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What is a Webinar and How Does it Work?

A webinar is an online event that is hosted by an organization/company and broadcast to a select group of individuals through their computers via the Internet.  (A webinar is sometimes also referred to as a “webcast”, “online event” or “web seminar”.)

A webinar allows a speaker from the hosting organization/company to share PowerPoint presentations, videos, web pages or other multimedia content with audiences that can be located anywhere.   

Webinars typically have audio and visual components.  The visual component of a webinar is shared through a web conferencing tool or Internet browser.  The audio portion of a webinar is usually broadcast through the audience’s computers (through speakers and media players) or through the telephone.

A webinar also allows the hosting organization/company to interact with an audience.  The audience can ask the speaker or moderator (who is leading the webinar) questions in real-time through an instant messaging tool or e-mail. 

meaning of webinar presentation

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Blog Beginner Guides

What Is a Webinar & How Does It Work? [Beginner’s Guide With 10+ Presentation Templates]

By Aditya Sheth , Apr 08, 2021

What is a webinar

With a global pandemic taking the world by storm and forcing people to work from home, webinars have seen a resurgence in popularity and usage across the globe.

In the last decade (especially in the last few months) webinars have become a staple for educating students and potential customers, lead generation for your business, and captivating large online audiences.

If you’re new to webinars, you’re probably asking yourself…

How does a webinar work?

What are the different types of webinars?

In this guide, I’ll give you a crash course on what is a webinar, how you can create a webinar and showcase plenty of presentation examples to answer all your webinar-related questions!

Let’s dive right in.

What is a webinar? Webinar definition:

According to  Merriam-Webster , a webinar (or web seminar) is “a live online educational presentation during which participating viewers can submit questions and comments.”

You might be wondering, “well, what is a seminar?” Seminar definition: “a meeting for giving and discussing information.”

Webinars are events, video presentations, workshops, seminars, training sessions, or classroom lectures hosted and delivered online using webinar software .

What makes webinars effective is that they’re a two-way form of communication where the attendees and presenters give, receive and share information with each other, in real time.

Webinar vs. Webcast

A webinar is not a webcast. Webcasts are pre-recorded sessions that broadcast online (on TV or YouTube). Webinars are live sessions allowing real-time interactivity between the presenter and attendees.

For example, our growth by content live webinar teaches business owners how to use content marketing to drive business growth without a massive budget:

Growth By Content Webinar Banner

If you’re new to webinars, a great way to familiarize yourself is to attend other webinars (like the one above) and take notes.

Hosting webinars has plenty of uses and benefits, but before we dive into creating a webinar it’s important to understand how and why webinars work in the first place.

Webinars allow presenters to share documents of all kinds including but not limited to voice notes, videos, presentations and other documents, etc with their attendees.

Webinars have plenty of uses (often business-related) but the most important and biggest use for webinars is to educate and engage an audience).

Your audience could be anyone from new or existing customers, industry peers or even the students in your classroom.

This means webinars are useful in any industry where communicating with your audience is a key factor in your personal or professional success.

Webinars can also help you with all of the following: 

In the marketing world, the main use for webinars is lead generation.

For example, our “ Infographic Design 101 ” webinar is aimed at helping our current customers visualize their ideas and attracting potential customers to sign up for Venngage:

What is a webinar

If you’re new to webinars or want to learn how to visualize your ideas, I highly recommend checking out this webinar.

Another way marketers use online webinars is to build authority, credibility and thought leadership in their industry.

Drift ’s approach to thought-leadership webinars is a prime example:

What is a webinar

Drift leverages webinars for multiple purposes ranging from educating new and current customers, establishing thought leadership, and collaborating with other SaaS companies.

This helps Drift position themselves as a subject matter expert in the SaaS industry.

Another example is  R&D tax credit software  Boast.AI.

Webinar Boast Capital

Boast Events  produces two webinars per week in their community, branded Traction, bringing founders and leaders from some of the fastest-growing companies to share actionable, tactical advice on business growth.

If you’re creating a marketing plan and your goal is consistently generating high-quality leads for your business, webinars should be a crucial piece of your strategy.

Webinars are also used extensively in eLearning. As an educator, your ability to reach more students expands dramatically. Right from the comfort of your home.

Students don’t need to travel and with the current crisis that’s forced everyone to stay home, online webinars can be the most important learning tool in a teacher’s arsenal.

Here’s an example of how HBR approaches educational webinars:

What is a webinar

After reading this guide in its entirety, you’ll have a better understanding of how to replicate their approach to webinars for your own institution or classroom.

Why are webinars effective?

What makes webinars effective (compared to physical events or workshops) is that with webinars, you don’t need to rent out a physical location or deal with complex logistics that arise from hosting in-person events. 

In fact, in 2020, the number of organizations planning a virtual event has doubled .

With a plethora of webinar pros (vs physical events), rich-feature sets, support for multiple content types, the possibilities are essentially endless.

Advantages of webinars

Since webinars are online events, they’re convenient for both presenter and attendee as you can host and attend webinars right from the comfort of your office (or home.) 

Whether it’s presenting to a small group or a group of 100+ attendees, webinars work in both these scenarios.

Webinars can be pre-recorded and played at any time for participants. This makes them easier to set up, repurpose, and budget-friendly compared to in-person events.

What is a webinar Shareable Infographics Pinterest Presentation Template


Offline events have their own merits, but with live webinars you don’t need to spend time agonizing over venue rentals, food, beverages or making sure your presentation equipment works. 

People have used webinars creatively for education, marketing, sales, branding, human resources, user onboarding, etc. So when it comes to what you can do with webinars: the sky’s the limit.

A lot of webinar tools come with interactive whiteboards, surveys and polls, live-chat features which make them far more personalized, engaging and interactive for your audience.

These are just some of the reasons why webinars have been exploding in popularity in recent times. 

