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How to Structure a Webinar Outline: 9 Steps & Bonus Template!

Improve your webinars with a detailed webinar outline. We’ll show you how to structure a webinar outline in 9 simple steps.
Kendall Breitman
Social Media & Community Expert
Last Updated:
April 30, 2024
10
min
Reviewed by
Ortal Hadad

Thorough planning of your webinar is essential.

Creating a watertight outline that you can stick to ensures that you get all your content in. It’ll help you make sure audience engaged that your webinar continues to draw interest as evergreen content.

In this article, you’ll find the ultimate guide for how to create, write and structure the perfect webinar outline.

Ready? Let’s go!

Why should you create a webinar outline?

Preparing a webinar outline can feel like a superfluous task that adds to your workload. But there are a few reasons you should definitely make this part of your standard workflow:

Keep the pace

Creating a webinar outline that breaks down the topics you want to cover and in what order will help you to keep the pace on the day. With your outline, you’ll have an order of play that makes sure you don’t miss any key points and, hopefully, stick to time.

Audience experience

Your webinar outline isn’t just a crib sheet for the actual webinar itself. It gives your audience a good idea of what to expect, the progression and structure of the webinar, and what they will walk away with. Basically, your webinar outline should effectively set expectations while still building excitement about your content.

Guide the speaker (and audience)

The outline isn’t just for you. If you’ve got guest speakers or a different host, your webinar outline will act as an invaluable guide and prompt when they’re broadcasting.

How to create a webinar outline: 9 Easy steps

Here’s a guide to putting together a watertight webinar outline with a step-by-step walkthrough:

Step 1: Choose a topic

The first thing you need to do when planning your webinar outline is to choose a topic.

Your chosen topic needs to capture the attention of your target audience.

A good way to think about this is to think about specific pain points that your audience may experience. Alternatively, think about something that they will be seeking to learn about.

When choosing a topic:

  • Ask your audience what they want to learn about
  • Reflect on your own expertise and the value that you can offer
  • Look at similar platforms and competitors of yours and what themes they have been covering
  • Look at current affairs to identify a relevant or “trending” topic

Once you've answered a few of these questions, you can get brainstorming on a topic. Choose the one you feel you're qualified to answer, but also most meets your audience needs.

You can check out our webinar page for some topic examples around podcasting and video creation.

Riverside topic examples for a webinar outline

Step 2: Identify Key Topics

Once you’ve nailed down your topic, you’ll need to break it down into key themes or subtopics. These will be a good start for figuring out how to segment or structure your webinar.

Remember to approach your topic from the perspective of a complete beginner. It can be easy to skip over the fundamentals when you're an expert.

Step 3: Do Your Research

You will need to research each sub-topic you identified thoroughly.

Once you’ve got a good idea of all the information you want to share, you’ll need to add it in under each sub-heading. You want to be focused on cutting out irrelevant or superfluous details to keep your webinar informative, concise, and engaging.

Your outline shouldn’t contain a word-by-word script, but rather quick bullet points that remind you what information to cover in each section.

Step 4: Introduction

Definitely spend some time crafting an engaging introduction that hooks your audience. You should offer enough of a sneak peek to pique their interest without overwhelming them with information.

It’s good to include a quick breakdown of the overall webinar structure too. This gives them a clear idea of what to expect. It’s also valuable to point to key takeaways or outcomes that the audience will walk away with.

Step 5: Mention the ‘why’

Carve out a moment to emphasize the ‘why’ of your webinar.

Explain why the information you’re sharing with your audience is useful or relevant to them. This underlines the value that you’re offering your attendees meaning they’re more likely to stick around till the end.

Step 6: Subtopics

You then want to go through each subtopic and section. Your outline should include key topic bullet points. If you’re selling a specific product or service through your webinar, make sure to feed in references to it throughout.

Step 7: Audience involvement

At the end of your content topics, keep some time aside for an intentional segment of audience participation. This could take a few different formats such as Q&A or open discussion.

