As a presenter, you know you need to create your materials, rehearse, and figure out how to integrate some audience interaction into your presentation. You know you should be logged in a good 30 minutes early to make sure all your technical components are working properly. What else should you go over ahead of time to make sure you don’t get any nasty surprises?
If you are using a webinar product that uploads your slide deck, make sure to run through the slides to confirm that they converted properly and look the way they did in PowerPoint. Don’t leave this one till the 30-minute preshow. If something is wrong, you’ll need time to work around the conversion error and upload the new version.
If you plan to use screen sharing to show a live demo, make sure your application is already up and running. Go into share mode in your webinar product. Have someone else confirm that they can see everything you wanted to show. Oh, and make sure to reset all your starting data in the application so you are ready to run the demo from the beginning.
If you have created polls that you will share with the audience, double check that they are ready for use, with the proper question and answer choices. Make sure you know how to start the poll, tell the audience how to interact with it, share the results, and return to your slides. If you are working with a moderator, confirm who will manage the poll operations.
If you are working with other presenters, confirm the order of speakers and how the handoff is to be made between speakers. Does speaker 1 introduce speaker 2, or does she turn it back to the moderator?
If you are working with a moderator who will select and ask audience questions, remind him of any subjects you do NOT want to bring up in the public session. Also confirm that the moderator has your backup seed questions and is ready to use them if needed.
It is amazing how the one thing you take for granted will be the one that comes back to bite you. I just gave a webinar where I had worked with a moderator in a rehearsal ahead of my live session. Then a different moderator was assigned to me for the live webinar. We confirmed that we had my poll question set up and ready to use, and that we knew where it would come in the presentation. But I didn’t look at the poll to double check it. Sure enough, I was the one who got confused during the session… I thought I had given them poll A, but I had actually given them poll B. So I introduced the wrong poll at the wrong time. Not catastrophic, but a silly error that I could have so easily avoided.
Reviewing the obvious feels silly. Right up until you discover something unforeseen.