Webinars can be a great way to generate interest in your product or service. They can also be used for training, group meetings, and product launches. But finding the right webinar software can be a challenge.
With the right webinar tools, you can engage your audience and create a meaningful connection with webinar participants. So, it's important to choose carefully.
this article, I provide an overview of 16 of the best free and premium
online webinar software available. I'll also discuss some features you may wish
to look for in your choice of webinar software. You'll also learn a little about
what makes a great webinar and I'll direct you to additional resources to help
you learn even more about webinars.
How to Find the Right Webinar Tools for You
you're a business, an organization, a start-up, or an individual—you
want to find the right webinar software for your needs. However, webinar needs
vary depending on why you're planning a webinar. In this section I list some of
the common features that businesses and others look for when selecting webinar
software. Your own needs may vary.
Here are some features and capabilities that you might want in your webinar tool:
- Security. Depending on the purpose of your webinar tool, you may want to limit access to your webinar. You may also wish to keep the list of attendees private as well as their contact information. If you charge for your webinar, you'll want to keep attendee payment information secure.
- Number of attendees. Many webinar platforms determine the pricing partially based on the number of webinar attendees. This makes sense since more attendees require more resources. You'll want to choose a webinar platform that can accommodate both the planned number of attendees and your budget.
- Audience engagement. The difference between a great webinar and a boring webinar is often the degree of audience engagement. Good webinar software includes tools to help you interact with your audience such as the ability to use chat, polls and questionnaires, and Q&A sessions during your webinar.
- Screen sharing. The ability to show your attendees what's on your screen can be important for training webinars. The feature is also helpful if you're using your webinar to market software or online tools. Consider carefully whether you need this feature in your webinar software tool.
- Record. Many webinar hosts want the ability to record the webinar. This can be helpful if you want to review the webinar. You may also wish to reshare the webinar recording on your website or online. Some webinar tools automatically record webinars.
- Analytics. The ability to measure and track data related to your webinar can be useful. But be careful when selecting a webinar platform that offers this feature. Make sure that the analytics offered measure what you need them to measure.
- Technical Support. When selecting any online or software tool it's important to consider the availability of technical support. Technical support can be helpful if something goes wrong or if you just have a question as you're setting your webinar up.
are just some of the features you may want to consider when you do a webinar
software comparison. Now that we've discussed what to look for in a webinar
tool, let's take a look at what makes a great webinar.
Makes a Great Webinar?
If you're planning a webinar, you want to make sure that your webinar is successful. In fact, you want your webinar to be great.
are four things you need to do to create a great webinar experience:
- Focus on your audience. First, make sure you understand who you're trying to communicate within your webinar. Find out what they already know and what they need to know and offer it to them in an engaging fashion.
- Deliver top-notch content. Make sure your webinar offers current information that's useful and relevant for your audience. Do the research necessary to provide them with information they can use.
- Plan and practice. If your webinar is going to be live, plan it for a time when you know that most of your intended audience will be available. Once you've set up a time and created your live webinar content, be sure to practice going through it.
- Promote. Now that you've got a webinar planned, you need to promote it. Send out registration invites through email, social media, and other tools. It's also helpful to send reminders slightly before the webinar to those who're registered to attend.
Start With a Great Slideshow
In many cases, you'll want to incorporate a slideshow into your webinar. Just as with
a live presentation, a good slideshow can convey information effectively during
To create an attention-getting slideshow, you'll want to use a
professionally designed slideshow template. The best way to do that is to
choose a top-notch provider that offers proven presentation
as Envato Elements.
For a low monthly cost, you can choose between hundreds of different attention-getting slideshow templates. With Envato Elements, you download as many templates as you need as many times as you need to. You'll have access to other digital assets as well such as professionally-designed WordPress themes, video tutorials, and more.
you want is a single professionally designed
slideshow template, GraphicRiver
is a great option. Browse through the myriad of eye-catching slideshow
templates and download the one you want for a reasonable one-time fee.
The Best Live Online Webinar Software Tools for 2020
Here's an overview of some of the best webinar software tools we could find for you to examine. I've outlined some of the top features for each webinar tool here, but most of these tools contain additional features as well. Plus, many offer free trial services so that you can discover whether the tool is right for you.
Zoom is a good webinar tool if you're on a budget, especially if the webinars you need to host are relatively short. At its most basic level Zoom webinar software is free. At the basic level you can host up to 100 participants and hold up to a 40-minute group meeting.
