Webcasting by Role: Webcasting Audience

Two weeks ago, we talked about webcasting from the presenter’s view. But there’s an important group we haven’t discussed yet: the webcasting audience.
The audience does not have much to do with the production of the webcasting, which means it can be surprisingly easy to lose sight of their experience with the platform. But more than anything else, it’s the audience’s viewer experience that determines the success of the webcast.

Key Things to Consider for Your Webcasting Audience

  • Improving webcasting audience experienceThe playback needs to be as close to flawless as possible. That means not only high quality video and audio, but also an experience free of buffering. Make sure the production team uses a delivery system adequate for your needs, and tests it well.
  • With today’s on-the-go employees, it’s critical that the webcast be available remotely and on multiple devices. Whether your team members are watching from home, in the airport, in a hotel room, or anywhere else, they all deserve a quality experience.
  • Some viewers will need to watch asynchronously; plan for it. For folks who join just a few minutes late, DVR will let them skip back and forward during the live event. For those who are completely unable to join, make sure they can view the recording as video on demand.
  • You’re going to have at least two content streams; the slides, and the video of the presenter. Choose a platform that gives viewers a choice of which to focus on—whether choosing a stream, viewing side-by-side, or picture-in-picture—to keep your viewers’ attention and make it as easy as possible for them to understand.
  • Make sure your slides keep up with your presenter with automatic slide sync. Even in the recording, you’ll want the slides synced with the video so viewers can follow along and easily navigate.
  • Speaking of navigation, look for webcasting tools that include chapters to make it easy to navigate the VOD version.
  • Ideally, your webcast recording should have enough metadata that it can be found again when people go looking. This can drastically extend the life of your content. Even better is when the slide content itself can be searched. Not only will it make it easier for the video to be found, it will increase the usability of the video. Think of how much easier it is to find the key two minutes in an hour long presentation if you can search for the keyword instead of flipping through an entire deck.

When you balance all three groups, you have a webcast that’s compelling, memorable…successful!

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