Webinar formats

Webinars come with tons of customizable features as well as support various content formats such as:

But the most common way to conduct webinars is by creating and presenting a slide deck presentation .

Here’s an example of a webinar presentation you can edit and customize right now:

What is a webinar

Once you learn how to make a great webinar presentation, you can always kick things up a notch by experimenting with different webinar tools as well as whiteboards, polls, surveys, etc.

Venngage has a fair amount of experience when it comes to participating and hosting webinars for marketing, lead generation, and joint collaborations.

But that’s not their only use. Here are just some ways you can harness the power of webinars:

Webinars for marketing, lead generation and partnerships

When it comes to lead generation, there’s a lot you can do: 

But, the greatest bang for your marketing buck can come from hosting webinars due to the high-quality leads they help generate.

Companies like Drift , ConvertKit , G2 , etc have successfully leveraged webinars to scale their lead generation and in turn, increase revenue. If webinars worked for them, they can work for you too. 

For example, G2 hosts webinars regularly with the goal of generating leads for their software:

What is a webinar

G2 covers a wide variety of topics in their webinars. Not only that, joint webinars are the perfect way to team up with other companies and subject matter experts in your industry. 

Conducting joint webinars allows you to:

At Venngage, we use webinars to educate our audience and lead generation becomes a natural by-product of this goal:

What is a webinar


With this webinar our goal was simple: helping businesses navigate the pandemic by outlining how they can grow using content marketing (like we have).

With physical event cancellations and the world being forced to work from home, companies are slowly transitioning from hosting physical events to events hosted virtually (with webinars).

For example, Wishpond opted for a virtual event to make it easier for participants and attendees to partake (even from home):

What is a webinar

Pro Tip: If you provide massive value to your audience in your webinars, chances are you won’t even need to promote your product. Help your audience with their struggles, and they’ll not only become a customer but also a raving fan.

Webinars for education

Webinars have exploded in popularity in the last few years as a powerful learning tool, not only for marketers but also for schools and universities.

For educators, webinars are the best way to reach and engage students. No classroom required. For students, they get to learn from the comfort of their own homes.

Due to the pandemic, colleges and universities have transitioned to distanced learning. So webinars as a learning tool have surged in popularity.

My alma mater, Seneca uses educational webinars for all occasions—from educating potential students to onboarding new students and also hosting virtual open houses:

What is a webinar

If you’re a college or university trying to onboard incoming students for the new semester, webinars are an absolute no-brainer. Here’s an onboarding webinar template you can use:

What is a webinar

I f you’re a professor looking to experiment with webinars as a learning device, you can use this webinar presentation template for your next online class:

What is a webinar

Pro Tip: Want to make your webinar even more engaging? Invite external educators and subject matter experts to collaborate with you on your next webinar.

Webinars for product demos

Companies have started adopting webinars for product demos to strategically sell their products and build a deeper relationship with prospective customers.

But when is the ideal time to start using webinars for product demos? The answer: Now!

Today’s buyers are digitally savvy and comparing competing products to make the best buying decision. Sending over a business proposal and hoping for the best isn’t going to cut it anymore.

A product demo webinar is an opportunity for you to showcase real case studies of your current customers, how they’ve used your product successfully, and how your prospect can achieve the same results.

OroCommerce, the B2B eCommerce platform  does a great job with product demo webinars . Every time they release a major product update they hold product demos going over the benefits of every new feature.

When presenting a live webinar that targets your audience’s pain points , strategically tie in your product into your presentation and how it helps your attendees solve their burning problems. 

Here’s an example of a product demo webinar presentation you can use to demo your products or services:

What is a webinar Customers to Subscribers presentation template

Pro Tip: Product demo webinars also helps you gather critical customer feedback. If you’re a startup, start conducting regular webinars to gather crucial feedback to make your product better.

Webinars for employee training

Webinar tools can double as meeting software and training tools for training both new and existing employees.

This is especially useful if you’re communicating with a remote team . Or even a team that’s too big to sit in one room together.

What is a webinar Remote work struggles presentation template

You can start by including webinars in your onboarding materials or conduct a webinar-esque orientation where you outline your company’s expectations, vision, mission and address questions your new hires might have.

They can also be used to showcase your company’s culture and how it will matter to your new recruits. 

Related : How to Create a Successful Employee Training and Development Program

Webinars are the perfect tool for educating your employees on niche but important topics like productivity, workplace diversity, safety, employee engagement, etc.

Want your next company-wide webinar to cover the topic of workplace accessibility? Here’s a presentation you can use for your next webinar:

What is a webinar Accessibility Workplace presentation template

Webinars for user onboarding and retention

If you’re a digital storefront or Software as a Service (SaaS) company like us, you know how important customer onboarding and retention is for the bottom line of your business.

You may already have onboarding flows in your product, but it’s never a bad idea to explain to your new customers how your product works by inviting them to a user onboarding webinar.

With your user onboarding webinar, make sure you cover the most important aspects of your products, keep the learning curve as low as possible and invite users to ask questions while you’re presenting.

What is a webinar make Infographic 5 steps Venngage template

Saas company Drift takes the cake with their ingenious use of webinars (especially the third one) to onboard new customers:

What is a webinar

Once you sign up for Drift, they send you an email with a webinar-style video tutorial on how to get started with Drift. Genius.

Pro Tip: It’s 5x more expensive to acquire new customers than to retain an existing one. Use tools like onboarding emails, push notifications, webinars, etc. to retain your new customers so they stick around, upgrade to your paid plans and spread the word about you.

How to create and host a successful webinar

There are plenty of free, paid as well as ad-supported webinar tools available in the market. And most of these webinar hosting tools come with similar features.

Picking a webinar tool that’s right for you comes down to your business goals, budget as well as what you value in a webinar tool.

Here are some webinar tools to help you get started:

Want to dig deeper? Our friends at G2 have reviewed every popular webinar tool to help you make the right buying decision for your specific needs.

