Experimenting with Video Clip Playback? Try these 10 Best Practices.

If you haven’t checked out ReadyTalk’s video clip playback feature you’re definitely missing out. It’s a great way to add an engaging or informational element to your webinar, training, or sales presentation. Many of our customers have already shared their use cases with us and it never gets old to hear about creative ways its being used. For those of you already utilizing this great feature we’ve honed in on some very helpful best practices we’d like to connect you with.

1.     Use 1 – 3 short (around 2 or 3 minute) video clips to add an engaging element to your webinar or sales presentation. 

Short video clips add engagement without dragging on – they also limit the potential for participants to experience buffering or for their playback to get out of sync with presenters or other participants. 

2.     Upload and test your video out at least a day ahead of your presentation.

It's always good to make sure you're happy with the final product before you push the clip out to your audience – a little testing and practice never hurt anyone!               

slide_video

3.     Plan to push your video out along with uploaded PowerPoint slides vs. application share.

The transition from uploaded slides to an uploaded video clip to a poll is extremely smooth as everything is laid out in chronological order in our slide gallery (with the option to resort on the fly as needed). Switching from desktop or application share to a video clip is of course possible but much less seamless which could cause a disruption to your participants.  

4.     Familiarize your presenters with the end of the video clip they'll be playing. 

You don't want your presenters caught off guard as a clip is about to end – make sure they are aware of the video clip in your dry run or give them a visual queue like a private chat during the presentation as the video clip is about to end. 

5.     If you're working with ReadyTalk's events team give them a heads up during your dry run that you plan on pushing a video clip out during your webinar. 

Our event managers are a great resource for you when planning your webinar. Give them some lead time when you are planning to playback a video clip and they will be able to lend a hand. 

pause

6.     Get your video file in one of our supported file types prior to uploading and keep it under our 100mb upload limit.  

mp4, mpeg, mpg, flv, swf, wmv, mp3, wav, or wma

7.     At the beginning of your presentation and before playing the video clip to your participants let them know that the audio portion of the video will come through their computer speakers. 

If your participants are dialed in to the audio portion of your call vs. participating in our Broadcast Audio feature they may not realize that the audio portion of the video is actually coming through their computer speakers. A simple reminder will go a long way. 

8.    Pause the video clip if the presenter wishes to speak to an image or idea that was just presented.

Using the pause function on the video gives your presenters great flexibility in speaking to a specific concept or idea that the video just illustrated. This is a very useful presentation technique that you should practice in your dry run to make sure they can execute on the live event.  

9.    Wait a few seconds after the video is done playing for you before you begin presenting again.

Often times your participants are ever so slightly out of sync from your playback experience as a presenter. Give them just a few seconds to catch up before you start your presentation again.    

poll10.   Poll your participants on the video clip they just watched to get their feedback. 

What better way to create an engaging and productive webinar for you and your participants than to gather your audiences thoughts and reactions to the interactive clip you just showed them – or to give your attendees a quick quiz on what you just trained them on. If this idea interests you check out more information on ReadyTalk’s polling feature on the blog.

 

Are there other tips, tricks, or best practices you’d like to add to the list? Please add them in the comments below! 

Dial-Out to Participants

Participant running late to a meetingImagine you are in a ReadyTalk online meeting, everyone is ready to go but you are waiting for that last person to join the audio conference.  Instead of emailing or calling them on your cell phone to 'gently' remind them to join your audio and web conference, you can can dial them directly into the audio conference using our Dial-Out feature.  

The ReadyTalk Dial-Out feature is an easy and quick way for a chairperson to connect people directly into an audio conference.  Just follow these easy steps:

  1. Start your audio conference
  2. Press *1 
  3. Enter the participant's phone number after the prompt
  4. Verify the number
  5. Press *1 again to join the participant into the call 

The Dial-Out option is also available via the web.  This document contains detailed instructions on how to use the Dial-Out feature. 

Now go and make your audio and web meetings more efficient by dialing participants directly into your conference. 

 

 

 

The Power of Tying Audio and Web Conferencing Data into Salesforce

Dreamforce 2012 is coming up fast and ReadyTalk is gearing up for an action-packed week. It has also been just over a year since we launched the first version of ReadyTalk for Salesforce – a seamless integration between our audio and web conferencing service and salesforce.com. One of the things I'm most looking forward to at Dreamforce (other than the nightly parties and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, of course) is talking one-on-one with hundreds of real-world Salesforce users to get ideas for enhancements that will help them get even more from their webinars, sales demos, and online training sessions.

