ClickMeeting http://blog.clickmeeting.com Online Meetings. Solved! Wed, 30 Jul 2014 12:12:33 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 How MOOCs Are Changing How We Think About Higher Education http://blog.clickmeeting.com/moocs-changing-think-higher-education http://blog.clickmeeting.com/moocs-changing-think-higher-education#comments Wed, 30 Jul 2014 12:12:33 +0000 http://blog.clickmeeting.com/?p=3248 Read more

How MOOCs Are Changing How We Think About Higher Education is a post from: ClickMeeting

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Online learning is now fully absorbed in the American higher education system.  More than 20 percent of all students currently enrolled in higher education are taking at least one distance course, according to the data from the National Center for Education Statistics.  The development of MOOCs – Massive Open Online Courses – has added a new layer to how online education puts learning into the hands of the student.  These courses, offered on platforms like edX, Coursera, and Udacity, are free and very low cost options for learning a variety of subject areas.  Lectures are delivered in a convenient pre-recorded video format that can be accessed any time.

Academia is a long ways away from having MOOCs replacing a traditional college education – if ever.  Many college professors and administrators are still skeptical about how well teaching via a MOOC using video can compare to in-classroom lectures.  But one thing is for certain: MOOCs are starting a conversation about whether the lecture model of instruction is still working, or if there are better alternatives (whether the alternative is a MOOC or not).  Prestigious universities like MIT and Harvard have had their hands on MOOCs from the beginning – as these schools are cofounders of edX, many of their professors are using the content from those courses in their traditional classes.  It’s an experiment in content delivery.  And so far, MOOCs have revealed some interesting findings about how they turn the traditional educational model on its head.

 

The role of the professor

educationThe college classroom experience most people have in common consists of sitting in a lecture hall listening to a professor talk for an hour or more.  With so much material to be covered, there is little time for discussion in most class sessions.  The role of the professor is traditionally the “sage on the stage,” there to impart irreplaceable wisdom and knowledge onto their pupils.  In a MOOC, this role is taken away, or at the very least, diminished.  The professor may still give their online lecture in a pre-recorded video, but the lecture is not the only, nor necessarily the primary, source of information for the course content.

The new maxim, “guide on the side,” describes the changing role of the professor in a MOOC setting, as one who facilitates independent learning and steps in when needed.  This format allows for greater flexibility with in-classroom activities.  The MOOC course format allows the professor to “flip” the classroom, pointing students to video lectures that can be watched outside of class, and spending class time on engaging discussion and critical thinking exercises.  The professor can in this way do less talking and more showing, which often leads to more learning.

 

Academic sharing and collaboration

155553143Sharing syllabi, assignments, and other course materials is an age-old timesaving strategy for many professors, as well as an opportunity for them to learn a thing or two from each other.  The virtual environment and open nature of MOOCs creates additional opportunities for professors to share teaching strategies, collaborate on meeting learning objectives, and contribute to each other’s courses.

As an example, the “Introduction to Psychology” course offered on Udacity is taught by three people: one professor, one lecturer, and one Udacity employee.  The result is a mix of teaching styles and methods that are applied when they best serve the students.  The Udacity employee was the youngest of the three, and brought with her the ability to identify with Udacity’s typically younger students.  The two professors ended up using the videos the Udacity employee created in their traditional classrooms at their respective institutions.  In this way, MOOCs are providing a built-in outlet for teachers to exchange material that could enhance their own pedagogy.

 

Control of the classroom

meetingProfessors are used to being the ones in control.  Not only do they stand at the podium and dictate what happens in class, but they also get to decide what students will learn, how it will be presented, and how they will grade their students.  Full oversight of course curriculum is changing in digital learning environments.  At some schools, particularly for-profit schools, using technology like pre-recorded videoconferencing to deliver courses remotely has resulted in the standardization of the curriculum that is more suited to online learning.  This takes some control away from the instructor, but it also takes the pressure off of them to plan everything themselves.  More time is available for them to focus on engaging with students and designing ways that make the content delivered remotely stick with them.

Adopting instructional videos made by others is another option made possible by MOOCs.  In one anecdote, an associate professor of computer science and computer engineering, decided to use lectures made by another professor for a Coursera class.  In this case, he willingly relinquished control, as he just didn’t feel like lecturing anymore and didn’t have time to record his own videos.  It was a source of freedom to be able to use someone else’s material but still teach his class in-person the way he wanted to.  And it was a big hit with his students, who got more classroom time for hands-on learning of database design.

 

Some things work better in video

Stack of  movie films spool with filmIt seems clear that MOOCs are not replacing in-person instruction.  However, the broad application of MOOCs to higher education and the technologies used to create them suggest that there is a permanent place for them.  The video lecture model is working for many professors because it’s convenient to students, who more and more have busier lives filled with internships, jobs, extracurriculars, and other competitive endeavors.  It’s long been argued that sitting in a classroom for an hour or two listening to someone talk is a waste of students’ time.  Listening to a lecture is not when students do most of their learning; it’s when the knowledge is applied that they become proficient in the material.  Delivering lecture content in a pre-recorded video that can be watched whenever it’s convenient makes room for more of this applied, hands-on, critical thinking kind of work.

