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How Expert Panelists Add Value to A Webinar

September 24, 2014 | Posted in eLearning Best Practices by icohere

Using Expert Panelists with Webinars

How Expert Panelists Add Value to a Webinar.

It’s no secret that webinars are one of the most valuable and important tools for lead generation and organizational growth. As more and more organizations turn to this platform, the pressure to create valuable, unique content rises.

In the segment below, we look at three ways adding a panel of experts to your webinar program benefits your organization and your audience. Then, we share tips to ensure you have the right panelists.

1.  The experts you select demonstrate your organization’s value, credibility, and strategic position in the industry.

Not just any organization can line up a panel of influencers and experts for a webinar.  It takes a strong professional relationship with the panelists or a strong perceived value of your organization by the panelists, both of which mean your organization is a key player in the industry.  Who we align ourselves and our organization with speaks volumes. Your connections become an extension of your reputation.

Is your team working to strengthen relationships with key experts in the industry? Is your organization in a position to offer value to an expert panelist should they align with you? Put together a plan of action to make this happen.

2.  Experts add to content quality and value.

Storytelling is one of the most effective means of communicating. An audience learns by example much easier than simply hearing about a program or process.  Just like client testimonials, storytelling paints the picture and moves the audience to where they begin to see how the picture applies to their situation. Panelists add this value by sharing their story during a webinar and putting a face to the scenario. They help prove the end result is logical and obtainable.

3. Experts offer a unique perspective.

In a webinar, the Q & A session serves as the shift to a valuable two-way conversation. It moves the audience beyond the presentation and toward focused engagement. Expert panelists help provide a different perspective to the questions asked by the audience. The audience gains the benefit of having a team consider their situation and offer input versus just one person.

Let’s look at tips for choosing the right panelists. Not everyone was born to be a public speaker. It’s a skill and a talent that is acquired and polished over time. There is so much more than speaking that goes into presenting, such as audience interaction, active listening, and body language. These skills are just as important during a webinar, especially since we typically can’t see our audience.

Follow these tips to ensure you have the right panelists.

1. Provide clear expectations.
2. Provide an example, via video, that demonstrates the ideal speaker for your audience.
3. Require your panelists to attend a webinar in advance to learn about your audience and your organization.
4. Practice, and PRACTICE. Open and honest feedback is key during practice. As long as your critique is delivered with respect and professionalism, everyone will benefit. Practice sessions give everyone a clear perspective of what to expect, which makes for a much smoother experience during the live event.
5. Treat your panelists as honored guests. During the webinar, it’s the role of the moderator to put everyone at ease.

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