Best 6 tips and guide to becoming a webinar moderator
If you’ve ever wondered why a webinar is so successful, then you have the webinar moderator to thank for a lot of it. Ever watch another moderator at the webinar you’re attending, and think to yourself, “yeah, I could do that”? If you see yourself excelling at the role of webinar moderator, then look no further. Our guide is guaranteed to help you on your way to reaching your goal and fulfilling your intentions.
What is a webinar moderator? What do they do?
You may think that the webinar host is the most important piece of the webinar puzzle, but every webinar host needs their webinar moderator, to help them ensure the smooth running of the event.
You could say that the webinar host is the face of the event, and the webinar moderator is the one pulling the strings behind the scenes. You can view the webinar moderator and the webinar host as collaborators, a duo.
A webinar moderator is a part of the team that helps mediate a presentation, whether that’s for live or pre-recorded webinars.
As a moderator, you are given the responsibility of helping out the host, by easing their role, as well as guest speakers and the audience. You are there to precipitate any problems that may arise or issues with communication- and can even exclude participants if they are breaking any rules, or, for instance, are from a competing brand looking to get the inside scoop on your company.
A webinar moderator is also given access to the questions and live chat functions, so they/you can respond in real-time.
Interested? Keep reading below…
Why do webinars need moderators?
As discussed above, it is a smart idea to have a moderator for your webinar to be able to control and take action against participants who (very seldom) may be inappropriate in the chat, but more frequently, answer all the valuable questions in the chat, and respond to all the important feedback.
But webinars also need moderators so that they can take some of the pressure off of the host, who is often inundated with many things to remember - memorizing their script and delivering the presentation in a lively and upbeat way, all without making any mistakes.
This can be difficult to do while also keeping up with the chat tab of a webinar room, and answering every question that surfaces from attendees. That’s where the webinar moderator comes in.
How to become a successful webinar moderator
Here are our tips for how to not only become a webinar moderator, but the best one you can be, broken down.
1. Have ample knowledge of the subject matter so that you can answer questions in depth.
Don’t just wing it- come prepared with a plan for encouraging discussions. Having some questions or talking points handy will spark conversation among attendees. You can even create polls in advance to further engage the audience and encourage interaction. Being familiar with the webinar platform - like Univid - will only help you moderate events that turn out high-quality.
2. Do your research.
Don’t take for granted any presupposed knowledge of the subject of the presentation. Take some time to study and read about any of the latest news or developments. This will make you more able to take on an active role in any discussions, and prepare you for any questions that you didn’t think of.
3. Check in with the panelists/guest speakers, before the event.
Consider putting a handy guide or some useful information together to make speakers feel more relaxed as they diligently prepare. A little help goes a long way!
You can include:
Background information on their fellow panelists, in the event they haven’t met one another, so they can learn about each other.
The event logistics like the time, date and anticipated length of the webinar; whether slides are required or encouraged (if so, submission instructions); event format.
Anticipated subjects: What is each presenter expected to discuss and for how long? If registrants are submitting questions ahead of time, consider sharing those to help speakers plan their remarks.
4. Have a plan to encourage discussion.
It’s possible that the audience will not immediately engage in dynamic conversation with the panelists. Have some questions or talking points ready to help encourage discussion and audience participation in chat and polls. Be active and send out an initial welcoming message in the chat - have some good polls lined up in the platform, so you can press launch when you feel is appropriate.
Here is our poll question generator if you need inspiration on good questions to ask.
5. Prepare for the unexpected: make a list of hypothetical scenarios.
Regardless of everything we just listed, even with all of your preparation firmly in place, the world is unpredictable and you can’t control if something unexpected may come up.
Unfortunately, while it isn’t possible to prepare for every possibility, don’t let that stop you or get you down.
Try to think of some that may be most likely. Do you have a plan if there are audio or connectivity issues? If a speaker cancels at the last minute can you or someone else cover his/her talking points?
Undertake a test run with the panelists/presenters to help identify technical glitches ahead of time and give everyone a sense of how the session will flow.
6. Review the tapes, learn and iterate
If the session is recorded, take some time and watch/listen to the recording. It’s a terrific way to see yourself in action, see what went well and identify improvements for next time.
With our tips in mind, you’ll shine like a star, whether it’s your first time as a webinar moderator or you’re an expert looking to spice up your skills in the live format!