In finalizing a 6 part program on Social Media Business Strategy, I’m weighing whether to deliver via teleseminar or webinar

Wordle: Online conferencing

Having promised people for ages that I would provide a seminar series on social media strategy for business, I’ve finally put the content together and am ready to launch the program in September.

The question I’m addressing right now is whether it would be more effective to deliver the program primarily via teleseminar or webinar.

There are various options available, some free, some for a price.

When I started to consider this, it seemed fairly self-evident that, for a seminar on social media, using a webinar format would be the way to go. With a webinar you can illustrate your presentation more effectively by showing participants specific applications or sites in action.

I have no shortage of material to present in webinar format. Just wondering whether that is the right vehicle for the purpose.

What started me wondering about this was listening recently to a very successful teleseminar leader talking about the significant number of people who do not listen in live but to a recording later. My recollection is that it was/is by far the majority who do not listen to the presentation live.

My assumption is that, for those people were not in on the live event, it would be easier to download an audio version and listen to it later at a convenient time and place than to make time to watch the recorded webinar version.

I know it is technically possible to cut out the audio from a recorded video, but I don’t really know how effective that would be in terms of communicating the content of the event.

From my experience, both as presenter and participant or audience, a serious challenge arises with the webinar format insofar as different participants have different levels of learning and expertise. So for some the presentation is very fresh and may even be difficult to keep up with, whereas for others it goes too slowly and the participant becomes impatient or bored.

In live presentations, those of us who are experienced presenters are constantly monitoring the room and can tell from people’s reactions (puzzled, anxious, bored, restless) whether we are going too fast or too slow and adjust speed accordingly. In a webinar, it seems to me, you have to try and find a medium kind of pace and press on, hoping you have struck a reasonable balance.

Audio now, video later?

Another possibility I’ve been considering would be in a sense an amalgam of the audio and video formats. This would involve providing a teleseminar (audio alone) format and complementing that with a set of videos to illustrate specific items in the presentation where a visual display would be helpful.

An example of this would be that in the teleseminar I could talk about setting up profiles on LinkedIn and other social networking platforms, focusing on the key branding and communication issues. Then those participants who needed to be stepped through the processes, from the most basic signing up to the more advanced tweaking, could select from a set of videos and watch just the ones they needed, rather than having to work at a middle of the road pace on material either quite unfamiliar to them previously or quite old hat.

So I’m edging towards the teleconference + separate videos approach, although I am still somewhat open to persuasion to go for the webinar format. I could still provide supportive , explanatory videos on specific items, to complement the main webinar video.

As a leadup, I’m providing a free teleconference week after next, Wed Sept 8 5 pm PT and Thurs Sept 9, 2 pm PT (US times). For details and to register, see the box in the sidebar.

In the meantime, if you can shed some light on this question about teleseminar vs webinar, I would be most grateful.

The following two tabs change content below.
Des Walsh is an executive coach. He helps business owners and entrepreneurs worldwide deal effectively with the feeling of being left behind or overwhelmed, or both, about social media – especially LinkedIn - and how to engage safely and effectively with social media to help grow their business. Connect with Des on LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter. And to stay in the loop, get Des’s weekly Social Business Bites (select snippets of his "best of the week" online finds).