Best Practices for Conducting Live Webinars



1. Run the AnyMeeting system test.
This is a quick test to verify that your system meets the minimum requirements needed to host a webinar.

2. Use a wired internet connection when hosting a webinar.
Wireless (WiFi) internet connections often experience dropped connections and interference. A wired connection is much more stable, which will give your attendees a much better experience. For more information, read the “Another Cautionary Tale” blog post written by a webinar industry expert.

3. Test your upload speed and connection quality.
An upload speed of at least 350 Kbps* is recommended for best performance. Poor connection quality can cause packet loss resulting in screen sharing performance issues. To ensure that your webinar attendees are able to view your screen smoothly and without significant lag time, it’s important to have a fast, high-grade connection to the internet.

Speed Test Ping Test
*   Test your upload speed:
*   Test your connection quality:

* 1,000 Kbps (kilobits per second) equals 1 Mbps (megabit per second)

4. Close all programs on your computer that you will not be using during your webinar presentation.
Applications such as Outlook can cause distractions with pop-up indicators and can slow down your computer.

5. Open the files you will be presenting to your audience before you start the webinar.
For example, if you are going to be using a PowerPoint slideshow and an Excel file during your presentation, make sure those files are open prior to starting the webinar. It will help you provide a seamless presentation.

6. Launch the webinar and dial into the conference call 5-10 minutes before the scheduled start time.
It’s also recommended to start screen sharing and to display a PowerPoint slide with a message such as, “The webinar will begin in a few moments”. This will provide your attendees the assurance that they are successfully connected to your webinar.

7. Use the mute function to eliminate background noise from the audience during your presentation.
There are two conference call PIN codes, one for the host/presenter and one for guests/attendees. Dialing into the conference call using the host PIN (“Your PIN Code”) will give you additional options, such as the ability to mute all attendees. During times when audience interaction is encouraged, a quick un-mute command is available.

View a list of all conference call commands.


8. Move at a methodical pace when presenting and periodically review the audience feedback indicators.
It is natural to have the urge to speak quickly when presenting to a large group. Remember, there can be a short lag from what you see on your screen to what attendees see on theirs. The lag time can range from just a fraction of a second to a few seconds, depending on your internet upload speed, connection quality and where your audience members are located geographically.

Attendees have the option of using the feedback indicator located in the attendee window on the left side of the screen. The webinar presenter can view everyone’s status in this window. This provides a good indication of how well attendees are following along.

The icon will change in the attendee window based on the feedback option chosen.
- I’m fine
? I have a question
<img src="" alt="< Slow down
>” width=”20″ height=”19″ /> Speed up
L Yes / I agree
TNo / I disagree 

9. Click the End Session button at the completion of the webinar.
Using this button rather than closing the browser window will properly end the webinar session. This will make sure that attendees have a smooth transition out of the webinar meeting room. It will also provide you with more accurate statistics about the webinar duration and attendance, which is available in your account dashboard.
End Session


10. Send a follow-up email to your attendees within two days.
This is a great opportunity to engage your audience after the webinar to build lasting relationships. You may want to send handouts with notes from the webinar, promote future webinars as well as information about yourself and organization.

AnyMeeting makes it easy for you to follow up with your attendees. In your “My Webinars” account dashboard, click the “Past Webinars” tab. This will display all of your previous webinars along with a “Send Follow Up Email” button for each webinar.

*  This list of webinar best practices is also available on the AnyMeeting Support Wiki.

9 Reasons HTML5 Will Change The Online Publishing Landscape

Another fine piece by Don Nicholas  at Mequoda.

Over the past six to 12 months, I’ve heard that HTML5 is going to change the entire online publishing landscape again.

Some of my developer friends have been indicating that one of the large portal-based publishers has a 20-person development team secretly banging away on HTML5 web apps that will mimic, expand and replicate on the apps you currently see on Apple and Android platforms.

