A webinar can be a presentation, audio discussion, demo, or training session. There’s a host who’s sometimes the presenter and attendees — people who are watching and listening to the webinar. Attendees are viewing:
- Presentations like PowerPoint slides
- Videos embedded into the slide deck or part of the presentation itself (like YouTube videos)
- The presenter’s screen in the case of a demo or some instruction
- Chat or instant message to ask questions or read comments
Attendees are also listening to audio, usually the presenter speaking about what is being shown.
Webinars can be live or pre-recorded. In fact, these days, pre-recorded webinars save time and money, especially if the same content is being shown multiple times to a variety of audiences.
And these days you can use just about any device — tablet, smartphone or laptop — to attend a webinar.
What’s the benefit of a webinar? (Why have one?)
Sales and marketing professionals use webinars to share content and information with the potential for lead-gen or purchase. Trainers use them to provide information and knowledge.
Bottom line webinars are usually created to persuade or inform. Here’s an example of a webinar created with the American Marketing Association: Webinar content ideas
The history of webinars
When you think about all Internet-related technology, you have to remind yourself it’s not that old. The first webinar is credited to NetMeeting in 1996. Since then, technology has vastly improved — audio quality, video quality, and presentation. If you’re old enough, remember what it was like to use the Internet back in 1996; connection speeds were considerably slower and resolution was less clear.
Considerations today for webinars
Here at ReadyTalk, we love meetings and webinars. We have a variety of ideas on how to improve or begin your webinars. We even have people who run webinars for you, if that’s what you want. Here are a few webinar resources to help get you going or improve what you’re already doing: