Narration Visual Software effects / Narrator actions
Adobe Connect is an extremely robust virtual environment with a rich set of features that allow you the
flexibility to design different kinds of activities into your on-line event.
In the same way that an Event Planner chooses a physical venue that will accommodate their attendance goals
and the physical movement of the attendees, a Webinar Manager must design avirtual venue that will
accommodate the different kinds of activities that will be used to engage the attendees.
In the physical world, you can move from informative lecture to heated discussion to interactive Q&A without
any change being made to the physical environment. But to implement these different activities effectively in
the virtual world means a change must be made to the visible environment.
In this tutorial, I’ll introduce you to the Adobe Connect platform and show you the enormous potential it has,
from the event planner’s point of view.
1. Visualization exercise
Before you open Adobe Connect, or any webinar platform, you really should stop and think about what kind of
experience you want your audience to have.
Remember the last on-site event you attended – a training or a conference for example.
• After you arrived on-site, but before the event started, what did you do?
Did your host have a nice room set up for you to sit in?
Was there anything in the room for you to do while you waited?
• When the event started, how easy was it to move into the main event room?
Were you able to see & hear the speaker?
If the speaker wrote notes, were you able to see them?
• After the first stage of the event was finished, did they have to reconfigure the room for the next stage?
For example - remove meeting room chairs -
and bring in dining room tables?
Did the attendees have to stand and watch while the wait staff flipped the room?
Or were there other activities, in another room, where you could go and mingle until the main room was
• At the end of the event, did you have the opportunity to ask any remaining questions you might have had? Software effects:
Were you able to collect any handouts that you might have missed earlier? Software effects:
Did anyone tell you were you could go, after the event, to get more information? Software effects:
Consider - how many different stages were there in the event?
Think about how the traffic flowed between the differentstages.
Remember your frustration if the traffic flow got confusing; Software effects:
Your boredom if there were no activities to keep you occupied; Software effects:
And your enthusiasm when there were engaging activities planned. Software effects:
These are the issues that you’ll be able to prepare for when you use Adobe Connect to design your webinar.
Adobe Connect’s modular approach makes it easy to build any environment you want for your webinar.
- Pods are the basic building block of the Adobe Connect system.
- A selection of Pods are assembled to create a Layout.
- PODS & LAYOUTS ARE WHAT CREATE THE WEBINAR ENVIRONMENT
WHICH CAN BE SAVED AND TURNED INTO A TEMPLATE
THAT CAN BE USED AGAIN ON FUTURE WEBINARS
There are nine different Pods to choose from and each one is used for a different kind of activity.
Your job is to decide what you want the audience to be doing at any given point in time.
- Do you want them to be able to watch a video?
- Or download documents?
- Do you want them to see you via webcam?
- Or draw on a whiteboard?
Blank template Narrator actions:
cycle through the Pods as each is mentioned
4. Layouts & Templates
You can design a traffic flow for your webinar and build Layouts that supports the flow.
Assemble the appropriate Pods in each Layout so that the activities you want in each stage of the webinar are
ready to go.
If you have designed a selection of Layouts for your virtual environment and you really like how the event
flowed between them,
you can save that virtual environment as a Template. Templates are reusable without restriction and are a huge
time saver in terms of set-up.
flip through the Layouts in the Custom
6. Preconfigured Templates:
Otherwise, Adobe has prepared three Templates for you and each one is optimized for a different type of on-
line event, with different types of interaction between the presenter and the attendees.
We will review each of these templates next.
remain on the final layout
a. The Training template
The first one is the Training template. It's built to accommodate a classroom full of learners.
i. The Training template > The Lobby layout
The Lobby layout has a large Share pod that can show a video while students wait for the class to start. The
large Attendee pod gives plenty of room to display students' names as they arrive and a large size Chat pod
gives lots of room for people to talk and get to know each other.
1. Share – Screen
ii. The Training template > Classroom layout
The Classroom layout focuses everyone’s attention on the trainer’s presentation and the video pod allows
students to see the trainer as he presents. The Chat and Attendee pods are minimized in this layout.
