I design and deliver or support a fair number of webinars. Last night, as I de-briefed a webinar that had just wrapped with a colleague of mine, we felt the content was good. The delivery was good. The interaction was good. But we still ran into a very severe flaw.
People’s phone etiquette!
People calling in after the webinar had begun, and being interrupted every 60-90 seconds by an automated voice that announced the latest webinar participant had joined the meeting.
People having conversations with others in their office and not placing themselves on mute.
People cutting out… and then hearing the automated voice re-introduce them to the webinar.
After my colleague and I complained to one another about this for several minutes, we thought the best way to mitigate this in the future would be to have a conversation with webinar attendees. We’re fortunate enough to have an in-person meeting next week with many of our webinar attendees. The only question that remains is: how do we go about telling people that their phone etiquette is so poor?
We plan to use this video as a tool to introduce the topic:
We’ll follow it with a discussion about similarities and differences to our own webinars and we’ll begin to articulate some ground rules for future webinars.
Sometimes the thing that holds back an effective presentation isn’t the design or the content or the delivery, it’s something more fundamental.