So You Are Presenting A Schools Webinar with Channel Talent ..... Here Is A Guide

Who Takes Part & What Is An Online Schools Event Like?

Events are predominantly for sixth form students although we also run them for younger year groups. A particular year group or key stage is normally specified to schools once the session and its target audience have been discussed with the university. At each school, students will mostly take part as a group gathered around a pc or a whiteboard, using a webcam and microphone to interact.

The interactive nature of the webinar is an important element and so, for a session delivered by a single university, we will usually involve up to 5 schools at a time. Beyond that number the experience can become devalued and risks becoming a one-way delivery, much like watching YouTube or TV. The number of schools increases for the sessions that involve more than one university. (More details on the right4me and insight4me formats can be found below).

At each school audiences typically range from 2 to 30 students depending upon the format and content of the session, its objectives, and the size of schools involved. The avaerage number of students per school is 11.

Single university sessions vary from straight lectures to lab demonstrations or fully interactive tutorials/workshops. Typically these sessions run for no more than an hour.

As A University Speaker, What Will I See And Hear?

You will be able to see and hear each of the participating schools. Each school will also be able to see and hear you and the other schools. The technology is voice activated and so you will see the school talking, or school that spoke last, on the largest portion of your screen and smaller images of the other schools. You can usually adjust the view that you have and we can run through this directly prior to the session or during a familiarisation session in advance of the actual date of the event.

What Technology Is Required?

The IT connection to Channel Talent events is made through Bluejeans. Having tried a number of different platforms we feel that Bluejeans provides the reliability, flexibility and ease of use that is required for this type of event. As a speaker, your access to Bluejeans can vary depending upon the university you are representing. For example, you may connect from your own laptop (pc or mac), from a support laptop, or from a videoconferencing room but all options are effective. The person coordinating at your university will be able to advise.

If this is the first time you have taken part and the equipment hasn't been tested, we would always look to run a brief test with you to check that the connection/audio/video is of sufficient quality to positively represent you, your subject matter, and the university.

In addition to a live test in which we connect in too, you can check the connection to Bluejeans prior to this test by using this link to a test room that allows you to talk to a parrot (!) and so should indicate that you are able to make the connection:

There are 2 options with Bluejeans, connecting using the Browser option and connecting using the app. We recommend the app to presenters as it will give you more control over what you are able to see during the event.

Hints & Tips

The formats of the single university sessions are diverse and so we do not attempt to prescribe how they should be run. Through experience, however, we have learnt about what works well and what doesn’t. Many of these are also relevant if you are presenting with other unis in a right4me or insight4me event so please have a look through and then review specific details about the multi university sessions at the bottom of this page.

Weshould also stress that Channel Talent will be connected throughout the sessions and supporting and facilitating where it is needed without breaking up the flow of your event.


Interaction is a really important element of these sessions, differentiating the experience from recorded resources online. This is where the real value is generally added with trespect to inspiring students around the subject and the university. Here are some thoughts about how to manage interaction during the session:

1. It works well to engage students with a question or an activity at the beginning of the session, if only to reassure you that there is life out there!

2. Activities may be interspersed throughout the session and schools can be given an appropriate amount of time to discuss an issue in their groups and then to feed back and discuss their ideas.

3. If the session is mostly discussion based then you will need to be disciplined in chairing the discussion and ensuring schools know when to open and close their microphones (see below). Addressing a question to all schools will either result in silence or a cacophony as schools talk at once. Channel Talent will be connected too and can facilitate/help with this as required.

4. If the session is more lecture based then breaking this up in some way is advisable as students may get to the Q&A at the end and be unable to switch out of a listening mode.

5. For Q&A at the end, it is also often a good idea to give students a couple of minutes, time permitting, to consider questions rather than putting them on the spot. Being open to questions about the subject matter, studying at university and your own career/education is helpful.

6. If students are not forthcoming with questions, it is often a good idea to ask them questions instead.


When more than one school is taking part, we ask the schools to mute their microphones during the session to maintain the integrity of the sound.

1. With mics muted, you need to be specific as to which school you are addressing and looking for interaction/ideas/questions from. The school will then open their mic up to communicate and close it when they are finished.

2. If you have asked students to discuss ideas in their groups, it is advisable to also turn off your mic. This allows you to talk without disturbing them.

Sharing Slides & Video

It is straightforward to share your PowerPoint or other applications with the schools over the webinar. While schools can see both you and your slides and can control the size of the slides they see relative to the size of the video of you, we normally advise presenters to stop sharing the PowerPoint when you are not discussing the slide/s. You can then reshare when you are again referring to the presentation. We can run through this when we test beforehand or, if you have support at your end, they will normally be familiar with use of the remote for this or the controls on the laptop.

