If you were one of the many people who attended our webinar Training an Invisible Audience: Delivering Effective Webinars, I'd like to thank you for being such an eager and inquisitive audience. I was struck by the many locations of the registrants (including more than 10 countries!), as well as the many reasons that people hold webinars, including parenting classes, genealogy courses, and student engagement.
If you missed the webinar, or would just like a review, you can view the archive here.
This webinar was co-facilitated and co-presented by myself (the webinar program manager here at TechSoup), and Stephanie Gerding, a fabulous in-person and online technology trainer.
Interactivity in Webinars
As most online trainers will tell you, interaction during a webinar is key. Some trainers even advocate interacting with an audience every 2 to 3 minutes. However, that can be easier said than done, especially if you have a large audience or limited resources.
Here are some easy-to-implement tricks that can create an interactive experience relying on nothing more than your voice and a chat box:
- Address people by name. When reading questions to the presenter, make sure that you read the first name of the person asking the question. Acknowledging the person asking a question as being more than just another computer can make the audience more eager to ask questions.
- Take more than one question break. Instead of just asking questions at the end of a presentation, address some questions either as they come in or during mini-breaks throughout the webinar.
- Take a break! If you are providing a demonstration of a product or tool, take a 10-minute break during which attendees can try out the tool. But don't walk away – it's a good idea to stay on the line in case people have questions.
- Try and have one person whose sole job it is to answer chat questions. This will encourage an active discussion among participants.
Webinar Platforms and Additional Questions
Near the end of the webinar, we talked a bit about the webinar platforms available as donated products through TechSoup, including ReadyTalk, GoToWebinar, and GoToTraining. To find out more about these products, read Webinar and Online Training Tools and GoToWebinar vs. GoToTraining.
Have more questions about creating or providing webinars? Feel free to email me at khunt [at] techsoupglobal dot org or Stephanie Gerding at sgerding [at] techsoupglobal [dot] org. Happy webinaring!
Webinar Program Manager