At assist International Human Resources, we have been delivering webinars for the last 8 years. We are convinced that the future for international training and coaching is blended. At the same time, webinars, which are one great element of blended learning, are getting a bad reputation which is a great shame. Everybody is offering them these days, not always with the right amount of care ad the right level of interaction. Consequently, learners are becoming sceptical about webinars because they are experiencing them, in many cases as being dry. Content heavy, monotonous monologues like a 1950’s university lecture, with poor audio and video support. webinars can be great, interactive learning experiences if you, as the trainer appreciate the effort needed for preparation and delivery. They are ideal, for example, in advance of face to face training as they enable much more time for hands on learning and transfer in the classroom situation.
So, I’ve put together 10 ways webinars can be really exciting, motivating interesting exchanges with high impact for the trainer and for the learner.
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- Firstly Preparation is everything. Do a couple of dry runs with the technical equipment and conference software to make sure you know how it works
- Point 2. Open the online meeting room well in advance to allow participants to log in, and ensure the technology works for them in plenty of time before you start.
- Thirdly If you are not used to the technology, Have a colleague at hand who knows how to work it; mishaps occur relatively frequently, are embarrassing, expensive, and avoidable if your helping hand knows what to do
- Fourthly, Send out documentation in advance and ask participants in the invitation to print it out. In case of technical issues, participants can dial in on the phone line and follow without the screen using the printout
- Point Five Do everything you can to create interaction. Ask questions to your listeners and stop regularly for questions for understanding. Familiarise yourself and use useful features such as screen sharing, whiteboard, chat, even breakout rooms
- By the way, it makes a better impression all round if you, as the trainer or moderator, stand up during the webinar– it’s more energising and motivating for those watching and listening. Nothing makes a webinar participant distract more and switch to checking emails than a webinar trainer who is slumped in their office chair with low non-verbal and verbal energy
- Seven is A word about webcams, Use a webcam, people want to see you, your non-verbal impact is a huge help. Check the height and position of your webcam. People don’t want to look up your nose. Request in the invitation that your participants also switch their webcams on. That increases the connection and support interaction. The brain, as they say, is a relationship organ! It is difficult to connect with learners if you can’t see them. One weird but wonderful tip is this: stick photos of smiling business people behind your webcam and speak to them.. You’ll feel like you’re speaking to a live audience and the effect will be more personal connection, through the webcam to your learners. Sounds crazy. It works.
- Idea 8. Good quality audio is essential .Use headsets or external microphones ratherthan internal laptop speakers and mikes as they often create feedback issues and low quality
- Number 9. Ensure good bandwidth to ensure audio quality. This is best done with a Lan cable rather than WiFi. If bandwidth is insufficient, switch off the webcam and/or dial in via the phone line which Good webinar solutions will offer
- If you choose to record the web meeting, for legal data protection reasons and for cordiality, make sure you should ensure you should obtain all participants’ permission, ideally in advance of the meeting.
In summary, webinars can be great, interactive learning experiences if you, as the trainer appreciate the effort needed for preparation and delivery.