#astd2013, The Webinar Manifesto: Never Design or Deliver Bad Webinars Again!

The first presentation on day two was given by Matt Murdoch and it was called The Webinar Manifesto. Basically, he wanted us to declare war on bad Webinars. There are seven principles to this manifesto, and Murdoch discussed four of them. Here are the seven manifesto principles:

  1. Connect or die
  2. Don’t default
  3. Shut down the ugly
  4. Captivate or alienate
  5. Humanize the screen
  6. Crack the Feedback Code
  7. Cage the monster

Details of the principles can be found in the book, The Webinar Manifesto.

Connect or die

The first principle that Murdoch discussed was Connect or Die. He would like us to cooperate on best practices. We need to talk with others and share what is successful. Here some people and sites to follow:

Facebook: The Webinar Manifesto

Twitter: @CINDYhugg @learningexplosn

Don’t default

The second principle is Don’t default. In other words, get to learn how to use your delivery tools and try different things. We all have the same platform for delivery, don’t abandon control and creativity to the platform. Murdoch provided four tips:

  1. Awareness: Read the manual. If you do not have a manual, Google it.
  2. Attempt: Try the manual
  3. Assimilate: Apply the manual. Use only certain pieces as appropriate.
  4. Author: Write your own manual.

Here are some recommended books: The Learning Explosion and The Webinar Manifesto.

Crack the Feedback Code

I believe the next principle is Crack the Feedback Code, but I am not positive. However, Murdoch did discuss the fact that there is no non-verbal accountability in a Webinar; instead, we can do virtual accountability. He indicated that we could get verbal, visual, and kinesthetic accountability.

Verbal Accountability

In terms of verbal accountability, Murdoch recommends against muting participants. Instead leave their mics on and ask them to be respectful. Naturally, mute an individual, if they are really disrespectful.

When asking a question, give them time to speak. First set the stage, and let them know how you will be taking questions. When asking the question, include a deliberate pause of about 10 seconds. Participation rate is about 80%, if you wait. If they respond in a chat window, recognize them and ask them to respond in audio with more information. Use their names as much as possible. People positively respond to their names. He talked about the cocktail party effect, where you will suddenly focus when you hear your name called or mentioned.

Visual Accountability

To hold people visually accountable, use stories rather than lists of facts and figures. When telling stories, support with a slide just showing an image. You want to burn the image in people’s minds so they can recall the story. To break up a presentation, put up a where’s Waldo picture and have the participants indicate where it is on the slide.

Kinesthetic Accountability

For kinesthetic accountability, have participants physically do something. For example, have them download content or some file that you will refer to later. Have them “Go to page 3 of toolkit, do assessment, and do something.” Request them to do a specific task, and hold them accountable.

Shut down the ugly

In this principle, Murdoch wanted us to take the ugly out of our marketing, email invitations, social media, and presentations. He showed examples between ugly text invitations and attractive HTML messages. He provided two sites that can assist with marketing and email invitations fiverr.com and constantcontact.com. Murdoch showed how to improve Tweets by just adding the title of the Webinar and a URL to the registration site. Finally, he recommended simplifying the slides by using visuals as much as possible to burn the idea into the minds of the viewers.

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