Choosing a Webinar Provider: Know your Numbers

Insider Tip 4

Webinar provider numbers? Huh? Choosing a webinar provider is a decision that benefits from cold hard facts. Numbers can provide those facts. The video below gives you the fourth of a series of insider tips to help you make the right choice first time.

Choosing a Webinar Provider: Know Your Numbers –

After completing school I studied economics for four years. I then taught economics and quantitative analysis at Griffith University’s Gold Coast Campus. I guess that gives you some insight into how much I love numbers. It makes sense then that I intuitively look for numbers to help me make sense of webinar providers. And sure enough there are some critical numbers you need to know in order to make the right purchase decision for you.

Know Your Numbers

Fundamentally, there are three webinar provider numbers you need to understand before you commit to purchasing your webinar software.

  1. Know the pricing and purchase conditions. Understand if you are being locked into a contract and if so know about your early termination options and the minimum cost you will be required to pay even if you decide to abandon the software.
  2. Understand your maximum participation numbers. Webinar provider numbers are measured differently depending upon which webinar software program you are evaluating. Some providers identify maximum registration numbers while others stipulate maximum attendee numbers. There can be a huge difference between the two as show-up rates vary substantially. Many webinar providers have tiered pricing. Don’t unnecessarily commit to a contract for a tier where the benefits of having that tier require registration/attendee numbers exceed your expectations, especially if you retain an option to upgrade your package at a later stage without any penalty. Usually the webinar providers can process an upgrade relatively quickly (several days) so if you become surprised by increasing webinar registrations then you will normally have sufficient time to upgrade your package in preference to missing out on potential registrants/attendees.
  3. Investigate the phone number or other support options. Some webinar providers provide phone support options. Find this out. If this is the case write the number/s down in a very safe place so you can lay your eyes on it at a moment’s notice (especially if you encounter a technical failure during a webinar). Many webinar providers do not offer phone support, but they may offer email support or use website based support services that generate tickets for identified issues. In coming years I expect webinar providers to start offering live messaging and chat support options too. Before you select your software ask about support options and know the numbers as to how quickly that support will respond to you when you need it.

Do you have my Webinar Platforms Guide?

To learn more about webinars click here to grab my free Webinar Platforms Guide. It includes:

  • What are Webinars?
  • What are the 4 Types of Webinar Platforms?
  • What are the Pros and Cons of the Webinar Platforms?
  • Select the Best Platform for YOU
  • Where is the Software?

Click here to grab your copy.

What webinar provider numbers do we need to know?

Have I forgotten something important? What are the important webinar provider numbers we all need to consider before purchasing software. Please click here to share your ideas in the YouTube video comments.

Choosing a Webinar Provider: Ask the Webinar Experts

Insider Tip 3

Choosing a webinar provider is a decision that benefits from consultation and advice with webinar experts. The video below gives you the third of a series of insider tips to help you make the right choice first time.

Choosing a Webinar Provider: Ask the Experts –

Ask the Webinar Experts

It might seem odd to believe that you can access a webinar expert for help selecting your webinar software, but help is available. Here are 6 options to help you ask the experts for guidance.

  1. Ask at your school or workplace. Are there experienced webinar presenters at your school or workplace? If so, the chances are good that they would love to be contacted by you and asked for their opinion. As with all of these options trust your judgement about whether or not you are given good advice.
  2. Visit forums or groups. There are a lot of forums and groups on the Internet that offer assistance to webinar presenters. If you are considering a specific software search for a forum or group for users of that software and ask as many questions as you want.
  3. Subscribe to podcasts and blogs. You can learn a lot about the different webinar software features and the pros and cons of webinar software options by listening to relevant podcasts and/or reading blogs. My favorite podcast is the Webinar Skills Podcast, which I host with new episodes released every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
  4. Participate in the Webinars Survey. You can read all about the survey by clicking this link.
  5. Engage a coach or consultant. There are some amazing webinar presenters who will provide you with amazing value for money as a coach or consultant to help you select your software then obtain the skills you need to become a super effective webinar presenter.
  6. Ask Damian. If your best option is to ask me a question don’t hesitate. The best way to do this is by leaving me a question in the comments for the YouTube video for this training article. To do that click here.

