As I was preparing for this event, a lot of people asked me how I did it — “How did you pull together such a huge event?” It’s actually a lot easier than you think. Here is a short explanation of how you can host your first webinar.

Hosting a webinar is like hosting a talk or a lecture. Webinar’s are great marketing tactics to teach a wide audience some simple concepts, and use them as teasers or group sales pitches at the end. Whether you are selling you own product, or access to another webinar, these meetings help you gauge a lot of things about your target market.

To prepare for the show, you’ll need some basic presenter?s materials, like slides and pointers, and software to host free conference calls.

Preparation

Your webinar should be focused on a theme that is easy to understand, and one that you will harken back to repeatedly. If your niche is teaching people how to buy and sell antiques online, then you should choose one aspect of that to present a webinar on. Teaching people how to get things appraised can lead into talking about common household items and their value. A simple topic that is easy to follow, and easy to sell, is best.

If possible, prepare a slideshow that highlights the topics of your conversation and use that to help present your ideas. Graphs, bullet points, and pictures all help the audience visually process the concepts you’re presenting.

Prepare a rough script. At least a set of bullet pointed topics for conversation. You should plan for about thirty to forty minutes of presentation time with about ten to twenty minutes for audience questions if you want. Some presenters choose to field these questions before the webinar, during the signup process via email survey or signup form.

Lastly, you will need to choose a call provider, create your call and hype it to your audience.

Conference Call Software

Conference call software is more than just a tool to connect individuals. Depending on your needs, you might want to look for:

Video conferencing

Tools to highlight and point out concepts

A mute button for attendees

Ability for other presenters to attend

You might need additional add-ons as well, such as international calling, so review your conference call provider to see your options.

Presentation

Practice your presentation before the day you need to deliver your speech. At the very least, go over your slides if you have them, and make sure you know and have researched all of your talking points.In a question and answer setting, you should be able to handle any question thrown at you. During the day of the call, set up a test fifteen or twenty minutes prior to the call to be sure that your software is working properly.

Have a monitor call into your conference call line to be sure presenters can be heard, and test accompanying visuals on other computers. As callers start to arrive, announce a countdown to your call every few minutes. It’s up to you whether you want to wait for all of your guests to arrive; even in teleconferencing people still show up late.

It helps to keep a timer, though it’s not necessary to navigate your way through the call. Speak with confidence and use any visuals you have to enhance and emphasize your points. The most important part is to not get too far off topic, and don’t let yourself get cornered by someone’s question. The best presenters speak with finesse, as though the conversation were off-the-cuff. Time will make you better at presenting, but organization will get you through the call.