What not to do in a webinar

Webinars are a great tool for connecting your workforce or engaging with potential customers. However, if you don't use them correctly, those benefits go out the window. Like any medium, there are certain behaviors and actions to avoid that will distract viewers from your message.

Here's what not to do in a webinar: 

Be unprepared 

Good webinars aren't just something you throw together on a whim – they take time to prepare. If you speak too quickly, ramble or fumble your words, the audience will notice and likely be a little less interested in your webinar. In fact, a survey by Redback Conferencing found that 48 percent of people said webinars were least enjoyable when there was a poor presenter. A confident presenter sharing clear, easy-to-understand information is most likely to engage viewers. 

Live webinars can forge dynamic connections with audiences, but if you're worried about hosting a live event, try ReadyTalk's Simulive webinars. This innovative feature enables the webinar host to use pre-recorded content and then present it as if it were live. But whether or not your webinar is live, make sure you practice, practice, practice beforehand!

Talk the whole time 

Webinars are not the place to carry on and on about you or your company's history, mission and values. Instead, they offer an opportunity to deliver valuable, targeted information to your audience while establishing your company as a thought leader and generating leads. 

While you're delivering this valuable information, don't make the mistake of having a person only talk to the audience the whole time. Instead, employ different ways of engaging viewers, such as through polls and Q&A segments. These interactive features make webinars more dynamic and persuasive. 

Fail to follow up 

If you sign off of your webinar, close your laptop and move on to your next task, you're missing out on an opportunity to move potential customers through the sales pipeline: A survey we conducted found that between 20 and 40 percent of webinar attendees turn into qualified leads. Follow up with attendees after the webinar, sharing the link to the recorded event as well as additional resources. Take a look at the analytics of your webinar and see which viewers watched for the longest and engaged most with polls and other interactive elements, too, and make sure you reach out to these high-performers.

CloudTalk: Data Deadlines and Marketing Automation

Within ReadyTalk’s Customer Care department are the specialists that work with our marketing and CRM automations. Clayton Hagen answers every phone call with his technical sensibilities, along with a touch of Michigander. Learn how Clay keeps our customers’ attendance data in check, plus stories on the best Halloween costumes this side of Spencer’s Gifts.   

When working with CRM and marketing automation, what’s the most common integrations obstacle?

First we need to drill down the customer’s initial concerns. If there’s an issue that’s preventing our software from communicating with their marketing program — like Eloqua, Marketo, Pardot, Hubspot, and Salesforce — it’s important that we address the snag immediately. One obstacle that comes up involves their event communication. The invitation and reminder emails used to promote the webinar or webcast are integrated with their marketing program. If there’s some block that’s not properly tracking or delivering data it’s our job to isolate the problem. This can happen days before an event or even while one is taking place. We realize the urgency and importance of everything running smoothly, so we’re under the gun to help our customers fast.

Realizing you may be slightly biased, why do you think ReadyTalk’s customer care outperforms our competitors’?

I think our team genuinely cares about our customers. We put in a lot of effort to streamline the process for them. At times we’ve been known to go out of our way to make sure they have what they need. That means communicating with other members of my department — or even reaching out to other departments if I’m not an expert in a particular area. A lot of people in customer care know what it’s like hosting a webinar. It can be scary, high pressure, with lots of time invested. We put ourselves in their shoes because it’s what we’re here for.

In five seconds, tell me how integrations work.

No. Here’s a Marketo chart.

 

What’s the funniest thing you’ve ever seen at ReadyTalk?

Always Halloween. When each department dresses up for the costume contest. It’s hilarious because each department has a theme. A baby giraffe costume stands out. It was a traumatic sight for the entire company.

How remote work helps the environment

 

Remote working has lots of benefits: increased productivity, lower overhead costs and greater employee engagement. But there’s another major benefit that you shouldn’t overlook.

Remote working helps the environment.

If you want to save the planet, why not start at your desk? Below are several reasons why remote working helps the environment based on statistics from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Tech.co Global Workforce Analytics report (and if you want a handy infographic summing it all up, we have that too).

Remote work saves gas

The office commute is the bane of the modern worker’s existence. Eliminate that step, and you’ve also helped soothe the collective psyche of not only humanity but also Mother Nature. Employees who work remotely just 50 percent of the time save 54 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions. That’s equivalent to taking 11 million cars off the road for a year, as well as the amount of carbon sequestered by 1.4 billion tree seedlings grown for 10 years.

Remote workers also avoid 119 billion miles of highway driving – that’s the mileage equivalent to circling the Earth 4.7 million times. If the image of commuters mindlessly driving around the world 4.7 million times – and all the road rage that comes with it – doesn’t scare you into making some environmental changes, then we don’t know what will.

