Seven handy tips for a webinar newbie

Yesterday I took part in my first webinar.

I’ve hosted many webinars, but never done the speaking part. I must admit, I’m not a great fan of the format.

However, this reticence when it comes to speaking to lots of mute people whilst rustling through a slide deck is almost certainly a result of nerves about tech and public speaking.

Once all possible hitches are unhitched, or at least made unhitchable before they get a chance to hitch themselves, the experience is, in very real terms, more approachable (this sentence is an example of the way a nervous person can start speaking on a webinar).

What I mean to say is perhaps webinars can be enjoyable if you follow a few steps beforehand and bear in mind one or two points whilst speaking.

Here are some of the things I’ve learned about the tech, and yesterday, very quickly, about the speaking bit.

Why I hate webinars, and the importance of copywriting for UX

Webinars are annoying, ultimately, because we are designed for face to face communication. However, they are extremely useful if your colleagues and customers are ‘global’.

There are many annoying things about webinar tech, but most of them centre on UX. And central to UX is getting your language right.

Webex, as my chosen example, simply didn’t work with a good copywriter when laying out its back-end and webinar UI. I can’t speak for others such as Adobe Connect, as I haven’t used them myself.

I don’t think Webex is attempting to appear natty or complex, using slightly mystifying words or combinations of words. It’s just badly written.

Here are some examples:

Fading Facebook app icon

Free Facebook Webinar aimed at MENA marketers as Facebook usage soars

Econsultancy is running a free Facebook webinar for Middle East marketers this week to help companies seeking to embrace the fast-growing social network as an effective marketing tool. 

Research published by Socialbakers last month stated that Facebook grew its user base by 29% in 2012, adding over 10 million new users during the year with 21 new registrations per minute across MENA countries. 

Ten terrible terms used in online marketing

The best and worst thing about being present at the dawn of the internet is watching the new language that has been developed to cope with it.

With the news that ‘noob’ may be about to make it into the dictionary, I gave some thought to the language we online marketers are responsible for and, I have to admit, we have created our fair share of terrible terminology. We also routinely use some horrible generic marketing terms.