Online publishers will have to use HTML5 to build web apps that are part of a larger website. The new strategy for magazine publishers should focus on web first with an HTML5 publishing platform, and have associated apps be lighter versions, pulling data and functionality from the HTML5 website.

HTML5 for publishers

The magazine industry is upon a renaissance as publishers figure out how to deliver content through tablet devices. This revival is expected to increase, as there’s no shortage of pundits praising the predicted growth of the tablet market. This is seen in a recent forecast from PwC, which predicted digital magazine circulation revenues to grow to $611 million by 2015. By the end of 2012, 40.6 million people in the US are expected to own a tablet device.

HTML5 will be part of the reason that media experiences on the tablet are so desirable. The reasons listed below shed light on this technological evolution.

As some of this information is highly technical, I’ve done my best to pull the content back and present it in a manner in which we can all easily understand

9 reasons why HTML5 will change online publishing

#1: HTML5 will provide local storage to speed engagement and make things available offline.

#2: A mobile HTML5 site can be used among numerous platforms, from iPhones to Androids.

#3: Mobile sites can replicate the feel and usability of a custom-made app.

#4: Pages can be updated in real-time, so users can see new comments without having to reload the page.

#5: Media can be used, embedded and shared more easily without needing plug-ins.

#6: Dragging items from the desktop to a browser will encourage interactivity.

#7: Better SEO, especially for flash-based sites. Currently, flash-based content does not get recognized for SEO purposes.

#8: An outline structure that will allow publishers to better manage their headers.

#9: Typography additions will allow for more fonts.

Our predictions are coming true…

Apple’s changes are slowly making our predictions come true, as subscription websites appear to be the backbone of online publishing.

Anyone following the media giant should clearly see Apple’s intent; they are not looking to get into the subscription game. Instead, they want to sell “thin” apps that allow users to access a subscription-based website.

What isn’t clear, is what happens when you want to subscribe through an app. However, regardless of that outcome, HTML5 is going to change the orientation of independent apps to web apps while putting an end to the Adobe/Apple flash debate.

If you don’t believe HTML5 is the future of digital infrastructure, just take a look at Safari, Firefox 3.6, WordPress, Apple’s OSX and Google Chrome; some major players that are already pushing support of HTML5.

The future of publishing on the Internet will be dictated by the capabilities found in HTML5, as it can sufficiently handle the demands of today’s online communities. Online publishers need to realize this potential, and begin using HTML5 as the backbone of their website and applications.

A Geekier Explanation From Wikipedia

In particular, HTML5 adds many new syntactical features. These include the <video>, <audio>, and <canvas> elements, as well as the integration of SVG content. These features are designed to make it easy to include and handle multimedia and graphical content on the web without having to resort to proprietary plugins and APIs. Other new elements, such as <section>, <article>, <header>, and <nav>, are designed to enrich the semantic content of documents. New attributes have been introduced for the same purpose, while some elements and attributes have been removed. Some elements, such as <a>, <cite> and <menu> have been changed, redefined or standardised. The APIs and DOM are no longer afterthoughts, but are fundamental parts of the HTML5 specification.[2] HTML5 also defines in some detail the required processing for invalid documents, so that syntax errors will be treated uniformly by all conforming browsers and other user agents.[3]

Crisis Communications

Whether your company caters to consumers or to other companies, you at some point will likely have to address—or advise upper management on how best to handle—a business crisis. Adequate planning is necessary to withstand the potential onslaught of a media maelstrom, accompanying a business crisis. If the plan is carefully conceived and faithfully implemented, your company can actually emerge stronger than before the crisis hit.

Following are eight time-tested tips that public relations professionals should heed when trying to weather a communications crisis. Several of the recommendations come courtesy of Dr. Joe Trahan III, APR and PRSA Fellow, who was the featured expert in a recent webinar sponsored by BurrellesLuce. The webinar, entitled “Crisis Communications: When the Stuff Hits the Gumbo Pot,” is available for review in the free BurrellesLuce Resource Center.

