PLA Webinar Guidelines and Requirements

What you need to know before proposing or presenting a webinar for PLA…

The Basics

  1. PLA webinars are typically 1 hour long; 40-45 minutes of actual presentation time and allowing for 10 or so minutes of Q&A. Given this time restriction, we recommend no more than three panelists per webinar.

  2. At least 5 weeks prior to the live webinar, you’ll need to submit a webinar information form with the following information (unless you've previously submitted it via a webinar proposal form):

    • Webinar title;
    • Description (limit 250 words);
    • Learning outcomes (what participants will know after the webinar, not what they’ll do or topics to be addressed during the webinar);
    • Brief bio for each panelist (limit 150 words each); and
    • Photo of each panelist (at least 150 pixels square; JPG or PNG only).
  3. Prior to the live webinar, panelists are expected to promote their webinar via their various communication channels (social media, online communities, e-mail lists, etc.).

  4. On the day of the live webinar, all panelists will need to join the webinar at least 30 minutes (but no more than 45 minutes) prior to the start time.

  5. In addition to the live webinar, all panelists must also participate in a 45-60 minute orientation session at least one week prior to the live webinar.

Technical Information

  1. PLA webinars are presented using the WebEx Event Center platform. Please review the technical requirements for webinar panelists.

  2. Panelist audio is handled via telephone, so you must be able to participate from a quiet location with both a long-distance enabled telephone and an Internet-connected computer.

  3. You should plan to participate in the orientation session from the same location and using the same equipment you'll use for the live webinar. That way, any technical issues we discover and resolve during the orientation will most likely remain fixed for the live webinar.

Your Presentation

  1. It's best if we can use your actual slideshow during the orientation, even if it’s still in draft at that time.

  2. PowerPoint is strongly recommended for your slides, as other formats can cause problems when uploaded into our webinar platform.

  3. Transitions, fly-in text, and animations do not always work in our webinar platform and should be avoided.

  4. We strongly recommend using standard fonts to avoid display issues caused by missing fonts on our systems. If you wish to use non-standard fonts, then ask us about a possible workaround to avoid display issues.

  5. We encourage you to consider including interactive elements in your presentation to keep the online audience engaged. One of the simplest ways to engage attendees is to ask them to share their experiences/ideas or ask questions for them to “raise their hand” in response or type their answers in the chat window—and then you verbally acknowledge or summarize the responses for the audience. Previous PLA webinar presenters have had great success with this method of interaction, and it’s easy for attendees because most are already familiar with using a chat window. Although we can also do formal yes/no or multiple choice type polls, our webinar platform’s handling of them is not always user-friendly and their use should be discussed wtih PLA in advance of your orientation session.

  6. Because panelist audio is handled via telephone, video embedded in slides or via screen-sharing will play without audio.