Excellent webinars can be achieved with just two easy steps. Step one: have a plan. Step two: follow it.
You can make life even easier for yourself by using a VA or a friend to help moderate and administrate the session, which involves setting up the session, testing the equipment, checking the question and answer box and chat screens, passing you vital questions to answer, and giving technical support to both you and your audience.
But even more important is having a plan, and there are four things to make up a great plan for easy webinars.
The four essential components in your plan are:
- a project plan
- speaker’s notes
- session plan
Let’s take a look at each of these four things in turn.
A project plan is a list of tasks that need to be carried out in a set order in order to achieve a result. When running a webinar, I recommend that that process cover four weeks, starting from the research phase, right through to delivery and review. Once you’ve settled on your own process for running webinars, you should be able to just repeat the steps in this process for each new topic and forever run webinars with ease. A great idea is to turn that process into checklists that you can print and sit inside your diary or on your desk. That way, you can check things off and make sure nothing gets forgotten. If you’re using printed checklists, It’s also recommended to mark key dates on your calendar.
It’s also possible to add the tasks from your project plan into a project management tool such as a Basecamp. You might prefer to use a tool like Asana, which is free and is more focused on task management than true project management. And there’s also Evernote, which will help you to compile your checklists, but also to keep your research together in one place.
Your second item is a session plan. This is just the outline of how the session will run. It lists the key points for each topic, the duration for each topic, and you cues for using videos or other materials, and list any required resources or files that you will use during the presentation.
The third item are your speaker’s note. These are the detailed content of the presentation. You can choose to write a complete script for the presentation or just use bullet points. PowerPoint and Keynote both allow you to add notes to a hidden area on slides, and then print them out – usually one slide per page with the notes listed beneath.
If you plan to give examples, facts, or stories during the presentation, this is a great place to list them to make it easy for you to remember accurately.
The fourth component is your slides. As we’ve mentioned in the second section, it’s best to keep them simple with minimal text. Their purpose is to support your presentation and to act as signposts for the topics and give your presentation structure. You can create these in tools like PowerPoint, Keynote, or Canva. People often ask me how long a topic should run for, and my answer is that you should follow the ten-minute rule, which says that a topic should run for no longer than ten minutes because somewhere between ten and 20 minutes, our brains start wondering, we stop paying attention, and we find it really hard to remember any information that comes in a block that is longer than ten minutes.
A great format to use in ten minutes of content, followed by a couple of minutes of review and question and answers before starting a preview of the next topic, and continuing with the ten-minute block for that next topic, and so on.