Basic Webinar Etiquette for the New Virtual Economy

With the new, more virtual-work friendly economy evolving due to COVID-19, webinars are becoming increasingly important. Whether you’re a presenter, co-host or attendee, it’s pretty important that you use basic etiquette during the webinar. Let’s go over some webinar etiquette for each role.

Basic Webinar Etiquette for the New Virtual Economy

Webinar Etiquette for Presenters

If you want your attendees to get the most out of your webinar and even look forward to your next, these webinar etiquette tips will help you.

cat in a circle

Be Prepared

Practice using the software in advance so that you know that everything works well. Also, create a presentation using something like PowerPoint, or at the very least make a list of the points you want to cover. This ensures that you can stick to your timeline and not miss any of your points. Always test your hardware, speakers, and mics and so forth in advance too. Ensure that your room is quiet without outside distractions that will keep you from being able to do a good job.

Of course, things can still go wrong – and they do – being prepared will help you pivot more quickly when you need to. For example, I’ve been using Zoom to share slides during a Facebook Live seminar. After doing this for several weeks with no problem, I couldn’t connect to Facebook Live with Zoom for a couple of weeks. When that happened, because I knew my other options, I was able to pivot and still hold my seminar, just not according to my original plan.

Offer Tech Support

Explain in emails the technical aspects of attending the webinar, including computer requirements and where they can get help if needed. Remember that not everyone understands how to use webinar software, and this may be something new for them. Offer as much help as you can.

Make Eye Contact

This may seem impossible due to the nature of webinars, but it’s not. In many cases when you’re being filmed, they say not to look directly at the camera. But in this case, you want to look at your camera at least occasionally, if not most of the time. That will be how you make eye contact with your audience during a webinar. It can be very distracting to the audience if your eyes look closed due to reading your notes too much.

Remember Your Body Language

Even during a webinar, it’s important that you have good body language. You want to demonstrate your openness and honesty. Aside from making eye contact, that would include standing up or sitting up straight, using hand gestures carefully and not hunching over your desk.

Stick to Your Timetable

You want to start on time and end on time to show respect for your audience, as well as to honor your own time constraints. People really do appreciate it when a presenter sticks to the timetable.

Are you afraid of being on camera? Check out my article on overcoming camera shyness.

Webinar Etiquette for Co-Presenters

Are you Batman or Robin? When you are a co-presenter, you need to be mindful that this is not necessarily your webinar and act accordingly. Follow these tips and you won’t go wrong.

fox in a circle

Ask Your Host

In advance of the event, ask your host how they envision your role. That will help you know what is expected of you.

Be Attentive

Pay attention to what your presenter is saying and pipe in when a point needs to be made or confirmed. Take the time to look at the chat going on during the webinar in order to address issues. It may help to make a list of links and comments to help audience members. You can then just cut and paste these to respond to frequently asked questions or potential common questions.

Show Respect

Be careful not to take over. You’re in an assistant position and you don’t want to take over from the presenter. Consider turning off your microphone to avoid the typing sound taking over if you’re helping people in chat. Plus, if you have to turn on your mic to talk, you’ll be a lot less likely to be tempted to take over.

Webinar Etiquette for Attendees

You want to get the most out of the webinar, right? And, I hope that you want the same for your fellow attendees, as well. These webinar etiquette tips will help you do both.

tiger in a circle

Check Your Software

Double-check your software prior to the day of the webinar. You want to ensure that you have no issues so you can give your full attention to the webinar and not tech issues. If you have questions, contact the presenters prior to the event, giving them plenty of time to respond.

Mute Your Mic

Most of the time, the presenter will have control of the mic. But if not, go ahead and mute your mic so that you will not disturb anyone with your typing or any other noises in your surroundings.

Be Respectful

Wait until the Q & A portion of the event to ask questions and pay attention to the event rather than chat about things in the chat window. Even if chat is available, it’s better to pay close attention to what is being presented.

Conclusion

As you can see, basic etiquette for webinars isn’t much different from any other social event. Wait your turn to talk, don’t try to take over, and most of all pay attention to what is going on. Follow these tips and everyone will have a better webinar experience.

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About the author

Carma Spence, is author of Public Speaking Super Powers. She is fiercely committed to guiding women to Owning their Superpowers and turning their knowledge and interests into a profitable business. She is masterful at helping her clients see what is possible for them and supporting them on the journey from where they are to where they want to be, releasing the Mind Goblins of self-doubt, self-sabotage and second-guessing that keep them stuck.

With 20+ years experience in marketing communications and public relations, natural intuitive skills and certification in using some of the most effective transformational coaching tools available, Carma’s mission and commitment is to unleash the inner power every woman entrepreneur possesses so they can boldly go out into the world, transforming the fabric of people’s lives in meaningful and positive ways.

You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Her website is CarmaSpence.com.

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