Hosting webinars can be hard, especially the first time (believe us). It is crazy how often we repeat the same mistakes just because we don’t have internal checklists.
Sometimes those small dummy mistakes can cost you a lot and completely ruin your efforts.
We decided to give the ultimate checklist to perfect your webinar set up. Be sure to check all those parameters before your start. You’ll thanks us later ;)
1. Your environment
a. Pick a quiet spot
The environment is the number one factor that people usually overlook. Pick a quiet meeting room to settle with your team (e.g if they have moderation roles).
Make sure you are confortable and that you will not be disturbed by external noises, people entering the room, etc.
b. Make sure you have enough light
In video as in photography, light is everything.
It will impact how you look, the quality of the video, and how your company looks. The better the light, the more professional it will look.
Also, you don’t have to invest in fancy equipment. Just pick a room with enough natural light coming in. Make sure that the source of the light is not behind you to avoid backlighting.
c. Have a branded setting (optional)
You have the first two steps checked? Great!
Now if you have a wall behind you with your brand on it (e.g stickers) then it’s even better. Your setting is your ally, it will help you promote your brand.
Actually any piece of advertising behind you can be a plus.
2. Technical requirements
a. Is your network « webinar compliant »?
This is the most tricky part of the webinar setup. You should check this parameter early on.
Sometimes, in some companies, even startups, the network is so secure that it won’t let pass specific protocols for live streaming videos.
For example, if you are using Livestorm, our technology requires some specific router ports to be open. An easy way to check the quality of your network is to run a Netscan Demo : https://netscan.co/demo.
How does it look? All green? Then you’re good to go! Be sure that « WebRTC » and « WebRTC P2P » don’t have red crosses. If this is the case, send the link to your Netscan to your IT team.
b. How is your Internet speed?
Everybody hates a bad Internet connexion. Specially when you’re live streaming!
To prevent any issue:
- Make sure you have at least 5Mbps in download and upload.
- Stop any application on your computer that requires too much bandwidth (torrents, Google Drive app, scripts…).
c. Are you using a modern browser?
No, IE11 is not a modern browser. Unfortunately. There’s two scenarios to consider:
You are the host or a co-host Then you are probably going to stream either you webcam or your screen (or both!).
Then you need a browser that supports screen-sharing and is WebRTC compliant. Here’s the list:
Safari does not support screen-sharing and many video flux. IE, even Edge, does not support anything. Although, both could work using a third-party-plugin that embeds WebRTC. But you should not use those browsers.
You are an attendee This is the safest place to be. Almost all browser will work. But, again, the safest list is:
Again Safari and IE could work using a plugin. But we don’t recommend it. We are working on those issues.
Edit: We now support IE/Safari/Mobile
PS: If you are not using Livestorm, and your current solution is a native app, then those issues don’t concern you.
d. « 1-2, 1-2, Mic test »
Check your mic and camera. You would not believe how annoying it is to have a beard scratching your EarPods mic!
Just do a quick test using some free video chat tools like Appear.in.
Double check if you are using external mic or camera…
e. Do you need any browser extension?
Does your app requires any browser extension for screen-sharing? If yes, then download it before.
Btw Livestorm requires such extension, you can find it here:
3. Screen setup & Keynote
a. Quick notice
Unfortunately not all browser and apps behave the same way. Here are a few tips before we start:
- You cannot switch between screen-shares, you have to shut your screen sharing off before changing to the next.
- You cannot screen-share a keynote app in full screen. Keynote just don’t work like that. But we found a trick… More on that below.
b. Do you have a keynote AND a demo?
This is a tricky configuration. It forces you to stream your entire screen. As soon as you switch between apps (e.g Keynote, and Chrome), everybody will see your other apps while your transition between apps.
BUT there is a way. There’s always a way. This setup requires two computer screens (e.g laptop + external).
Let’s pretend I have a a demo and a keynote. Here's what you need:
- One computer screen with your Keynote in full screen
- One Chrome window open in your laptop with your demo ready
- And of course, another Chrome window open with Livestorm (or any webinar app)
- (Optional) A third external screen (#nerdAlert) with your notes or your team chat
Then the rest is pretty straightforward:
- Start streaming your Keynote app.
- Once you’re done and you want to move to the demo, switch your screen-sharing off.
- It will fallback to your webcam. Make your demo announcement.
- Turn it on again, and this time share your Chrome window with the demo.
- Do your thing!
That’s it. No weird transition. Perfect webinar :)
4. Avoid awkward moments
Last small checks and you’re good to go. Those checks can avoid awkward moments:
- Turn off your notifications
- Clean that browsing history. You NEVER know. When you do a demo don’t let that come in your way.
- Clean your desktop. You don’t want to look messy.
Well, we hope this helped you. Let us know if you have any comment. If you think of something else that we missed, please share!
In the meantime, keep streaming.