Sharing videos during a single university session is possible. Please advise Channel Talent as far in advance as possible and we will work out the best way of doing this so that the quality received by the schools is high enough. For sessions where multiple universities are presenting we recommend avoiding the sharing of video clips because the logistics of the sessions are generally more complex and the desired quality may not be achieved for all participants. Animations generally work well and do not need to be planned in advance.

There is also a whiteboard and annotation option available when presenting although we would always advise running through this as part of a familiarisation session before the day of the event. However, as a general rule, keeping things simple will help you to focus on the talk and the interaction.


As mentioned above, subject to your available time and need we can arrange a time for you to familiarise yourself with the setup and to discuss the session. This typically takes about 20 minutes and speakers have said how much it helped them to mentally prepare for the session and to decide how to approach it. Familiarisation usually doubles as a test of your equipment and connection.

Multi University Events: insight4me

insight4me is a series of subject specific webinars for current Year 12/Year 13 students. The sessions support students’ current studies by giving an insight into particular curriculum areas whilst affording students the opportunity to talk to different universities and make informed comparisons about how a particular subject is taught/studied.

Within an overall session theme, the universities have the freedom to choose their own topic, a topic that broadly links to the A Level curriculum, and use the time to convey the key points of the discussion/debate for the sixth form students. It is important not to get hung up on teaching the A Level as most schools will see this as an opportunity for extended 'reading' and to hear from an expert in the field.

Through the discussion, the universities are encouraged to provide an insight into the teaching and learning experience at university of this topic and, more generally, the broader subject area (e.g. History, Business, English, etc.) It is hoped that students will gain an insight into how these subjects continue beyond the A-level curriculum and whether such study is right for them.

By hearing from more than one university, students will also appreciate how the further study of the subject can vary between institutions, contributing to the depth of their HE research and assisting informed decision making.

insight4me - Webinar Format

The details below are based on 2 universities presenting. There are instances where we will run with 3 universities and the timings will be adjusted accordingly. With 2 universities, there will be 2 groups of schools/colleges connected into 2 different virtual rooms. As a presenter, you will connect in to the first room using the link provided and will have 27 minutes to engage with that group of schools. We realise that 27 minutes is quite specific but this means that it works out as an hour session. The 27 minutes is your time to manage in a way that feels appropriate to you and in line with what you want to get across to the schools. Speakers tend to distil the key arguments/issues whilst intertwining what teaching and learning look like at the university, including strengths/specialisms.

In previous sessions, speakers have most commonly talked for 18-20 minutes and then have gone across to the schools for questions. Most universities use slides although some choose to talk more informally. Both approaches work well.

The question and answer element involves inviting questions from schools, naming them so they know to open up their microphones. You will see and hear the schools. The other schools in the room (3-6 schools) will hear and see the school asking the questions and will hear your response. You will have a list of schools and can cycle around until we indicate that the time is up. Depending upon how forthcoming the schools are, sometimes it can work well to raise questions during the talk and then ask students those questions either then or at the end of the talk so that you are not always relying on them to come up with questions themselves.

When we indicate that time is up in the first virtual room, you then join the next virtual room with the link provided and start again, spending another 27 minutes with this new group of schools. At the same time, the other university will move to the virtual room you have just vacated. By the end of the session you will have both spoken to all the schools.

In terms of the audiences it is best to prepare for a variety of students. The vast majority will be studying the subject and will be using the session to support their current studies. The time of year will determine the mix of Year 12s and Year 13s. There will be mostly A level students but also, possibly, some BTEC students. There is usually a diverse geographical range with the possibility of one or two international schools. Furthermore, some students will know they want to go on to study the subject at university but don't necessarily know where and some may have a potential interest but are uncertain and so this is a great opportunity to inspire students towards a degree at the university. We are happy to send further details to schools that you are unable to share in the limited time allowed. This can be before or after the event in digital format.

Multi University Events: right4me

right4me is very similar in format to insight4me. Instead of the curriculum focus, however, this format solely introduces degree courses in a particular subject area to current Year 12 and 13 students. These students are likely to have an idea about what degree course they are interested in but would like to talk to different universities in order to make informed comparisons.  right4me is also more likely to involve 3 universities presenting rather than two.

right4me - Webinar Format

Normally, there will be three groups of schools/colleges connected into 3 different virtual rooms. You will connect in to the first room using the link provided and will have 17 minutes to talk to that group of schools. Times will be adjusted accordingly if the session involves 2 rather than 3 universities and this will be communicated well in advance. As with insight4me (above), the time is yours to manage. In practice, the speaker often talks for 10-12 minutes about 'Why choose the subject at degree level?' and what differentiates the student experience at your university (learning/teaching/extra curricular/living/careers). Some universities will include undergraduates which also works well.

We will indicate when time is up in each of the virtual rooms and you will then use the next link provided to join your next room until you have presented 3 times and spoken to all the schools.

The details about moving between the virtual rooms, interacting with the schools, the expected audience and sharing course details in digital format are broadly similar to insight4me (See above).