Sam Morgan

My First Webinar – From Panic to Calm

Have you ever been asked to recommend someone to do something, that isn’t in your comfort zone, and you panic, because the recommendation is you? That happened to me. A member of our Marketing team asked for a recommendation for a speaker to talk about and demo our new product, ReadyTalk Illuminate – Replay. The correct answer was me. Afterall, I’m the Product Manager. Panic washed over me. I had never been a speaker on a webinar. To add to my anxiety, the webinar was slated to be done live. I gave a noncommittal answer, said I needed time to think about it, and, as a well-trained Product Manager, asked for the deadline.

Drew, Robyn and Sam talking about the webinarAfter getting over my panic and getting a, “You know the right answer” nudge from my manager, I committed. As we planned the event, and my anxiety didn’t subside, it dawned on me. “Why not use Illuminate – Replay?” A Replay about Replay! My anxiety turned into sheer giddiness. Without much selling, my co-worker agreed. Then, the team changed. Our webinar pro was no longer available. The new team responsible for this webinar included two webinar newbies, and one person who hadn’t conducted webinars in a while. Using Replay sounded like an even better idea now.

Replay enabled us to laugh, joke and enjoy the experience

We decided to do an interview style discussion, a demo, and then the big Replay reveal. The preparation ended up being a planning session, a recording session for the interview portion, a recording of the product demo, and a review of the edited recordings. We all had some angst going into the planning session, which was supposed to be our recording session. By the end, we were laughing and joking. I looked forward to the recording session. During the recording session , it was awesome to be able to redo the bloopers (and to laugh at them). Not having the stress and pressure of being live was even better.

I recorded the product demo portion of the event on my own time. I loved being able to fix mistakes and produce the demo about which I felt good. Again, I appreciated not having the added pressure of being live.

Instead of stress, the day-of was fun

On the day of the event, all three of us went about our normal morning work in the morning. We met 15 minutes before the start of the event. I had butterflies, which was silly. I only needed to monitor and respond to chats. The rest of the work was done. My webinar-experienced coworker shared that normally the morning would be filled with nothing but preparation for the event along with a lot of stress and anxiety. Instead, the three of us had childlike excitement with an overall sense of calm. We discussed what a strange set of feelings those were.

We continued to be productive in that 15 minute pre-event window. When the event started, we began whispering to each other. We burst out laughing. We didn’t need to whisper. No one could hear us. We monitored chats and even did some brainstorming. Another realization came to us, we could be interacting with our attendees right then. We started posing questions in chat to spark a conversation. We didn’t get a lot of chats during the interview segment. Once the demo started, a few attendees started asking questions. We responded in the moment.

Great feedback about the webinar

After the big reveal, that our event was a Replay, we asked if the attendees noticed. We received some great feedback – all positive. There were no concerns with the fact that it was pre-recorded. We also received some very humorous chats.

Webinars can be stress-free

The whole experience was pleasant and positive. I loved that experience and the feelings I had leading up to, during, and after the event.

My main takeaway: webinars can be fun and stress-free. I will never shy away from doing another webinar again … as long as I can pre-record it.

For more about Replay

For more about Replay or webinar referenced here, watch below.

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