Student Life

How to Get the Most Out of Your Webinars


Whether you've grown up in the digital age or you're still adjusting to new technology, it seems like as soon as we're all thrown into webinars or group video calls it feel like uncharted territory. It may feel like Murphy's Law really likes to have it's fun with these calls, but there are some ways to navigate it. School of Media PR prof Martin Waxman shares his advice to help us all thrive during any troubles that come with video calls!

1. Always connect using a headset with a mic. It doesn't have to be anything fancy. The kind you'd use on your smartphone is fine. That way, you don't cause an echo when you speak.

2. Test the audio and video settings on your device in advance to ensure they work properly. (And if you have access to the webinar platform, check that out, too.)

3. If you're using video, be sure your face is illuminated, so we can see you when you're on screen.

4. When you're on the webinar, always mute your mic when you're not speaking and then unmute it to talk.

5. If you have a question or comment, use the 'raise your hand' option available on most apps. That way, your professor gets an alert and can call on you.

6. Politeness counts. As you would in class, if you have something to say and another person is talking, don't interrupt. When they're done, you can begin.

7. Sometimes there's a bit of a lag (depending on people's internet connection speed).

8. If you're presenting, test your slides or what you're sharing beforehand. Also, it's difficult to show a video as other participants may be seeing it at a different speed.

9. Close any apps or tabs you don't need. There are two reasons for this: it minimizes distractions, and you don't have to worry about a personal text coming up if you're sharing your screen.

10. Be patient. Sometimes there are glitches in the tech and that's normal.

And have fun! Once you do a couple of these, you'll start to get the hang of things.