Online webinars are conquering the world, and they are an excellent channel for acquiring new clients. They are invaluable for teams that work remotely and for students who can't attend their lessons in person. The statistics show high growth in the popularity of webinars in recent months, while it's predicted that working from a distance will increase by 77% from 2019 to 2022. People who are aware of this trend are investing now to implement webinars to their strategies - currently 78% of corporate companies are already using video calling software.
Creating webinar content relies on the software system's possibilities, but even the best product won’t work well if other facets aren't buttoned up. Something that can have a significant impact on your live video's reception is the way you prepare your room and equipment.
We've watched tons of webinars before writing this text, and based on our observed good and bad practices we've prepared a list that can be a game-changer for hosting successful live streams.
What exactly should you consider when preparing a webinar?
Light is life
The fundamental law of photography says that nothing can be captured without light. This also applies to video content, as the film industry developed from the achievements of the photographic one. More than you might imagine depends on the right setting of light.
There are a few fundamental rules to follow:
Always sit in a place where you’re in front of the light source.
If you're running a webinar during the day, natural sunlight is one of the best sources of illumination. In most cases, your skin tone will look appealing and smooth. If the light is too strong, you can try to blend it with a semi-transparent curtain, in an off-white color for example. Try to experiment with what you already have in your house before investing in new equipment.
If your room is dark or you know that your webinar will be recorded in the evening, when the light changes after the sun goes down, you have two options to choose from. The first is cheaper. You can set up a lamp (or two) in front of you, but locate it at least a few feet away so that the contrast isn't too strong. The second option is to buy a ring lamp. This type of lighting system isn't expensive and is the most popular in beauty photography.
Mind what you’re wearing
When giving a presentation in-person during a real-life event, you don't have to worry about patterns. The only thing that matters is the type of clothes you're wearing, whether they're appropriate for the occasion and if you feel comfortable in them. Although people used to joke about running live videos with an elegant shirt on top and pajama bottoms on out of sight, it's even more important to know what to wear when planning how to set up a webinar.
An online video is similar to television in terms of the technical aspects. In most cases, what looks good on a tv camera will also work for online streaming. There's one rule you mightn’t have heard of: when running a webinar, you can't wear patterns with many small details. These concern striped or checked clothes in particular. The camera isn't able to smoothly process such images, and your attendees might get the impression that the patterns on your shirt are floating or blinking - a perfect distraction, right? It's a broader topic to cover, so we've prepared other tips on how to look good on video chat that’s worth checking out.
All eyes on you (not on the background)
This is similar to the previous rule stated above. A video aims to focus the participants' attention on you and your presentation. Keep that in mind when choosing your surroundings and make sure that the space behind you isn't distractive. Flashy, neon colors might not help with the audience’s concentration.
Stability and height of the camera
No one likes it when a video is constantly moving and lacks stabilization. It's equally frustrating when you see a video host's face from a crazy perspective because their camera is positioned too low or too high. You can make many mistakes before and during the webinar, but this one would be in the top ten.
That's why when you're planning how to set up a webinar, you should always keep in mind to place your camera at face height - no matter if it's external or built-in to your laptop. You could use a few books to raise your devices if necessary, which is simple and effective.
Can you hear me?
This is probably the most common question when starting a webinar. Your voice is equally (or maybe even more) important than the video image. That's why checking whether your microphone works just right and your audience can hear you clearly is a must.
Sometimes microphones that are already a part of your computer cannot capture your voice clearly enough. Headphones might help when a situation like this occurs. Most newer models already have a microphone built into them, so they fulfill their purpose better than a laptop does.
Double-check the internet connection
Last but not least - an internet connection is key for smooth online transmission. If you don't have a good signal at home or in the office, maybe you should think about running your webinar from another place.
Although all the aspects stated in this article matter, they are less important than a stable internet connection. So before you decide to change anything in your room or office - test out the WiFi signal. If you have the option to connect with a fiber optic cable then this might be a better solution, as they tend to run faster and provide greater stability. If you go through more technical difficulties and these may be caused by your setup or devices, you may want to use some consultancy services like Mustard IT.
It all matters for you and your audience. But why is it so important? They can build your personal brand. Obviously, there are many ways to build a successful brand for yourself, but webinars have proven to be very effective in recent years, and they can help you build a strong brand identity.
How to set up a webinar?
When you're sitting in the right place, with a plain background, wearing suitable clothes with a plain design, and your hardware is all set and ready, then you can take care of the online settings. You can't run a webinar without a special software system. You may decide to use either a free version or a paid model, which provides more features. Many companies tend to invest in the second option, as they save $11,000 annually per employee by using video conferencing software anyway.
Choosing a platform that's intuitive, yet packed with handy features is what you should be looking for. LiveWebinar ticks all the boxes and provides you with simple instructions that explain anything that might seem complicated. On our website, you can learn how to set up a webinar and connect your profile to the integrations of your choice. Our blog is also a resource where you can find information about combining the power of external tools with webinar software or guides to use LiveWebinar like a pro.
Ready, steady - go!
At this point, you've taken care of every single aspect of your webinar. Nothing should surprise you, but to verify if your presentation will be appealing for your audience, you can do one more simple thing. Remember, webinars can make your brand identity more memorable.
Remember to perform a dry run before going live to make sure everything works seamlessly. To go one step further, you could ask a friend or colleague to join the webinar room with you and check your presentation from a participant's perspective. It's your attendees who will watch the performance after all.
When you know how to set up a webinar, it's time to pick a platform that can manage it all. We believe that it's always better to find out by yourself what works best for you, so we've prepared two options for you to choose from. You can register at LiveWebinar for a free plan and run videos without charge or time limits. Or if you want to have access to more options straight away, a 14-day trial of the Pro or Business version is waiting for you after just one click.