It’s as close as you can get to a face-to-face meeting, especially with today’s cheap HD cameras and Webinar software which supports several concurrent webcams.
I often wonder how video conferencing survives – but I’ve been thinking that since I started using Webinar software back in 2001.
However, when attending a Webinar, I find that after first few minutes, I can get ‘blind’ to the nodding heads on the webcams.
This depends on how the webcams are positioned but I often think they might as well be turned off apart from beginning and end of session as I don’t feel they add a great deal to the experience.
If we realise that what we have is a camera – all sorts of possibilities open up.
Of course, this depends entirely on the audience and purpose pillars of the Webinar Quick Tips 4 Pillars of Webinar success – it’s essential to consider:
- what is appropriate to share
- what level of formality or informality is needed
More on this can be found in Webinar Quick Tip 1.
…adding local colour to your event – especially if you have geographically diverse attendees and panel – show what’s in the background of your room or even out of the window- it may be very interesting to share something about the different locations you are all in.
…using physical props – write on cards and hold them up to the camera as an ice breaker – an object can also speak a thousand words like a picture does.
…going outside if you are using a mobile Webinar solution – what location could you visit which would be relevant to your Webinar session?
Perhaps the most memorable use of a webcam I have ever made was when teaching children via Webinar software. I set up an experiment with control technology which had bells, lights, buzzers and sensors. The children controlled all these remotely from their own houses via the Webinar software. They could see the results of their actions via the webcam and learned a great deal. It was also huge fun.
…just because you usually do Webinars sitting at your own desk in your office doesn’t mean you have to. Use your webcam to add some interest and excitement – within the boundaries of your audience needs and Webinar purpose.
For example, if you are selling snowboarding equipment, how can you set up your Webinar webcam to show people using your equipment in the background?
There’s a reason why rolling news programmes send reporters to a venue even when they know there’s no chance of seeing anything – they do it to give flavour and add interest.
So, within reason, what could you use your webcam for to add interest and produce a more effective and memorable Webinar experience for your audience?