PostMortem: Webinar Lessons for Speakers

Doing a Webinar LessonsExecuting a webinar for the first time, on your own, can be a daunting experience. But with some help from others, and a list of tips and lessons can make it a bit easier.

Executing this webinar, especially to all of you as a group, has been a challenging blast, and I recommend everyone who is serious about their speaking career give it a shot. Well, I recommend that you give webinar’g a shot, not necessarily the group webinar.

The other thing I have been working on is blog talk radio, and podcasting (sometimes I’m lazy and just want to have an impromptu talk based on some of the topics I’ve hand written without having to re-type into a formal post).  I will add the notes & lessons learned for that in another post, so stay tuned.

Last month’s webinar was actually supposed to be my Qualifying Speech, but I challnged  Victor too much with the technology (& we all know how he loves technology!), so he didn’t get to share that info with you. So I am hoping to be back there live in July to do another qualifying speech – hopefully the TEDx version of a speech I have been working on.

Here are some notes and lessons learned from this whole experience. If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to contact me!!

Everyone should do this.  Especially if you speak. At the very least, use Camtasia to record yourself to slides and put on YouTube or your website.

  • If you are interested in gotowebinar, they have a free 30 day trial. Use this link if interested: http://CitrixOnline.evyy.net/c/34150/18127/810 . Yes, it’s an affiliate link (it’s my affiliate link: bootstrapping your business, so you can follow your dream/ passion,  means having to pull in income from unlikely sources), but it’s for a 30 day FREE trial.  It is expensive after that, has some limitations, but worth the free trial shot.  Great support & resources though http://support.citrixonline.com/GoToWebinar/videos
  • Another tool I am playing with is anymeeting.com.  Seems to have cool features, offers a free version (with ads), but is currently having a 50% off sale.  I’ll be writing a post on the comparison of various tools, and should have out in a couple of weeks.
  • Camtasia (http://www.techsmith.com/camtasia.html not an affiliate link) has been great to work with so far, and while I haven’t even scraped the surface of all it can do, it offers an easy powerpoint plug in so you can click record as soon as your slides are done. Camtasia does all the work.  It offers strong editing when your skills get stronger. This tool allowed me to ‘record’ this webinar presentation and send to victor as a back up plan.  This offers you a quick easy way to record your speeches to slides and sell them, use as trainings etc. Very cool tool for a speaker. Offers a 30 day free trial – give it a shot.

 

Excellent Learning experience and confidence boost!

This was an excellent learning experience and a confidence boost, even if you do it poorly (like my first attempt). Doing this type of speaking, you are venturing into new territory and allowing yourself to see what you are capable of, and there’s something about charting a new course, taking a new path, trying a new street.

Doing a webinar or presentation recording does not dismiss you of using all the appropriate & necessary speaking skills, and as you saw/heard last night, sometimes comes across as if you are reading the slides, when you are.

Here are some tips from the experience:

  1. You must practice, practice, practice.  It is an excellent tool for coaching people / clients and practicing your speeches from a content point of you.
  2. This really causes you to fine tune your presentations and proof reading.
  3. It can be odd talking just to a computer, but if you have a mirror and talk as if you are talking to people, it’s a big help.
  4. You can’t start out perfect with this, as you witnessed on my webinar, but you have to start somewhere. I say start it!!
  5. Even if you do webinars and only 2 people show up – you can package these things to replay, and resell even, offer them as free downloads to get/give people to sign up, use to create a membership program, or have in your arsenal. I say anything that helps you practice your craft can’t be all bad, and in the long run allows you to have items to promote yourself and increase your search results. You can upload to YouTube, Linkedin, etc.
  6. Where you record, how, when, does have an effect! Obviously chose quiet surroundings, but as you will soon find out – even if it’s a quiet place in your home, the trash truck will inevitably drive by, the dogs will go on a barking spree, etc. So plan properly and accordingly.
  7. MAKE SURE TO DO A PRACTICE RUN, or two.  Victor & I did that twice, and were able to iron out some kinks.  I did not use a microphone headset, which is very recommended, but will on future ones.  It’s easier to control audio, production sound, and reduce background noises, static & echos. I have done another webinar and it made a difference using headphones (though I didn’t do a ‘group webinar’, and most likely will never do again).
  8. I know nothing about audio – I admit it. As that was experienced Wednesday. But – there are 2 sides to the voice issue: your mic and capture, and the receiving person’s device, where they are, and what they are near.
    • From your side, as I just found out, there are some things you can do to play with the internal mic settings, which I didn’t do. You can also use a more professional mic attachment.  This is highly recommended for clarity of speaking, and background noise cancelling. When you get more experience, and decide that webinars & trainings are an avenue – step up to the better equipment. But I have been on COUNTLESS webinars the last 3 months and I can tell you – you really can’t tell the difference.  More often than not, what you will notice, and what your audience will notice – is the content and presentation and if it was worth their time.  If your participants are getting extreme value from your information – they will not really care about the sound (unless of course if they cannot hear you or you keep cutting out).
    • Here’s a side note I learned about audio: echo.  You will have instances of this with people you are working with / talking to – especially if people have you on speaker.  It can be challenging &  annoying. If someone is on a phone and near a wireless, or on a wireless but near some other wireless, there will be issues.
    • If you use your computer’s internal mike, then the  internal speakers themselves will cause some echo or static.  Play & practice first, then step out to get the right additional equipment.  I just picked up my new headset and it actually does make the whole experience better.
    • Make sure to be ‘wired’ for your connection to the internet.  Wireless gets spotty and causes issues with sound and service.

     

    Extra Info:

  9. Some very cool items:
    • I had 2 polls set within my webinar, but because I was presenting to you all as a group, I didn’t launch because I didn’t want Victor to do something else. Gotowebinar allows you to do this – present polls and the results.
    • You can tell when your webinar crowd is being inattentive, and who is being inattentive. Meaning, those people who have gone into other applications (like check email, go to other sites, etc) can be seen by you as an organizer.  If you have a lot of people doing that, it gives you a clue about the topic so you can change it up a bit – great feedback for a speaker.
    • You can also have panelists on your webinar, changes roles, have someone help you administer the questions, etc.

I will put my recording up here shortly, after it’s with some of the advice you all gave me.

Again, feel free to comment or add questions below or send to me privately.  Thanks for participating Wednesday night, and thanks for all the great feedback.  Looking forward to being apart of all your webinars! Don’t forget to list them on our group calendar for extra exposure!

This has been a fun and awesome learning experience.  I highly recommend everyone in this arena give it a shot. There are cheap and free options available.  Given the 30 day free trials – I say go for it! You never know – you may find a new career or avenue or…. 😉

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me!

As always:

To your speaking success!!!

(& I miss you all)

RA

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