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I’ve been attending a lot of webinars recently.  As we all know, virtual events are quite common vs. in-person seminars these days.  Sometimes webinars are very educational; sometimes they’re more of a sales pitch; but when delivered correctly, they can be a good use of our time, true?

Ahh, when delivered correctly – that’s the key, yes?  Permit me to point out a few faux pas (plural) I’ve observed recently with the intent of helping my audience avoid losing your audience in your upcoming webinars, OK?

The first comes as no surprise.  Why do presenters punish the prompt by waiting for the tardy?  I know – audiences frequently arrive late.  I wonder if they arrive late because they believe the presenters will start late.  The timing of the starting time should not be such a challenge, should it?

I just heard the sad story of the comic who lost his timing.  He stepped on his own lines, tried to talk over the laughs, and lost his ability to build a strong close.  He got fired from one gig after another until he got so depressed, he decided to end it all.  He went down to the railroad tracks and threw himself behind a train. 

The Jokesmith

Well, once our webinars (finally) get started, why is it that the presenters often show their lack of knowledge in using their own web-meeting systems?  We have all suffered through a presenter stumbling, fumbling and bumbling trying to get their PowerPoint slides to advance, true?  And I thought the Keystone Cops form of entertainment went out with silent films.

Thankfully, these presenters are merely using web-presentation systems and not performing brain surgery.  But would it be too much to ask that they practice their presentations first?

At anything you choose to do, you’ll be as good as the practice, drill, and rehearsal you go through before you actually perform the action. 

Tom Hopkins

One webinar I attended was titled, “Making the most from referrals”.  The subject matter experts consumed the first 30 minutes of their 60 minute web-meeting telling everyone that making the most of referrals is a good idea.  Yep – that was what the title stated; that was why we were all there.  But did we really have to wait through 30 minutes of obvious stuff before they got to the good stuff?

Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving us wordy evidence of the fact. 

Elliot

To be fair, I did attend a webinar by Deloitte where the subject matter experts walked us all through “how” to help clients establish and maintain “Key Performance Metrics” for managing their companies.  Their explanations and examples were stellar – believe it or not – almost too good.

It can be a fine line at times, but the presenters did an excellent, tag-team presentation that was very thorough; addressing a complex subject; and stopped just short of confusing everyone.  A natural ability, I must admit, that I do not possess:

Only someone who understands something absolutely can explain it so no one else can understand it at all. 

Unknown Sage

Reinforcing my hope, I watched the first half of a recorded webinar today on the importance of business acumen in the sales profession.  Other than starting late (and recording their tardiness for posterity) and practicing their web-tool on the audience, the presenters’ content looks like it will be excellent.

When I finish watching their presentation, I’ll let you know – but please wait – we’ll get started shortly.

GAP

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6 Comments


  1. Lindsay
    Dec 02, 2015

    Thanks Gary!
    Important reminders for us all! The good news is that there’s room for improvement!


    • Gary
      Dec 23, 2015

      I agree Lindsay – I have been trying to improve my entire career 🙂 Thx, GAP


  2. Jim Anderson
    Dec 02, 2015

    Gary- Very informative. When will you be offering a webinar to us? I can’t speak for the rest in your audience but I for one would love to attend such an event.
    Jim


    • Gary
      Dec 23, 2015

      Thanks for commenting Jim! Well, I fell I’m a bit of an acquired taste so a periodic post is probably the most my audience can tolerate in one sitting 🙂 Thx, GAP


  3. Bob Wittig
    Dec 02, 2015

    Practice is the key and a “dress rehearsal” is even better, especially when there are multiple people that will be presenting. If the other presenter is remote, then the hand off must be smooth, it almost never is real smooth, but a practiced segway should help.

    Great piece !


    • Gary
      Dec 23, 2015

      Thanks for reading and replying Bob! Yes, it’s always those tricky hand-offs that seem to trip us up 🙂 Thx, GAP

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