Create your own webinar in five steps:

Once you’ve spent the time on picking the right webinar hosting tool, now onto better things: creating your first webinar!

Creating your first webinar can be overwhelming but I’ll outline the exact steps you need to follow to make your first webinar a roaring success. Here they are:

1. Identifying the goal of your webinar

Webinars have many uses and by extension, webinars also help you accomplish different goals.

Start by asking yourself, “What’s my goal with this webinar?” Is it:

Once you’ve identified the goal of your webinar, think about what your key performance indicators ( KPIs ) will be to determine the success of your webinar. 

After determining your goals and KPIs, make sure everything you do: creating your webinar content, promoting it, etc ties back to this goal.

If the goal of your webinar is to teach potential clients motivation 101, your best bet would be a purely educational and non-salesy presentation:

What is a webinar Motivation in Busy world presentation template

Pro Tip: Above all else, put your audience first. What are their pain points? What kind of content do they care about? If you tailor your webinar to your audience’s needs and pain points, success is imminent.

2. Attend other webinars

The best way to plan, create, and host a webinar successfully is to scope out the competition.

Look at your industry and start researching companies that are successfully using webinars to educate or sell to their audience.

What can you do differently or do better? Can you better interact with your audience? Can you ask better questions? Can you improve the content of your webinar?

Be curious and take notes whenever you can.

Once you attend a few webinars, you’ll have a general understanding of which webinars are hits and which are misses. All that’s left is to emulate webinars that were a roaring success.

To start, check out our webinar on driving business growth with the help of content marketing:

Growth By Content Webinar Banner

3. Plan and outline your content

In this step, you’ll start putting together your webinar outline and lay down the groundwork i,e. Invite your attendees, plan your event logistics, and decide on a webinar promotion strategy.

Creating an outline for your webinar content is easy if you already have a goal in mind.

For example, if the goal is to educate new users on how to create an infographic using Venngage, here’s what an outline might look like:

A webinar outline can help you stay focused on the topics your audience cares about (based on research) and prevent you from getting side-tracked. 

The best part? You will eventually end up with a webinar presentation like this:

What is a webinar guide to creating infographics presentation template

Pro Tip: Like any presentation, you need to rehearse for your webinar. This is even more important if you’re presenting to a large crowd online many of which could be potential customers. First impressions are everything, as they say.

4. Design your webinar presentation slides

Once you’ve identified the contents of your webinar, time to start designing the actual webinar presentation!

To start off, hop onto Venngage and pick a presentation template you like. We’ve got 100s of templates for all occasions and types ranging from professional to quirky:

What is a webinar

Starting from a blank presentation is hard. Trust me, I’ve tried. 

So pick a presentation template you like, you can customize it to your heart’s content anyway.

Start playing around with the template, editing various elements like fonts, headers as well as the presentation layout .

If you’re on our business plan, you can use MyBrand Kit to automagically import your brand guidelines (logos, colors, and fonts) into your designs:

What is a webinar

Once you’ve put all the final touches, export or download your presentation:

What is a webinar

The real kicker? Venngage’s presentation maker can export your presentation in a .pptx format for importing within Powerpoint. Pretty cool right?

If you’re a fan of keeping it simple, you can present your webinar from right within Venngage using our presenter view feature.

And that’s it — once you’ve made an engaging presentation , prepared your speaking notes, and tested your webinar you’re officially ready to present your webinar to a live audience! 

Pro Tip: Don’t forget to collect feedback from your audience after the webinar! A tool like Paperform can help you survey attendees and improve your future webinars.

5. Marketing (or Promoting) your webinar

You’ve front-loaded the most important work: planning your webinar, setting up webinar tools, goal setting, competitor research, etc.

But unless you promote your virtual event , nobody will know how valuable it will be for them. So the final piece of the puzzle is webinar marketing.

Webinar marketing isn’t complicated, all you have to do is create event posters , social media visuals as well as event timelines informing attendees about the agenda of the event.

Here’s an example of a virtual event poster template you can edit (paid plan only) right now:

What is a webinar virtual marketing summit flyer


If you’re a business that engages in email marketing and has an existing email list, leverage it.

We promote all our webinars to our customers through our email newsletter and I recommend you do the same. 

Here’s a webinar invitation newsletter template you can send out to your email list:

What is a webinar


Promoting your webinars on different social media networks is the lowest hanging fruit you should go after.

Head over to our templates page and you’ll find a huge collection of eye-catching designs for every social network (all sized to the right dimensions).

Need to promote your next non-profit webinar on Instagram? But don’t want to use boring stock images? We’ve got you covered:

What is a webinar


Creating, customizing, and sharing promo materials for your next webinar is easy and intuitive with Venngage.

With access to 1000+ professional templates, an ever-growing collection of icons and illustrations (all of which are free), features like Brand Kit and real-time team collaboration :

What is a webinar


Looking for a one-stop shop to design event posters , banners , social media graphics , email newsletters , and much more? Sign up for Venngage today!

Now you know the basics of everything from what’s a webinar, how to make a webinar, and the webinar conferencing software you will need to host a webinar. 

If you’re ready to start creating webinars that educate and captivate your audience regardless of industry or profession, make sure you keep the following webinar hosting best practices in mind:

This article is also available in Portuguese: O que é um webinar e como ele funciona? [guia para iniciantes]

Did you enjoy this in-depth guide on webinars? What was your favorite tip? What are you struggling with? Drop them in the comments below, and let’s talk about it! 

Check out some of our other popular design and how-to guides:

How to make an Infographic

20+ Amazing eBook Templates + Design Tips [Beginner Guide]

Ebook Template


What is Webinar



A webinar is a live educational presentation in which viewers participate and can submit questions and comments.

