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Webinar Interview Guide - 8 Tips for Hosting Success

Discover the power of webinar interviews in building your brand and generating leads. Learn how to prepare, select the right guest speakers, and create engaging conversations that resonate with your audience. Maximize the impact of your webinar interview sessions with these essential strategies.
Hubilo
,
August 28, 2023

Webinar interviews can be an excellent way to showcase your expertise and bring in outside industry leaders to build your brand. B2B marketers say that 73% of their attendees turn into lead generation, making webinars a highly effective tool in your marketing arsenal.  

Audience members like to tune into interview webinars because it allows them to learn directly with an expert who can offer them valuable insight on the topics that matter to them. The interview format often allows them to submit some questions, creating a personal atmosphere.

If you still need to run webinars with an interview format, we will explore what you need to know about making your session successful.

What is a webinar interview?

The webinar interview style empowers you to direct industry-specific questions pertinent to your audience toward an expert in that field. Instead of personally hosting the webinar, this style allows for an interactive dialogue about the subject matter.

With a webinar interview, you invite an industry expert to join your event. You will prepare questions and invite your expert to answer them, giving your audience new understanding and insight into the industry. You can also allow the audience to ask their own questions, offering them even more value throughout the event.

The webinar interview follows a Q&A format and focuses on asking questions that draw upon the unique knowledge and expertise of the interviewee. You can use your questions to showcase your industry knowledge, simultaneously building your reputation with the audience.

Read and Learn: 2X Your Pipeline With a Fresh Approach to Webinars

How to prepare for a webinar interview

To succeed in a webinar interview, you must go through some basic preparations to help everything run smoothly. Thinking things through carefully ahead of time will also help ensure that your audience receives the value that they sought when they signed up for the webinar.

Before the webinar interview

Here are the steps you want to take before the webinar begins. Following these guidelines will help you stay organized so that the event runs smoothly from start to finish.

1. Understand the audience

This interview will likely benefit you, your brand, and the interviewee. However, it's crucial not to overlook the primary beneficiaries of this webinar—your audience. This means you must pinpoint the exact identity of your audience or, at the very least, define the kind of webinar attendees you intend to attract. Knowing the specific audience you want to target will help you identify important topics that matter to them. You want to consider factors such as:

  • What challenges or obstacles does this audience currently face?
  • What current events or controversial debates are going on in the industry that pertain to them?
  • What types of questions do members of this audience often ask when engaging with your sales representatives? 

The more insight you have into your audience's interests, the easier it will be to identify a particular topic that will draw them to your webinar. You want to pick something highly relevant, where people will appreciate the opportunity to hear the latest information and insight from an established expert.

2. Find the right guest speaker

Once you know your audience particularly well and have identified your subject, you want to find the right guest speaker for your webinar. The guest you choose should relate strongly to your chosen webinar topic. There are likely various experts within your industry, but you want to find one known for specializing in the area you will cover during the interview. The greater the reputation that your potential guest has earned within this area, the better your chances of drawing a good-sized audience and attracting attention to your upcoming event.

In addition to selecting a subject matter expert, however, you also want to pay attention to the importance of personality and approachability. Select a guest that will interest the audience and draw them in. If you have an expert with considerable knowledge on the subject but need help speaking clearly and in a way that keeps non-expert listeners engaged, then this person might not be the right fit for your webinar. 

When considering a potential expert, see if they have appeared in similar events. Look for recordings of them appearing on other webinars or giving talks at different events. These insights help you understand how this particular expert might act when they go on your webinar. Once you've confirmed a guest speaker, finalize your webinar dates and times, ensuring everyone is on the same page.

Find the right guest speaker

3. Let your guest be the expert

As you prepare for the webinar, remember to let the expert be the expert. You come to the event with a considerable amount of background knowledge as well, but you want to create the webinar to highlight your guests' expertise.

In other words, do not take over the conversation. Use your expertise to draft and follow-up questions highlighting your insight while drawing out your guest's experience without trying to answer the queries yourself. During the conversation, avoid interrupting their responses and let the spotlight shine on them.

4. Do your homework

Look into the past work of your guest. For example, you might read books or papers they published or studies they conducted to learn more about their specific opinions and efforts. This can help you better understand the direction you want to take the webinar conversation.

While preparing for the webinar, take the time to create questions that will add value to the entire experience. Make a list of areas you would like to touch on throughout the interview. Then, boil the list down to the most critical areas.

Once you know the areas you want to include, craft questions that will help you target the insights your listeners want to hear. You should create questions, walk away from the project, and then return in a day or two to reread and revise them. Also, share your questions with your interviewees ahead of time so that they can prepare a few notes. They might also suggest essential areas you want to hit during the webinar.

During the webinar interview

Now, let's discuss what you want to do during the webinar. After you have taken the time to prepare well for your upcoming event, you want to think about the best ways to keep the webinar interesting and engaging. Here are a few essential tips to keep in mind.