1. Position crisis communications as the key to continuity. Persuading executives and business owners that it is essential to have a crisis plan can be a difficult task. Organizations often have the mentality that a crisis will not happen to them. In reality, though, it is a question of when, not if, a crisis will arise. To truly get everyone on board with crisis planning, you must “sell it as a matter of operations,” explains Dr. Trahan. In concrete terms, crisis management enables a company to continue operating at the highest possible effectiveness during a crisis. Without a plan, a company can get distracted from its main source of revenue and meeting client needs.

2. Incorporate all channels of communication. Regardless of the chosen strategy, companies should look at all forms of communications channels when handling a crisis. “Whether it is sending an email to your staff, responding to a reporter’s questions or posting to your Facebook page, all tactics need to be treated as equally vital in the communications process,” declares this Business 2 Community Post on social media crisis communications. To avoid even one aspect of crisis communications can be detrimental to brand, client, or company reputation and constituent favor.

3. Take responsibility for the problem. Companies and brands get into real trouble when they try to skirt the issue or place the blame elsewhere. It is far better to own up to the problem and outline how your company, brand, or client is working to address it. Think about the messages and how they are crafted. Tell your publics what you’re doing and communicate what’s going on. If you’re making particularly good strides, be sure to talk about that as well.

4. Avoid replying with ‘no comment.’ “By saying ‘no comment,’ you are saying you’re guilty,” Dr. Trahan contends. He suggests instead that spokespersons incorporate bridging techniques . If you don’t know the answer to the question, he explains, you can tell them “I don’t know that at this time,” “This is what I do know,” or “I will find out.” This way, you’re able to get information out quickly, however little there may be at the time. Then follow up later as new developments occur. Bridging phrases are powerful tools to help you speak the truth and comment on what you do know.

5. Monitor and assess. It’s imperative that you know what’s being said about your company and who’s saying it. That’s because, in a crisis situation, you need as much detail as you can gather in order to ensure that you, in turn, can provide the specific type of information that your publics are seeking. Failing to address the expressed concerns of the various stakeholders carries the potential to exacerbate the crisis.

6. Correct media errors right away. You never want inaccurate media coverage to go uncorrected. Quickly setting the record straight is an urgent necessity in today’s digital age, when words and images can reach millions of people in virtually real-time. If information is wrong, pick up the phone and talk to the reporter who made the mistake or meet in person if the misreporting continues. In any event, constantly disseminate your story through as many relevant channels as you can. This will improve the odds that the information the public receives is not only accurate, but also reinforces the messages you want to deliver.

7. Avoid off-the-record remarks. As you build relationships with The Media, it gets increasingly difficult to remember what you’ve said, and to whom. That’s one reason never to speak off the record. Another reason is that for many reporters and bloggers, nothing is off the record. Even if they do agree to go off the record, what you tell some people may not be protected by shield laws.

8. Revisit the plan. Your plan should be a living, breathing document. It needs to be cared for and nurtured. Overcome the common tendency to forget about the crisis plan once it is created. You can never tell when you’re going to have to use it, so, to ensure its effectiveness, review the plan periodically and revise any scenarios and details that may be outdated.

With the proper tools in hand, communications professionals can gain the confidence they need to capably represent their company, client, or brand during a crisis.

About BurrellesLuce

Taking control of every stage of your media planning, monitoring, and reporting needs is simple and effective with BurrellesLuce. Our comprehensive suite of affordable services is fully integrated in one convenient and easy-to-use portal, BurrellesLuce WorkFlow™ . Incorporate and review your traditional print, broadcast, online and social media results in one report. Research and engage journalists and bloggers, and intelligently plan future campaigns. Build and manage social media communities. WorkFlow gives you everything you need to start organizing and managing your media relations and public relations results.