For longer meetings or more participants, several premium plans are available. Zoom video conferencing features include simultaneous screen share and you can set up breakout rooms. Online support is available, even at the free level.
LiveWebinar is the ultimate platform for hosting webinars, meetings, events, online lessons, and more. This versatile cloud-based software offers its users plenty of features to create interaction and engagement, such as breakout rooms, polls and tests, whiteboards, a webinar recorder, and more.
You can also make your webinar cohesive with your brand and company by customizing your room with your logos and colors. LiveWebinar is easy to use: the platform requires no downloads or plug-ins, and it's compatible with all major browsers. You also get access to full technical support.
This item in our listing is a sponsored entry, which features a product relevant to our readers while meeting our editorial guidelines for being objective and educational.
A free webinar software option is Facebook live. Nearly everyone has a Facebook account these days, so using Facebook Live makes sense. As you broadcast, your Facebook followers and friends will be able to see your live video.
When you're done broadcasting, the video will be published to your Facebook page or profile—which means it could continue to get your message out there long after your webinar is over. If you need to, you can determine who sees your webinar video by excluding it from your news feed. You can even restrict the audience by age, gender, location, or language.
4. YouTube Live
You may not think of it as a free webinar service, but YouTube live can be used to host webinars. In fact, some premium webinar tools use YouTube in the background. When you're finished streaming your video, you can choose to publish it. For some tools to help you produce a better YouTube webinar, review the following tutorial:
Even if you don't have Skype, you can host a video meeting with no time limits using Skype. Include up to 50 people on your call. It's a great free webinar option. All you need to do is create a conference call link and share it with participants. Your link will never expire.
If you do have Skype for Business, you can still use the tool to start a video call with your contacts. Share your desktop so that other users can see what's on your computer screen.
Note: Skype for Business will be replaced by Microsoft teams in 2021.
6. Cisco Webex
Cisco Webex is one of the more popular online meeting and event hosting tools. With Webex webinar software you get specific tools for exactly what you want to do.
Choose between hosting events for as many as 3,000 people, webcasting for up to 100,000 people, or training (including testing and grading) for up to 1,000. Share your screen with participants. Control who accesses the webinar by setting up a personal meeting room. The Webex webinar tool also includes technical support.
If you've recently taken classes, you may already be familiar with Blackboard as a training tool. But what many people don't know is that Blackboard has solutions for businesses including web conferencing software. If the purpose of your webinar is training, this is an excellent option. It lets you manage webinar registration, create a training plan, integrate video, and more.
is well-known for its online meeting software. Their online software tool is
just as reliable and just as popular. There are four levels of this tool
available, based on the number of webinar participants, which ranges from 100 to 3,000. If you need to keep a
lot of information about your webinar, this is a good tool since all levels
include reports and analytics. The webinar tool also includes some nice features
such as the ability to create polls, include handouts, and have a Q&A
session. Plus, record your webinar locally or online.
is exactly what it sounds like: a live streaming tool. But, it's also useful as
webinar software because it includes the ability to conduct a real-time
moderated chat. It's also useful if you want to stream to Facebook Live or
YouTube. And it includes analytics. One of the nice things about this webinar
software is that training and support are available.
one of the popular webinar platforms is WebinarJam. This easy-to-use live webinar
tool lets you control who participates in your webinar with password-protected
webinar rooms. Boost your audience engagement using interactive tools like
polls and chat. Also, WebinarJam automatically records your webinar. And you
can easily share handouts, making it a great tool for
marketing or training webinars. Support is available.
you're looking for automated webinar software, EverWebinar (from the makers of WebinarJam) may be what you
need. The automated webinars you set up
with EverWebinar will seem like live webinars. Autoresponders are built into this
webinar too. Or, you can choose to do an automated webinar with a live chat moderator.
The tool includes analytics and tracking. Plus, support is available to help set up your automated webinar to go smoothly.
With the ClickMeeting webinar tool, choose from a variety of plans available based on the features you need. Create polls and surveys, use chat features, and share your screen.
This online webinar tool lets you track webinar statistics. Another nice feature
is desktop sharing. And you can record your webinar as well. Try the free trial for this webinar software if you're not sure whether it's for you.
reviewing webinar platforms, you'll want to look at Demio. This software offers a
variety of plans based on webinar attendees. Choose a plan ranging from 50 attendees to 500 attendees. Share media,
conduct polls and surveys, and more. This tool also records your webinars automatically.
