Training via Webinar and 3 Things I Learned

On Friday the 30th I gave a training session via webinar to 27 business owners and learned a lot. The training was about Online Reputation Management. Another business owner and myself created the training early this year and presented it in Las Vegas in May to members of a national network - with great success and kudos given from attendees. 
Last month I received an email from the national network, asking if I could provide this same presentation/training via the internet and telephone. Of course I said Yes! Who am I to turn down the opportunity to teach, train and present? Three things I really enjoy about being a business owner.

So, I reviewed the powerpoint file from May and realized how much the internet has changed in these short few months. New statistics are available, new sites have been launched and flocked to, social media is exploding with Twitter and Facebook and LinkedIn. It is truly an amazing thing to watch because I know that there currently are no limits to what the internet can become.

The powerpoint file needed to be updated, and because the other business owner's name was on it I considered re-doing the entire training module. But after some thought I realized that it was effective in Las Vegas, so why mess with a good thing? I updated statistics, tweaked a few words here and there, and went with it.

During my introduction I made sure to credit the other business owner, mentioning that they are no longer focused on online/internet marketing, but that their expertise in Online Reputation Management was certainly evident in this presentation and that their contribution was invaluable.

The training lasted about 40 minutes and there were many questions afterward - all of which I was able to answer (yay!). Hey, sometimes there's a question that throws me and requires investigation - and yes, I know that "I don't know" is an answer, but I prefer being able to provide something more concrete if possible.

Some things I learned during the training:

  1. I really appreciate having face to face contact with my audience. Because I couldn't see their faces I found myself 'assuming' their reactions as I talked and pointed out things on each slide. It felt awkward because I couldn't respond to a reaction, a noise, a facial expression.
  2. My lower jaw locks up when I get anxious. This was an interesting development and something new. Even in Toastmasters I've not had this happen. But it did on the phone, and it did when I did an interview online via webcam. I felt the locking start about 3 minutes before the training was to begin, and to combat it I stretched my mouth as wide as possible ... repeatedly. This worked initially, but after about 15 minutes I could hear the change in my speak as my lower jaw got tighter and tighter.  I'll be looking for an answer to this in days to come.
  3. Although a webinar training module is supposed to be trainer talk, attendees listen - I like having interaction throughout a training session. I did not like having to answer questions at the end about items that were covered in the beginning. Hmm. The only answer I have for this is to layout the slides in a grid on the screen so everyone can see what the questioner is referring to. I'll have to look into how to do this the next time.
Overall I think I did well. I've not received emails or telephone calls about my performance, but I did speak with the moderator and she told me that she received emails from some attendees that gave good feedback and kudos for my performance. I hope evaluations are sent in because it's the only way I know that I can improve. Constructive criticism is vital to a presenter - it's the only way we can rid ourselves of annoying, distracting and ineffective ways of communicating.

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