Last Wednesday I presented my first (and perhaps only) webinar. To prove to myself and the world that I’m capable of presenting a webinar made it a worthwhile experience, although I suspect that there will be no tangible benefit derived. I was not paid to present (same old story, hey?). So far, the only follow-up has been a guy who wrote to me looking for free advice (of course!).
Nonprofit Webinars offers free one hour presentations each week and the selection is very good. My topic was “A Business Plan for Your Nonprofit”. If you’re interested, please visit http://nonprofitwebinars.com and you will be able to access my presentation, plus several others. Maybe you can explore the possibility of presenting a webinar yourself?
Putting together the presentation text was not a huge chore, since I teach business plan writing on a regular basis. The challenge was editing down a 6 hour workshop to less than one hour (to allow for a Q & A session) and adapting the focus to a nonprofit, rather than for-profit, venture.
The part I hated was creating the Power Points. I am no graphic artist and I resent that audiences expect as much graphics works as they do content. My feeling is that a webinar is like radio. Content is king and graphic art is the chorus. The mere thought of producing graphic art work caused me severe stress. But I had to do the deed.
I found out how to get free online images and registered myself at Morguefile http://morguefile.com , which has hundreds of very decent high-resolution photos available for download to your desktop. A respectable number of them were applicable to my topic. I chose photos that were interesting and somewhat ironic or amusing, yet still related to my topic.
High resolution photos present a problem, though, because too many photos cause your file to be too “heavy” to send as an attachment. Thank goodness a friend who is proficient in producing customized Power Points shrank some of the images and combined with text on some slides and wrote text on top of other photos. She also used the Power Point animation feature, which I know exists, yet was totally unable to figure out. As I said, graphics work is not my forte.
On webinar day, there were technical issues to surmount. Go-to-Webinar refused to download in Internet Explorer, but thank goodness I also have Firefox. Second, one is supposed to speak into a land line with a headset. I had neither, but my iPhone 4 gave good sound quality, according to the moderator, and it was better without the headset.
I rehearsed, but I could have done more (my schedule went crazy). I got a little nervous and talked somewhat too fast. I synched the slides, the text and my voice over rather well. I did my best to sound more conversational and less preachy because a webinar is radio, with visuals.
I developed simple poll questions to help me know who in the audience had done business planning and strategic planning previously and I took questions at around the 15 minute mark and again at around 30 minutes. I preferred to address a few questions as I went along, rather than holding all until the Q & A. The moderator handles all questions and the presenter gives the answers. I got some very good questions and I felt good about my answers. I conveyed my expertise, which was the objective.
Toward the end of Q & A, my phone connection cut off and I had to dial back in, which was frustrating. I handled it like a trooper and traded some relaxed banter with the moderator.
So what grade would I give myself? A solid B. If by some miracle I do this again, I’ll make myself rehearse more. Other than that, I’m happy with my performance. If only I could get a client out of it!
Thanks for reading,