Analytics are also included. Technical support is available, even at the
most basic level.
Another one of the best webinar software tools out there is Livestorm. This webinar software can accommodate up to 1000 participants, based on the plan you choose. There's also a basic free webinar platform with some good features including unlimited webinars.
Livestorm includes many opportunities for audience engagement including chat,
polls, and Q&A. It also supports screen-sharing. Limit who can access your
webinar by setting it up as private. Webinar analytics are included.
MegaMeeting webinar software includes screen sharing, chat, file sharing, and live polling. Invite participants through secure meeting links. All levels enjoy 24/7 phone, email, and chat technical support. There's a free trial for this webinar app.
has a plan for anywhere from 100 to 1,000 attendees. You can also create automated webinars with any plan for an unlimited number of attendees. Auto
recording is also included with all webinar software packages as is the ability to
share screens and incorporate other interactive features such as polls and
Q&A. All plans also include technical support.
5 Online PowerPoint Webinar Design Trends for 2020
Whether you're using free webinar hosting platforms or paying for webinar services, you'll want to follow the latest webinar design trends. Here are some recent webinar presentation trends to help you make the best webinar presentation ever:
1. Title Slide
The title slide is the first impression your audience has. Your title slide should have the title of the webinar in a readable font. The title page should also have your company logo and name. Having this information on the title page makes it clear what your webinar is about and who made it.
2. Simple Slides
Simple slides are easier for people to read. Having a simpler slide means not having a ton of text on the slide. When you've got too much text on a slide it can be overwhelming for people reading the slide.
Just like with text you don't want to put too many images or visuals on the slide because this can also overwhelm the audience. Keeping your slides simple makes it easier for the audience and doesn't overwhelm them.
3. Icons and Visuals
Icons and visuals can be great tools as long as you don't put too many on a slide. Having visuals such as a chart for data will make the information more memorable for the audience. Icons help your audience visualize the point you're trying to make in your webinar.
Icons are included with the templates below:
4. Recap Slide
Having a recap slide or slides helps you emphasize the important information that you want people to take home from your webinar. The recap slide isn't for repeating everything, but do repeat the most important facts. This slide can also be used to give the audience something to think about after the webinar.
5. A Consistent Theme
Having a consistent theme throughout your webinar is important for both the design and the topic. If you switch themes or topics in the middle of the webinar, it'll confuse the audience. Using a webinar template makes it easy to have a consistent design theme for your webinar.
The Best Webinar Templates for 2020
Even if you're using a free webinar platform, you want your webinar presentation to look its very best. Premium presentation templates can help you do that.
Here's a curated list of some of the best webinar templates:
The Eduvision webinar template has over 50 unique education-themed slides. This template comes with infographics and icons. With Eduvision choose between a light or dark version.
The Playmaker webinar template comes with over 50 unique football-themed slides. This template comes with visuals such as icons and infographics. This template is great for any webinar or presentation that's sports themed.
Metropolis is a business-themed webinar template that comes in two different aspect ratios: 16:9 and 4:3. This template also comes with both light and dark versions so that you can use whichever one suits your needs. If you need visuals, this template includes icons and infographics.
The beginning has over 50 unique slides with an overall minimal theme. This template comes with icons and infographics. The beginning also comes with a light and dark version.
Magnum is a great multipurpose webinar template. This template comes with eight color scheme options. Magnum also comes with infographics, animation, lists, and tables.
Still didn't find what you're looking for? Check out GraphicRiver for single-use webinar presentation templates.
Learn More About Making Great Webinars
After you've read about Webinars and picked out a presentation template, you're ready to learn more about webinars. Start with our webinar learning guide. Here's just a sampling of some of our webinar tutorials:
- WebinarsWhat Is a Webinar (Definition)? +How Does It Work?Brenda Barron
- WebinarsHow to Do a Webinar Right: 10+ Training Tutorials (Must-Read)Brenda Barron
- Webinars20+ Best Practices: How to Create Pro Webinar Presentations in 2020Brenda Barron
Create Your Own Webinar
You've just explored
webinar software tools. We've explored what features you may want in a webinar
tool as well as how to create a great webinar. You've also learned about 16 different webinar tools, including some free webinar software. You're ready
to do a webinar software comparison and then it's time to go ahead and start
planning your webinar. Good luck!
Editorial Note: This tutorial was originally published in August of 2018. It's been comprehensively revised to include new information—with special assistance from Sarah Joy.
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