All posts by Keith Janofski

Keith joined ReadyTalk in 2010 as a member of the Customer Care Team. Providing superb customer service within a day to day routine was what he found so attractive about working in support. After working in Customer Care, Keith has moved on to supporting our Event’s clients. It is especially rewarding to see someone shine when the spotlight is brightest, and Keith truly enjoys sharing in his customer’s successes. A heavy Theatre background in college is partly to blame for an appreciation of quality performances. Outside of ReadyTalk, Keith continually hits the tennis courts at every opportunity. Road biking is a new hobby, and the biking tours in the mountains of Colorado provide an adequate challenge. Keith enjoys his quiet time with books as well. The longer, the better. Think Tolstoy. Follow Keith on Twitter @ReadyTalkEvents and @KeithJanofski

Worry-Free Webinars and Third-Party Moderation

Why do I think full webinar moderation is such a great service?

As an online event manager at ReadyTalk, I must first let you know that I really love my job.  On a daily basis, I get to help customers reduce the anxiety and stress that comes with hosting a webinar series — whether that’s by training content experts on the ReadyTalk webinar platform, handling technical issues during a live webinar, or even moderating their entire live event. My job is the epitome of what ReadyTalk calls the ‘people side’ of our product, and while there are plenty of other webinar technologies out there, I am proud to work for a company that prides itself on offering an exceptional customer experience.

But I digress.

Readytalk,and other 3rd party vendors, have started offering services that take all the worry out of your webinars. The service is called Full Event Moderation (FEM), which puts all of the duties of a webinar host  onto a third party like myself at ReadyTalk. As a former theatre actor, I enjoy being on stage, and I love that my customers get to breathe easy since Keith the technical expert and MC is in the house!

FEM takes the stress of a live event out of your hands by having me:

  • Train your subject matter experts on the webinar platform
  • Read the introduction script and and introduce your subject matter expert(s)
  • Moderate the webinar Q & A session, and
  • Export the attendee data and send it to you after the event

Since launching this offering last year, I have received feedback from multiple  webinar customers that this is one of the most helpful services that we provide them.  

And we even see this in-house.

Our webinar and marketing events manager, Brittany Jones, hosts multiple webinars a month and we know how stressful that can be.   The constant requirement to attend a live event can be taxing and even overbearing, especially for those who have too many events to put on or those who want to start a webinar program from the ground up.

When I think of FEM, a couple of customer profiles stick out in my mind that seem to have found the service especially helpful. There are definitely more, but we’ll start here:

1.The overloaded webinar organizer/marketer

Too many meetings, priorities, and deadlines to meet.  

And yet, you have to put on webinar after webinar.  These busy marketers work with me so that they don’t even show up for their live events.

Instead, I work directly with their subject matter experts to execute the material live on webinar day —  I take on any technical issues that come in during the live event and will moderate the webinar from beginning to end. And then when things have wrapped up, I send the organizer an email with their recording as well as the attendance statistics and chat log, giving them a head start on follow-up.  

2. The anxious webinar organizer and host

Is it paramount that your presentations come off as polished and professional?  

Are your webinars high profile and strategically important to your organization?  

If so, this is where I have seen FEM be truly helpful, and coincidentally these are the webinars that I enjoy supporting the most.  The sense that the “stakes are high” really bring out the best in me as an online webinar event manager.  

It may be getting back to that live theater aspect that I so enjoyed in college, or the fact that I truly empathize with webinar organizers who are stressed out and nervous, but pulling off a good webinar “show” in these circumstances is rewarding for the event manager, too! I sleep easy knowing that  I made an organizer look good, all while helping their organization achieve their webinar goals. You can’t beat that, right?!  

Now that I am done bragging about my role at ReadyTalk, I would love for you to see what FEM can do for your organization. Check out this ReadyTalk webinar I moderated titled, ‘Take your webinar program to the next level… with minimal stress’.

Have any questions or comments?  Feel free to shoot us an email at sales@readytalk.com.   

We would love to hear from you!