Two-thirds of restaurateurs have recycling programs

May 24 — Roughly two-thirds of the nation´s restaurateurs have recycling programs as part of their sustainability efforts, according to a new study conducted by the National Restaurant Association in partnership with Georgia-Pacific Professional.

“Sustainability is more than a fad; it´s the new way of doing business in the restaurant industry,” said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the Research and Knowledge Group for the National Restaurant Association. “Our research found that a majority of consumers prefer to patronize restaurants with recycling programs, and restaurants are following suit to ensure they meet their customers´ expectations.”

The research, released at the 2011 National Restaurant Association Restaurant, shows that three out of five consumers prefer to visit restaurants that have recycling practices in place. The study provides a comprehensive overview of restaurant recycling practices that will help restaurant operators meet consumer needs, enhance their environmental programs, and be more profitable.

Highlights of the restaurant recycling study include:



  • Sixty-five percent of restaurateurs currently have a recycling program in place, and 13% participate in composting programs. 
  • Seventy-four percent of restaurateurs who recycle do so in the kitchen and office areas, while 43% have a program in the dining room and other customer-facing areas. 
  • Nearly three out of four restaurant operators (72%) use products made from recycled materials; the most common of these items were bags, paper products and food containers. 
  • Sixty percent of consumers say they prefer to visit a restaurant that recycles. 
  • A strong majority of consumers (85%) say they sort recyclables in quick-service restaurants if receptacles are provided. 
  • About half of consumers (51%) say they are willing to pay a little more for menu items at a restaurant that recycles. 

The full recycling research report can be downloaded at

Chrissy Kadleck is a correspondent for Waste & Recycling News. Contact her at or 330-836-9180.

Amazon: E-books now outsell print books

Switch to digital books a turning point, as public transitions from paper books to e-readers

By Matt Hamblen
May 19, 2011 03:24 PM ET

Computerworld – It had to happen eventually: announced Thursday that it is selling more Kindle e-books than printed hardcover or paperback books.

Amazon said that since April 1, it has been selling 105 Kindle e-books for every 100 print books. Free Kindle books are excluded from that count; if free books were included, the number would be even higher.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said the e-book threshold arrived sooner than expected. “Customers are now choosing Kindle books more often than print books,” he said. “We had high hopes that this would happen eventually, but we never imagined it would happen this quickly.” Amazon has sold printed books for 15 years and Kindle books for less than four.

Amazon doesn’t share sales numbers but said it has sold more than three times as many Kindles books thus far in 2011 as it did in the same period in 2010.

The e-book surge is one of the biggest indicators of the impact of technology on culture, and the nation’s public librarians have been careful observers of the trend for years. Many public libraries already offer e-book borrowing for free, subject to a library user loading special software on a desktop computer, mobile device or some e-book readers.

Amazon’s news came as a surprise to Deborah Ervin, head of reference at the Framingham Public Library, a midsize library located in a Boston suburb.

“I’m certainly not opposed to [e-readers],” she said in an interview. “They are something people like and enjoy.” Ervin likes using the Nook e-reader, sold by Barnes & Noble, which works with OverDrive software offered by her library and others in the Boston area’s Minuteman Library Network for free e-book borrowing.

The convenience of replacing a heavy printed book, or several, with a lightweight e-reader is appealing, especially for somebody taking a long vacation, Ervin said.

“This is the latest and greatest technology, although many don’t embrace it for one reason or another and might prefer holding an actual book, or feel e-readers are too complicated,” she said. “Some people buck modern trends and would use a rotary phone if they could. Still, a lot of people use e-books almost exclusively.”

While the Nook and Sony e-readers allow open e-book library borrowing, Ervin said she and other librarians are hopeful that Kindles will soon expand beyond letting users borrow only Kindle books from libraries. (In April, Amazon announced that it would allow Kindle book-borrowing from 11,000 U.S. libraries later this year.)

Ervin said users of e-readers tend to favor e-book buying rather than borrowing, since the purchasing process is relatively quick and easy.

