by By Brad Scholz | September 01, 2009

The following checklist covers the fundamental technical and practical aspects of preparing for a live (streaming) webcast. It assumes that the webcaster is working in tandem with a third party to stream the webcast to participants. This advice was compiled by Brad Scholz, creative director at MossWarner (, a sales communications firm specializing in meetings and events.

Preparing the Participants

  • Inform the participants of the agenda and objectives of the webcast.
  • Send participants all pertinent information on how to access the webcast, including date, time, URL (with a link), password or access code if needed, and any special system requirements.

  • Arrange to send participants webcast reminders a week in advance and on the day of the webcast.
  • Provide participants with any pre-event materials they might need.

  • Inform the participants of the agenda and objectives of the webcast. 

  • Provide information about any necessary software components (e.g., Java, Flash, QuickTime, Real Player, etc.) that will be required for the webcast, along with instructions for how to download them.

  • Capture contact information from participants for later follow-up.

  • Lay out the ground rules regarding Q&A, and be sure to cover both when and in what manner the questions will be asked
Preparing the site
  • Ensure the room is free of background noise (such as loud air conditioning).

  • Check that microphones are working and properly mixed so that voices are clear.

  • If you'll be streaming live video, ensure that the lighting and backdrops are set up to show the speakers well.

  • Be sure video cameras and video-capture hardware are working correctly.

  • Have backup cameras and microphones available in case of an emergency.
Preparing the Technology
  • Configure and test the audio and video settings, and the network connections, between your site and the hosting service.

  • Be sure to verify the URL, port assignments and access passwords to the media server from which you will be streaming.

  • Embed a title, description and copyright information into your feed.

  • Allow for different participant connection speeds.

  • Open up your firewall to allow the streaming content to come through.

  • Make arrangements to archive your webcast for future viewing.

Preparing the Presenters

  • Finalize the agenda and inform all speakers of such before the webcast..

  • Designate a host or moderator for the webcast.

  • Ensure that the host prepares speaker introductions and schedules the handoffs from one speaker to another.

  • Give the speakers ample opportunity to rehearse their material.

  • Advise the speakers to wear camera-friendly clothing and accessories.
  • Time a dry run to estimate the duration of your webcast, including time allowed for Q&A.
  • Have backup scripts, presentations and notes available in case of technology failures (video and audio) or logistical snafus (presenters are delayed or unavailable).