Information for Webinar Presenters

System requirements

To present a TechCommNZ webinar you will need:

  • Headphones or loudspeakers to hear other webinar participants. A good quality microphone is required for your presentation.
  • Internet connection (broadband is best)
  • Computer running Windows, Mac, iOS or Android operating system ( details)

Restrictions

  • Video clips (such as AVI or WMV files) cannot be played using the GoToWebinar system. YouTube videos and Flash movies can be played but sound is not available.
  • Apple iPads are supported by the GoToWebinar system but cannot access some features such as surveys/polls.
  • Apple Macs can be used to present a webinar but there are some limitations on their use. If you plan to use a Mac for your presentation, please contact the webinar organiser for further advice.

Browser add-in

When you first access the webinar system, your computer will automatically download and install a small add-in for your browser. If your computer cannot do this due to security settings, you may have problems accessing the webinar. The download may take several minutes, depending on the speed of your internet connection.

Webinar recording

A recording will be made of the webinar and will be made available to webinar attendees after the session.

Overview of webinar participant roles

The GoToWebinar system recognises four webinar participant roles.

  • Organiser. There has to be at least one organiser to start and run the webinar. The organiser controls the overall operation of the webinar as well as introducing (and, of course, thanking) you as presenter. The organiser can also display the full list of webinar attendees if required (it is hidden by default).
  • Panelist. There may be one or more panelists involved in the webinar. You will initially join the webinar as a panelist, ready to be promoted to presenter. Other panelists may be in attendance to provide additional expert knowledge and may take turns as presenter if required.
  • Presenter.After a brief introduction, the organiser will "promote" you to the role of presenter. As presenter you can display your computer screen to webinar attendees so they can see your slideshow or watch you demonstrate how to use software. Attendees will also be able to hear you. All attendees have their microphone muted when the webinar starts, but you can unmute one or more attendees if you wish.
  • Attendee. The registered audience members of the webinar are called attendees.

Your role as panelist/presenter

The webinar organiser will initially invite you by emailto attend the webinar in the role of a panelist. In this role you can interact with the organiser before the webinar starts - making sure you have everything set up correctly and checking that your microphone/speakers are working.

Preparing for the webinar

You need to prepare for a webinar in a similar way as for a regular presentation.

Your slides

Put together a set of slides in PowerPoint or the presentation software of your choice. As the webinar system displays your computer screen during the presentation, no special preparations are required to ensure that your presentation runs on any other computer. Please send a copy of the slides to the organiser (in handout or notes format) in PDF so that they can be made available to the attendees after the webinar.

Timing

TechCommNZ webinars normally run for 60 minutes in total (or longer, as arranged). Out of this time, please allow:

  • up to 5 minutes at the start for the organiser's introduction and any polls (see Questions for the attendees, below), and
  • up to 5 minutes at the end for a closing "question and answer" session.

The organiser will prompt you (by a chat message) about 10 minutes before the end of the session so that you can smoothly draw the presentation to a close in time for the Q&A session.

Questions for the attendees

Consider if there are any specific questions you need to ask attendees. If there are, send details to the organiser so that he or she can set them up as a "poll". The poll displays the questions on each attendee's screen and they can provide their answers. The organiser takes over the role of presenter temporarily to display the poll questions and answers.

Polls are a convenient way of getting information about current audience knowledge levels, for example. However, they are quite time consuming and disrupt the flow of the webinar, so it may be best to hold only one or two during the session.

Questions from the attendees

During the session, attendees are encouraged to make a note of any questions so that they can ask them at the end of the session. This helps avoid multiple interruptions during the session, especially for larger groups. During the final Q&A session, the organiser will ask attendees to raise their hand (this is a feature of the attendee's control panel and shows a raised hand against the attendee's name in the organiser's attendee list). The organiser will then select attendees and un-mute them so that they can ask you their question.

For smaller groups, all attendees may be un-muted by the organiser (at your request), so that they can ask questions during the session. However, please note that running the session with all attendees un-muted can lead to a distracting level of background noise.

Practice sessions

You can hold one or more practice sessions with the organiser before the webinar. The organiser will normally invite you to attend a practice session a week or more before the webinar. Such sessions will give you the opportunity to get comfortable with the overall operation of the webinar system. You are welcome to ask the organiser for additional practice sessions if you wish.

Joining the webinar

To join the webinar, follow the link in the organiser's invitation email a few minutes before the scheduled start time. The organiser will normally be running the webinar in practice mode at this time.

Please follow any on-screen instructions to set up your browser and launch the webinar software. If the webinar organiser is not yet online, you will see the a message similar to this until they come online:


The waiting room screen, which looks similar to this, is also displayed:

The webinar control panel is also displayed. If the organiser is running the webinar in practice mode, this is clearly shown in the control panel (below, left). The organiser can hold practice sessions with you before the webinar, to ensure that you are completely comfortable with the webinar system. The organiser can switch from practice to live mode (below, right) as required to allow participants to get into the webinar.

During the webinar

When the webinar starts, the organiser will give you access to the presenter control panel, which looks similar to this:


Each of the labelled features is described below.

  • Use the Hide/show control panel to hide or re-display the main control panel.
  • Use Show/hide my screen to show your computer screen to participants. The Screen drop-down list provides options for the way your screen is displayed. You can also give keyboard/mouse control to another panelist or organiser if you wish.
  • Use Audience view to see a thumbnail of what the other participants can see on their screens.
  • Use Drawing tools to draw highlights, lines, arrows and other markers on your screen.
  • Use Mute/unmute me to temporarily mute your microphone during coughing fits, sneezes etc.
  • The Attendee/staff list shows all staff members (organisers and other panelists). If the organiser enables it, a full list of attendees is also visible. Attendees can be promoted to presenter or organiser during the session, if additional interaction or privileges are required (see Promoting attendees, below).
  • Use the Chat message box to type short messages to staff and/or panelists.
  • Use the Chat destination(s) drop-down list to select the identity of your chat message recipient(s). Click Send to send the contents of the Chat message box to the selected destination.

Undocking the control panel sections

You can undock parts of the control panel by clicking the undock button ( ) on any section. This may be useful if you want to display the full list of attendees or chat questions, for example.

Drawing on your slides

If you want to draw on your slides or use other tools to highlight pictures or text, click the drawing button ( ) on the control panel. This opens the drawing tools menu, from which you can select various tools. You might like to play with this feature during a practice session.



Promoting attendees

Webinar attendees can only view and listen to the webinar. However, the organiser can promote attendees to panelist, presenter or organiser (as required) by right-clicking on the attendee's name in the list of attendees and selecting the required role.

Some presentation tips

Feedback from presenters and attendees is included here to help you avoid some potential problems.

  • There is a variable time lag of about 1-2 seconds between you selecting a new slide and the slide appearing on attendees' screens, so please pause briefly before discussing a new slide.
  • You may not be able to see your mouse pointer during the presentation but it is displayed on attendee's screens. Please park it off screen or try to avoid moving it unless you need to, as this can be distracting for attendees.
  • During your presentation you may not be able to see any on-screen clock or timer, so have a clock or watch set up near your screen to help you keep track of the time.

Leaving the webinar

You can leave the webinar at any time by closing the webinar display window or by using the Exit option in the File menu on the control panel.