A webinar is a short form of “webinar”, it is a presentation, lecture, workshop or seminar that is transmitted through the web using some type of video conferencing software. A key feature of a webinar is its interactive elements, as it possesses the ability to give, receive and analyze information in real time. Through the webinar software, participants can share audio, documents and applications with attendees, this being very useful when the webinar host is holding a conference or an information session.

While the webinar host is speaking, applications or documents related to the topic can be shared at the same time.

Difference between a webinar and a webcast

The concept of webinar stands in contrast to that of Webcast, where only data is transmitted in one direction and interaction between the presenter and the audience is not possible. A webinar expands the idea of a webcast in a more interactive format. The experience tries to replicate the benefits of attending a live seminar, in which members of the audience can ask questions of the presenter and the presenter in turn can ask them to the viewers, obtaining feedback on how he is performing the presentation.

How a webinar works

To keep these elements interactive, you need a webinar technology provider, which also performs the basic service needed for audio and video. Many software packages also include the ability to schedule events with automated registration for attendees. Some integrate billing and payment processing, for those seminars that have registration fees. Chat functions and questions and answers are often subject to greater control, where presenters can view audience messages and choose whether they want to transmit those messages to all participants, ignore them or respond privately.

Webinars are characterized by the use of slides and projections, streaming content with live communication, functionalities such as chat communication, surveys and questionnaires and the possibility of downloading additional content. To be able to participate in a webinar it is necessary to have a good internet connection, in addition to the corresponding hardware equipment to be connected to the seminar, that is, microphone, webcam and headphones.

Pros and Cons of Webinars

Undoubtedly, the appearance of webinars has meant a change for distance learning, and more and more users are benefiting from this type of seminars that nevertheless have both advantages and disadvantages. Among the main benefits of webinars we find:

As for the disadvantages, we can highlight:

Related Terms

meaning of webinar presentation

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How to Create and Manage an Effective Webinar

Turn your presentations into conversations with webinars.

What is a webinar?

A webinar is an online seminar that turns a presentation into a real-time conversation from anywhere in the world. Webinars allow large groups of participants to engage in online discussions or training events and share audio, documents or slides – even when they’re not in the same place as the meeting host or in the same room where the event or presentation is taking place.

Engaging online discussions

Used effectively, webinars help you better understand your audience, their pain points and the topics most relevant to them.

Actionable content

Effective webinars often pick up where traditional slide presentations leave off, adding screen sharing, presenter video and audio and downloadable materials.


How do effective webinars work?

An effective and engaging webinar starts with three roles: an organizer, at least one presenter and attendees. A few quick steps can help you reach your target audience and spread your message to people online.

Set a clear objective

Understand your audience, schedule your webinar, promote your webinar, build out your presentation, advantages and uses of a webinar software.

Increased participation is just the beginning. Check out these webinar benefits for your business.

Train employees & customers

Generate leads & awareness

Build rapport

Improve sales

Tips for creating effective webinars

60 minutes or less.

Promote participation

Quality is key

How to create a webinar


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What is a webinar and how does it work? A simple guide to webinar marketing

What is a webinar and how does it work? A simple guide to webinar marketing

A webinar , short for ‘web-based seminar’, is an online presentation, meeting, or workshop that allows individuals or groups to interact in real time.

With the increasing popularity of video content in marketing, webinars have become a go-to strategy for businesses looking to educate, engage, and convert their audience.

In this article, we will explore the key benefits of webinars and provide tips on how to create and host a successful one.

What is a webinar?

What are the benefits of a webinar, webinar types, how to run a webinar + webinar best practices, what equipment do you need for webinars, how to record a webinar, on-demand webinars, how to make your webinar more engaging, how to create a paid webinar, how to participate in a webinar, do you need to be on camera for a webinar, what do you use webinars for.

What is a webinar?

Webinars (web seminars) are video presentations, workshops, or lectures hosted online, usually via webinar software . These online events are usually interactive and business-related and allow you to share your knowledge with virtually anyone in the world.

Web presentations and conferences are a highly interactive form of marketing and can be used as a relationship-building or authority-building tactic. But the possibilities are endless. You can even use webinars for internal team meetings if you’re part of a remote team.

Planning a webinar is so much easier than organizing a seminar or lecture in real life. Mainly because you don’t need to have a big venue to host a large number of attendees. You can invite people from all around the globe to meet in real time, and if they can’t participate live, you can record the webinar and send them the recording later.

Editor’s note: Are you looking for a webinar platform that’ll let you run, promote, and even sell webinars in one single dashboard? GetResponse Webinars come packed with all the necessary tools that’ll help you grow your online business with ease using both live and on-demand webinars. Go ahead and sign up today to try our webinar + marketing automation + landing pages combo! Not convinced? See how our team leverages the power of GetResponse to drive success in our webinar campaigns.

So, now you know what webinars are. But why do you need webinars?

Here are the main reasons you should host a webinar :

Michael Leszczynski, Content Marketing Manager at GetResponse, says:

Here, at GetResponse, webinars play an important role and not just because we provide webinar software. We use them to onboard new customers, support our product launches, and establish authority when inviting world-class experts. We also use them internally, when onboarding and training our new employees who are joining our remote offices. They’ve been great for knowledge-sharing, especially given the fact that you can record and re-use the content later.

Case study: Learn how Ravenol , a producer of high-quality automotive lubricants, moved online and started using live webinars to reach their yearly email-list growth target in just three weeks.

There are many types of web seminars you can use to achieve specific goals or to adjust to the needs of your audience and your business. Here are some of the most popular types of content and techniques you can use while video conferencing and planning your webinar marketing strategy. Follow by them are the most popular webinar types categorized by the goals you can achieve with them.

Keep in mind these might look slightly different depending on what webinar software you’re using.

Webinar content types

If the purpose of your webinar is educating your audience, the web presentation itself should provide accompanying educational visuals – and presenting what you want to convey in presentation slides is the easiest option.

