Communicate: What makes for an effective webcast or teleconference? We could write a book about it (and produce the companion audio book, too). You have to grab the audience, anticipate glitches and difficult questions, and you must make the teleconference as interactive as possible. The trick is in the preparation. You can’t wing it and hope for the best.
Approach: Public Ink’s team has produced over 100 national webcasts and teleconferences over the last two decades for clients that are regularly informing their constituents about key issues, policies, events, directions, and developments. There’s a wrong way to go about providing webcasts/teleconferences; and then there’s our way to most effectively reach your audience through a national call:
- Develop the call outline, agenda, and conduct research on the call’s content and focus. Most importantly—identify the audience’s needs and understanding of the issues.
- Identify speakers, with an eye (and ear) toward speakers who have direct connections with the audience members. Interview potential speakers and panelists, and keep your options open before finalizing the selections.
- Announce the call through communication channels and make sure participants register for the call up front—it’s all part of knowing your audience.
- Prepare your moderator and panelists by providing a “Tips for Speakers” sheet to make the style conversational and engaging; coach speakers on their approach, and cover the content they will deliver to know where to trim overlap among speakers.
- Conduct 1-2 mock calls to iron out timing and content.
- Prepare background resource materials to distribute to participants or include as part of the live webcast. Include post-call evaluation survey for feedback.
- Handle all on-site issues in the presenter room (noise reduction, speaker needs), and provide technical liaison support with teleconference provider, brief panelists, solicit and confirm questions.
The work that goes on behind the scenes in the weeks before a webcast or teleconference makes all the difference when the hour arrives for that conference to start.