Information for Webinar Presenters

System requirements

To present a TechCommNZ webinar you will need:

  • Headphones or loudspeakers to hear other webinar participants. A good quality microphone is required for your presentation.
  • Internet connection (broadband is best)
  • Device running Windows, Mac, iOS or Android operating system ( details)

Browser add-in

When you first access the webinar system, your computer will automatically download and install a small add-in for your browser. If your computer cannot do this due to security settings, you may have problems accessing the webinar. The download may take several minutes, depending on the speed of your internet connection.

Webinar recording

A recording will be made of the webinar and will be made available to webinar attendees after the session. The webinar host or organiser will start the recording at the beginning of the webinar.

Overview of webinar participant roles

The Zoom system recognises four webinar participant roles.

  • Host/Organiser. There has to be at least one host/organiser to start and run the webinar. The host controls the overall operation of the webinar as well as introducing (and, of course, thanking) you as presenter.
  • Panelist. There may be one or more panelists involved in the webinar. You will initially join the webinar as a panelist, ready for the host to promote you to presenter. Other panelists may be in attendance to provide additional expert knowledge and may take turns as presenter if required.
  • Presenter. After a brief introduction, the host will promote you to the role of presenter. As presenter you can display your computer screen to webinar attendees so they can see your slideshow or watch you demonstrate how to use software. Attendees will also be able to hear you. All attendees have their microphone muted when the webinar starts, but you can unmute one or more attendees if you wish.
  • Attendee. The registered audience members of the webinar are called attendees.

Your role as panelist/presenter

The webinar host will initially invite you by email to attend the webinar in the role of a panelist. In this role you can interact with the organiser before the webinar starts - making sure you have everything set up correctly and checking that your microphone/speakers are working.

Preparing for the webinar

You need to prepare for a webinar in a similar way as for a regular presentation.

Your slides

Put together a set of slides in PowerPoint or the presentation software of your choice. As the webinar system displays your computer screen during the presentation, no special preparations are required to ensure that your presentation runs on any other computer. Please send a copy of the slides to the organiser (in handout or notes format) in PDF so that they can be made available to the attendees after the webinar.


TechCommNZ webinars normally run for 60 minutes in total (or longer, as arranged). Out of this time, please allow:

  • up to 5 minutes at the start for the host's introduction and any polls (see Questions for the attendees, below), and
  • 5-10 minutes at the end for a closing "question and answer" session.

The host may prompt you (by a chat message) about 10 minutes before the end of the session so that you can smoothly draw the presentation to a close in time for the Q&A session.

Questions for the attendees

Consider if there are any specific questions you need to ask attendees, usually relating to their knowledge level or interests. If there are, send details to the host so that he or she can set them up as a "poll". The poll displays the questions on each attendee's screen and they can provide their answers. The host displays the poll questions and answers before handing control of the webinar to the presenter.

Polls are a convenient way of getting information, but they are quite time consuming and disrupt the flow of the webinar, so it may be best to hold only one or two at the start or end of the session.

Questions from the attendees

You can choose to accept questions from attendees at any time during the session, or just in the Q&A session at the end. Questions during the session obviously improve engagement and interaction, but can be disruptive.

During the final Q&A session, the host will read out the questions that have been typed by participants into the Q&A pane.

Practice sessions

You can hold one or more practice sessions with the host before the webinar. The host will normally invite you to attend a practice session about a week before the webinar. Such sessions will give you the opportunity to get comfortable with the overall operation of the webinar system. You are welcome to ask the host for additional practice sessions if you wish.

Joining the webinar

To join the webinar, follow the link in the host's invitation email 5-10 minutes before the scheduled start time.

Please follow any on-screen instructions to set up your browser and launch the webinar software.

You will be able to speak with the host as soon as you join the session. Participants will not be able to join the session until the host starts the broadcast. The host will normally start the broadcast 5 minutes before the scheduled start time to allow participants to join. Please don't talk with the host during that time (except in emergency!) as participants will be able to hear your conversation.

Some presentation tips

Feedback from presenters and attendees is included here to help you avoid some potential problems.

  • There is a variable time lag of about 1-2 seconds between you selecting a new slide and the slide appearing on attendees' screens, so please pause briefly before discussing a new slide.
  • You may not be able to see your mouse pointer during the presentation but it is displayed on attendee's screens. Please park it off screen or try to avoid moving it unless you need to, as this can be distracting for attendees.
  • During your presentation you may not be able to see any on-screen clock or timer, so have a clock or watch set up near your screen to help you keep track of the time.

Leaving the webinar

You can leave the webinar at any time by closing the webinar display window or by using the End Meeting option on the control panel.

Zoom support centre

If you have any problems with using Zoom, please search the Zoom help centre for information.