Getting the Most From Your Webinars: 8 Tips for Hosts and Attendees - GotoMeeting


COVID-19 has had a profound impact on marketing functions around the globe. Whereas in-person events were the norm until just recently, it’s necessary to switch to more virtual events these days. While this is an abrupt change for many, don’t worry! Webinars are an excellent way to keep your marketing events going while ensuring that everyone stays safe.

One of the biggest challenges during a webinar is engagement — from both the host’s and attendees’ perspective. With that in mind, we’ve compiled several webinar tips for presenters and attendees to ensure everyone gets the most from the experience. Check them out below!

For hosts

1. Get ready for your close-up

Even before COVID-19, the importance of video in online collaboration couldn’t be overstated. Now, it’s more important than ever in the age of social distancing. A webcam presence helps build and nurture relationships and makes communication more efficient and intuitive.

With GoToWebinar, you can use high-definition video conferencing to meet face-to-face with your other session participants. Up to 25 different webcams can be shared during a session! All you need is a solid internet connection and a webcam to begin enjoying a quality telepresence experience.

2. Create engaging content and hone your presentation style

If you show your audience relevant content from the get go, you won’t have to worry about them getting bored and leaving midway through.

Ensure that you’re showing new slides to your audience often – this keeps monotony (and boredom) at bay. Aim to spend no longer than one to two minutes on a single slide, and make your copy short and easily readable.

You can also leverage the following in your slides to keep things interesting:

  • Vibrant colors
  • Thought-provoking graphs
  • High-quality visuals

3. Use polls and surveys throughout

When you interact with your attendees, you’re showing them that you value their time and opinion.

One of the easiest and most effective ways of interacting with your audience is by polling or surveying them at various points throughout the webinar. For example, if you’ve just demonstrated a specific feature of your product or service, you might ask your audience how they see themselves using it in their lives.

You’ll also want to tee up anticipation for each poll or survey by telling your attendees that one is coming up soon.

4. Have multiple Q&A sessions during the webinar

It might sound strange, but don’t leave your Q&A session until the end! Doing so means that you’re likely losing opportunities to engage your audience with Q&As throughout the webinar.

Instead, have Q&As at various points, like after you’ve talked about a specific topic. This will keep your audience mentally engaged while also increasing the value of your webinar by clearing up anything that’s caused confusion.

5. Include in-session activities and breakout sessions

Exercises get your audience thinking, which keeps them hooked on your content! The more you can get them to focus, the less likely they’ll be to leave.

Consider this: If you’ve just wrapped up a short segment on a certain subject, tell the audience it’s time for virtual break-out groups, where people can gather in smaller numbers to go over your points and complete exercises based on your talk. Modern software, such as GoToTraining, gives you the chance to break out virtually.

For attendees

1. Troubleshoot technical issues beforehand

It’s hard to stay engaged when you’re dealing with technical glitches instead of listening to the presenter. So before you run into problems joining the session or hearing audio, it helps to understand how webinar software works.

Our GoToWebinar Support Site contains dozens of resources on system requirements, how to join, connect to audio, and more!

2. Focus, focus, focus

It’s not so much webinar etiquette as it is about you getting the most from the webinar you attend. When you show up ready to absorb and retain as much information as you can, you’ll likely stay engaged because you’re actively participating.

Be prepared to:

  • Take notes
  • Submit questions during Q&A
  • Collaborate openly with other attendees in breakouts

3. Relax – the host can’t see you!

Whether or not they can be seen by the presenter is a common concern among webinar attendees. If you’re one of them, don’t fret: the host can’t see you or your PJs, but they will know your name if you submit a question during Q&A.

Therefore, there’s no reason to feel self-conscious during a webinar. Keeping this in mind, you can rest easy and focus on the information being presented without feeling like you’re being watched.

Invite GoToWebinar to your next online event

As the leader in online events, we erase the headache and hassle from webinars. No matter your goal or skill level, you’ll quickly see why so many love GoToWebinar. Go from preparing a webinar to presenting in fewer steps – and have a lot of fun along the way! Visit our website for more information or get started for free today.