Hosting live webinars with pre-recorded presentation

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Zoom Webinars allows you to share a previously recorded session as a video file within a live session with live chat and Q&A. Zoom supports this through its built-in video player. Sharing your video with the built-in player improves the quality of the shared video. The webinar host simply needs to have a locally stored MOV or MP4 file of the previously hosted meeting or webinar session and share the video file within the webinar.

Why show a pre-recorded presentation within a live webinar?

  • I have the same presentation to deliver to different audiences but want to encourage interactive chat and Q&A with each audience
  • My presenters are only available for one time slot but I want to give the same presentation to different audiences in their timezone 

This article covers:

Prerequisites hosting live webinars with pre-recorded presentation

  • Zoom Webinars add-on
  • Meet the video playback prerequisites
    • Zoom desktop client
      • Windows: version 5.4.3 or higher
      • macOS: version 5.4.3 or higher
    • At least 1.5Mbps (up/down) full screen HD.
      Note: Wired internet connection strongly recommended.
    • A MOV or MP4 video file.

Sharing and playing a video

  1. Start your scheduled webinar.
    Note: Please be sure to have the webinar scheduled with Enable Practice Session enabled so that you have time to set up before attendees are able to enter.
  2. Make sure you (the host), co-hosts, and panelists, who join to answer live Q&A at the end, are muted and their video is off.
  3. Click Share Screen  in the webinar controls.
  4. Switch to the Advanced tab, and then select Video  .
  5. Navigate to and select the video presentation you wish to share, then click Open.
  6. The video will now open within Zoom and be visible to all.
  7. (Optional) Disable the Optimize Video if your webinar includes a lot of text-heavy presentation slides as this feature will make text appear fuzzy.

    Note: When using this feature, Optimize for video clip is automatically enabled, which prioritizes framerate and is generally recommended for sharing videos with images, not text.

  8. Play the video until you get to the point you would start the presentation, then pause the video.
  9. Click Start Webinar and allow a few minutes for attendees to join.
  10. Unpause the video. 
  11. Panelists can now respond to chat and Q&A during the video presentation.
  12. Click Stop Share just before the video is done playing.
  13. Panelists can unmute themselves and turn their videos on to facilitate final Q&A.

Helpful tips

  • While sharing the video, you will have some common playback controls, which are not visible to anyone besides the person sharing.
  • Hosts can still use chat and Q&A during a live webinar that shares a pre-recorded video presentation.
  • We recommend not using a live poll during the first webinar session you plan to record and playback later in another session. This is because the poll will be included in the recorded webinar session and will not work for the live audience when it is played back as a video in a subsequent webinar and may cause confusion. 

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