Webinars for crowd-sourcing

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Guest post by Francisca Frenks | The Netherlands | www.xwebonar.nl  | www.Dyhme.com | francisca@xwebinar.nl
Since 2008 she has offered training for webinars, virtual classrooms, online & synchronous collaborative sessions. Her focus is on the human factor while working with technology. 

It was 2012. I trained some people for a remarkable webinar. An insurance company wanted to ask the opinion of their agents about a new insurance product during a webinar.

Invitation

First there was an invitation send to the insurance agents. They were needed because of their expertise and experience with customers. The insurance company wrote that they would be very honoured if the agents could help to improve the product they had to sell.

I would be very honoured if someone asked me to participate because of my expertise and experience. They treat me as a valuable partner.

Preparation

One host and one presenter were trained for the webinar. They learned how to use the software, why it had to be technically perfect, why they had to use a headset, an internet cable, seated in a quiet room etc.

The presenter learned to talk with a webcam, to do some interaction in a natural way. I gave him presentation lessons, to be authentic, to the point, a great host and a natural performer.

Of course a webinar has to be technically perfect and hospitality must be endless without being overdone. I think integrity and clarity is important. During a webinar the feelings of the participants are not disabled.

Performance

The participants came online. 120 people out of 140 were there…

We didn’t believe it.

There was a great welcome and introduction. Everybody knew what they had to do. Give the best of themselves.

The presenter had divided his Powerpoint presentation in parts. Each part contained:

  • Presentation about a part of the product
  • Questions for the participants to improve this part of the product

The most important feature was that the time for interaction was double the time used for the presentation.

Often webinar presenters forget that we need time to think when we have heard something new. And silence… Most of the webinar presenters ask something and then start to explain and to talk. How do you expect high quality input if your words are troubling my thinking process? Of course you can say. “Now you have 5 minutes time to think and write.”

Interaction

The instruction for the participants was clear: “Please put your comments, your tips about this part of the product into the chat. You have … minutes. After the webinar you can always email us with more tips.”

What happened? All participants started writing, formulating their tips, their comments. They inspired each other in the chat and maybe there was a bit of competition… who had the smartest comments, the most authentic answers?

The insurance company was flabbergasted because of all the free and useful tips they received on the product.

This was in 2012 and since then I am fond of crowdsourcing webinars, as long as they are well prepared.

The end

The insurance company was very clear that they were happy with the input and that the product had been improved by all these tips. There was an email address for people who wanted to add some more comments and they would all be notified when the product was finished.

There was a great “Thank You” at the end and everyone was satisfied.

Image: Pixabay under Creative Commons CC0 Public Domain

 

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