Here’s how we do it with GetResponse webinars:

How to run a webinar – a presentation slideshow.

A quick tip: The first slide of your presentation should have all the important “technical” info – how long the webinar will last, whether it will be recorded & sent to participants, and the agenda for the video seminar.

There’s, of course, more to creating an engaging presentation . If you’d like to learn more about the best practices, read this article on how to create a webinar presentation and this post by Chloe West .

Creating a web seminar in a live-video format is great if you want to build closer relationships with your customers or conduct a team meeting. It’s very personal, and you can show the “human side” of your business in a professional way. This type of webinar could also be useful if you’re making a video presentation of a physical product.

When you’re hosting a webinar, your audience can use the chat option to ask questions or answer yours. It builds the relationship between you and establishes your authority when you provide answers to their problems in real time. People feeling seen by you makes the connection stronger and creates a bond that keeps the customers coming back to you.

You can use the whiteboard to better visualize more complex topics. By drawing over charts, images, or mapping out various concepts from scratch, you can help your audience follow your thought process.

getresponse webinars whiteboard.

A quick tip: While explaining concepts on whiteboards during the web conference, don’t hesitate to collaborate 😉

If you need to do an online presentation on a specific topic more than once – or maybe you even need to do it regularly – you can use a pre-recorded webinar instead. This option is also useful if you’re doing a webinar with a guest speaker who’s unable to schedule a meeting around the time that best fits your audience.

Once you’ve got a polished presentation, all you need to do is hit the play button once the webinar has started. To make sure the video presentation remains personal and your audience is happy with the experience, you can run the chat and answer their questions live while the pre-recorded webinar is running.

This is a common practice among SaaS companies that need to run product training webinars for their new customers on a regular basis.

When your topic requires demonstrating some step-by-step in software or online, there’s no better way to do it than by sharing your desktop during your live webinar. The attendees will be able to see exactly what you’re doing and follow along. This format is especially useful while onboarding new users to your software.

You can also use screen sharing if you’ve created your presentation in a non-standard way, e.g., using Prezi. Since these aren’t based on slides, the best way to present them is through sharing your screen with your audience.

The same applies if, instead of using one presentation, you’re sharing multiple apps or files like spreadsheets. Rather than taking screenshots and adding them to your presentation, you can share your desktop and jump between different apps freely.

A polling tool is something that will provide both you and your audience with stats and information not available anywhere else. You can set it to be either anonymous or public.

Webinar types by different purposes

1. educational webinars.

If you want to educate your audience on the field you’re an expert within, webinars are one of the most effective ways to do it. To run an educational webinar, it’s best to use well-prepared slides or a whiteboard video, as it utilizes the visual capabilities of webinars.

Also, don’t be afraid to ask external expert speakers to collaborate with you!

2. User onboarding webinars

If your company is offering software, you will benefit from a user onboarding webinar the most. Make sure the learning curve is as soft as possible by inviting new users to participate in a webinar that you run for newbies regularly, for example, once a month. Run a user onboarding webinar making use of a screen-sharing option.

3. Product webinars

When you have a great product to showcase to a lot of people, turn your usual event-goers into webinar participants. You can give them a detailed presentation, including every detail, answering their questions. While running a product webinar, you’re educating the participants and getting their attention with your product, so you’re able to nurture your leads and even convert them into actual customers, making a sale. This allows you to collect much-needed feedback on your product or tool.

4. Lead generation and list-building webinars

When you promote your webinar across different channels, focus on one persona that you’d like to attract. When they register, they will trust you with their email address, and that’s the starting point. You’ll gain valuable and interesting leads you can follow up with and nurture them into conversion later. You can also host paid and free webinars with the help of marketing funnels .

5. Employee training and team meetings

Of course, running webinars to convert is beneficial to your business. But that shouldn’t stop you from using webinars for team meetings and training your employees when you have a remote team or a team too big to fit into a room together. Webinar training is the best way to pass the knowledge and teach practical skills to your employees when you made the switch to remote work, as this type of content is more engaging than written material.

6. Customer retention and nurturing webinars

While hosting inspiring webinars may be great for attracting new people to your brand, it’s equally as good for nurturing customers that are already on board with you. The personal relationship you build along the way is key to keeping them coming back. With such webinars, they can keep track of your newest products and announcements. It’s also a great opportunity for your clients to ask important questions when you’re more approachable than ever.

If you’re wondering how to start creating webinars, here are a few webinar tips and steps you need to take.

1. Attend other webinars beforehand

It’s hard to imagine how to prepare for such an event if you’ve never attended one yourself. Find a few seminars with experienced hosts, like industry influencers, and register now. Make notes of everything you find interesting, starting from the webinar’s landing page to the way the speaker talks. See what you can implement in your own preparation.

2. Choose the right topic, title, and format

First of all, think of what the purpose of your webinar will be.

Is it to generate leads, grow your list, sell a product, or onboard new users?

Then, decide on the topic. What is the most important knowledge you can share with people in an hour or so? If you’re looking for inspiration for your webinar’s content, you can run through your other content’s stats to see what drives traffic to your site and what your audience is the most interested in. This step will definitely ensure a higher engagement.

Remember to be precise. It helps people understand what they’re signing up for, and it also helps you with your landing page’s SEO. Consider naming it with a question, e.g., ‘How to make a webinar sale? Free webinar with *an industry influencer*’. Specify whether it’s a webinar directed toward people new to the subject or experts. It will save you from lots of negative opinions like “I already knew that” and “It was too complicated; I need to know the basics first.”.

When you’ve decided on the topic, choose a format that would suit your webinar’s needs.

3. Choose the presenters & team

When preparing for a webinar, you’ll need to pick a qualified presenter. It should be a person who’s knowledgeable on the subject, not afraid of public speaking and answering tough questions, has good charisma, and is at least a bit immune to stress. Of course, your web seminar can have more than one presenter and even a separate webinar host.

