Monday, March 23, 2009

Producing Webinars: Or, How Being a DJ in College Was Not a Total Waste

(Monitor Board by Micah Taylor)

If you've been around me in person, you have probably heard about my time as a DJ & news director at my (pre-online days) old college radio station and may have noticed that I sound a little different when I'm on the phone with a customer. This escalates even more when I'm hosting a webinar that's streaming both my voice and image live.

The truth? When I'm hosting webinars I'm not a librarian. I'm back on the air in the sound booth with a live audience whose attention I must work to captivate and sustain. I will never have the finesse Ira Glass displayed at ACRL 2009, although after his performance there I'm convinced he has club DJ/mashup work as part of his background in addition to NPR.

It was with great anticipation that I attended Producing Webinars for Nonprofits & Libraries last Thursday. Yes, it was a webinar about webinars. They delivered well not so much with ideas that I'd never heard of before, but rather affirmation that the lessons I've carried forward to hosting webinars from countless hours of radio editing & live soundboard work were not in vain.

Among them from my more comprehensive notes (including a great screenshot) are these

  • Having live, regularly scheduled synchronous events is a really good tool for building relationships in an online community.
  • Create a consistent webinar experience for your users
  • Multiple voices keep people more engaged instead of just one voice
  • Host can help interject charisma and interact with audience if the presenter doesn't have it.
  • Think about This American Life and how Ira Glass uses stories, they are really interesting and compelling. (I about died laughing at this point, good thing I was on mute)
I see much of this same best practices information for webinars applying to podcasting, video tutorials and other media forms involving voice narration and highly recommend at least a quick scan of my notes, checking out their PowerPoint, and/or listening to the recording.


Steve said...

Nice post with helpful information. Thanks for the link to the PPT file.

PS. I love This American Life.