In the last year I’ve presented dozens of webinars both in Romanian and English and I plan to increase what I’m doing in this area. The webinars were about #enterpreneurship, #startups and #onlinemarketing and especially #socialmediamarketing. Just recently, Harvard Business Review published an article about “Making the Most of Webinars” reconfirming how serious is this method of sharing knowledge worldwide.
“Everyone from for-profit companies like LinkedIn and Procter and Gamble to non-profits like the Red Cross and City Year to professional associations like the American Medical Association and the American Bar Association to publishers like HBR run webinars. These sessions are designed to do everything from teach particular skills or tools to discuss trends in different sectors. And they are aimed at all sorts of audiences, from clients to colleagues.” The article focuses on the fact that the webinars overall can be done much better as they are done today and I think that they question the added value many webinars have for the audience.
The whole article can be found here and the takeaways below:
#Professional associations and others promoting webinars should keep these rules of thumbs in mind when developing webinar content:
#Choose topics carefully. Consult members in the process of selecting topics. Many organizations have their communities vote on topics for possible webinars. In developing this list of possibilities, concentrate on subjects that can be taught through short presentations, not subjects that require long explanations or substantial exchange.
#Focus on training, not analysis. As evidenced by CCIP’s research, webinars seem to work less well when they deal with topics around which there is no consensus, or that require enormous customization to be relevant to all audience members. On the other hand, webinars can be valuable when they focus on training or diffusing objective information on a discrete topic of shared concern and consequence.
#Create opportunities for dialogue. Technology now allows for webinar viewers to submit questions in real time, and skilled moderators can integrate these questions or themes into the discussion. In addition, professional associations can organize smaller regional or interest-based discussion groups to continue discussion after the webinar presenters sign off.
#Allow participants to grow their networks. If presenters and participants circulate their contact information ahead of time or during the course of the webinar, everyone can get more out of the webinar. They can continue the discussion afterward, and presenters and participants can make connections that will be useful in the future, especially on topics that do not lend themselves to webinars.
#Provide incentives for participants to demonstrate their mastery. In cases in which a webinar counts toward professional development requirements, there may be some measure of mastery offered at the end — a short quiz, for example. But this system can be useful in other cases, too. If participants can accumulate points or professional development dollars or achieve recognition based on their performance, they will listen more closely. Continue reading “How To Make the Most of Webinars”