Remote work uses less energy

Computers are incredible tools for helping us do nearly anything these days, including saving energy. The greenhouse gas emissions saved by remote workers telecommuting just 50 percent of the time was equal to the amount of electricity used by 8 million homes in one year.

Remote work decreases wear and tear

According to to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Americans take 1.1 billion car trips a day. Some 15 percent of these trips are for commuting, which comes out to 165 million driving commutes taking place each day. In addition to the greenhouse gas emissions and energy usage, having that many cars on the road every day is just plain bad for infrastructure. Roads, highways and parking garages deteriorate over time, and vehicles start having issues – leading to more car purchases. Nixing the commute and working from home protects the infrastructure around you, meaning less energy used to make costly repairs and upgrades.

Remote work helps save the environment, and when you add in using the right tools like video conferencing and unified communications, you can make sure it’s a productivity boon for your business, too.

CloudTalk: Tech Culture and Product Evolution

 

Heard from down the hall and around the corner is the undisputed best laugh at ReadyTalk. Samantha Morgan is our Senior Product Manager with four years contributing to the ReadyTalk roadmap. Sam’s zest for tech and cultural charisma is what helps make ReadyTalk great. Ask anyone and they’ll tell you — Sam is the personification of our ReadyTalk brand. Read about her day-to-day balancing act of backend geekery and front-end friendliness.

 

Q: What motivates you the most?

A: I love that each day there are new and different challenges that we need to resolve. Most of these solutions directly benefit our customers. I can tell you about the hardest project that I worked on and how it ended up having the biggest benefit. Upgrading our participant interface from Flash to an HTML5 client was no easy task. So think about it this way — it was a change that impacted our customers’ customers, partners, and teammates. In our industry there’s constant demand for change and improvement because technology is always evolving. HTML5 added new layers of backend security protection and front-end quality for users.         

Q: What made the HTML5 change so difficult for you and our engineering team?

A: In short, it’s new technology. It’s an introduction of new services that supports our critical lines of business. We work with buyers that use ReadyTalk for a variety of reasons — work collaboration, huge webinar presentations, different audio types, etc. When there’s a large volume of people hosting and joining events on a new client it’s critical that we minimize disruption of their services. This means mitigating browser limitations for all customers and their most important people.

 

Q: Why are you so invested in ReadyTalk’s culture?

A: Because I believe that we work in a place where people are empowered to make decisions and influence the progression of our company. It comes down to loving where you work. I appreciate that we are highly accountable for our own actions. We care about our mission, purpose, and each other. And most of all we care about how our work serves our customers. “Our most important people” is an expression I like using as it relates to business and service. So when we find new people to come and work for ReadyTalk we try very hard to match those goals and expectations.    

 

Q: Describe ReadyTalk in one word?

A: Dynamic

How to optimize productivity in meetings with remote workers

Having remote workers enables you to get the best talent on your team, no matter where it's located. But for telecommuting arrangements to actually be an advantage for your business, you need effective connectivity and collaboration with your remote employees. 

Many managers already struggle to hold meetings that engage in-office workers, let alone those located on the other side of the country or world. But don't sweat it; with the easy productivity practices below, you can make sure meetings with remote workers are worthwhile. 

Use video instead of audio-only meetings 

Video meetings and web conferences are the way to go when it comes to connecting with your remote workforce. They enable face-to-face communication, which helps remote workers feel like they're in the loop and part of the team. These tools improve understanding because you're able to see facial cues and not just hear someone's voice. And as organizational effectiveness consultant Shani Magosky noted in a post for InsideOut Development, these types of remote meetings reduce the chance that employees multitask while in the meeting – so no worries that they're answering emails or working on other projects while you talk.

Keep it action-oriented 

When you have remote workers scattered around the world, with each one potentially following a unique schedule, it's important that meetings bring your company closer to its goals in tangible ways. Make sure every meeting has a clear goal and purpose; for example, find a solution to a workflow issue, de-bug a tech problem or decide on next steps for a project. Even more "abstract" activities like brainstorming can have concrete objectives drawn from them, such as aiming to come up with X number of product ideas to present to upper-level management. Participants should go into the meeting knowing exactly what they need to do and come out knowing their next steps. 

Share materials seamlessly 

Remote workers shouldn't feel far away, and with video conferencing tools that enable you to seamlessly share relevant materials, they won't. Share online content, presentations, sales pitches, product demos and more during video meetings with remote workers to take collaboration and productivity to the next level. 

With the innovative platforms available today, remote workers are closer than ever. Use these tips to boost productivity in meetings with your telecommuters.