Giving to the Greater Community

ReadyTalk Habitat for HumanityOne thing that I appreciate about ReadyTalk is our sincere wish to make a positive difference in our community.  This certainly applies to relationships with other businesses and partners, but it also extends to giving of ourselves through community service programs that survive through the work of volunteers.

Every employee at ReadyTalk is given 20 hours a year to devote to a non-profit/volunteer opportunity of their choice.  We can all relate to how hectic a work week can sometimes be, so it is helpful when management encourages us to drop strictly business related matters from time to time in order to give back to the broader community.  In the words of Scott King, Co-founder and Executive VP of Sales and Marketing: “At ReadyTalk, community involvement, philanthropic activities and social responsibility are key components of our company culture.  ReadyTalk’s management team encourages and provides opportunities for employees to connect and contribute in meaningful ways.”  I, for one, can say that I sincerely appreciate that management supports such efforts.

So…speaking of such efforts, I recently took part in a Habitat for Humanity build at a location in North Denver.  It was my first time volunteering with Habitat and I truly did not know what to expect.  I did experience a bit of apprehension before heading in to the build as I am not the fondest of heights and do not possess a great deal of talent when it comes to building homes.  On the flip side, I was looking forward to being out in the sun and experiencing a bit of manual labor, as I felt like it would be something completely different from what I experience in my day-to-day routine.

Thankfully, I didn’t have to climb a ladder nor was I asked to complete technical tasks that were beyond my abilities.  Instead, I was put on a painting crew and was able to zone out to the rhythm of my own brush strokes.  As the day continued, I was introduced to some new tasks and did learn a couple of new things, even helping to draw plumb lines along the outside of the house.

Though I enjoy what I do at ReadyTalk on a daily basis, it was especially rewarding to see the fruit of our labor before my eyes!  Siding had been nailed to the walls.  Windows were installed and ready to go.  The garage was painted!  In the afternoon, the family whose house this was to be came in to assist with the build.  At that point, I felt like everything came full circle.  Not only was I getting my fair share of fresh air and sunshine, but I was also able to see the point in all of this effort.  A family in need was being supported by the greater community around them.  And thanks to a community minded employer, I was able to take part in that.  If you are interested in learning more about ways to help or volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, check out your local chapter today.

What Your Co-Presenters Need to Know to Ensure a Great Webinar

What Your Co-Presenters Need to Know to Ensure a Great WebinarAs an Event Manager at ReadyTalk, I have the privilege of assisting our customers every day in putting out the content that is important to them. Not to sound corny, but one thing I really enjoy about my day-to-day is the little bit of anxiety that I feel every time a big webinar goes live. Perhaps it comes from my theater background, but my eye and ear for a good performance has not left me since joining ReadyTalk.

The most successful webinars that I take part in are the ones in which there is an engaged team of organizers and presenters circling around a common theme. It is not unusual for a meeting organizer to have several guest speakers on a webinar, and with packed schedules, it can often be difficult to get those guest presenters on the same page while using a platform that might be new to them.

First time event organizers often ask for a checklist of the necessary to-do’s and best practices that should be shared with guest presenters. What I list below are the basic logistics and best practices for co-presenters that ensure webinar organizers are not left high and dry on presentation day! Check it out, share as necessary, AND break a leg!

Day of Live Event

• Dial the designated speaker number 30 minutes prior to live event
• Join on the web as a participant – the chairperson will promote your login
• Join the event via computer rather than a mobile device
• If you are able to connect with your co-presenters before the Live Event, you should also consider a webinar Dry Run.

Best Practices

Web

• Test your computer for compatibility prior to the event at http://www.readytalk.com/rt/test-computer.php
• Upload the presentation to ReadyTalk ahead of time or provide it to the chairperson
• ReadyTalk does not support animations uploaded within the controls
• If animations are important, contact your meeting organizer for some work-around options
• Prepare canned chat messages if necessary for the Q and A session
• Have a hard copy of the presentation as a back-up
• Avoid wireless internet connections

Audio

• Reserve a quiet location
• Use a handset/headset over a speaker phone
• Avoid dialing in on a cell phone or SKYPE
• Mute your phone line while not speaking