1. Share – Screen
iii. The Training template > Analysis layout
Conversation and discussion about the training is encouraged in the Analysis layout. There’s a Whiteboard pod
so people can brainstorm and a Notes pod where someone can take notes on the discussion. The contents of
the Notes pod can be exported later as a PDF and shared with the class. If a student doesn’t have access to a
microphone, then they can still use the Chat pod to communicate. Questions can be posted by the trainer to
guage how well the students are retaining the information and additional resources and documents can be
posted on the Files pod to be downloaded.
1. Share – Whiteboard
iv. You can increase student engagement by moving back and forth between the Presentation layout and the
Analysis layout. The presenter can lecture on the first topic in the Presentation layout then move the class to
the Analysis layout for a brief discussion period. Move the class back to the Presentation layout to lecture on
the next topic, and so on.
b. The Meeting template
The Meeting template is the second pre-made template found in Adobe Connect. It's built to encourage
collaboration and discussion among the attendees. Meetings are generally held in the middle of the business
day, so this template is made to let everyone get in, do what needs to be done, and get out again.
i. The Meeting template > Sharing layout
The meeting will start at the top of the hour, so there is no Lobby layout in this template where people can
mingle ahead of time.
Instead, the meeting convenes in the Sharing layout where the delivery of information is the focus. The speaker
is visible in the Video pod and his slides are visible in the Share pod. The Chat pod is available but minimized.
And the Attendee pod shows who is at the meeting.
1. Share - Screen
ii. The Meeting template > Discussion layout
After the presentation is finished, the meeting can be moved to the Discussion layout to discuss the merits of
the information and allow attendees to ask any questions. The discussion moderator and up to six panelists can
enable their webcams so that each person is visible in the Video pod. A Chat pod is available for those who may
not have access to audio, and the meeting secretary can make notes in the Notes pod. The contents of the
Notes pod can be exported later as a PDF and shared with the attendees. The moderator can prompt discussion
by using the Poll pod to ask questions or take votes.
3. Discussion notes
iii. You can increase attendee engagement by moving back and forth between the Sharing layout and the
Discussion layout. The first presenter can deliver their information in the Sharing layout then move the meeting
to the Discussion layout for clarification. Move the meeting back to the Sharing layout so the second presenter
can deliver their information, and so on.
iv. The Meeting template > Collaboration layout
When all of the presenters have delivered their information and as much clarification as required has been
achieved, the meeting can then move to the Collaboration pod so attendees can develop a move-forward plan.
There’s a whiteboard where people can brainstorm and a Notes pod where the meeting secretary can take
notes. The contents of the Notes pod can be exported later as a PDF and shared with the attendees. A Chat pod
is available so those who may not have access to audio can still contribute. And additional resource documents
can be posted for download in the Files pod.
1. Share – whiteboard
c. The Event template
The Event template is the third pre-made template and it's perfect for large events that will have multiple main
attractions. The venue is roomy enough for each presenter to speak while giving the audience access to all of
them before the event is over.
i. The Event template > Lobby layout
The Lobby layout has a large Share pod that can display the event signage while attendees wait for the event to
start. Any pertinent instructions (phone numbers or directions) can be written on the Note pod and the Chat
pod allows people to talk and get to know each other.
When it's time to start, the event host kicks everything off by displaying their image on the Video pod,
welcoming attendees and thanking event sponsors before introducing Speaker #1 and displaying his bio on the
The Presenter Only area is enabled on this Template and is used to display the Attendee pod and the Presenter
Chat pod, by which the presenters can communicate with each other.
1. Share - Screen
ii. The Event template > Presentation layout
After the Speaker #1 is introduced, the event attendees are ushered into the Presentation layout where the
speaker is visible on the Video pod and his presentation is displayed on the Share pod. The Q&A pod is
available for audience members to ask the presenter questions.
1. Share - Screen
iii. When speaker #1 is finished, the attendees are ushered back into the Loby layout so the event host can
introduce the next speaker while the Presentation layout is flipped for the next speaker.