Do you have my Webinar Platforms Guide?

To learn more about webinars click here to grab my free Webinar Platforms Guide. It includes:

  • What are Webinars?
  • What are the 4 Types of Webinar Platforms?
  • What are the Pros and Cons of the Webinar Platforms?
  • Select the Best Platform for YOU
  • Where is the Software?

Click here to grab your copy.

Do you want help selecting your webinar provider?

Do you have a question about selecting your webinar software? Please click here and ask me in the YouTube video comments. I promise to reply.

Choosing a Webinar Provider: Leap into the Sandpit

Insider Tip 2

Choosing a webinar provider is an important decision. The video below gives you the second of a series of insider tips to help you make the right choice first time.

Choosing a Webinar Provider: Leap into the Sandpit –

Leap into the Sandpit to Choose a Webinar Provider

My previous training article and video were the first of a series dedicated to helping you identify the best webinar provider for you. In that article and video I encouraged you to become a webinar student. After you have commenced your studies the next step is to leap into the sandpit.

Jump in like you are a World Champion long jumper and play. Most webinar software programs give you the opportunity to trial their software for typically 30 days. As Nike say, “Just do it”. Trial software that appeals to you. Play with it by yourself then with a friend then with a few colleagues. Test out your bandwidth and your abilities to manage the software features. Jump into the sandpit with enthusiasm and take the time to play with 1, 2  or more software programs until you are ready to make a good decision. Don’t feel rushed. “Patience you must have, my young Padawan”, as Yoda said to Luke (Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back). Test everything that is important to you and then you will be able to confidently select your webinar provider.

Do you have my Webinar Platforms Guide?

To learn more about webinars click here to grab my free Webinar Platforms Guide. It includes:

  • What are Webinars?
  • What are the 4 Types of Webinar Platforms?
  • What are the Pros and Cons of the Webinar Platforms?
  • Select the Best Platform for YOU
  • Where is the Software?

Click here to grab your copy.

Have you benefited from trialling webinar software?

Please click here to share your story in the YouTube video comments.

Choosing a Webinar Provider: Become a Webinar Student

Insider Tip 1

Choosing a webinar provider is a decision that can be daunting. The video below gives you the first of a series of insider tips to help you make the right choice first time.

Choosing a Webinar Provider: Become a Webinar Student –

Choosing a webinar provider by becoming a webinar student

Have you ever noticed that when we first start learning about a new topic that we sometimes become very impressed with how much we have learnt within the first few hours or days. Sometimes, it can feel that because we have learnt so much that we must already be getting close to learning everything we will need to know. However, it is often not until months or years later that the true gravity of how much detail we don’t know starts to dawn upon us. In fact, it often isn’t until we start learning about something that we realise how little we do know and how much there is still to learn.

To an outsider, I expect that webinar software all looks pretty much the same. However, that same outsider probably hasn’t even contemplated how differently webinar systems can approach a few critical but subtle features like:

  • The interfaces for setting up registration pages and optimising the webinar layout
  • How the webinars are recorded and exported
  • Reporting options for reviewing the effectiveness of the webinar

Just like a car, it isn’t until you start digging around under the hood that you realise what makes the webinar software special, in both good and bad ways.

Consequently, my first insider tip for choosing a webinar provider is to become a webinar student. Do this by:

  • Studying the webinar features used by your favorite presenters
  • Reviewing the specifications of different webinar software systems

Do you have my Webinar Platforms Guide?

To learn more about webinars click here to grab my free Webinar Platforms Guide. It includes:

  • What are Webinars?
  • What are the 4 Types of Webinar Platforms?
  • What are the Pros and Cons of the Webinar Platforms?
  • Select the Best Platform for YOU
  • Where is the Software?

Click here to grab your copy.

Have you become a webinar student?

