Since the beginning of Covid-19, it would be almost impossible to find anyone in the business world who has not moved over to a virtual platform as a substitute for face to face interactions. For many people, the switch has been easy but for others not so much and has caused stress to an already stressful situation. When a client asked me to help them move to a virtual platform as a substitute for their live cross-country roadshow, I did a lot of research and watched countless videos on the best way to move forward. Still it wasn’t until I was in the weeds myself that I discovered that there are some basics that aren’t covered in most of the virtual meeting information that I wish I’d known, so now I’m happy to share this info with you:
1. Sign In- If you aren’t asking attendees to register ahead of time, coach them to sign in using their real names – it makes it easier to identify them in reporting and in awarding accreditation
2. Polling - Allow at least 2 minutes per poll (there is lag time) Questions need to be concise with a Yes/No or True/False answer. Limit your polls to a max of 3 questions per poll.
3. Share Poll answers and provide explanations if required to help with information retention
4. Read out polling questions to fill dead airtime pausing in between
5. Sessions – should be short and concise 20 minutes max with 10 Minutes time at the end for Polling and Q&A. Consider Pre-recording the presentations-review them ahead of time have speaker answer q/A during the presentation
6. Pre-record your sessions to remove the possibility of technical issues-have the speaker available online to answer Q&A during their session
7. Agenda-If there are multiple sessions, allow for short breaks but keep the content flowing
8. Offline Assistance-Assign staff to assist offline, help people attend that are having technical issues, reach out to attendees to let them know when new sessions are beginning
9. Practice Rehearsals – I cannot stress this enough, practice with your speakers, transitions, Q&A, try to simulate the day as much as possible
10. Have a practice session for attendees – Let them log into the webinar the day before so that they feel comfortable in the space and understand how things will work
11. Consider using Q&A as the main way to correspond with attendees versus chat rooms which can be more difficult to control.
12. Have a virtual Journal Available for Notetaking
13. Make sessions available afterwards
14. Start and end your sessions with a polished look and feel. Add music and videos and make your guest feel welcome by saying hello if size allows