When I started teaching, I watched experienced teachers and tried to copy their style. I even tried to copy their facial and vocal expressions, their sense of humour and their ways of interacting with the class. When I didn’t get the same reaction from my class as those experienced teachers got from theirs, I couldn’t understand what I was doing wrong. The same happened when I was learning difficult pieces on the violin. I listened to records (in those days) and copied the inflections and performance nuances of the virtuoso performers I heard.
What was going wrong?
The problem was that my classroom delivery and violin playing sounded false. This was because when I copied someone else, I wasn’t expressing myself, I wasn’t being myself.
What was the answer?
I realised I needed to put my own character in to my teaching and playing in order to sound genuine. I needed to use my own sense of humour, my own interpretation of the music, even if this sounded and looked completely different to the expert teachers or instrumentalists.
It hit me that when I learned the music really well then I could concentrate on adding my own flavour to the performance. When I used own, dry sense of humour with my classes, it brought the house down – well, sometimes.
How does this apply to Webinar hosting?
In hosting Webinars, the effectiveness of the session can be dramatically enhanced if we relax and be ourselves. Obviously, the hosting style needs to be appropriate to the audience and purpose pillars of the Webinar Quick Tips Four Pillars. If you are running Webinars for a company, there will be corporate style to take account of, if your audience is wacky and informal, you need to try to reflect that in your hosting style.
However, the more you can fit your own personality into the mix, the more people will want to interact and develop a human relationship with you. We might want it to be different but hosting Webinars is partly about personality – revealing your personality appropriately will create ‘repeat attenders’ and then ‘fans’. Maybe they will not be fans of you as host but maybe you will create followers of the concept, product or service you are trying to promote.
What’s certainly true is that if an audience feels no human connection to you as a host then they are less likely to want what your organisation has on offer – we are all human after all.
That’s why social media is so huge – we are social beings which means we all want to have a personal connection to those we interact with – even if that’s online.
…let your personality shine through in your hosting, bearing in mind the audience and purpose of your Webinar. This is partly how Steve Jobs helped Apple to sell so much in his time – he genuinely loved the products and showed it through his presentations at product launches – his personality shone through as he enthused calmly. How can you use your personality to do the same in your Webinars?