Responding to Market Needs

Over the past year, ReadyTalk has attended Dreamforce as well as numerous Cloudforce and Cloud Essentials events and we've learned a ton about how companies want to tie audio and web conferencing data into Salesforce. This feedback led to a number of enhancements to ReadyTalk for Salesforce, including:

  • The ability to schedule and start sales demos right from the Lead or Contact record
  • Automatic capture of polling data from a webinar or online training in salesforce.com
  • The option to build out Leads and Contacts with ReadyTalk registation data

We're continuing to invest in our integration with Salesforce to make it even more useful for marketing, training, and sales professionals. There are a few common themes we are hearing in the market …

More Data, Please

Many users that I talk to want every piece of data captured in their conferencing or webinar platform to be easily accessible in salesforce.com. Today, ReadyTalk for Salesforce captures registration, attendance, and polling data, but people also want data from chat conversations, post-event surveys, and recording playbacks. 

Dashboards give better visibility into conferencing data in Salesforce

Help Me Act on the Data

Automatically capturing conferencing data in Salesforce is just part of the equation. The real value is in what you can do with that data once it is in salesforce.com. A lot of people have asked for more visibility into the data once its in Salesforce – better dashboards and easier reporting. Some have also requested tools to help them drive workflows based on the data. For example, the ability to prioritize webinar leads for sales follow-up based on attendance status and an individual's repsonse to a specific poll question.

Close the Loop

Some users want do more than integrate their conferencing platform into Salesforce. They also want to tie into other key applications that play a role in their sales and marketing processes. For example, some people want upcoming online sales demos to appear in both their Salesforce and Outlook calendars and others want to schedule demos in Outlook and have the data automatically captured in salesforce.com.

Our team is listening to this input from our customers and from the Salesforce community and considering it as we prioritize future releases of ReadyTalk for Salesforce.

 

Are you a Salesforce users who conducts audio and web conferences? What would you like to see next in ReadyTalk for Salesforce? Leave a comment or come by booth #1429 at Dreamforce to share your ideas! And, don't forget to join us on Thursday night for an awesome party.

Put the Chat Feature to Work for You

For most chairpersons, running a webinar is just a tiny part of their job description and they don't have the time to learn every nuance of a technology platform (especially if they run webinars on multiples services).

Here's a quick and easy guide to the ReadyTalk chat feature to empower it to make your live events easier and more stress-free. 

  1. Get the Bird's Eye View: The chat feature's default location is in the lower left corner of the Conference Controls, but you can customize that layout very easily using the familiar drag-and-drop and resizing techniques. Click-hold-and-drag on the blue header bar that says "Chat" and pull it "out" of the Conference Controls window. Then click-hold-and-drag in the lower right corner to make it bigger. Move the Controls window to the top of your screen and place the chat window below it — voila! See the chat like a bird sees the city.
     
  2. Filter Your Recipients: Only want to see the chats from your Co-Presenters? Don't want to risk chatting to the entire audience? Select "All Co-Presenters"  and send a quick message like "Hi Fellow Co-Presenters!" Then right-click (Mac users will Control-click) and select "New Window" from the menu that appears. You can move and resize that new window, too, and it serves as a private chatroom just for you and the other co-presenters! You can do the same thing with individual participants by right-clicking their name in the participant list and selecting "Chat" from the menu.
     
  3. Keep It Simple for Keynote Speakers: Do you want to keep the general chat out-of-sight for a keynote presenter but make sure she can see questions and timestamps and move-closer-to-the-microphone messages?  That's an easy one. Right click on her name in the Participant List and select "New Window" from the menu. Then send a quick message like "hello" and instruct her to right click and select new window to create a private chatroom for you and her. Then have her click on the two little upward arrows on the right side of the blue header bar where "Chat" is written — this will "minimize" the main chat feature and leave her with only the messages you send. So copy/paste questions/comments into that private chat window and you are good to go.
     
