THE ART OF BECOMING A GREAT WEBINAR PRESENTER
That Star Quality
When you’re not used to public speaking, an hour can feel like an
eternity. As the minutes stretch on, you worry about the worst case
scenarios. What if you make a fool of yourself? What if the
audience isn’t engaged? What if your webinar isn’t a success?
Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be that way. Whether you’re
a webinar superstar in the making , or a behind the-scenes
Spielberg who wants to make the most of their on-screen
talent, this guide can help you boost the quality of your webinar
presenters. Too many of us let our fear of public speaking hold us
back — when with a few simple tips, we could be delivering great
webinars, every time.
Good Talent (isn’t) Hard to Find
Let’s face facts: Just because someone really
knows their stuff, it doesn’t automatically
follow that they’ll be a great webinar
presenter. Your subject matter experts, while
incredibly knowledgeable about your products
and solutions, may not be that great at
keeping an audience entertained. That said,
almost every company has a rockstar webinar
presenter hidden somewhere in the ranks. The
trick in knowing how to find that person.
What you want in a webinar presenter is
someone energetic, talkative, and outgoing.
If that doesn’t describe your subject matter
experts, you may need to look in some
unexpected places. Salespeople and PR reps
are tend to be chatty and friendly, which can
make them ideal webinar presenters. Or you
can find the extroverts in your marketing
department and enlist them as presenters.
And don’t be afraid to go to your executive
team. Many executives have tons of experience
presenting in front of large audiences. They
may love a chance to host your webinar.
When in Doubt, Go Pro
If you have a smaller team, or you simply don’t
have anyone who you think makes good on-air
talent, you may want to hire a professional.
Professional speakers are available in pretty
much any area, and they are surprisingly costeffective
and easy to find. Just head over to
your search engine of choice and tap into the
pool of local talent.
Once you’ve found your professional presenter,
your subject matter expert can relax and focus
on doing what they do best: the content. If you
choose a traditional single-presenter webinar
format, your internal experts can prepare the
presentation slides and speaking notes for
the presenter. You may want to hold a short
1:1 download session so your internal experts
can go over the material with the presenter
before the live event. Of course, you may want
to branch out a bit, too, and try some less
conventional webinar formats. Which brings us
A Change of Pace
When your presenter isn’t a subject matter
expert — or even if you just want to mix things
up a little bit — consider experimenting with
more informal webinar formats. There’s no rule
that says webinars must be a single presenter,
delivering slides, with maybe 15 minutes of
Q&A at the end.
For your next webinar, try one of these on for size:
Your organization is probably full of
experts not just on your products and
services, but on a whole range of topics
your audience cares about. Even if they
aren’t great speakers, an interview
format can help them shine while your
presenter does the work of keeping the
Living Case Study
Your employees aren’t the only experts
on your products and services. For a
change of pace, think about bringing
in a customer for a live interview about
their experience with your company
and the results they drove.
Instead of individual interviews, you
may want to bring in a handful of
experts for an informational panel. In
this type of webinar, the presenter acts
as a host, keeping the conversation ontopic
and relevant for the audience.
If your experts are personable and
comfortable on camera, you can
bring them together for an informal
chat session. A casual, host-driven
conversation or coffee talk can be a
compelling way to present content
— and replicates a lot of the TV talk
formats that people are used to seeing.
Make sure you prepare the topic of
conversation in advance so your host is
prepared to guide the conversation.
You’re Not Alone
A good webinar is not just a presentation —
it’s a conversation between the presenter
and the audience. By providing moments of
interactivity, you create an environment that’s
fun and engaging. And the more engaged your
audience is, the more information they retain
from your webinar and the closer they feel to
your company and your brand.
A live Q&A session is the most popular way
to add interactivity to webinars. According to
the 2017 ON24® Webinar Benchmarks report,
82% of us are already including Q&A in our
But think of all the other tricks you have at
Polls add a fun element of unpredictability
to your webinars. They also give your
audience a chance to voice their opinions and
get a glimpse into the minds of their peers.
Social media takes the conversation even
further. By integrating social media tools right
into your webinar console, you encourage
the audience to engage with your brand and
each other without ever leaving the webinar
Idea storming tools transform your
informational webinar into an active work
session. Attendees can submit ideas and
review and upvote the contributions of their
These are just a few examples. Find out what
interactive tools your webinar software offers
and look for ways to integrate them into your
There’s no big secret to becoming a better
webinar presenter. All it takes is confidence,
practice, and a couple of great people to help
you out. As you head into your next webinar,
just keep these simple tips in mind:
Want to know the easiest way to
beat stage fright? Practice, practice,
practice. As long as you know your
stuff, there’s nothing to be afraid of.
Don’t try to be funny
If you’re naturally funny, that will come
across. You don’t have to force it. Avoid
scripted jokes and gags.
Use a landline
Don’t present from cell or conference
phones — the sound quality tends
to be poor and the connection is
Choose a quiet room
Present your webinar from a nice, quiet
place with no background distractions
— and put a “Do Not Disturb” sign on
Mute your cell phone(s) and
You don’t want to interrupt your
webinar with an ill-timed call, text, or
Pour yourself a glass of water (and
don’t be afraid to use it)
Webinar presenting is thirsty work.
Take a little sip of water (NOT coffee, it
dehydrates) whenever you need it.
Things will go wrong. That’s normal.
Just smile, take a deep breath, and roll
with the punches.
But the most important piece of advice is this:
Be yourself… and have fun! As long as you’re
having a good time, your audience will have a
good time, too.