I run webinars and virtual training sessions. That is, I use internet-based software tools to communicate with learners who are logged in from anywhere in the world. Using techniques I’ve tested for over 15 years, I teach presenters, trainers, and producers how to successfully run webinars and virtual training sessions. And because managing software while presenting is challenging, especially for newbies, I support other people’s webinars and virtual training sessions, too. In my role as “event producer,” I focus on managing the technology and freeing the presenter to focus on delivering a clear message, engaging with the learners, and responding to questions
A client once asked me, “Karen, why do we need to take training on how to run sessions in a WebEx virtual classroom? I do WebEx sessions all the time. I just throw up my PowerPoint slides and talk. It’s easy!” I responded, “It’s the throwing up we’re trying to avoid.” Ask yourself, are YOU interested in staring at your computer while a disembodied voice talks about the bulleted lists on the screen? Me neither. Sadly, most people see webinars and virtual training sessions as just that. But we can do better.
I design webinars and virtual training sessions in which learners are able to communicate openly, ask questions, and participate in activities using a set of hardware and software tools (WebEx is an example of one software brand). I prepare trainers to use the same tools to explain, instruct, and lead as well as ask and respond to questions. Not just a poor man’s substitute for “real” training, my programs are efficient and effective. Learners report preferring online over face-to-face classroom training. My methods are simple, but not always easy!
In this blog, I aim to share with you stories about my own work and my experiences behind the scenes to see what really goes into creating consistently good webinars and virtual training sessions. I’ll post loads of tips and tricks and share crisis moments, lessons learned, and my short and long-term solutions to common problems. I’ll embarrass myself for the sake of your edification. All I ask is that you learn from my mistakes and consider my solutions in the context of your sessions. I don’t claim to have all the answers, but I might be able to get you moving in the right direction.
I welcome your feedback and your contributions. If I forget to tell you later, thanks so much! I appreciate it!