  4. Prepare Pre-Written Stock Messages: Do you know that you'll be providing the recording by email a few days after the webinar?  Do you want participants to use a Twitter Hashtag? Do you have forgetful or "super busy" participants who might forget the dial-in number? Are your participants going to get credit for attending the webinar? Don't want to answer these questions on the fly or retype your answer 100 times?  Great — pre-write your responses! Open a text document or email and get ready to copy/paste as necessary. Here are some ideas:
  • "Hi everyone, thank you for attending today. The audio can be heard by dialing ###-###-####. Thanks!"
  •  "Ladies and Gentlemen, please submit your questions using the chat feature throughout the presentation — we will answer them at the end and as time allows."
  •  "Continue the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #readytalk"
  •  "Ladies and gentlemen, we will provide a recording of today's presentation via email in a few days — stay tuned!"
  •  "Want to follow along? Download the slide presentation now at this link: www.yourwebsite.com/webinardeckdate.pdf"
  •  "Do you need credit for attending today?  Forward the follow-up email we send you to credit@mycompany.com!"
  •  "Experiencing technical difficulties? Call ReadyTalk Customer Care at 800.843.9166. Thanks!"

So there you go — you're a Chat Feature Pro! And ReadyTalk is full of features like this that can make your life (and your webinars) easier if you just know how to put them to use. How do you use the Chat Feature?

Reflections on the MarketingSherpa 2012 B2B Summit

Last week, Graham Smith, one of our account executives and I headed to the MarketingSherpa B2B Summit in Orlando, FL (thankfully we had zero travel troubles with the impending tropical storm turned hurricane). ReadyTalk was a sponsor again this year as MarketingSherpa decided to condense their usual two conferences into one.  While we were only there for a couple of days, there were many people (fellow marketers especially!), great conversations to be had, and key takeaways on the latest and greatest ways to generate the most qualified leads for your sales team. 

In addition to exhibiting at the show, I was lucky enough to host a roundtable discussion with a handful of attendees to discuss best practices as they relate to webinars and driving audience engagement before, during and after the event.  During the discussions (there were three total, 15 minutes per group), I think I learned just as much as I offered up through my experiences at ReadyTalk.  Some of the areas that we focused on included:

1)    Document the webinar objectives, target audiences, and success metrics, and most importantly, communicate them to key stakeholders to set consistent expectations from get-go.

2)    Create a project plan that includes tasks, owners, and due dates. Ask (and ask again) that your speakers both prepare and practice the content ahead of time.

3)    Promote…with a clear and concise message to let your audience quickly understand why they should your webinar.  Ken Molay shared a recent blog post emphasizing this very point.

4)    Use audience engagement tools during your live event (video clips, polling, social media) and give your participants a single contact to reach out to for any post-event questions.

5)    Follow-up immediately….in a segmented way.  Create targeted messaging based on attendance duration. For example, an attendee who stayed for 4 minutes should not get the same email as a participant that was engaged for 45 minutes.  Reach out to participants a few hours after the live event concludes via email, and with a phone call within 24 hours.

6)    Distribute assets such as the presentation, whitepapers, and the recording.  Leverage your recorded content to extend your webinar investment by making it available through various channels and continue your lead generation efforts.

What did I learn?

  • Use a ‘last chance’ email to get a bump in your registration numbers. It creates a sense of urgency and has gotten one of our roundtable participants a double digit percentage increase in registration numbers!
  • Support for simu-live events continues to grow.  Many of the show attendees have webinar participants in multiple countries and time zones, and need to display a pre-recorded webinar with live Q&A via chat.

In between networking breaks, I was able to drop-in to a couple of very interesting sessions. One of them focused on reaching your customers by fascinating them with your brand.  Fascination was defined as intense, emotional focus, and enables a customer to become more engaged and loyal to your brand, as they feel more valued, ultimately increasing your company’s ROI.  The seven triggers of fascination include:

1)    Power: Take control, be the authority

2)    Passion: Build emotion

3)    Mystique: Selectively edit information, leave them wanting more

4)    Prestige: Set a higher standard

5)    Alarm: Create efficient and practical solutions

6)    Rebellion: Use creativity to surprise and delight

7)    Trust: Build loyalty (this one takes the longest but is most rewarding)

Pick one of these triggers to focus on and you’re off to the fascination races!

And finally, Graham and I made some great connections at the ReadyTalk booth, with current customers and future prospects.  We love hearing what’s top of mind for marketers, and ways that ReadyTalk might help ease some of those issues.  A great show for all!