Don’t get me wrong, Joe and Ann and their respective organizations do a killer job. I’m a fan.
But their report and analysis wasn’t designed to answer every question in the world including, “Why are these media effective or not?”
In-person events and webinars have been highly rated in every year they’ve done the report. Here’s one guy’s simple analysis why they make a difference in reported effectiveness:
Real human beings.
Effectiveness is more than just the content, it includes experience
Earlier this week I delivered 7 Ideas from PowerPoint Research You Can Apply Immediately for European audience, an investigation into the empirical evidence. One study looked at the use of photos in PowerPoint in terms of the photo’s relevance and with/without narration.
Relevant photos are a must, of course, but the study also found that narration dramatically increased the attention given to the slide (for both “poor” and “good” photos). Score one for the humans.
In-person events and (most) webinars have one thing (most) other content media in the report do not: Real human beings
If it was only about the content, we’d never need sales people, teachers, mentors, and yes, webinar presenters who know how to connect with an audience.
Real human beings can negatively effect the experience
I just wrapped up a survey of more than 400 people asking, Why would you leave a webinar early? The report isn’t out yet, but here’s a sneak peak:
#1 reason? Content is not as advertised.
#2 reason? Presenter is boring.
The bottom line
Human beings crave experience and connection. It’s a value that sales people, trainers, public speakers, and many others know instinctively. I think it’s even why we pay 5x or 10x as much for a live concert over getting the recording from iTunes.
This does NOT invalidate every other medium of marketing and communication.
It’s just that a “missing ingredient” in most modalities is a good dose of the real you.