Did you know there are approximately 300 million daily meeting participants on Zoom? That’s a 2,900% increase since December 31, 2019, when there were only about 10 million participants per day. With those metrics, it’s hard to imagine anyone not being familiar with the basic functions of the platform.

Zoom offers several products and solutions, but the pandemic has popularized two in particular: Zoom meetings and Zoom webinars. While most people are using Zoom meetings to connect with friends, colleagues, and clients; businesses, keynote speakers, and event organizers are hosting large-scale Zoom webinars with upwards of 10,000 participants.

Anyvoo is a fully remote business, so we’re no strangers to daily Zoom calls and the many hiccups that (sometimes) go along with them. We also know how crucial it is to get everything set up just right, especially when you have lots of participants to impress. We wrote this article to help you learn how to host a Zoom webinar successfully—and look good while doing it!

How To Host A Zoom Webinar: 3 Steps

You have some educational content to share with your audience—that’s great! Here are the next steps to take to make your webinar a reality.

1. Create and schedule the webinar in Zoom.

To get started using Zoom, you’ll need to set up an account and either download the Zoom Meeting client or visit the mobile App Store. If you already have a Zoom account, you may need to upgrade to set up a webinar. The Zoom webinar add-on varies in cost depending on the number of participants you expect. The webinar feature gives you the ability to host 100+ people, and offers the following features:

  • Participants with view-only access
  • Host controls
  • Live Q&A, chat features, and polling
  • Paid registration
  • Post-webinar reporting

Once you download Zoom to your desktop or mobile device, the next step is figuring out how to create a webinar. When you open Zoom on your desktop or mobile device, you’ll see a screen with four large buttons. Click the “Schedule” button and fill out the webinar details and other options, including:

  • Meeting topic
  • Meeting date, start time, and end time (be sure to include the time zone!)
  • Meeting ID (this can be generated automatically for your convenience)
  • Password (only if desired, but don’t forget to send it to your participants)
  • Set the video to “on” for the host and “off” for participants
  • Select “Other calendars” to add your webinar information to the calendar of your choice

There are also advanced options to help manage the participant experience and post-webinar marketing:

  • Deselect “Enable waiting room” to prevent participants from entering the meeting early.
  • Select “Mute participants on entry” to prevent participants from initiating side conversations.
  • Select “Automatically record meeting on the local computer” if you’d like a recorded version to refer back to or to share with participants.

Once you’ve completed these steps you’ll see your webinar listed on your Zoom dashboard.

2. Set up a way for participants to register.

After you configure your webinar settings and before you send invitations you may want to require registration for your Zoom webinar. Here’s how to set up a webinar registration event:

  • Scroll past the Advanced Options to get to the “Registration” option.
  • Select “Registration” to enable it.
  • If you’d like participants to register for a recurring webinar, you need to specify one of the following (otherwise you can skip this step):
    • Attendees register once and can attend any of the occurrences.
    • Attendees need to register for each occurrence to attend.
    • Attendees register once and can choose one or more occurrences to attend.
  • Click “Schedule.”

As the webinar host, you can choose to approve all registrations automatically or manually. You can also customize the registration form fields to make sure you’re getting the contact information you need.

3. Invite participants.

Your Zoom dashboard will list upcoming meetings and webinars, and each will have a button with three dots and a “Start” button. To begin inviting participants, click on the three dots and select “Copy Invitation.” After that there are a few ways you can get the word out:

  • Open your preferred email client, craft a witty invitation email (my specialty!), paste the webinar information, and send it to your client list.
  • Ask your sales team to send personalized messages to key accounts.
  • Promote it on your website with digital marketing such as seo, banner ads, blogs, and thank you pages.
  • Get social and promote it on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn with scheduled posts or paid advertisements.
  • Team up with an influencer or brand to increase your credibility and reach a larger audience.