“Borrowing an e-book is overwhelming sometimes, and the way OverDrive works is complex for some people to get onto their devices, whatever those might be,” she said. First, you have to see what book is available, and then download the e-reader software and load the actual e-book onto the device, she said, adding, “It’s cumbersome.”

Ervin said she’s not really misty-eyed for printed books and believes that soon enough, e-book borrowing will be much easier and more commonplace. For now, the inevitable replacement of print books with e-books continues unabated.

“In my own reference department, we have in the past ordered several titles of literary criticism in paper, but this year we stopped those and have them as e-books,” she said. “That way, anybody can read them, even when the library is closed.”

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at Twitter @matthamblen or subscribe to Hamblen RSSMatt’s RSS feed. His e-mail address is

Why They Aren’t Buying From You

You are good at what you do.

You have an excellent (fill in the blank here) __________________

Your website is done

Your shopping cart or paypal is hooked up and you sent an email to your list pointing to your beautiful sales page (that you’ve been laboring over)

You’ve emailed your list, you’ve tweeted and updated and shared and even youtubed your offer.

Then you made yourself a frosty drink and kicked up your feet, prepared to listen to the ka-ching of your shopping cart go off all day while your sales rolled in and the herd of eager buyers stampeded your site.

Right? Well, in the words of the philosopher Dr. Phil — ‘how’s that workin for ya?’

It happens. It’s not uncommon. It’s discouraging and…it’s fixable.

I don’t proclaim to be the ‘most high’ marketing expert. I’m not at expert at conversions and diagnostics. But I do have a theory and some quick-fixes that tend to work for my clients and I.

I believe your offer probably lacks one or all of the following:

  • Urgency
  • Scarcity
  • Awareness

Urgency ==> As humans, we are wired to want to make the right decision. Translation: we have a fear of making the wrong decision. Which means quite simply, we will put off the decision as long as possible in the hopes that we don’t have to make it at all.

So deadlines on offers, expiring bonuses, payment plans that lapse and pricing that escalates are all ways to communicate urgency. Why your prospect needs to make a decision. The truth is — I just want a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’

To buy or not to buy, that is the question… the death of your offer is the NON-decision. The ‘I’ll think about it later’ factor. Ackkkk…recheck your offer and make sure you have SOME type of Urgency.

Scarcity ==> Do you have limited space in the room? Are there limited lines on the call? Is the webinar access limited? Do you have bandwidth to just coach xx amount of clients? Do you have a physical bonus and only xx copies?

As humans, we’re often more motivated by what we’re afraid we’ll miss out on that the really cool thing we’re going to get (ie your product).

So, how can you add scarcity? Again, we’re not manipulating your prospects, we’re giving them reasons to make a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ decision.

Awareness ==> So, you put up a sales page. Yippee, you blogged. Hooray for you tweeting your offer. Kudos to you for emailing your list. So what? How many messages and emails and incomings do you get per day?

It’s NOT your prospect’s job to remember you are in business. It’s YOUR job to remind them. It’s YOUR task to keep them aware of the 1) scarcity and 2) urgency and 3) you

Email them again with new content or a reminder. Make your subject line super-clear [Expires today] or [1 day left] Friendly Reminder. The lifespan of a tweet (depending on # of followers) is about an hour. If I tweet ONCE about a killer offer…very few of my audience sees it! Facebook it again and ask your network to ‘share.’

Is it good? Are you proud of it? Are you convinced you’re solving a problem in the market of (insert your niche here) _________________.

If so – then you need to evaluate your offerings through a lens of:

  • Urgency
  • Scarcity
  • Awareness

And make SURE that you are empowering your audience to make a decision. Otherwise…they will decide to decide later and that’s really no decision at all.

I’d love to hear below what some of your favorite decision triggers are: Deadlines? Bonuses? Limited Slots? Exclusivity?  Let’s talk below!