While webinars have become commonplace in both learning and marketing, the parade-of-slides-with-disembodied-voice format is getting old. Isn’t it time we reinvented the webinar? What can we learn from the success of the “flipped classroom” model that’s sweeping the world of education? In this webinar, we’ll explore Read more …
If all your webinars are laid end-to-end, you’re gonna need a lot of drinking water!
But seriously, you’ve created and delivered hours upon hours of online presentations. Some of them got a lot of people interested in your business. Some of them, not so much. Is there a magic formula for matching the expectations of your audience?
LinkedIn is a great place to find people complaining about the terrible webinars they’ve viewed. I took the liberty of reading some complaints there, because I knew it would be a rich well of ideas for what to deliver in a webinar, and what to avoid.
Content. The concept has been central to communication since the first cave-dwelling entrepreneur tried to show off his new invention: the wheel. The instant he was asked what it was, why it was needed, and how it was different from all the other round rocks lying around, he needed an answer. He needed content.
Since then, we’ve been focused on the whats, whys and hows of just about everything, and that means churning out content. Whether we’ve been raising royal coinage for sailing voyages, fomenting revolts, entertaining audiences, or selling dish soap, we’ve needed content.
Ever get to a movie at the scheduled time, and it just begins?
Of course not. Usually, you are treated to instructions about not smoking, talking, and texting. Then there might be a public service announcement or two. Finally, you are invited to hit the concession stand, which you’ll probably have plenty of time for because of what comes next: The trailers.
A trailer is an extended advertisement for a movie, usually shown in theaters. At a big movie opening, you’ll probably see ten of them. They last up to two and a half minutes, and tell you almost everything you need to decide whether to see an upcoming film, or at least a series of explosions and car chases. Sometimes they give the whole story away, and sometimes they inspire audiences to wonder by showing almost nothing.
“Hi, I’m Kelly from YourLogo. You recently attended our webinar, Attract Business with YourLogo. How did you like the presentation?”
Prospect A: “Well, Kelly, I’m sorry – I only saw a few minutes before our Sales VP called a meeting.”
Prospect B: “Kelly, I kept it on but I wasn’t really paying attention. Sorry.”
Prospect C: “Katie, is it? It was fine, but my connection went down somewhere in the middle.”
Prospect D: “Oh, I logged in but the install needed a password I don’t have. Sorry, uh, Karen…”
I’ll bet you or your sales team have heard every one of these after a webinar. Are they excuses? Probably not. It’s likely they actually happened. Poor Kelly has to call on all the people who joined the webinar to determine whether they were ready to buy something, or were gathering information.
Email. I once wrote about it sticking around much longer than anyone would guess, and I stand by that today. It was once believed that text messaging, mobile devices and social media would make email obsolete. Instead, email is as important as ever. Social updates rely on it, text is limited in reach and scope, and as for mobile, well, there’s a reason smartphones offer so many email apps.
That’s not to say that email has not evolved. Today, email senders design for mobile devices, social sharing tools are frequently included in messages, email drives the transactional experience, and email marketers work harder than ever not just to raise open rates and clickthroughs, but to get delivered in the first place.
It’s the flexibility of email practices that has allowed it to succeed against strong headwinds.
The biggest limiting factors for email have always been message size and security limitations, and this is even more important today because of the sheer volume of email being sent around. Rich content like video remains locked out of using email to reach an audience. This is not video’s fault. It’s because email clients, browsers, and ISP email limits are set to protect servers and prevent viruses, which use the same kind of scripts and objects used by embedded video.
Without these protections, many types of rich content, which can certainly be compressed small enough to be sent as attachments, could be played within browsers and most email clients. But that’s not the world we live in. That’s why, to see a video, you have to go to the source.
So you shouldn’t send embedded video in email, but you can send highly compelling images that link to your video. Here are 5 steps you should take to make email and rich content work great together:
We know it’s becoming a widely-discussed topic in education and in the technology world, but because the audience for e-Learning spans the globe, it is literally huge. The size of the total marketplace for online courses is the main reason so many institutions and organizations are putting their courses online.
It is also cheaper to deliver online courses, because the presentation can be given once, and recorded for millions of views over time. Also, administration of student course involvement is automated and centralized.
The only issue with online courses is: How do you, as the teacher, make your presentations lively and dynamic for the people watching you online? Your slides and your delivery should be optimized for the web, yet still keep viewers interested and involved.
That’s why, this Thursday, Kirstin Lynde of Randstad Professionals and Michael Kolowich of KnowledgeVision will show how to bring on-demand training content initiative to life in Liven up! How to Bring Your Online, On-Demand Training Content to Life with Video. It starts at 1PM Eastern time.
Retention. It’s one element of learning the teacher cannot control. Educators from to grade school through technical training programs and universities use well-known tools to help the learning process along, such as lecture, repetition, reading, demonstration, and practice. Each technique has varying effects on retention, though all are essential.
The big question is how to create and store the teaching experience so it can be replicated and spread widely. With e-Learning and use of the virtual space gaining in use and cachet, online teaching is gaining wide appeal. We’ll examine how a flipped* online video lesson can improve message retention and broaden the reach of an educator.
* The flipped lesson is one where all of the material is pre-recorded and developed for an online audience instead of originally produced as a live event.
At the heart of every great presentation is a skilled presenter. Great presenters are storytellers. And because audiences need more than slides, they tell stories with powerful interpersonal communication tools, like gestures, posture, and facial expressions. Great presenters know we’re wired for body language.
But in the digital age we have fewer opportunities to connect with our audiences on a personal level. We increasingly use online presentations, webinars, and meeting tools, which often fail to capture the body language and personality of the speaker.
The result? They fall flat, failing to take full advantage of the power of personality and storytelling that a good presenter offers to a live audience.
So what’s a content marketer to do?
Some of those presentations may actually work. But I’m guessing that most do not.
Why? Because business has changed dramatically since PowerPoint (and, for that matter, Harvard Graphics and Lotus Freelance) was invented in 1984, but the business presentation hasn’t.
Read more …