Webinars Suck – Is That Right? – Part 1 of 4

Webinars Suck - Is That Right?

Webinars Suck – Is That Right?

Come on. Admit it. You joined a Webinar that you really wanted to learn something new to advance your business practices, implement new ideas or utilizing new tools. You finally get added into the session after five or ten minutes of downloading software or multiple retries…only to be greeted by hundreds of beeps, bings, and bangs  as other folks join. It is so annoying that you want to yell to the moderator: “Mute the “Beeping” call chimes!!!

Okay, maybe it’s only me. But I would guess that a lot of folks have encountered this experience. Some may have even walked away with a bad impression of a Webinar session; if this was their first experience.

Speaking with a friend the other day, I asked him if he thinks Webinars work. He said most of his clients believe they don’t. In fact, some of them think Webinars suck! Wow! This should make a lot of Webinar providers and presenters happy. Not.

In my humble opinion, Webinars can and do work; if done in the right fashion. Over the years of conducting Webinars as a Sales Engineer Manager, a Product Manager, Marketing Director, a trainer and now as a small business owner, I have learned that to present a successful Webinar I was must include or do the following:

  1. Great Content
  2. Organize It
  3. Make Interactive
  4. Select the Right Webinar Provider

There is quite a lot of information to share with you. I don’t want you to ask: “Where’s the beef?” Therefore, I will share these tips in each part,  spread out over four posts especially for you “multitaskers” (you know who you are)!  Today, we will examine how having the right content will contribute to your next Webinar’s success.

Content! Content! Content!

Maybe I’m being a bit dramatic here (I’ve been accused of worse), but in planning your Webinar session you need to take into consideration how the content meets the need of our audience. Too often, I have participated in Webinars in which the presenters spent most of the time pushing the products and services. While they spend very little time discuss how these products and services will benefit the participant’s business or individual’s requirement.

Or they conduct the bait and switch approach. They promised one type of experience, but when you get in the session it has nothing to do with what was promised. In fact, the content was not relevant to your needs.

Here are a few ideas for great content:

  1. Make it informational (Tell ‘em what you’re gonna tell ‘em) – Address a problem that the audience may have. Share ideas with the audience how to address this problem. Example: “Not sure how to maximize your LinkedIn connections to get new business leads? The Five Tips on Maximizing LinkedIn Connections for Business Growth Webinar will give your the methods to Convert Connections to Clients.” or “Learn How to Convert LinkedIn Connections to Clients”
  2. Show them – Give step by step instruction is a great way for people to remember and learn a subject. We love lists. We were conditioned to remember lists. We make a list when we go shopping. We make To-Do lists to get tasks done. We take lists of questions to our doctors for health issues we may be experiencing (if you don’t, you should).
  3. Give them proof that it works – Providing your audience with a strong case study of how you or your company helped solve the problem for someone just like your audience. Back the case study up with a testimonial from that person or persons.
  4. Summarize (Tell ‘em what you told ‘em) – It is a good idea to summarize the problem and solution again at the end of your Webinar. Remind them of the key benefits and value they will get.
  5. Give a Call to Action – Include a call to action in the content of your presentation. You may softly mention the call to action a few times in the Webinar session, then state it stronger at the end.

Throughout your content be clear, get to the point and concise your message as much as you can without losing valuable information. Don’t make it too long. One hour or less is best. Use this quick mantra: “Tell them what you’re going to tell them. Show them. Give them proofs and examples. Finally, tell them what you’ve told them.” By incorporating some of these tips into creating content for your Webinar, you should be able to make it more attractive to your target audience. In the next post, we will move onto getting organized in part two of this four part series.

Find out how I learned these tips and more from my Diamond Cutters, My Mentors and Coaches, pick up a copy of Live a Diamond Life, A Life of Purpose: Diamond Cutters today.

Live a Diamond Life, A Life of Purpose: Diamond Cutters


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Beat the P.I.P.

Road to Improvement.001

There is a reality show on CNBC called “The Profit” that I occasionally watch. Marcus Lemonis, the star of the show, helps struggling small businesses to improve the profit of the businesses. Marcus invests his own money into the rejuvenation of them. In the last episode I watched, Marcus is trying to help a floral business get back its footing.

One of the issues Marcus identify was that the general manager (GM) was not performing the role of the GM to the level that was expected of her. He recommended that the GM be demoted.  Marcus told her what her new role was and what was expected of her. She was placed on a Performance Improvement Plan (P.I.P.). She was obviously hurt by the demotion as evident by her tears.

But what really impressed me was that she didn’t toss in the towel and quit. She stayed on and actually earned Marcus’ respect. She showed up each time with a positive attitude and did what was asked of her. In the end Marcus told her that he believed she should be the person in charge of the business at all times…even more so than the owner should be. The owner on the other hand was mostly negative throughout the episode.

As a manager, it was not pleasant for me to put an employee on a Performance Improvement Plan (P.I.P.). At this point of the decision, I found that the employee was performing his or her job way below expectation. In this case, I would work with the Human Resources representative to create a 30-60-90 day plan with measurable goals. Goals that were fair to the employee and the company. 

Are you on a Performance Improvement Plan? Here is what you can do to Beat the P.I.P.

Understand what is required of you:

  1. Review the Performance Improvement Plan with your manager to ensure you understand each goal and what is expected of you.
  2. If there is something that is not clear to you, ask questions.
  3. If the Human Resources representative is not present (in person, on video or on the phone) ask if you can have that person involved in the discussion.

Take it seriously:

  1. Don’t take a P.I.P. lightly. If you want to keep the job, then seriously take stock of what you need to do to meet the goals. Create your own plan and start implementing the activities that would get you there.
  2. Your feelings may be hurt, but this is an opportunity to show that you can rise above this low point. Put some sweat equity in. Action is what gets the job done…not sitting around and wishing things will work out.
  3. Like the general manager in the opening story, don’t quit. Reach out to those that may be able to help you meet your goals…whether it is an existing client, a co-worker or a mentor. Be open and willing to do some of the things that they advice you to do.

Maintain Positive Attitude:

  1. Be positive. I’ve seen so many people get put on a P.I.P. and immediately their attitudes become negative. This is not going to improve your manager’s opinion of you. It will validate that he or she is right about putting you on the P.I.P. in the first place.
  2. Start your day off with something that inspires you to push through. I sometimes like to watch an inspirational video on YouTube or read a quick affirmation statement to get me in a great frame of mind.
  3. Encourage others around you. The demoted general manager did not take her demotion as a defeat. Instead she maintained a positive attitude and started to encourage her peers and her direct reports. She provided positive feedback to them.

Being on a Performance Improvement Plan doesn’t mean that you cannot do the job. It simply means that you may need to make some adjustments that would move you to a higher level of performance. Just remember: understand what is required of you, take it seriously and maintain a positive attitude.

Many of my mentors have helped me and continue to help me attain my goals. Learn how they helped me in my book Live a Diamond Life, A Life of Purpose: Diamond Cutters.

I leave you with a short video that inspired me today:

GET INSPIRED – Never Give Up On Your Goals!

Remember the Diamond is within you on Timeless Tuesday!

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