Webinar hosts usually organize the event, introduce the presenters to the audience, and simply make sure the webinar runs smoothly. At the same time, charismatic webinar hosts can make all the difference and help your brand stand out in a crowded market.

Then, you can choose an assistant who could admin the chat and possibly answer some of the audience’s questions while the speaker continues with their presentation.

After you’ve found the perfect people who will create the webinar’s content, you can also ask someone (or a few people) to take care of the technical side of your web seminar (make sure the Internet connection is strong and that you can be heard and, if required, seen)

Webinar resource cover.

Webinar setup checklist

Want to be sure that your webinar is a success?

Then grab this handy checklist to make sure you’ve covered all the bases.

4. Plan out the content of your webinar

Planning is crucial If you want to construct an online seminar that’s engaging from start to finish.

Webinars that involve the presenters running through subjects in chaos and stumbling aren’t the best and most memorable. If you plan your webinar right, it should deliver on your promise and have the perfect amount of content for your audience to absorb.

The webinar’s outline

When you know the topic and purpose of your online seminar, it shouldn’t be hard to create an outline. Remember that the average webinar lasts about 40-60 minutes, so that’s the standard timeframe you’re going to work with. If you’re creating a prerecorded webinar, create a storyboard first, just like a film director would.

The webinar’s structure

The content you provide throughout the webinar should be engaging enough to keep the participants until the end. You can also tease a bonus at the start to create an incentive to keep watching. Then, it should naturally lead to a paid offering if that’s a part of your webinar’s purpose. There’s an 80-20 rule for this – make the webinar 80% solid content, and you can promote your product for the remaining 20%.

Always start by welcoming participants. Ask them where they are joining you from, and you’ll create instant engagement.

Make the participants sure that it’s the right place for them to be by specifying who will benefit from the online seminar. Also, introduce not only the subject of your webinar but yourself. Start with a relatable story to prove you’re trustworthy, and keep it brief.

Remember to always save some time in the end for a Q&A session. Mention it at the beginning so that the audience will have time to think through the questions they want to ask.

Read more : How to structure your webinar content .

How long should a webinar be?

In most cases, webinars last from 30 minutes to an hour. 60 minutes is enough time to have a 45-minute presentation and leave room for answering questions the audience might ask throughout the webinar in a designated Q&A session.

But, the ‘usual’ webinar length isn’t set in stone. If you have well-structured content that will take you over an hour to present – go for it. If you have just a short presentation, TED Talks style, you can make it a webinar on demand, as audiences tend to engage with longer video content when it’s live.

5. Prep the tech & environment

Before you run a webinar, make sure you have a camera (a working laptop camera is good enough) and a working microphone with settings adjusted to the environment you’re in. Speaking of which, choose a set for your webinar – it can be your office or even your living room, but keep it professional and ensure nobody interrupts you during the webinar. It can throw you off guard and disrupt the focus of participants.

To minimize the risk of some miss-ups, check if your Internet connection is stable, make sure your laptop charger is plugged in, or that your computer won’t start updating itself.

And it should go without saying – if you’re going to share your screen, don’t have any unnecessary tabs open in your browser and possibly clear your desktop.

It’s also best to log into the webinar room 20 minutes before the scheduled meeting and check if everything goes smoothly.

6. Schedule the webinar using your webinar software

What is the best time to run a webinar?

It’s hard to pinpoint the ‘perfect’ date and time, but the rule of thumb is to schedule a webinar for the middle of the week, Tuesday to Thursday (with Tuesday as the winner). The other days are more likely to have people vacationing. Most people will only commit to one webinar per week, so you’ll be competing with other players in the field.

While you may assume people want to attend web seminars in the afternoon when they’re off work, it’s not entirely true. Some statistics suggest that the time most people prefer to attend webinars is 10 a.m. or 11 a.m. Keep in mind that you’ll probably have guests from different time zones, and if you’re really far away from your targeted audience, you may even have to sacrifice some sleep to host. And try not to schedule the seminar for lunch hours.

While promoting your video seminar, mention that it will be recorded – people will know it’s worth signing up even if they can’t attend and that they’ll receive the recording later.

7. Promote your webinar

To run an online presentation, you need people to register for it. It’s not just the content that makes them register – it’s how you promote it. Mixing different digital marketing tools is the way to go.

Webinar landing pages

Create a landing page with an invitation that will encourage people to sign up and tell the audience everything they need to know beforehand.

First, write a short copy explaining the topic. In a few pointers, highlight what the participants will take away from it. Then, place a signup form where your leads will leave their name and email, and finish it off with a clear CTA button – the word “register” should be enough.

Don’t forget to introduce the hosts. It’s a nice touch that will set the foundation of your newly-built relationship.

And there’s the last step that you should never skip – highlight the date and time of your webinar (especially the timezone if you expect participants from all over the world).

Below’s an example of a webinar registration page we used for one of our webinars.

In this post, you’ll find more great webinar landing pages .

A webinar's landing page.

If you’re feeling extra fancy when creating a webinar registration page in GetResponse, you can add a countdown timer .

A countdown timer on a webinar signup page.

Banners, popups, ads

Place a banner on your website or blog in a visible spot at least a week before the scheduled date. The CTA button, again, is of the utmost importance – build a sense of urgency by using phrases like “save your seat” or “register now”. Then, link it to your landing page.

You can promote your event in popup forms on your website if you want a quicker way to get people to register.

Advertise where the people are. If you know your audience’s preferred means of communication is social media like Facebook or Instagram, create social ads that lead to the registration page. Try the GetResponse Social Ads Creator if you want to use fun templates and create video promos in no time.

Spreading the word

When you have a great following on social media like Twitter, you can use it to your advantage and spread the word, possibly gaining new followers along the way. Create a dedicated hashtag – it can engage the participants before, during, and after the seminar and allow you to interact with them.