Is there something you have noticed about how webinar software can be so different? Please click here to share your ideas in the YouTube video comments.

How to Ask Better Webinar Questions

To create an engaging webinar that captures your participants’ attention there is one important tactic for asking better webinar questions.

In my previous training article and video I presented the 7 questions to guarantee interactive presentations. However, this article presents a bonus regarding the specific type of webinar questions that will boost your engagement. Use this tactic to stimulate more involvement from your participants with you and your webinar content. It is a simple but often neglected concept. There is no fancy video today but just a simple takeaway for you. Here it comes….

During your webinars ask lots of open-ended questions in preference to closed-ended questions.

Open-ended questions are those for which there is a huge variety of possible answers. These questions have superpowers when used during training, especially during an online presentation.

Closed-ended questions do not require much thought. Whether they are yes/no, true/false, multiple choice or identifying the best simple answer, they can be easier to manage, including easy insertion into a poll. However, closed-ended questions do not require as much thought or attention as an open-ended question.

My favorite open-ended webinar questions include:

  • What questions do you want to ask?
  • How can this work for you?
  • What is your reaction to this?
  • How would you respond to this situation?
  • What would you do?
  • How would you use this to your advantage?
  • How does this make you feel?
  • What do you think we should do next?
  • What are you going to change as a result of this webinar?

Open-ended questions possess some special magic and can produce answers you will not anticipate, but which will provide broader value than closed-ended questions.

You can ask for responses to your open-ended questions using a microphone response (for smaller webinars with that functionality) or through the webinar chat. You should not feel compelled to respond individually to each participant response, as this can be very time-consuming for open-ended questions. After all, most webinar presenters would not normally do this for closed-ended questions.

Alternatively, you can very powerfully use open-ended rhetorical questions where you do not expect your participants to provide you with an answer, but it still gets them thinking on a deeper level about your content.

As always, I hope you find this training valuable. In return, I would love you to answer one question. And yes, it is an open-ended one.

I am currently planning out my weekly training articles for the next few months. What would you like to learn about presenting webinars? Click here to tell me.

What would you like to learn about presenting webinars?

This is not a rhetorical question. Please click here to send me an email and tell me so that I can help you better.

7 Questions to Guarantee Interactive Presentations

The One Word Secret to Creating Interactive Presentations

Interactive presentations benefit greatly from 7 types of questions.

I went to law school and questions were rarely encouraged and there were no interactive presentations. It was very boring. After 3 years I quit.

Doing something for the sole purpose of making money is rarely, if ever, a good idea. Someone at a careers expo told me that lawyers made lots of money so straight after finishing school I headed to the prestigious University of Queensland. Law wasn’t my thing mainly because I loathed the long, boring lectures. I am a visual learner so imagine my challenge having to endure a long procession of mumbling lecturers standing behind a lectern reading their notes in a sad monotone manner without any hint of enthusiasm and talking “at you” for 2-3 hours without a break. Microsoft created PowerPoint too late to rescue me and law lectures almost killed me. OK, that was a little melodramatic, but I decided right there and then that if I ever taught anybody anything I would make my classes engaging, interesting and that I would present with enthusiasm and lots of variety.

I have now been training people for more than 25 years and I love it. I will never want to stop. Delivering interactive presentations that engage my participants is my driving passion. So how do I do it? The one word secret to creating interactive presentations for webinars (and any training) is questions. Put simply, ask your participants lots of questions and inevitably you will create an interactive presentation that engages with their minds and their hearts.

Can someone please explain to me the psychology of why questions work? I would be fascinated by that. I suspect that part of it is as simple as remembering how we learnt as a baby or small child. When we were an infant, did we learn by listening to long monologues of educational content. Nope. More likely, our parents asked us short simple questions and gave us short snippets of information that answered our questions (or at least the questions our parents thought we might want answered). Can you name a fruit that starts with B?

