I wonder what a television studio was like in the beginning, when even the commercials were live. A microphone that went dead meant that viewers were suddenly watching a broadcast with no sound. Imagine the panic.

I imagine those mishaps weren't funny at the time. Or maybe they were. But with or without the funny goofs, live TV was compelling entertainment, and it quickly expanded, and ultimately, dominated the world of entertainment.

Until the Web came along.

Today's Web equivalent of early live TV is probably the webinar, an online seminar with a live audience that can also "change the channel" if things go wrong.

But they likely wouldn't change the channel. Here's why: Live webinars are compelling, just like live TV. Both are synchronous events in an asynchronous world of email, voicemail, and even social media.

Audiences understand that things can go wrong. In fact, that's part of the attraction to live presentations. They empathize with the presenter, imagining the pressure of live performance.

So a webinar goof doesn't have to be a disaster. Does that make it OK to run a sloppy webinar? No. Careful planning demonstrates respect for your audience members, respect for their time, and respect for the needs that brought them to you. You owe them careful planning.

Here are 47 tips for hosting a successful webinar that'll wow your audience.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Agnieszka Wilinska is brand manager at ClickMeeting, a provider of Web-conferencing software and services.