The flow of traffic moves back and forth between these two layouts until all of the speakers have presented. At
that time, the attendees are moved into the Questions layout for the event's grand finale.
iv. The Event template > Questions layout
The event finishes off in the Questions layout where the attendees can ask their final questions to all of the
presenters. Questions are writen in the Q&A pod and the event host assigns them to the appropriate presenter
to be answered. The Video pod can be used to display each presenter as they answer the questions. The Poll
pod can be used by the presenters to gauge retention of the audience or even collect market data for future
events. Final instructions or directions for the attendees can be displayed on the Notes pod while resource
documents can be posted on the Files pod for download.
d. Suppose, however, you want to host a webinar but the flow you want to create doesn't fit within any of the
three pre-made templates. In that case, you can create a custom template that perfectly matches how you
want the event to flow. In this case study, our presenter is a high-energy trainer who specializes in on-site
seminars. He's starting to experiment with on-line webinars and wants to create the same hi-energy, hi-
interactive environment on-line that he has with his on-site seminars.
i. Our presenter schedules his webinars at noon, a time when most business people take their lunch.
Understanding that people might not be prompt about arriving, or may even arrive early, our presenter wants
to have a lobby with lots of entertaining activties for his attendees while they wait. A Chat pod is pre-loaded
with a question (Where are you from?) so people get the hint that they are supposed to introduce themselves
to each other. The Sharing pod displays a cute seasonal video and another Share pod is set up with a fun Rock
Paper Scissors game. A Files pod is loaded with files that attendees can download while they wait.
ii. Our presenter has made a Presentation layout for the main training room. When the webinar starts, the
attendees are ushered into the Presentation layout which has been preloaded with the slide deck. A webcam
image of our presenter is displayed in the Video pod and a Chat pod is available for attendees to make
comments and ask questions.
iii. During his on-site seminars, our presenter doesn't even use PowerPoint slides. He's used to speaking
extemporaneously in front of his audience and using whiteboards to illustrate his words. So he's created a
Whiteboard layout that gives him the same kind of interaction that he's used to having. He can move freely,
back and forth between the Presentation layout and the Whiteboard layout during his presentation to
reproduce, as closely as possible, the interactive feeling of his on-site seminars.
iv. At any point in his webinar, he can pause his presentation and move the class to a Questions layout and test
his class' retention. He's created this layout with a Q&A pod that his attendees can use to ask him questions,
and a Notes pod that someone can be assigned to record his answers. The contents of the Notes pod can be
exported later as a PDF and shared with the class. In addition to that, he's staged 12 Poll pods (visible in this
case three at a time) with questions and surveys appropriate to different sections of his presentation. He can
visit this layout at the end of each topic as he moves through his presentation to check his audience's
understanding of his content.
v. For this webinar, the session will end in the Presentation layout. He could have created another layout for
the purpose of exiting the webinar, but he didn't feel that another room-change would have added value to
the overall experience. Instead, he listed his contact information and his call-to-action on the last PowerPoint
slide and that's the last thing his viewers will see when the webinar ends.
As you can see, Adobe Connect gives you a lot of control over the total webinar experience. You can build as
simple or as complex of a user experience as you want. All you need to do is give it some thought from an
attendee's perspective, and decide how you want the event to flow.
A webinar manager can help you with your webinar by handling all of the behind-the-scenes activities that
might distract you from delivering your A-game.
As a webinar manager, :
- I can help you to design a flow for your webinar and create the layouts that support that flow.
- I can help you, and any guest speakers you might have, practice delivering your content ahead of time,
- AND manage the flow of traffic through the layouts during the webinar.
- can iIntroduce the speakers,
- AND flip the Presentation layout when it's time to move from one speaker to the next.
- I can manage questions from the audience
- AND save the Notes pod as a PDF.
- I can stage Poll pods with questions and change them out as they get used,
- Give the outro and final call to action,
- AND record the webinar for posterity.
If you are new to webinars and need some help
OR if you're looking for a webinar manager to work with, give me a call.
I'll be happy to discuss your ideas with you!