basics - show them how to advance their slides, demonstrate how polling features work, and explain how they can use tools to enhance their presentation.  On this form we will also assign due dates for presenter slides and polling questions.

Intro and Exit Slides – TX/OK AETC includes intro and exit slides at the beginning and end of each webinar.  These slides give a visual representation of announcements that are to be shared with the audience.

Script - TX/OK AETC uses a script to help guide the hosts during the webcast and to help keep track of time and stay focused on key messages and announcements.

Don’t be afraid to use Adobe Connect Extensions.  Extensions make your life easier when hosting a LIVE meeting; however, it’s important to practice using these extensions first until you’re comfortable with them. Here are some of the extensions we’ve tried and have found to be very valuable:

  • “Stage Lights:”  This extension is great for keeping your web training and your speaker on time!  We place it in an area where only the presenter and hosts can visibly see the timer.
  • “Connect Tube:”This extension is great when you want to play YouTube videos for your audience. 
    • Tip: If you would like to use this extension, we advise that you open the extension in the virtual meeting room right before you go LIVE and place it in the “presenter only area” until you’re ready to use it.  At that time, drag it from the “presenter only area” into the participants view area, and then type in the name of the video in the search field.  We’ve found that it’s easier and faster if you perform a search when you’re just about to connect instead of having it ready in advance. 

We have found these tools to be very helpful. What webinar preparation tips or Adobe Connect tools have you used that have been useful or effective?

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