When it comes to webinars, most people assume that the medium is, by its nature, a live broadcast.

When you host a webinar versus providing a particular video on-demand, it 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 in because 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. You can, as the name implies, have the presentation recorded ahead of time, and then you can play it back live.

So 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, and then 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 and 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 to make sure that you’re polished, everything comes across the way you intend it, and you don’t stray into any rabbit holes along the way.

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 and then all of a sudden, your wifi disconnects or slows down, or Powerpoint glitches. Something happens, 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, as we discussed in a previous blog 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, 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 want to 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 at Optimum Productions 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.