It was great fun! I was rather nervous and didn’t really feel prepared enough but it went well anyway. We got a thumbs-up on our performance and that felt great. Our first feedback came before we had even started. Markus raised the point that we hadn’t been clear about what we expected of the project team in this demo. That was perfectly correct and if the truth be told we weren’t completely clear ourselves until a couple of days ago. It’s partly due to my own expectations. The project group to me have the role of the teacher and as such I expect them to give me clear guidelines of what is expected and how I should perform. I haven’t had time to reflect on this earlier and therefore haven’t asked any questions or asked for guidance. I suppose I’m a bit anxious about asking silly questions or disturbing people and making myself look stupid and that’s why I haven’t taken any initiative in this matter. You learn every day! Markus mentioned that the project group also needs to be clearer about what they expect from the partner organisations and present clear objectives for the cooperation. For example project members participate in our webinars as webinar experts, members of our target group. look at specific aspects etc.
For next time: WHAT do we want to achieve? When are we going to do it, HOW do we prepare and make sure we devote ENOUGH time. Specify this and share it with the project team, be clear about what we expect of them and what sort of feedback we want and what we want them to look at specifically.
Then the actual webinar. We decided to manually move the pods around the screen. We did this because we assume that many of our future participants are not used to this form of communication and will not want to maximise window size themselves etc. We we advised to make double layouts and simply click the slides up and down so that they didn’t get squint or shaky. I got the idea that we could record a pre-webinar film where we show people how to adjust the volume, how to make pods larger or smaller and so on. We could send a link to that recording with the invitation to the webinar. That would be something (and what fun to record a film like this!).
We also learned that when we maximised the share pod the chat disappears and it’s that channel that makes a webinar different from a recorded film. It is hard to justify a webinar in that case I think, for me a webinar is an alternative for those who cannot come to a physical meeting or cannot spare the time. The difference between a webinar and a recording is that it is live and so you make an effort to attend instead of just saving a link and then saying “I’ll look at this when I have time.” And then forgetting about it completely. That is the main reason for my interest in webinars – but I realise that I have to challenge my ideas. I hope that new ideas will develop as we go on this spring.
We took less time than we had expected, which was positive, but we should have explained why we did the poll and how we were going to use the information. Completely right – and as usual the main challenge is to relax control and be prepared that not everything goes according to schedule. Challenge number two was time – it goes so quickly when you get sidetracked. You shouldn’t promise too much at the start and instead give a more general outline – we’ll give you an introduction, talk about X and Y etc – but we’ll adapt our content according to your questions. Another good tip was to have an extra laptop and log in as a participant to see what they see. This sounds very good and will give added security.
We should also say at the start that the presentation material is available from our website so the participants don’t have to wonder about that. I realise we should have shown our site where all presentations are available … maybe we need to make webinar packages or send them to all participants. Why not ask everyone who wants the presentations to give their e-mail addresses in the chat?
So now we have to consider what the next step in our journey will be and when.