How to make the most of the 10 minutes before hosting a webinar?

If you have ever hosted a webinar for a large group of people then you know about that time slot that starts about 10 minutes before the start time.  For me, It’s the time of nervousness.

In my head I am thinking will people turn up; will they have problems logging in and as the host, you must make the decision on how you will start.

A lot of webinar platforms allow people to say in the lobby, with an automated voice saying ”The webinar will shortly” or some variation of that.

This is potentially a missed opportunity to get people engaged in the webinar even before it has started and may lead to more questions during the webinar or even the holy grail when people on the webinar start to answer each other’s questions via the chat in the webinar.

Now that would be great.

I’ve done a number of webinars where I have stayed silent but after a recent webinar with Nancy Kinder on Building Engagement in your community when you have little time where I acted as a co-host. I believe that I will change my approach from now on.

And it was something really simple. 

We kept all the participant on mute.  But asked them to tell us where they were dialing in from by using the online chat. 

We started by saying hello when they joined the chat and commented on what they had added. 

Other participants started to add more and comment on other people chat messages.

And throughout the webinar people where still making comments and answering questions and giving their opinion as it was taking place.

That was amazing. 

All this from a simple question in the chat of “Where are you listening to the webinar from?  Please share your town, country or continent?”

That got me thinking.  You can’t really use the same question every time that you do a webinar.  So what questions could you use to mix it up a little?  After a little search through the internet, I came across four questions additional questions that I thought I could use. 

I wanted them to be really simple as there are lots of icebreakers that can be used for virtual team building, but I was looking at questions that as many people could get involved with.

  1. Where are you listening to the webinar from?  Please share your town, country or continent?
  2. Your biggest challenge
  3. When I look out my window, I see …
  4. What was your first job?
  5. What does the weather look like where you are?


But there must be more, what questions could you suggest?

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