While it could be said that presentations done online are nothing like delivering in-person speeches, webinars can still be daunting even without a physical audience especially for the unexperienced. A lot of factors are at play when delivering webinars – including, and most importantly, your familiarity with the material. It goes without saying that you should know your presentation by heart, including how to perfectly implement engagement tools with your audience such as polls and Q&A sessions.
Other factors at play include familiarity with the platform you are using to present, its compatibility with the devices you and your audiences have, participants’ familiarity with using online tools, internet bandwidth, and more. If by some stroke of bad luck a technical difficulty arises during your heavily attended webinar, what should you do to effectively deal with it?
First and foremost, remember to maintain engagement with your audience while you try to fix whatever has gone wrong. It’s important to let the attendees know that you’re still there. If the technical glitch affects your microphone, find other ways to communicate what is going on, like the chat or messenger feature. Avoid long uncomfortable silence at all cost!
Another thing to keep in mind is to keep the show going as much as possible. If the issue is with another presenter, be ready to take the reins and keep the discussion steady while the issue gets fixed. On the other hand, if the issue is with an attendee, have a colleague reach out to the attendee to resolve it so you can keep the session going.
If the problem at hand is a major issue and you feel like it would be impossible to continue the event altogether, do not keep your audience waiting for nothing and inform them as soon as possible. Let people know that the webinar will be rescheduled and that they will be re-registered.
At the end of the day, the best way of dealing with these mishaps is to prepare and not have to deal with them at all. Some webinar services offer tech checks before the presentation to ensure that all the necessary audio and video technology tools are working properly. It would also be very valuable to have tech support on standby for attendee technical assistance so you can focus on delivering and making your webinar a hit.