Share links and tease the presentation’s content. And, just before the start of your online seminar, state that it’s about to begin – the audience will be reminded of it in real-time while scrolling their feeds.

Webinar invitation emails

You may use the webinar as a means to build your list. But what about the people that are already on it? Seize the opportunity and invite them to your web seminar by email.

Start with the subject line. To make clear what you’re promoting, consider stating it first, in brackets, like so:

Inbox preview of a webinar invitation in an email.

If you’re partnering up with an industry expert, don’t shy away from namedropping here 😉

In the copy, don’t just communicate the details and reiterate the webinar’s topic. Address your prospects’ pain points and tell them how the webinar will help. Only then should you jump into the details and write about the overall agenda, the date and time, how long it will last, and how they can register.

I will touch on the subject of emails one more time in a minute, but in the meantime, you should definitely check out our article on how to design great webinar invitation emails .

promote webinars.

How to Promote Your Webinar in 9 Easy Steps

Want to make sure your next webinar is a success? Promote it in 9 easy steps. In this guide, you’ll find our best webinar promotion strategies plus tips on how to sell more with your online presentations.

7. Practice

You shouldn’t jump into your first webinar without proper preparation, with the hopes of improvising. Sure, being flexible in your presentation is an asset, but practice a lot in the days leading to your seminar to make everything smooth and sound convincing and knowledgeable. Also, everyone on your team should have a bit of first-hand experience and know how to use the webinar software you’re going to use – so it’s great to do a dry run with everyone involved.

Keep away from last-minute tweaks and changes in your scenario. They usually make everything a bit messier and cause unnecessary stress.

8. Send reminders

As I mentioned before, there are more emails you should send than just invitation emails.

On average, only about a third of the people who have registered will attend your webinar, so you should really make sure they don’t forget to join you.

When people have registered for your event and left you their email addresses, it’s expected of you to first thank them for registering.

Secondly, remind them of the upcoming seminar.

Marketers usually agree that the best times to send event reminder emails are a week before, an hour before, and 5 minutes before.

One week before, encourage the registrants to mark the date in their calendar for the next week.

And the email sent 5 minutes before the webinar creates such a sense of urgency that they make up for the greatest percentage of attendees.

Sounding both professionally and personally in these emails is crucial. One of my favorite examples is an email from GetResponse’s Irek Klimczak. It asked a question in the subject line: “Will you make it today?”. This line alone gave him surprising results. It generated a 42.41% open and a 3.67% click-through rate and boosted the registrants-to-attendees rate by 5%. It also received a decent number of personal replies.

9. Run the webinar

It’s time to host your live webinar. Get ready and familiar with the number of attendees you’ll be dealing with.

Keep a glass of water nearby. Now, focus and go through the planned agenda. Don’t let anything distract you – you’ve got only about an hour, and there are many people excited to hear you. Good luck!

10. Follow up!

Now that the webinar is over, you need to follow up on it.

If you were recording the webinar, make sure to send the recording to people who have registered but couldn’t attend.

If the attendees didn’t make a purchase, it doesn’t disqualify them from being valuable leads. They may need more information.

Ask for feedback – you could use it in the future to improve your webinar endeavors. Provide them with additional resources to continue the nurturing process, and guide them through your sales funnel, converting them as a result.

If you’re planning to host a webinar, the equipment you need is:

Are you unsure if you can get good-quality video while presenting from your laptop? Check out what our colleague, Irek, does to improve his video’s quality in a few simple steps.

You may want to record your webinar to repurpose it later (please, mention the recording to your audience before you begin). If so, you should find out if the webinar room has a “Rec.” button in the menu. Then, after clicking, usually, the recording will be saved as an mp4 file. Also, make sure that you don’t exceed the time limitations.

If you want to learn more, read our article: How to Record a Webinar: Everything You Need to Know .

When you’re comfortable recording webinars, consider using on-demand webinars to make your webinar available to new leads anytime, anywhere, even long after it has taken place.

When you know, you’ll be hosting a webinar so good that it could be promoted and generate leads long after it has ended, that’s when you should start using “webinars on demand”.

On-demand webinars (evergreen webinars or webinars on demand) are the best option to extend the shelf life of your live webinar. With such webinars, there are no time-zone constraints, there’s less manual work and higher engagement potential, and they’re an ongoing & automated list-building method. What’s not to love about it? See the article about on-demand webinars in GetResponse to learn more.

There are many rhetorical tactics to make a speech or presentation insanely engaging, but webinars give you more (and slightly different) options to get your audience involved and listening.

Here’s how to engage the audience during your webinar:

Greet the attendees. Mention that you’ll wait a minute for the other registrants to show up, or ask the attendees where they’re from, what industry they’re in, etc..

The attendees know you’re an expert (they wouldn’t register otherwise), so make sure to show them you’re approachable – so that they can ask questions and relatable – so that they can empathize with you, which will result in higher engagement.

Why should your audience care if you sound uninterested in what you preach?

Don’t just read aloud what’s on the slides. Allow yourself to digress in moderation, but keep the digressions relevant to the webinar or your audience. A good-ole pop-culture reference or an inoffensive joke is also a good idea ;).

Pause for a minute and ask the attendees if they understand everything you’ve covered so far. Make sure they’re comfortable sharing what they’re struggling with at this point.

During your webinar, people might get stuck on something hard to grasp, and if a burning question pops up – answer it along the way. It will result in a sigh of relief from the audience, and they’ll be able to get back to listening carefully.

Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with an overload of questions from the webinar attendees – that’s why you should have a dedicated moderator on board. They should regulate the chat and direct its course in a professional way.

Also, if you can bring in a guest during your webinar, the element of surprise, the slight change in tone, and the additional expert to learn from will surely get the audience’s attention!

Making the webinar interactive doesn’t have to be all about you answering questions – stimulate your audience’s brains by devoting a few minutes during the webinars to a pop-up quiz. Share the answers straightaway, or make them wait until the end!

