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Here are some ways to make your webinar run smoothly.

Taken loosely from The Hamster Revolution for Meetings: How to Meet Less and Get More Done, by Mike Song, Vicki Halsey, and Tim Burress, here are some concrete steps you can take to make your next (or your first!) webinar a success!

On Day of Webinar:

  1. Restart your computer beforehand.
  2. Only have open minimal apps. Close instant messaging!
  3. 30/15 rule. Log on 30 minutess early and make sure everything is configured correctly. Ask co-hosts to login 15 minutes early.
  4. Use a land line, not a cell phone.
  5. Disable distractions. Disable pop ups (calendar, email preview). Put adjacent phones on silent or don’t disturb.  Home office - remove pets, children, background noise.
  6. Practice using the mute function on your phone.
  7. Perform a sound check; ask another person for verification of sound quality. Re-dial in if needed or change phones.
  8. If audio is via VOIP use a headset.
  9. Review mute and all other functions.

Before the day of the webinar:

  • Slide check - edit, remove, or hide.
  • Provide sign-in info for participants.  See cheat sheet below for the folks on your own team.
  • Practice making someone else a presenter.
  • Come up with a test survey as an ice breaker with participants and to test survey tool.  Add this to your actual webinar to get participants engaged!
  • Find out what happens when presenter leaves meeting; do all participants get dropped?

Damage control checklist

  • Back up the presentation so that you have multiple ways to retrieve it. 
  • Create a pdf that can be sent out to participants in a pinch in case video segment fails.
  • Have a backup teleconference service.
  • Create a technical difficulty slide. “Please call this alternate phone number and visit this alternate URL. Here’s passcode. Thanks for your understanding.”
  • Have a backup presenter in case something fails - your computer dies, you lose your voice, etc. (That persons needs presenter status)
  • Have cell phone numbers for all presenters in case they are late, forget, etc.
  • Have a perpetual smile.  Maintain your composure.

Create a cheat sheet for your team members.   Include these data points, and ask team members to be ready to jump in to help solve any problems. 

  • Account ID for web conference service
  • Call-in Number and Pin
  • Customer service phone number
  • Recording instructions
  • Maximum number of participants
  • Duration constraints

For live meetings, be attentive to food service, room temperature, how to shut off the canned background music and turn on the podium microphone, know the timing of the program, etc.


These tips can work regardless of the tool you are using to host your webinar.

Designed For

Beginners and seasoned professionals alike.  Never too late to prepare for a technical difficulty!

Getting Started

Check out the page on Zoom.

Technical Support and Training

These tips are suggested in the book referenced above.  For more detail, please refer to the book.  

Administration and Maintenance

You can choose the online conference provider of your choice; these tips should work with any tool you select.

Learn More

If you have tips to add to this list, please email and reference this page.



  • Best practices for anyone hosting a webinar.


  • Webinar tool (such as Zoom)

Support & Training

Get Started

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