Q: What is his advice on putting a webinar together for the first time?
A: When it comes to putting together content for a webinar, I have one word piece of advice that should guide your thinking: focus.
Webinars are an oddity -- there’s nothing else quite like them in our world.
I teach at New York University, which is a piece of cake compared to doing a webinar, because I am able to stand in front of my class where I can engage with them, read them and keep them off of their devices.
Speaking in front of a large audience is also, in my opinion, much simpler than a webinar, as I can entertain people with my multimedia personality -- keeping it all larger than life on the big stage. It’s much easier to build in excitement.
Creating a piece of content is a breeze compared to doing a webinar because you can write a blog post, craft a white paper or publish a SlideShare knowing that the viewer will absorb it on their terms whenever they are ready for it.
But a webinar? Ugh.
It can be one of the most harrowing experiences that a public speaker can face. You can’t see your audience, and in many cases you can’t hear from them either. They are each in their own space, most likely multi-tasking while listening to you and trying to view your slides on their personal devices. Technology, while it has advanced our culture immensely, tends to fail us when we need it most: when you try to play a video or have your sound come through clearly.
It’s a nightmare. Trust me, I’ve been there, done that.
The problem with this platform is that your audience is a nano-second away from grabbing another device to multi-task. This is why focus is so important.
As you plan out the content for your webinar, have a very clear objective in mind for what you want your audience to learn. Determine the one takeaway you want for your audience and stick to it. Be clear on the objective and stay on a linear message track. Make sure you provide how these subjects benefit the users and show them the upside and downside to your topic.
Also, provide examples to make your points focused. It’s far better to add an example than to add another concept that could potentially confuse listeners – and cause them to tune out.
If you stay focused on one core idea and add dimension to it, your audience may actually consume it and learn from it. That should be your learning objective!