How MOOCs Are Changing How We Think About Higher Education is a post from: ClickMeeting

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How To Use Webinars For Recruitment http://blog.clickmeeting.com/use-webinars-recruitment http://blog.clickmeeting.com/use-webinars-recruitment#comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 14:13:05 +0000 http://blog.clickmeeting.com/?p=3225 Read more

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In the age of technology and an ever evolving online social world, the Internet has made the world a small place. Whether one is looking for a local plumber or a job, it offers a vast quantity of choices, and it is the venue of choice to recruit from a wide pool of talent, no matter the industry.

In fact, it is rare these days for someone to reach for a newspaper when job hunting and the thought of it might seem comical to most. In modern times we reach for our computer mouse to upload resumes to the various online employment sites, we post job search updates on our various social media platforms to spread the word, we head to LinkedIn to find openings in our respective industries and we search through the many online job sites that have various listings from offerings across countless companies.

Human Resource departments, and headhunters alike, inherently benefit from this vast pool of platforms and sources of new employees as it widens the talent pool and offers a lot more choice than the classified ads ever did. But, if innovation is the mother of invention, then that of webinars should not be overlooked as way to engage and reach a vast selection of eager employment seekers.

 

How Webinars Benefit Recruitment

A webinar, which is simply an online platform that allows for some type of presentation, a sort of virtual seminar, and offers various tools, such as video, images and Powerpoint slides, and the personal touch of the human face and voice to convey information. This new age technology can certainly benefit recruiters and Human Resource departments in most any industry.

162535592First, there is the inherent global reach offered through web search and the fact that a webinar can attract thousands of job searchers to introduce them to and familiarize them with the company and all it has to offer without the need for travel. This can be especially useful in industries that are looking to recruit professionals for specialized and high end positions, and for headhunters who search worldwide for the ideal candidate.

Second, there is the invaluable aspect of the webinar’s ability to target the ideal perspective employee pool. A webinar titled ‘Employment Opportunities In Finance And Business’ for example, will target those with experience, and education in those fields. Recruitment for those in the medical field, engineering, marketing or most any field can also use appropriate titles so when web traffic searches for a job, the company can be there to showcase its offerings.

154078286Third on the list of how webinars benefit recruitment is the fact that it is the ideal platform with which the company can actually show, instead of tell what is has to offer perspective employees. Since, the presentation is highly visual, the use of video, images, and voice can tie in all the company has to offer. For example, a company tour without the need for prospects to make the trip. Another example that illustrates this point is the public relations firm that can engage professionals looking for high level positions by showcasing the various campaigns the company has managed through the use of video and images, a much more powerful method than that of a simple text list of clients.

Fourth is the vast pool of college graduates that enters the job market each and every graduation season in all professions, and recruiters and HR departments should not overlook webinars as a way to capture their interest, after all, many companies are looking for young and fresh talent to join their teams. This can equate to having a ‘Job Fair’ 365 days a week as webinars can be recorded and archived for access on an on going basis. Webinars also allow for a wide reach of these graduates, as opposed to, a job fair or in person recruiting because they are not geographically limited.

 

Other Ways Webinars Serve Recruitment

Boyfriends with a laptopAs the Internet has become the venue of choice for job seekers and recruiters alike, companies have began to provide webinars that focus on educating both job seekers and recruiters in the art and science of human resources, and there are vast opportunities to that end through the use of webinars. These types of presentations are essential for both sides as they can greatly increase the probability of landing a job for those seeking and in the same manner greatly increase the rate of hiring ideal candidates for the company.

 

Examples Of Webinars That Educate Job Seekers

  • Acing The Job Interview 101
  • How First Impressions Can Make Or Break The Hiring Process
  • List Of Questions To Ask During A Job Interview
  • The 10 No No’s Of A Successful Job Interview
  • What Should I Wear To My Interview?
  • The Interviewer Has A Bad Attitude, What Should I Do?
  • 5 Critical Questions To Ask Any Perspective Employers

 

Examples Of Webinars That Educate Employers

  • How To Figure Out The ROI Of Recruiting New Hires
  • How The Attitude Of Perspective Employees During The Interview Will Impact Their On Going Employment
  • 5 Critical Questions To Ask Any Perspective Employee
  • Going Beyond Education And Credentials In The Interview
  • Corporate Recruiting Skills For Optimal Success
  • How To Detect If A job Candidate Has The Proper People Skills

 

The above are just a few examples as the possibilities are endless, in addition to the vast micro subjects that are relevant to specific industries.

