When it comes to webinars, most people assume that the medium is, by its nature, a live broadcast.
Hosting a webinar versus providing a particular video on-demand gives the audience a sense of urgency.
When they hear, “Here’s the date and time; you don’t want to miss it,” the audience feels obligated to tune. They have no way of knowing for certain if you’re going to record the session for posterity, or if you’re going to give the same presentation at a later date. It’s a great opportunity for you because they don’t want to miss out.
Typical webinars involve some sort of screen capture, with the speaker’s voice recorded through a computer’s built-in microphone. Technical quality aside, the live aspect of the presentation can be very nerve-wracking for some presenters.
However, pre-recorded webinars are also a viable option nowadays, which leads to a major debate. You can, as the name implies, have the presentation recorded ahead of time. Then you can play it back live. So when considering pre-recorded vs live webinars, which is better?
ABOUT LIVE WEBINARS
Live webinars are really good if you want to get interactive feedback.
If you want to host a poll or feature interactive questions with the audience while the actual event is going on, then live is probably what you’re looking for.
Live also is a bit less work. You may put together your slide deck and rehearse a bit, but once it’s done, it’s done. If you make a mistake, then you make a mistake. You roll with it and move on.
ABOUT PRE-RECORDED WEBINARS
Pre-recorded webinars, on the other hand, give you the opportunity to iron out more kinks beforehand. You can make sure your message is honed to perfection.
If you’re really worried about going on-camera and screwing up in front of a ton of people, this is a fantastic solution. You can practice until you’re polished, everything comes across the way you intend it, and you don’t stray into any rabbit holes along the way.
Another one of the benefits of having pre-recorded versus live is that you can reduce some of the technical issues.
In other words, let’s say you start on the live webinar– then all of a sudden, your wifi disconnects or slows down. Perhaps Powerpoint glitches. Some technical issue pops up…and you’ve got all these people sitting there, watching you.
Pre-recorded webinars are one way to reduce the chance of that happening. They do take a bit of work behind the curtain, and we’ll address that in a future vodcast about how to fake a live webinar. But they’re very valuable, polished assets once they’re complete.
And while the audience may not see or hear the answer their questions on the screen, some interaction is still possible in the pre-recorded webinars. Your presenter (perhaps under a different name) and the rest of your team can potentially answer questions in the written chat while the recording is played.
SO WHICH IS BETTER?
Honestly, in the debate about pre-recorded vs. live webinars, choosing your particular webinar depends on what’s most important to you.
There are ways of doing hybrid webinars, but neither is necessarily better than the other. It just depends on the use case. If you want interactivity and the ability to answer questions, you should probably go live. If you want to make sure your message is clear and concise and on-point, then you might want to look into pre-recorded webinars.
Either way, we definitely believe in using certain production techniques that will make your presentation as high-quality and personable as possible. After all, the quality of your video could in fact make or break your pitch.
Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get each of our weekly episodes sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!
If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!