Crafting Interactive Webinars


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Webinars are a promising way to help organizations develop quality training and outreach programs with a greater reach than traditional face-to-face sessions. Unfortunately, webinars often fall short of their potential because instructors fail to make the training interactive. The possibility and reality can come together, however, with some basic changes in presentation and thoughtful planning.

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Crafting Interactive Webinars

  2. 2. WELCOME TO TODAY’S WEBINAR This is a 60 minute session. Use the chat/question feature to discuss technical issues, ask questions, or comment on the proceedings. Feel free to “raise your hand” and I will get to you as soon as I can.
  3. 3. A WEBINAR IS…. Shortfor Web-based Seminar, a webinar is a presentation, lecture, workshop or seminar that is transmitted over the WebA key feature of a Webinar is its interactive elements -- the ability to give, receive and discuss information Typically 60-90 minutes long
  4. 4. HOW COULD YOU USE WEBINARS Expand or Program supplement orientations training opportunities To lead meetings Replace in-person between remote trainings sessions participants Recordings so you To reach out to don’t have to new members or re-teach the most clients popular courses
  5. 5. PLEASE TYPE YOUR RESPONSE INTOTHE QUESTION BOX: What do you like about webinars?
  6. 6. BENEFITS OF WEBINARS• Convenient• Accessible• Affordable• Can transcend geography• Can be targeted to specific audiences.• Presentation can be recorded for later use.
  7. 7. PLEASE TYPE YOUR RESPONSE INTO THEQUESTION BOX: What do you dislike about webinars?
  8. 8. DISADVANTAGES OF WEBINARS: • Impersonal • Often limited opportunity for interaction • Brainstorming and discussion is particularly minimal • Computer and Internet access required • No body-language cues • Does not accommodate different learning styles • People tend to multi-task • Technology glitches
  9. 9. WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST FEAR INLEADING A WEBINAR Technical difficulties Inattentiveness Silence Getting off-track Stage fright None of the above. I am a fearless webinar warrior. All of the above. Please don’t make me do this.
  10. 10. 4P’S TO PLANNING AN ENGAGINGWEBINAR 1) Plan Ahead 2) Prepare Participants 3) Partner Up 4) Prepare Yourself
  11. 11. STEP 1: PLANNING
  12. 12. WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS?  Raising awareness  Teaching specific skills or learning objectives  Attracting people for more in-depth trainings  Recruiting new clients/members  Orientation to your organization  Facilitating discussion  Other: ____________
  13. 13. WRITING SMART GOALS SMART is an acronym for Specific Measurable Achievable Realistic Time appropriate
  14. 14. PLANNING: DIVIDE AND CONQUER Materials and information should be divided into three types: 1. Things that can be read and reviewed independently. 2. Things that benefits from listening and questioning an expert. 3. Shared knowledge that benefits from interaction between participants
  15. 15. PLAN YOUR AGENDA CAREFULLYDo you have:  Interesting and relevant content?  Lively speakers?  No more than 10 minutes of talking before an interactive exercise?  At least 10 minutes to respond to questions at the end?
  16. 16. IDEAS FORMAKING IT INTERACTIVE Problem Solving Question Activity Moderated and Answer Panel Discussion Discussion Quick Case Study polls Reflection QuizSurvey Polls
  17. 17. HOW WOULD YOU STRUCTURE IT? An environmental organization is trying to:  Teach citizens to recognize the Pine Shoot Beetle which is devastating pine forest.  How to report a sighting. What sort of interactive activity could you include in this webinar?
  18. 18. HOW WOULD YOU STRUCTURE IT?An organization is considering moving part of itsvolunteer recruitment to a webinar. They hopethat perspective volunteers will: Understand the purpose of the nonprofit  Understand the role of volunteers Understand benefits of volunteering What sort of interactive activity could you include in this webinar?
  20. 20. CONSIDER ASSIGNING PRE-WORK.• Pre-reading of materials, including slide presentations• Watching a video, listening to a podcast, responding to an article.• Self-assessment survey• Partnering activities in twos or threes• Online brainstorming of ideas for later discussion
  21. 21. INTRODUCE PARTICIPANTS TO EACHOTHER Small groups  Verbal introductions Medium/ Large groups  Consider collecting written introductions (and pictures!) from participants to distribute prior to the webinar  Pull together data on the make-up of the group and present it via slides and orally Use names whenever possible  Call on people by names  Ask participants to use their name to preface their remarks
  22. 22. STEP 3: PARTNER UP
  23. 23. CONSIDER HAVING A PANEL OR A CO-PRESENTERBenefits: Different perspectives More interesting for participants Varied delivery stylesWarning: If you do it, practice! Have a moderator that will assign questions to different panelists.
  24. 24. RECRUIT A WINGMANThe wingman:  Helps people login to the webinar  Responds to text chats and questions during the webinar  Assists with technical complications
  25. 25. STEP 4) PRACTICE
  26. 26. PRACTICE Run through the webinar at least once before you take it live. Practice:  Launching polls  Switching presenters  Answering submitted questions  Audio and screen controls. Be sure to test on both Macs and PCs to make sure the system will work for everyone