Three Surefire Ways To Increase Webinar Attendance

Webinars are a terrific way to promote thought leadership and generate leads, but registrations don’t automatically lead to attendance. Here are a few things you can do to increase the likelihood that people will follow through and show up on the big day:

  • Give attendees access to an exclusive LinkedIn (or other) group page where they can interact and revisit the slide deck.
  • Have an exclusive offer for attendees, such as bonus materials, early access, discounted membership, etc.
  • Call attendees to personally remind them to attend or use a service like Boxpilot to send a pre-recorded message.

How to Do A Webinar That’s Engaging

You’ve got the mechanics in place, but there’s more to hosting a great webinar than that—there’s work to be done if you want to impress your audience and get your content across effectively. Learning how to host a webinar is a feat in and of itself.

Prepare For A Good Presentation

To appear “legit,” you’ll need to put some effort into how your video presentation will come across to participants. A few tips in this area:

  • Dress to impress. Set the tone for your webinar with a professional look from head to toe. Comb your hair, shave your face, or apply your makeup and think strategically about what you’re going to wear. Plain, solid, and neutral styles are less distracting and allow your participants to focus on your content rather than your shirt.
  • Get the lighting right. Avoid sitting directly in front of a window. Instead, put your light source in front of you. It’s also important to have control of your lighting, so opt for a ring light or other reliable light source to ensure your lighting remains steady throughout the entire webinar.
  • Invest in a high-res web camera. Laptop webcams typically have low resolution. Upgrade to a high-resolution model to look as crisp and clear as possible.
  • Perfect your perspective. Show participants your best angle with a camera placed at eye level. Not only will this look the most natural, but it will also help you maintain better eye contact because you’ll be looking directly into the camera while presenting. Most webcams have wide-angle lenses, so take a step back to look less distorted. You can typically find your sweet spot right around two feet.
  • Don’t skimp on the background. With so many people working from home, clients, colleagues, and vendors have had a unique (and not always pleasant) look into people’s personal lives. To ensure a professional webinar experience, make sure your background looks as polished as you do. Your background should be free of distractions like moving people, animals, or objects. It should also be neat and tidy.

Get Off To A Smooth Start

On the day of your event open your Zoom client about 15 to 20 minutes before the start of your webinar. Click “Start,” open your slide deck or other materials, and make a few quick adjustments to ensure your attendees are in view-only mode:

  • At the bottom of the screen click on the “Participants” icon. Next, at the bottom of the section that opens, click the “More” button and deselect “Allow participants to unmute themselves.”
  • After that, click the “Security” icon and deselect “Share Screen.”

Following these practices will give your audience a seamless and error-free virtual experience from start to finish.

Make A Good First Impression

When it’s time to get started, connect with your audience before you do anything else. First impressions are everything, so an interesting story, anecdote, fact, or statistic will help grab their attention and begin building their trust. Here are a few more ways you can make a good first impression:

  • Get the sound dialed in. Audio is the most important element of a webinar, so before you begin be sure you have a good internet connection and are in a location that is quiet and free of distractions. A headset or headphones with a microphone will give you optimal sound quality.
  • Have a wingman ready to handle hiccups. Delegate tasks, like troubleshooting technical issues, during your webinar so you can focus on the content.
  • Put your best foot forward. A little practice goes a long way to appearing polished, professional, confident, and trustworthy.

Look Like A Webinar Pro With Anyvoo

Now that you’re a webinar pro, Anyvoo wants to make sure you look like one, too.

Whether you’re a keynote speaker, a sales executive, or frequent webinar host, it’s time to take your branding to the next level with a customizable Anyvoo collapsible backdrop. Our backdrops were designed by remote workers for remote workers—they are lightweight, low-maintenance, and set up in a snap. Each backdrop includes a quick set-up stand, frame, and high-quality fabric sleeve that can be custom-printed according to your virtual meeting needs.

Anyvoo is dedicated to making you look great—no matter where you’re presenting from. Start configuring your Anyvoo backdrop today!