When it comes to presenting webinars, there’s an unsung hero in the background who is ensuring everything runs smoothly, and to plan.
Moderators or facilitators are responsible for working with presenters to execute amazing online experiences. But how is this achieved when all parties are working remotely and joining from various locations?
Here’s some top tips for moderating remote webinars with ease!
Moderator vs Presenter
Firstly, it’s important to distinguish each role and who is responsible what.for While this may vary for experienced presenters, here’s how it generally works:
- Introduction and conclusion
- Interviews presenter (if necessary)
- Q&A Sessions: Filters questions, responds to technical questions, repeats questions to the audience, allows presenter to answer and elaborate
- Open Chat: Converses with online attendees to keep conversation flowing
- Polling: Launches polls and shares results with audience
- Presents content
- Engages with moderator
- Moves slides
- Answers questions
- Responds to polls
Make sure you’re all on the same page
Question and answer sessions have the potential to be disastrous if they’re not managed properly. During the planning stages of your webinar, ensure you discuss the following with your presenter:
- Will you hold Q&A Sessions throughout the event, or will you wait until the end?
- Are you comfortable having the chat box open, or will they prefer private questions?
- Are there any questions that you shouldn’t respond to or read out?
- What’s the plan should no questions come through? Do you have any Dorothy Dixer questions created?
- At which slides will the polls appear?
Having answers to these questions will help make for a seamless webinar.
Familiarise yourself with the content and presenter
For moderation to work, you need to go beyond knowing the standard features and functionality of a platform. It’s useful to form a relationship with the presenter and familiarise yourself with their main talking points. Here’s some questions you can ask the presenter to better understand their content:
- What’s the purpose of the webinar? To educate, build awareness, or generate leads?
- Where did your content come from? Is it research, or your own knowledge?
- What do you want your attendees to think, feel and do when your webinar is over?
Interviewing a Presenter? Understand the content, and then work backwards
Interview style panel discussions can be incredibly engaging, if done properly. Here’s an easy way to make them work.
Once you understand the presenter’s content, it’s about creating interview questions that will flow into each section. This creates a nice flow and ensures you cover off all talking points.
Of course, you want to keep the webinar quite organic, so don’t be afraid to ‘go off script’ throughout.
Put together a run sheet
It’s important to be organised well in advance. And while you don’t want to appear as scripted, having a run sheet you keep you all on track is key.
Your run sheet should include the following:
- If interviewing your presenter, write your questions which segue into each slide or talking point
- Where you want to incorporate collaborative features such as polling, questions and answer sessions
- Where you would like to play videos or audio files throughout your webinar
Open a private chat between you and the presenter
When moderating remotely, it’s like you can make eye contact or send signals to each presenter. It’s therefore important that your platform offers a private chat between you all so you can communicate before the event.
This feature is also a great way to communicate with your technician should you be working with a managed service provider.