Why most webinars “suck”?…and why ours don’t.
I read a blog article on Inside Higher Ed today where the author asks why “webinars ALWAYS suck?“. The brief article is worth the read and makes me chuckle because I know exactly what he’s talking about. I’ve watched many over the last couple years and tend to agree with his assessment…except… that many (most?) of our SOG webinars don’t! Our evaluation data suggest our clients are very positive about our webinars…or are being less than truthful. What do we do that make ours different?
A blog commenter and webinar producer provides 5 tips for successful webinars . We regularly implement the practices among others not on his list that help us buck the trend.
- Write for the medium (webinars are not f2f presentations and need more interaction!)
- Know your platform and its capabilities/limitations (we do–Adobe Connect Pro)
- Test, test, test (we provide links for clients to test their system, we provide instructions, helpdesk support, and test our own equipment before each event–and provide backups in the event of failure.)
- Practice, practice, practice (we provide orientations, review slides, and conduct dry-runs/rehearsals)
- Running the actual event (we go well-beyond the suggestions here)
- Arrive early
- Webinar Environment Review
- Have a wingman (or woman)
- Take notes during the webinar
- Save the chat.
- Extend the Learning. Post the recording, notes, handouts
Our current webinar development and delivery process is designed to allow these practices to happen, and we indeed have successful events to the degree we follow these practices…and our clients come prepared and willing to be engaged and learn.
Do we still encounter problems? Unfortunately, yes.
Is there room for improvement? Absolutely (and we want to hear about it–preferably directly from you)
It is more work to keep an online audience engaged and attentive, but our work to increase interaction with our audience pays off, and in my view even compensates for the occasional technical challenges we and/or our clients encounter in this online medium.
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