10 Best Practices to conduct a Free Webinar

Here’s what I learnt from Jaikanth Chinnathambi’s session for school kids

A quick context about why I ended up writing this letter!

I used to have frequent meetings with my team members at Think-Digital. But, I had never faced the challenge of stumbling upon something. I don’t prepare for the meetings. I just go on the spot and share the things I intend to speak. I also provide info outside our team’s work and also some personal thoughts.

However, none of them has ever been organised. While thinking about taking an external session with an open and unknown audience, it couldn’t be the case. To test this out, last year I organized a session for 4 different categories of people, in the name of Weekend Productive Session. I didn’t have any idea about how sessions are conducted by great personalities. I just gave it a shot.

Regardless of the output of the first ever WPS series for an open audience, one thing I realised is that an unorganized session is a feather left in a wind. It’s gone. What was its use of it? Neither I nor the ones who attended it knew. No proper feedback, nothing that could keep up our relationship later. Though a very few of them turned up to me later to get some help/guidance, it was purely their motivation to come to me, and the session had the least impact.

Later, I attended a session conducted by Vaibhav Sisinity on LinkedIn growth. It was those days when I wanted to use LinkedIn to reach out to college students. I was highly vibed by his energy, but that didn’t last for long. The insights I gathered about conducting such sessions all seemed possible only as a group of well-equipped members.

Not only in this, but in any session I try to register for, it had a flow for the registration process and there was always something common there. They all seemed possible only as a group of well-equipped members. But, I’m an individual who’s trying to do this. Conducting a session with my Think-Digital juniors was not an option back then. Now we have got some solid people who can take up real value-adding sessions.

Exactly last week, the Wednesday evening I joined Jaikanth Chinnathambi’s session on How to choose a stream after the 10th or 12th. He seemed to be a single person behind this. Everything looked simple. I could realize a lot of things that enhanced the workshop/webinar experience.

The topic of the session was not so relevant to me. But, my purpose for attending the workshop was different. I’d like to share what I inferred from it.

Here are the 10 points which I inferred from his session.

1) Music to set up the mood while starting the session and giving them a task in between!

This energises the members who join and keeps them waiting instead of feeling lost, and can also be a clue that the task time has started or ended. When the music stops, people are intended to start listening.

2) Use mindmaps to explain

Instead of using ppts or any sort of presentation that just stay on screen, using a mindmap helps in drawing the attention and pulls the audience into the flow that we want. The best part of this is, that we don’t forget the content, as well as the audience, will have a complete context of the topic.

3) Provide and set up the basics to kickstart before the self-intro

I used to start with an intro, assuming it be a responsibility to share who I am. But, in most cases, it has been an awkward silence and I get stuck in the flow. But, with a casual chat, we can dive into the topic directly and provide them with an understanding of what they can expect from the session. Once this is set, ask if they would like to know who I am. This makes the self-intro more meaningful.

4) Add an inspirational essence to the self-intro

In spite of being a meaningful self-intro, it has to be remembered later and also should make an impact to build the trust among the audience to listen to you further. An inspirational essence can be any life moment, but purely authentic!

5) Create experiments rather than lectures

Lectures are all that students hear in school/college that is merely feeding what they are conditioned to learn. But, what really makes sense is the triggering of thoughts and the invitation to explore, being curious.

If you feed a child with 2 food bowls as was said by someone, the child is conditioned to that 2 food bowls. Some children may eat 3 and some might just be ok with 1. You don’t have to burden the 3-bowl child with hunger and the 1-bowl child with a heavy stomach. Letting them eat on their own is better. They eat for their hunger.

6) An object of suspense

Keep an object visible to the audience that has a story behind it, and keep suspense throughout the session to keep up curiosity. This could keep up some audience throughout the session, as they are repeatedly reminded of the suspense. This is optional but so impacting.

7) Save their questions for now and ask in Q&A at the end

This can save a lot of time for others, as well as help us to keep up the session timing.

8) Get feedback during and after the session

This is clear evidence of your work and an immediate scorer for your upcoming sessions. At 70% progress of the meet, people are not going to leave. Giving them a couple of mins to write a review may have more successful conversions. At 100% progress of the meet, it can be a reminder for them to fill it by taking more time to think and process. This can increase the chances of well-written feedback. Trustpilot is what he uses, and it looks quite promising. You’ll see more of them coming your way from me 😉

9) Share basic info to connect later for doubts

This not only helps in keeping up the relationship but also helps in increasing your social media base, which will help you grow online as well. Instead of having a link for them to open or a QR to scan, spelling the name and asking them to search is a lit idea.

10) Keep up the planned Session Timing

Every segment of the session seemed to go as planned. Keeping up the time helps in increasing credibility in the person and also will increase the likeliness to participate in further sessions.

Nice to see you’ve reached here. Which of these points did you like the most?

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