Another way to start late (and get by with it)…and one that doesn’t work

Last year’s research into online presentation best practices shows that people hate it when you start a webinar late.

To be fair, sometimes crap happens.  And to be doubly fair, I acknowledge that two minutes late doesn’t seem like much when you’re in person.

And a confession:  when you’re online and your early arrivers are looking at their computer clock and start typing “hey, is this thing starting!?” and “hey, how unprofessional to start late!” into the questions panel at one minute past my gut reaction isn’t full of love and joy.

But, here’s another way to start late and get by with it.

—-> Put it on your opening slide.

Less perfect is a phrase like “We will be at approximately 11 am.”  But you’re off the hook.

I prefer being specific with “We will begin at exactly 11:03 am.”  But then you better do it.

Like I said in a previous post about one way to do this, since a good chunk of your audience is logging in a few minutes late anyway, this gives you a chance to get more of them into the ‘room’ and more of them will hear the opening welcome/instructions.

And while we’re at it, here’s one thing I’ve tried that didn’t work.

While the Sr. Dir. of Marketing at Corvent (as a co-founder I had liberty to try new things), I tried actually advertising our internal webinars with start times like “11:03 am.”


Nobody noticed, remembered what they saw or read their confirmation emails or all of the above.  #Fail.

Start late without pissing anybody off by stating it clearly on the slide attendees see when they join your event.

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