Webinar heresy: Why you should quit using polls to “engage” people

For as long as webinars and virtual classes have been around, you’ve been getting preached at: “Use polls to engage your audience!”

The problem is that, while the advice isn’t entirely wrong, it’s not entirely right, either.

What is engaging and interesting to people is something that tickles their brain, piques their curiosity, gives them a chance to contribute to how the presenter’s going to frame up a question, lets them declare their identity or opinion, and a host of other reasons.

Note that …

The Missing Question in Hybrid Event Value, a 5-Minute Mini Class

Hybrid events and meetings are the rage for good reason: they extend the reach of your message and enable engaging more people.

This 5-minute mini-class speaks to a group of meeting planners I am getting ready to do a hybrid event with (thank you Meeting Professionals International, Oregon), but it’s value goes beyond that. Anyone doing using web conferencing (webinar) technology to do mixed-location events should ask themselves this essential question.

If you say “without further ado,” you really should consider this

Update: Many of you have graciously pointed out the phrase is more accurately “without further ado,” not “adieu.” Duh! (word guy hangs his head in shame) Thank you! I’ve updated the post.


Emcees do it. Webinar moderators do it. Heck, we’ve probably all done it at one time or another.

“Without further ado, let me introduce…”

Here’s the problem.

It’s not “adieu.” (Remember, I blew it, too)

Adieu means “goodbye.” The phrase “without further adieu” means “without further goodbyes.” In other words, “I’m outta here.” “I’m …

What makeup should you wear on webcam for a webinar or virtual class?

I’m not exactly the dress up and primp myself type, but that’s not the point of wearing makeup if you’re going to be in front of a webcam during a webinar, webcast, or virtual class.

In this 2 1/2 minute video I cover:

What IS the point?
What kind is recommended?
A simple before/after with the recommended makeup

Why you might be using the wrong web conferencing software for webinars, virtual classes

Do you know someone who just can’t seem to get past the idea that webinars or virtual classes are sub-par alternatives to being in-person?

The web conferencing software you’re using could be part of the problem.

I see organizations get this SO wrong SO often I just had to say something about it. This 5-minute video will explain “the big why” from the perspective of behavioral analysis.

What do you think?


P.S. Need some help crafting an RFP …

Use this little known sound engineer’s trick to have a richer vocal sound

Years ago I moved to Portland, Oregon to pursue my fame and fortune as a songwriter. As a full time professional speaker/trainer, I don’t have to tell you how that turned out.

Along the way I did a bunch of sound engineering for bands and in studios. Here’s a simple trick anyone can do to make your voice sound warmer and richer.

P.S. If you appreciated this post, would you kindly pay it forward via social media or carrier pigeon? Thanks!


7 ways social and mobile marketing may affect your 2014 webinar strategy

Social and mobile marketing aren’t the same thing, but they go hand in hand. Because they’re so pervasive, it is inevitable that they will affect how your audience responds to your webinars.

As you’re planning the new year, here are 7 areas to think about when considering webinar programs in your content marketing strategy.


Timeframes for response

Increasingly, mobility is fueling demand for right-now information. Promoting a webinar well in advance is still advisable, but not planning up-to-the-moment-of-start-time notifications to your fans and …

6 questions that will change how you approach live online training

Many of us are old enough to be tempted to say, “If I had only known back then what I know now…,” and fewer of us were wise enough to get a mentor to help us avoid some bruises along the way.

What follows was inspired by a conversation I was having recently with a client about moving training online. The very first question in the list is one I’ve asked potential clients for years, but I realized there are more …

5 fails when adding webinars to association chapter programming

If your association chapter is like the one I lead, you’re constantly trying to deliver great programs and networking opportunities for members while motivating a bunch of otherwise busy volunteers. Making a little extra money that you can use to reinvest in the chapter is always useful, too. (see footnote #1)

The good news is that adding a virtual component to your bag of tricks can help you reach more members and generate additional revenue.

There are two ways to benefit from …

What Katie did right with her webinar slides

Want to see an awesome example of webinar slides? Kudos to Katie Stroud in a recent webinar we did together.

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