by Miranda Vande Kuyt
Webinars are the answer! I state this with confidence.
Don’t have time to go back to school? Take a webinar! Live too far away to attend training? Take a webinar! Need to reach remote clients? Host a webinar! Want your staff to stay current with what leading career practitioners are teaching? Send them to a webinar!
What is a Webinar?
A “webinar” is a “web seminar”. Quite simply, it is where people gather virtually around their own computers and a facilitator walks them through a presentation via the web. The audio may be through your computer speakers or through a conference call (a.k.a. “teleseminar”). The presentation could be sent through email or through a web based application.
In the past webinars have been successful tools in marketing and sales, corporate training and team collaboration. Now they have become an economical and convenient way to bring training into the homes of people across the world.
Why “Attend” a Webinar?
I first discovered webinars as a stay-at-home mom wanting to keep current in the field of career development. I was looking for a way to “attend” training without interfering with nap schedules. The answer: webinars.
Webinars can assist clients in researching new careers and are an easy way for anyone to add new training to a resume. Like me, many clients (and career practitioners) want to attend workshops but have restraints such as distance, time or responsibilities that hold them back. A webinar is convenient because people can “attend” training without leaving their homes or offices. Many wfebinars are recorded for those who cannot “attend” the live presentation, and can be listened to at a later time.
Being unemployed and/or on a tight budget may make training less affordable – not only in tuition but also in travel costs. The good news is that many webinars are free. Most hosts of free public webinars are trying to put themselves out there as subject matter experts. They hope this will result in business for them, either in sales, services or paid webinars in the future.
The content of free webinars is usually quite good. If the webinar doesn’t turn out to be all you hoped it would, it is easy to leave by just hanging up, and you haven’t wasted any money on registration or travel – just your time.
Webinars are available in almost every topic you can think of. Finding a webinar is as easy as doing a Google or YouTube search. Some great sites to find career development webinars are at www.careerjoy.com and www.careerealism.com. Meggin.com gives a great explanation of everything you need to know to attend your first tele-seminar.
Why Host a Webinar?
Webinars are a great way to reach remote clients or staff. If you are unfamiliar with how webinars work you can start by attending a few on the topics you would like to teach and about how to host a webinar.
There are several easy options to creating your first webinar.
- Record a facilitator giving a live presentation then load the video onto a video web application such as www.youtube.com. You can then email the link to any clients requesting the information.
- You could also use www.skype.com to do a live video conference call while leading a small gathered group of individuals on the other end through a pre-sent PowerPoint or handout.
- There are several web applications that make hosting a webinar a breeze such aswww.dimdim.com, www.gotomeeting.com and www.gotowebinar.com. Some of these applications are free or have free trial periods. The challenge is, as with all technology, there may be someone who is having difficulty so trouble-shooting issues may arise.
Webinars are the Answer
Webinars are a great way to learn or teach something new. Whether you are trying to break into a new career or are trying to excel in a current one, you can find a webinar that will point you in the right direction.
Miranda Vande Kuyt is an innovative Project Consultant and has been a Content Developer and Social Media Strategist for the past four years working on the www.passporttowork.ca and the www.workinfonet.bc.ca/youth websites. You can learn more about Miranda and her project consulting services on her blog at http://mirandavandekuyt.wordpress.com.