Webcasts have become increasingly popular over the last several years. The ability of webcasts to reach thousands of attendees around the world has been a boon for companies and organizations. COVID-19, of course, has made webcasting even more essential by providing a way for people to be together even if they are far apart.
Knowing how to webcast requires more than just the right technology. Setting up a webcast that works for your organization also requires that you have effective strategies for keeping your audience engaged, and, in many ways, making a webcast in 2020 has its own unique challenges.
Because of the pandemic, there’s a lot more virtual event and webcasting content out there, which means standards are higher than ever. Issues like “zoom fatigue” can mean that holding your audience’s attention can be more challenging. Additionally, because webcasts are now often stand-ins for events that would have previously been conducted in person, there’s significant demand for webcasts that meet the same socialization and entertainment criteria as face-to-face events.
Not sure how to do webcasting successfully? Don’t worry. It is possible to make a webcast that is engaging, stands out from the crowd, and meets your organization’s needs – even in these challenging times. In fact, webcasting is easier than ever and with these five tips, you’ll be sure to have a successful event. After all, today, anyone can be a broadcaster!
How to Do Webcasting Well
1. Make Sure You’re Prepared By Selecting The Right Webcasting Technology
Making sure you have the right technology to do a webcast should be your first priority. Of course, you’ll want to choose a webcasting tool that can accommodate your expected audience size, but technology considerations don’t stop there. A webcasting solution that can also provide you with interactive options is key to boosting engagement at your event (we’ll talk more about that in Tip #4). And, you’ll want to check what type of analytics your webcasting tool provides. Advanced, real-time analytics are essential – the more data you have, the more you’ll be able to craft increasingly successful events in the future.
2. Promoting Your Webcast Is Essential To Its Success
Once you’ve set the date for your webcast, make sure everyone who needs to know about it does.
While standard tools like traditional email and calendar reminders are one way to make sure your stakeholders know about your webcast, don’t stop there. People have a lot of webcast content available to them these days, and it’s important to make sure that they are excited about attending your particular event.
Social media promotion can be one way to spread awareness for your event, but social media can be overwhelming and it can be hard to overcome the signal-to-noise ratio. Consider innovative and more personalized ways to get attendees excited for your webcast. Engaging video emails that tease event content and reinforce why your webcast is a don’t-miss occasion can help make the difference.
3. Practice Is Essential To Perfecting Your Webcast
While making a webcast is a lot easier than it used to be, making a webcast successful still requires practice both behind the scenes and on camera. Doing a practice run of your webcast with a very limited audience – such as just your production team or the responsible department – can by the key to having a great event day. This practice run will help you make sure all the technology is working the way you want it to and that all your presenters are fully confident in their roles. A run-through will also allow you to see how slide-based presentations look for participants and for your speakers to practice their delivery. Practice is key to how to webcast confidently.
Successful webcast delivery includes speaking slowly and clearly, making sure delivered remarks correspond well with visual presentations, and being aware of the camera. While your webcast attendees may not be in the same room with you, they are seeking a feeling of connection. Be sure to look at the camera as you speak; this creates an important experience of virtual eye-contact.
Practice can also help your presenters to be more relaxed. This – and a bit of humor – can help project warmth to your webcast audience, which is particularly important in these challenging times.
4. Engagement Is A Key Part Of How To Webcast
While webcasts are, at their core about broadcasting information from just a few presenters to a large audience, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider the importance of audience participation. Audience participation is a great way to keep viewers engaged as you make a webcast because it establishes a clear connection between the audience and presenters.
There are three main types of audience participation you can include in your webcast: polling, quizzing, and live Q&A. Polls allow you to find out what your viewing audience thinks about a particular topic while you’re webcasting (so make sure to practice for all possible poll outcomes back in Tip #3).
Quizzing is similar to polling, but allows you to assess if your webcast viewers are retaining the knowledge you set up the webcast to share.
Live Q&A allows participants (either pre-selected or not) to join a moderated queue to ask questions of the presenters at an appropriate point in your webcast programming.
Most importantly, including options for audience engagement when you make a webcast communicates a cooperative, inclusive vision that holds viewer attention and build loyalty.
5. Do A Webcast That Has Ongoing Value
When you make your webcast, think about the value the event may have long-term. After all, you can make the video of your webcast available for audiences after the fact. This can help people who attended the original webcast review the content presented, but it can also provide a way to reach stakeholders who were not able to attend the original broadcast or even help you to reach out to new audiences.
Additionally, by providing your webcast as video-on-demand (VOD) content, you can also add captions and translations to it, further broadening your reach.
Remember, you don’t just have to provide access to a recording of the complete webcast session. You can also choose to edit your webcast content, taking key selections to include in other video collateral on your organization’s media hub, website, social media, or other digital presence.
Because of the pandemic, you may be embarking on webcasting for the first time. But don’t view webcasting as temporary. Learning how to webcast well will serve you far into the future. This technology can help you bring your stakeholders together – no matter what’s going on in the world – in a way that can save time, money, and even help the environment. Your first webcast won’t be your last, and these tips on how to do webcasting will help you and your organization to keep broadcasting at your best!
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