This one has two main benefits – it will make the attendees active in the comments and provide you with information on what you can improve for the future or what was great ( bonus benefit: good webinar feedback will make your day!).

Free webinars are a great option for spreading brand awareness, generating quality leads, presenting an offer, or maybe even holding a meeting. But, you might be wanting to gain something more from a webinar, and you’re sure the knowledge or a skill you’ll be teaching is worth investing in. That’s when you host a paid webinar.

Remember that your audience will expect more from a paid webinar than they would from a free one. When hosting a paid webinar, try to steer clear from up-selling your audience at the end. Also, a “thank-you email” afterward will be greatly appreciated.

You can create a paid webinar funnel in GetResponse . It’s really easy and quick, and GetResponse provides you with four of the most trustworthy payment processors to choose from. With a webinar funnel, you’ll also have an easier time setting up the funnel stages I mentioned earlier (like a signup page, post-registration welcome email, a sales page, and a confirmation page). Once these steps are set up in the funnel, you’ll be able to see how many people completed the funnel and purchased access to your paid webinar.

A paid webinar funnel.

For detailed instructions, click here .

To participate in a webinar, you need to register first through a form provided to you via a landing page or a registration email. Then, on the day of the webinar, join the room a few minutes before the start (via the link provided after registration). When the presenter joins the room, the webinar will begin.

If you’re hosting a webinar, you don’t need to be on camera as long as you have a visual presentation to engage your audience with. Although, an added webcam segment is always recommended, as it makes the experience more personal and enjoyable.

If you’re attending a web seminar, you don’t have to participate on video. Unless the host invites you to co-present, neither the host nor the audience will see you. Usually, the preferred way to engage with the host is in the chat window.

Now that you know everything, starting from what a webinar is all the way through how to promote them effectively, it’s to time to hear your opinions – what do you / will you use webinars for?

Let us know in the comments below!

If you’re curious about how we’re using webinars in GetResponse, be sure to check our Resources , where we share all our past events and other educational materials.

Also, here are some tips for you if you need to know which mistakes to avoid while creating webinars .

And if you’re looking for a marketing solution that has a built-in webinar platform, too, be sure to give GetResponse a try!

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How Webinars Work

March 17, 2020 Mark Szelenyi

meaning of webinar presentation

We all know webinars are one of the most indispensable weapons in a marketer’s armory. But what is a webinar and how does a webinar work ?

There’s a lot going on behind the scenes of even the most basic webinar software. And, when it comes to a world-class solution like the ON24 platform, we rely on some of the best talent in the biz to make the experience of setting up and delivering a webinar seamless for you.

Let’s start with a simple definition:

A webinar is an engaging online event where a speaker, or small group of speakers, deliver a presentation to a large audience who participate by submitting questions, responding to polls and using other available interactive tools.

Webinars are different from meeting tools, which are designed to let small groups meet and collaborate in real-time. They’re also different from traditional streaming media like videos, which don’t give the audience any way to engage with the content .

Learn more about webinars:

Discover the five keys to creating amazing webinar content in this on-demand webinar.

Even the most bare-bones webinar has separate streams for slides and audio. But most modern webinars go far beyond that, with slides, presenter video, integrated social media and live attendee feedback in the form of questions, polls, idea storming and more.

So what are the most important factors of webinar technology? Let’s take a look:

Making the Webinar presenter successful

At ON24, we’ve spent years perfecting our presentation manager, PMXD. Obviously, we wanted to make it easy for you to upload, modify, manage and deliver your presentations. We quickly discovered that great webinar presentations take more than a well-uploaded presentation deck.

Most of our customers go into every webinar with at least two key players:

We knew delivering live webinars can be stressful, so we help the production team keep in touch with real-time chat and intuitive controls for controlling the flow of the webinar, pushing polls, and swapping out presentation content on the fly.

Providing an engaging webinar experience

A webinerd and her community dancing happily in a virtual circle

Engagement is what really makes the ON24 platform stand apart. And we take that very, very seriously.

When you’re asking people to stare at their computer screens for up to an hour you have to give them something interesting to stare at. It helps if you can also give them something interesting to do.

Most webinars these days include basics like a place to submit questions. But we don’t think that’s engaging enough. So, we’ve added to it with popular interactive tools like surveys, polls, downloadable assets and integrated social media. We’ve also created more niche widgets like idea storming, testing and certification tools and group chat.

Discover how you can make webinars more engaging and experiential with our free e-book.

But that isn’t where it ends. We also built a robust suite of integrations to make sure the data collected through all that interactivity is passed to your marketing automation and CRM platforms, creating a seamless marketing data environment.

Treating Always-on webinar audiences like live audiences

Webinerd on demand

If you only consider the live audience, though, you aren’t taking the full picture into account. According to our 2021 Webinar Benchmarks Report , more than 40% of webinar attendees only sign up for the on-demand event .

That presents an interesting challenge for those of us on the back end of webinar software. How are we going to treat all those people who, for whatever reason, just couldn’t make it to the live event?

Sure, it would have been easier to treat on-demand webinars like static videos, but then your audiences wouldn’t get the full webinar experience. When we think about webinar engagement, we always consider those additional viewers who watch webinars on-demand or simulive (that is, webinars that are pre-recorded, then broadcast to a live audience at a designated time).

Every ON24 webinar, no matter how it’s delivered or when it’s viewed, must have all the bi-directional interactivity of a live webinar, from moving windows around the console to the ability to submit questions — and actually get an answer.

Webinars have changed a lot over the past decade or so, and they’ll continue to evolve as new technologies emerge. But for those of us who build the platform, the mission is always the same: to give you everything you need to engage an audience and meet every one of your business goals.

How can a webinar drive more engagement for you? Learn how the ON24 platform makes it work with our 30-minute live demo . 

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