People are trained from birth to respond to questions. A question mark is a call to action. Let’s not re-invent the wheel and instead let’s use questions to maximum advantage. There are 9 types of questions you can ask during webinars that will ensure an interactive presentation. Use a variety of these questions and your participants will be sitting on the front of their seats waiting for your next invitation to engage with them. Click on the video below to find out the details.

7 Questions to Guarantee Interactive Presentations –

The above video discusses the 7 types of questions to guarantee interactive presentations, which are:

1. Participant Questions

One of the adult learning principles is that people learn best when they have a need to learn. When adults identify a need or motivation to learn something that will often stimulate them to ask questions. By answering their questions we can powerfully help our participants become more enthusiastic about our content. Consequently, we should proactively and genuinely encourage our participants to ask their questions. We should not hide from questions because we have fear about being able to answer them. Instead, by empowering our participants to ask questions we will understand what they are thinking and how they are reacting to our presentation; This is valuable intelligence information so that we can customise that webinar and improve our future ones on the same or similar topics.

Your webinar participants will love you for giving them the chance to ask their questions. Do not be concerned if you do not know the answer. Keep in mind that you always retain the option to research and reflect and provide an answer to them at a later stage.

2. Rhetorical Questions

Are you enjoying this article? OK, I don’t really expect you to answer that now, which is the definition of a rhetorical question. Most people ask many rhetorical questions every day. They are especially powerful for webinar presenters because every questions stimulates all of your participants to think about their potential answer to that question. That is the main benefit of rhetorical questions in that they stimulate the participants to focus on the topic without taking up significant webinar time.

3. Statistical Questions

I am a numbers guy. I love maths and statistics fascinate me. Yes, I am biased in saying that statistical questions are valuable. However, I am not alone. Most people are amused by relevant or interesting statistics. So find some. Use them to your advantage. Consider presenting them as a graphic to bring them to life and use persuasive statistics to to support your key arguments.

4. Audio or Video Response Questions

One time saving approach to presenting improved webinar content is to ask questions about pre-recorded audio or video. Some webinar systems provide great options for presenting audio (and sometimes video) content. Sometimes, it is clever to use a different voice to present a case study or support your conclusions. You can then ask questions about what your participants thought or felt about that pre-recorded content. This can be as interesting an activity in a webinar as it is a face-to-face classroom.

5. Confirmation of Learning Questions

Ask questions specifically to check if your participants are understanding your content and/or to find out if they are agreeing with your conclusions. If you don’t ask, you don’t know. There are lots of ways you can ask questions to confirm the learning of your participants, including:

  • Do you understand what I just explained?
  • Would you like me to repeat this concept for you?
  • Shall I explain this again a different way?
  • Would you like me to describe a case study that explains how this works?
  • How are you going to use this information during the next week?

It is very dangerous to assume that your participants are learning. Confirming their learning will provide comfort to you that your webinar participants are still on your learning train and that they are still headed in the right direction.

6. Permission Questions

It can be very clever for you to secure permission or “buy-in” from your participants before you move onto different parts of your webinar. Three of my favourite examples of permission questions include:

  • Do you understand this well enough so that I can move onto our next topic?
  • Have I provided enough value so that you would like to hear about my available product or consulting services?
  • I see that we are almost at our scheduled finish time, but would you like me to now give you the chance to ask some additional questions before we finish the webinar?

7. Really Tough Questions

My final advice for asking questions during a webinar is to be unapologetic in asking the really tough questions during a webinar, for example:

  • What problems or challenges do you see with the approach I have outlined during this webinar?
  • Would you like to buy this product?

How engaging are your webinars?

Click here to obtain my free Webinars Engagement Checklist. Put simply, it is your chance to identify lots of options for making your webinars engaging and interesting to your participants. Get your participants more involved in your webinars and they will reward you. It will help you identify:

  • What you are doing well
  • Engagement strategies that you can do better
  • New ideas for improving your engagement

Click here to get your copy.

What do you think about asking questions to create interactive presentations?

Do you agree that asking questions achieves interactive presentations? Which types of questions work for you? Please click here to tell me and share your thoughts in the YouTube video comments.