Encounter Live Lesson and webinar speaker FAQs

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Whether you are participating in one of our live lessons or webinars you may have some questions about how to get involved and make the most of the outreach experience. Here are some frequently asked questions.

1. What is it?

Encounter Live Lessons and Webinars are a free and unique way for schools to participate in interviews with experts. These aim to promote awareness surrounding societally pertinent issues with real experts while linking back to the curriculum.

2. Why should I do this?

Live lessons and Webinars are a great way to promote your organisation, profession, or personal work with students on mass. Each event attracts multiple schools from across the UK and beyond. Many event expert speakers like that Encounter webinars allow them to reach hundreds of individuals in a 30-45 minute window.

3. What do I need to submit in advance?

We want the experience to be mutually beneficial to all parties. In order to increase both student insight and the promotion of the expert speaker and their work we ask that you provide some key information in advance. This can be provided to your Encounter liaison.

  • Name
  • Job title
  • Organisation
  • Website (personal or organisation)
  • Social media handles
  • Photos (single portrait photo and where possible an action photo of you at work in the lab or field)
  • Short bio
  • Media release form
4. Tips for contributing to a live lesson or webinar content.
Live lesson:

The expert speaker is pivotal in creating a successful live lesson for students and teachers. We welcome expert speakers’ contributions in co-creating the live lesson. In the past successful expert speakers have added value to student experience by

  • Demonstrating their research live
  • Creating models which illustrate what they are trying to explain

To ensure webinar consistency the Encounter team will create a structured manuscript designed to balance several aspects

  • The topic advertised
  • The age of the student audience and their prior knowledge
  • Curriculum links
  • The expert speakers’ research and speciality

However, we welcome expert speakers’ contributions in co-creating the webinar. In the past successful expert speakers have added great value to student experience by

  • Demonstrating their research live
  • Creating models which illustrate what they are trying to explain
  • Sharing web links to images and videos which illustrate their research or explanations
5. Tips for presenting during a live lesson or webinar

Live lessons and webinars audio quality are dependent on both the device capturing the sound and the quality of the internet connection. To ensure that audio is optimal we ask that expert speakers talk louder and much slower than they normally would , emphasising key words.

Eye contact

When delivering a live lesson or webinar in front of a single camera it can be easy to forget that hundreds of people are watching. We ask that all expert speakers try to look forwards at all times directing conversation towards the camera.


We recommend that the expert speaker positions their face in the centre of the screen allowing space above, below and to both sides. This allows the camera to capture your hand gestures in shot.

6. How do I start a webinar?

During a live lesson the expert will be given direction on the day by the field team. However, if an expert speaker is participating in a webinar, they will not have opportunity to meet the presenter and moderator. Here is a step-by-step guide on how an expert speaker can start a webinar:

  1. An expert speaker will receive a Webinar manuscript that includes: the webinar details, a format guide, a list of the questions from the presenter and students, recommended answers that take account of the audience age and curriculum links.
  2. For webinars we use a third-party host, Zoom. For the expert speaker to be able to join the Zoom webinar they will need to join using the webinar link. This will be provided on the manuscript.
  3. An expert speaker must consider an appropriate location for their webinar. Ideally, we would like the setting to reflect the research the expert performs, whether that is in the lab or field. Most importantly, the location chosen should have minimal background noise and good lighting.
  4. On the day of the event the expert speaker joins the webinar using the unique webinar link in the manuscript. This link can also be accessed by pressing the 'Zoom webinar' button on the event page on the Encounter website. We ask that expert speakers join the webinar 15 minutes before the event is due to commence so that the presenter and moderator can see they have joined successfully.
  5. On joining we ask that the expert speaker has their camera and audio off. The moderator will turn these on when the webinar begins. Please note that the moderator will control these functions throughout the webinar.
  6. If the expert speaker wants to discuss further details with the presenter and moderator before the webinar begins, this can be done on Zoom through the chat function. Select the chat icon. Ensure that it is set to Panellists only and not panellists and attendees. This will allow for a private conversation between the expert speaker, presenter, and moderator.
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