The pilot flying your 747 has thousands of hours of flight time under her belt. She has made thousands of takeoffs and landings. She has trained in simulators for every possible contingency. She has had to take written tests proving her familiarity and proficiency with controls and procedures. So what does she do before EVERY takeoff? She pulls out a printed list on a plastic sheet and runs through every boring item, out loud, checking them off one after the other. A pilot never assumes she has remembered everything, even though each task is second nature to her.
So what makes you so superior to a commercial pilot? Sure, you’ve run dozens of webinars. Maybe hundreds. I have. And yesterday I decided to wing it. Everything was running great. The session was going smoothly. And suddenly I realized I had forgotten to start the recording. We lost the first part of the presentation in the archive.
What is in your webinar pre-flight checklist? Mine has the following items, for myself as administrator and for checking with the presenters:
- Computer volume muted
- Second telephone line off/forwarded
- Door closed with Do Not Disturb sign
- Mobile devices powered off (not just muted)
- Email turned off
- Instant messenger turned off
- Babies/dogs/children/employees taken care of and out of earshot
- Audio tested for volume/clarity
- Presentation slides available in hardcopy
- Introduction script available in hardcopy
- Presenter names written down, with pronunciation guides
- Speaking order verified
- Responsibilities for handling questions/polls/introductions clarified
- Backup procedures verified in case of computer/electrical failure
- Phone/streaming audio bridge connected
- Post-presentation steps understood (eg: Stay quiet on line until brought into subconference)
- Recording started
Your list may be different, depending on your needs. But whatever it is, you should print it out and have it in front of you on EVERY webinar. The recording you save may be your own!