Basics & Equipment
There are many ways you can use Zoom Webinars for presentations, individual or multiple panelists and engage your audience. Below we identify typical scenarios and experiences we've had with hosting and participating in Webinars, though as new use cases and experiences occur, we will add to this list as well.
Webinar Minimum Requirements
Is a webinar really a webinar without an audience? Let's look at some of the minimum requirements and considerations that define a webinar.
- A host. Whether a webinar or a meeting, one individual must be defined as the "host." Hosts create the unique webinar room, configuring it with the necessary settings and features best suited to their online presentation needs. It is possible in Zoom to also have "co-hosts", additional individuals who have the same features as a host, to assist with hosting duties for the webinar.
- A presenter. The driving force behind a webinar is the individual presenting, this is defined as the "presenter". The webinar host can certainly fill the role as presenter in addition to creating the webinar room, though if you expect more than 20 attendees, we recommend these roles be separate. You might also call this role "panelist" if you have multiple presenters.
- An audience. Your audience can be anywhere from 1 to 300 attendees or participants. Webinars typically use the term "attendees", as "participants" is more focused on interaction more suitable for meeting spaces, though the terms can be used essentially the same. Your audience may even go beyond the maximum number based on the Webinar License - as you can broadcast through either Facebook or Youtube to an unlimited number of viewers. You can consider viewers of the recording also your audience afterward too.
- An internet connection. As Zoom is a cloud-based solution, you must have an active network connection. We always recommend this be a wired connection, as opposed to wireless in order to reduce risks of network lag, delays in streaming your multimedia, or being disconnected from your own webinar.
- A microphone. An online webinar doesn't need much technology, but a constant remains the ability to articulate and speak to and about your presentation. Most typically presentations are done in conjunction with PowerPoint or other presentation software to help provide visual reinforcement of your topics, though it's not necessarily a requirement to share your screen either.
|Tip: Hosts, Co-Hosts and Presenters. If you expect more than 30 people to join you, consider having a colleague join to assist with technical aspects so you can focus on presenting. Or if you have a guest presenter, you can even have a colleague join you as a co-host. Zoom allows you to make others a co-host (locate the more menu next to their name in the participants list to make co-host). That way as host, or co-host, they can focus on manage participants, chat, and Q&A. They will not be able to launch polls or end the meeting, however. But this allows the presenter to focus entirely on presenting.|
Before you dive into the content of your presentation, we recommend these technical considerations during your live webinar.
Please note several of these items are prioritized for technology continuity needs for extended loan. To learn more, review our Equipment for Extended Loan page.
Webcams offer HD video as well as built-in microphones. Perfect for single-host/presenter configurations. For scenarios with multiple presenters, consider recommending each member checkout a webcam.
USB Conference Microphone
For webinars with multiple speakers, we recommend considering using one of our USB Conference Microphones. These microphones enable greater depth and clarity and a wider range for scenarios where hosts and speakers may be around a table, in a conference room, or at the front of a stage.
Wired, USB headsets can be the perfect companion to monitor audio as your attendees would hear them. Our Headsets are wired, so you never have to worry about issues with low batteries or faulty bluetooth connections to your workstation. These headsets also have built-in microphones, which can afford an additional microphone option, to compare between the Webcam and USB Headset. An advantage with using the microphone on a USB Headset, is the volume and level remains consistent and clear. Ideal for individual presenter/host scenarios.
Although laptops are limited to 1-per client, it is an optimal configuration to each host/co-host use separate workstations to monitor attendees participation, Q&A, and use featuers such as the webinar Chat to communicate with other co-hosts (or external systems like Email, MS Teams and so forth). Both PC and Mac laptops offered by Digital Media Services do have built-in webcams and microphones.
If you find the location where your will be hosting your webinar is broadcast has difficulty with adjusting lighting, whether due to a window in the background without blinds/shades, or you want to explore the best possible lighting for your online attendees to see your presenter, consider reviewing the space and then checking out a LED Light Kit to help light your presenter/speakers.
|Tip: Consider using dual monitors. With a second monitor, you can host the screen sharing on your primary display and move windows like your participants list, chat, Q&A, and polling to a secondary monitor which will give you a greater ability to track everything at a glance. Don’t have dual monitors? Bring a second laptop, make sure it is made a co-host and you can monitor additional features there.|