Webinars and me….

I’ve yet to attend a great webinar…there you go…I’ve said it.  It isn’t fashionable but I haven’t been to one where I haven’t fidgeted, opened email, got a snack…well you get the picture. 

 My latest webinar was Demystifying Webinars which I paid to attend.   Actually before going further: the webinar is a seminar run online and is a mix of a seminar, a video conference, a chat session and a Powerpoint presentation.  It allows people from anywhere to attend a presentation/seminar from the comfort of their own computers.  If you need a fuller/better explanation, try Wikipedia ☺. 

Anyway, back to my webinar: while it did try to get the point across, and took us through some justifications for a business case for why you may use it in your organisation ( reduced travel costs, delivering to people in remote locations, reduced staff downtime and supposedly only taking one hour to deliver 4 hours of content – you think??), the problem with people new to this way of delivery, and really this is most people at this point; is that they are new to it.   The webinar I went to was attended  by folk who are learning and development/training people, so they deliver training on a day to day basis.  However the session was constantly interrupted by people whose lines had fallen out, by them constantly asking questions in the chat box such as ‘how do I ask a question, I missed the last thing you said’, and despite the fact that I am a good multitasker, I found it a real problem to listen to the woman presenting (the only voice), looking at her slides, (our only common point,) and watching the often stupid questions (sorry, saying that respectfully) in the chat-box that we could all see. 

This whole exercise was fantastic for me because it highlighted the very real problems associated with webinars and the fact that attendees need to be given some ground rules and basic instruction on how to use the tool before attending- me included. I’m not saying I knew it all, but  keep in mind my group were professionals in the training and development industry and if they were all over the place, true learners are going to be more of an issue.  

I guess it is a new mode of delivery and it will get better as we all learn the ropes – just in case anyone thinks I am being a smarty pants!!!


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