Webinars: Selecting the Right Presenters and Planning Your Agenda

Webinars: Selecting the Right Presenters and Planning Your Agenda

As with any event, certain moving parts need to align in order for a webinar to run smoothly. Today we’re focusing on just two of them: engaging presenters and your webinar agenda. While you may believe these are simple issues that need to be addressed, the reality is there are several aspects you need to consider when it comes to organizing your presentation and finalizing decisions around these elements.

Follow along as we provide useful tips for presenter selection and agenda planning.

Selecting the Right Speakers

You can have all the pretty pictures and fascinating data you like, but you’re wasting your time if your guest or host is a sleep-inducing talker. Not only will you likely fail to reach the goals you’ve set for your webinar, but your attendees will also drop out of the event like flies.

Webinar guest speakersTherefore, you need:

  • A recognized speaker who possesses a passion for the subject you’ll be talking about—someone who is a great teacher and will help your audience understand the key points you’re hoping to convey.
  • Someone who can attract and hold fast the interest and attention of your viewers for an extended period (40 minutes or more).
  • A credible presenter who not only has the necessary knowledge on the topic at hand, but also lends their marketability to your webinars. Ask yourself whether this is someone who has established online communities and strong social connections, as well as whether they’re able to attract your target crowd. Can you leverage the individual’s name to boost attendance? Is the person willing to help you promote your webinar through his or her own social channels?
  • Someone who is able to answer questions off-the-cuff.
  • A person who creates a valuable experience for your attendees by bringing their own opinions, viewpoints, and experiences to the table.
  • A speaker who can fit in with your webinar format whether you’re hosting a moderated panel, live debate, or interview-style presentation. If you’re already dealing with a niche topic in a somewhat dull field, consider forming a panel with two or more engaging presenters so you avoid monotony and give your webinar flavor.

Planning Your Agenda

webinar agenda meetingSuccessfully orchestrating a live webinar requires everyone involved to be well prepared, aware of their roles, and in the loop with respect to the timing of certain agenda items. As a result, you’ll want to assemble your team of speakers, facilitators or moderators, assistants, and other support staff a few weeks beforehand to discuss and plan your webinar agenda.

Factors you’ll need to plan and agree upon during the meeting:

  • Key questions or points that need to be discussed during the presentation;
  • A time to review questions and develop answers prior to the event;
  • The order and duration of each webinar element, including a welcome message, introductions, the topic presentation, audience Q&A’s, interactive content (polls, surveys, etc.), a CTA, and closing;
  • How and when you’ll create opportunities for dialogue;
  • Deadlines for the submission of a general script, bio photo and details, slide decks, videos, visual aids, references, and other presentation materials;
  • Social media and hashtag monitoring for audience input or feedback;
  • And a time to conduct a dry run.

Ultimately, you want to ensure you’re working with the right people and that they’re in agreement in terms of the best direction for your presentation. A concerted effort by all parties will ensure you have an engaging webinar with few timing problems.



Have you ever attended a really bad webinar? What would you change about it? Share your stories with us below.

Shawn Manaher

Shawn Manaher is the founder and CEO of The Content Authority. He's one part content manager, one part writing ninja organizer, and two parts leader of top content creators. You don't even want to know what he calls pancakes.

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