Web Worker Daily ran a column yesterday profiling the duties of a webinar host. It is an interesting look at a real business case study. They quoted Kanoe Namahoe (an event organizer who produces webinars for her companies) as saying that hosts need "the ability to speak clearly. They need to articulate. They need to have charisma... and the ability to speak with authority, not from a script."
Amen and hallelujah.
I do events with many different technology companies, audio conferencing companies, and third party participants. There are many times when I am not in charge of the on-air production and I'm either a guest speaker or working behind the scenes. I often cringe at the quality of the introductory voices that set the stage for the audience. They may sound bored, they may stumble over an event title in a script they obviously haven't read or practiced, or they may have poor diction and vocal delivery skills. When this is the first thing your participants hear, you create a negative "halo effect" that casts your entire event in a poor light. The first speaker now has to work doubly hard just to get the audience back in a receptive mood before they are ready to be swayed by the content.
If you are interested in this subject and more specifics about the role of an event moderator, you should check out the column I wrote in February entitled "Why Use A Web Conference Moderator?"
Thanks for calling attention to the subject, WWD!