Though you can’t plan for this, you might want to note down a few logistical notes in your outline. For example:

  • How are you going to gather audience questions?
  • How will you facilitate and mediate the discussion?
Inviting your audience to call in live on Riverside

Step 8: Summary & recap

After the audience participation segment, recap everything you discussed in your webinar. It’s worth sharing key takeaways and summarizing the main points.

Step 9: CTA

Finally, you should round off your webinar with a call to action. Make it easy for audience members to navigate to your website or any products you’ve promoted during the session.

You want to remind them of any core information about your product, service or offering. Beyond where to find it, mention pricing or special offers as well.

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Bonus: Webinar outline template to follow

Depending on what type of webinar you’re hosting, your outline will vary. Here’s a broad sweep outline template with prompts that you can tailor to meet your needs. You can also find a range of templates in our article all about webinar formats.

Introduction & Kickoff

  • Setting expectations: format, length, overview of webinar content.
  • Introducing yourself (or the host) and your background.
  • Answering any initial queries.

Value proposition

  • Explaining the ‘why’: make the value you’re offering through this webinar crystal clear.
  • Walk through the key takeaways and action points that audience will walk away with.
  • If you are selling a product or service, make a brief introduction to it here.

Topic introduction

The ‘core’ of your webinar – the actual content. You should break this down into easily digestible sub-topics. Make sure to keep things concise, easy-to-follow, and think about a logical flow of information.

  • Subtopic 1
  • Subtopic 2
  • Subtopic 3

Product  or Service Walkthrough or Demo

If you’re selling a specific product or service, it’s worth taking a moment to explain it thoroughly. You should point out all the pros of using this service, demonstrate how it works, and relate it back to the information you shared with your audience.

Summary & key takeaways

To conclude, you need to summarize what you’ve covered. Break down the most important information into key takeaways.

Q&A

Collect questions from your audience and answer them.

CTA & conclusion

Circle back to your summary point out all relevant links and offers that your audience should remember.

7 Dos and don'ts when planning your webinar outline

There’s no perfect formula when it comes to putting a webinar outline together. But here are a few dos and don’ts to keep in mind:

Do keep it concise

You don’t want to overload your audience with information. You need to distill your knowledge into bite-sized pieces of content that are easy to follow in a single webinar session. Sometimes, less is more.

Do use data & evidence

Gathering data, stats, and social proof testimonials to back up what you’re saying is always worthwhile. By including data-backed evidence, you instantly level up your value proposition.

Do share your personal story and journey

Don’t be scared to add a personal touch to your webinar. Your audience doesn't want a totally clinical and transactional experience. Adding references to your personal journey or experiences is a great way to connect with your audience.

Do consider your visuals

Your outline isn’t just a guide for what you’re going to be saying. You need to consider how your speech will align with any visuals that you plan on using.

You don’t want to duplicate information that you’re presenting on a slideshow for example. So, while you’re creating your outline, you need to keep all the components of your webinar in mind.

Don’t overdo the selling

If you’re using your webinar to explicitly sell a product or service, you need to tread the line carefully. You don’t want to push the sell so hard that it becomes the overarching focus or feels ingenuine.

Carefully explaining the value proposition as a natural part of your wider webinar will be a far more effective strategy overall.  

Don’t forget who you’re talking to

Keep your audience in mind while creating your outline. Try not to lose track of who you’re speaking to because this is how you wind up with a webinar that doesn’t appeal to your ideal audience. Think about what your attendees want to know, hear about and what kind of tone you should be striking to keep their interest.

Don’t overcomplicate

Finally, don’t overcomplicate your webinar outline. It’s an easy trap to fall into, but you want to keep things simple and straightforward — especially so that it’s easy for you to follow on the day.

FAQs on Webinar Outline

What is the basic outline of a webinar?

A webinar has four main parts:

  • Introduction
  • Main body
  • Audience Q&A
  • Summary & CTA

And this is how your outline should be structured. Filling each of these sections out with a subheading and bullet points is a surefire way to create a watertight webinar outline.

How do you structure a webinar?

Every type of webinar will have a slightly different structure. However, generally speaking we’d recommend following the structure we outlined above: introduction, main body (with subtopics), audience Q&A, summary, and CTA.

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