5. Make your interviewee feel at home

Make sure your interviewee feels welcome and at home with you. Depending on how you set up your webinar, you might have your interviewee in the same room as you, or you might conduct the interview virtually from two different locations. In either scenario, you want to make sure they feel comfortable. A more comfortable guest will answer your questions better, giving you even more value to offer your audience.

Give your guest a chance to look at the controls and features of your webinar platform before you go live, mainly if you will conduct the interview virtually. Make sure they feel confident with it, perhaps even having a dry run of the interview before the day itself. Seventy-eight percent of webinar hosts use designated webinar platforms over options like YouTube, as these can offer more relevant controls. However, you must ensure your guest knows how to navigate it.

6. Fine-tune your questions (while also allowing the conversation to flow naturally)

As you conduct your interview, you must carefully balance following your webinar outline and allowing tangents and natural conversation to arise. For example, if you ask your guest a question, and they provide such a thorough answer that they end up on an interesting and relevant tangent you had not planned for, let the conversation continue.

Your main job as the host is ensuring your audience members receive the value they signed up for. Let the conversation flow if the guest provides interesting and valuable information. If it starts to diverge, such as covering interesting but irrelevant anecdotes, you can use your question list to bring the conversation back on track.

As you go through your questions one last time before your interview, think carefully if there have been any developments related to the topic that should be included. Have a primary list of questions and a secondary list in case you get through your questions too quickly.

webinar engagement with interview questions

7. Remember, it’s not your interview

As the conversation begins to flow, remember what we said before about allowing your guest to be the center of attention. Do not try to dominate the conversation. Aside from asking questions or adding occasional details or remarks, most of the talking should come from your interviewee.

8. Have fun with it

Webinars can be great fun. When you conduct an interview, you can connect with this industry professional and boost your brand's reputation. These events should be fun for all those involved. Do not be afraid to tell an occasional joke, provided you follow all the best practices for telling jokes in the workplace. 

Keep the atmosphere light and friendly. The interview should feel like a conversation between friends, with your audience having the opportunity to watch your conversation and participate in some of their questions. 

Download Forrester Consulting and Hubilo's research about Using Engaging Webinars to Elevate the Sales Pipeline

Webinar interview don'ts

To keep your webinar interview running effectively, however, there are a few things that you want to avoid doing during the event.

  • Don't hinder conversation by just reading your questions like a list. Let the responses you receive naturally flow into follow-up questions and conversation, only moving on to the next topic as you reach the natural conclusion of the previous topic.
  • Don't interrupt or otherwise talk over your guest. Remember that your guest is the star and expert here; your role is that of a facilitator.
  • Don't disengage from the conversation taking place. This means practicing active listening, keeping the conversation moving, and remembering to include your audience by talking to them and acknowledging relevant questions that might come through.
  • Don't forget best practices for engaging on camera. Keep your voice crisp and clear throughout the presentation. Similarly, ensure the lights are positioned to give a clear view of any speakers.
  • Don't forget to follow up with your attendees. When the webinar is over, take the opportunity to reach out to your attendees to get their feedback and to encourage them to further engage with you by downloading additional resources, attending another webinar, or following another call-to-action.

Take your webinar to the next level with Hubilo

The webinar interview provided a captivating exploration of the subject matter, offering valuable insights and perspectives that will resonate with both novices and experts in the field. The dynamic exchange between the interviewer and the guest speaker shed light on intricate concepts and sparked a broader conversation within the audience. As attendees reflect on the takeaways and newfound knowledge, the webinar stands as a testament to the power of digital platforms in fostering meaningful discussions and bridging gaps in understanding. With its thought-provoking discourse and lasting impact, this webinar interview serves as a reminder of the boundless potential that online engagements hold in shaping our collective intellect and driving positive change.

Are you ready to revolutionize your webinar interview format? Look no further than Hubilo, the cutting-edge webinar platform designed to take your events to the next level. Hubilo empowers you to create immersive and engaging webinar interviews that leave a lasting impact. With a comprehensive suite of features seamlessly integrating into your webinar interview format, Hubilo enhances every aspect of the experience. From dynamic audience engagement tools to sleek and customizable event designs, Hubilo provides the tools to captivate your audience and make your interviews unforgettable.

Ready to take the plunge? Elevate your webinar interview format with Hubilo and enter a new era of events. Request a demo today and experience the future of webinars with Hubilo by hosting your next webinar interview event.

Author
Hubilo

Hubilo is the webinar platform built for marketers that helps you 2X your pipeline. Founded in 2015, Hubilo's powerful engagement features, dedicated client experience team, and custom branding tools have helped create over 12K virtual events & webinars, creating hundreds of millions of minutes of high-engagement experiences and counting. Headquartered in Bengaluru and San Francisco, Hubilo's 200+ employees are dedicated to enabling webinars & virtual events that convert.

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