 

Conclusion

Webinars offer various benefits for human resources, including the facilitation of presenting information in a visual format, wide reach of potential job candidates though a virtual platform and learning opportunities that can benefit both sides. Companies that utilize this technology will find numerable benefits as the job seekers get a glimpse into the value of working for them.

How To Use Webinars For Recruitment is a post from: ClickMeeting

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Signed, Sealed, Delivered: 5 Steps to Improving Information Delivery in a Webinar http://blog.clickmeeting.com/signed-sealed-delivered-5-steps-improving-information-delivery-webinar http://blog.clickmeeting.com/signed-sealed-delivered-5-steps-improving-information-delivery-webinar#comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 11:18:19 +0000 http://blog.clickmeeting.com/?p=3217 Read more

Signed, Sealed, Delivered: 5 Steps to Improving Information Delivery in a Webinar is a post from: ClickMeeting

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Webinars average about an hour in length. The average attention span is 8 seconds. When you deliver a webinar, you are racing against time in two dimensions: the amount of time you have to present, and the amount of time you’ll have your audience’s attention. There is no time to waste with superfluous slides and discussions. Effectively delivering the information you want to get across is your #1 objective as a presenter.

 

Eliminate distractions

In order to have your audience’s full attention, look into what possible distractions exist in your presenting environment. Excess noise is an obvious one. Conduct your webinar in a quiet space and inform others of your presence so no one will walk in and interrupt. If you are in a home office, take the dog outside, put the baby to bed, and finish running your laundry before running your live webinar.

Test your microphone to make sure there won’t be any feedback when you speak. Visually speaking, when you’re delivering your webinar, don’t have other windows open that aren’t related to your discussion. And not to nag, but clean up your computer desktop. Odds are your audience will see it, and a messy one looks bad and is yet another distraction.

 

Don’t be married to what’s in your slides

eyesYou put a lot of work into your slides, and that’s great. A solid set of slides made with Powerpoint or other presentation software is essential. However, following the slides exactly as planned is not. In fact, it can be detrimental to your presentation to be so rigid. Loosen up. Ultimately, you want to deliver information that your audience can use. So find out early on in the presentation what they are interested in learning. Do a poll or take a moment to get feedback. Their interests, not yours, should guide your webinar. You can add in additional information as appropriate, or move around out of order to cover specific topics. Dare to go out of sequence if it will make your presentation more relevant to your audience.

 

Weed out slides that don’t deliver key information

It seemed like a good idea at the time. That slide looked good when you made it, but maybe it only looked good next to the other stellar ones around it. When it comes to showing it on its own in the presentation, it stands out in a bad way. Sometimes, information that you want to present gets clouded by unnecessary slides. Not every point you make needs its own slide, especially if you have a long presentation already. Slides that are inserted for “fun,” like those containing quotes and images, are fine as long as they stay on point. Examples of slides that can be weeded out include:
 

  • Short slides that you only plan to show for a few seconds
  • Slides that include repeat information
  • Slides that contain mostly images and not much content
  • Slides that contain large blocks of text (no one will read this!)
  • “Flashy” slides that show off your design skills, and not your message

 
Consider consolidating the information in slides you want to eliminate into other slides. However, don’t let any individual slide get too cluttered. Some content may just have to be let go.

 

Build a relationship with your audience

dv1954038Your audience is there for you. You need to be there for your audience. From the first minute of your presentation, you should be fully engaging your webinar attendees. First, get to know them. Welcome each person as they enter the virtual room. Conduct polls to find out more about them, and pay attention to questions that are typed into the chat box. Start off your presentation with an interesting story, factoid or anecdote that will get them hooked on what you have to say. Take questions as they come up to give a natural flow to the discussion and to make sure they’re stay with you.

An audience that is well taken care of will be appreciative. Give them any information they need about the videoconferencing software to get the most from their experience. Make use of application-sharing features that enhance their sense of being right there with you – show them a website in the browser and click through what you want to show them, rather displaying screenshots. Provide your contact information, and follow up within 24 hours with any presentation materials you want to send. And always thank them for their time.

 

Don’t make a live presentation sound pre-recorded

105939356A webinar that could just as easily have been recorded as delivered live leaves audience members thinking that they could have spent their time on something better. And the truth is, they could. What you want is for them to feel like attending your webinar was a positive, invaluable experience. Pre-recorded webinars that are not originally presented to a live audience are often read from a script, or worse, read directly from the presentation slides. Avoid doing either of these things, as your audience will recognize what you’re doing and tune out, just like they might with a pre-recorded session.

Utilize the tips above to make your webinar as close to the live experience as possible. People attend live webinars in part because they want to have a social experience. Give them that, and the information you want them to take away will sink in that much easier.

Signed, Sealed, Delivered: 5 Steps to Improving Information Delivery in a Webinar is a post from: ClickMeeting

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How to Use Webinars for Education http://blog.clickmeeting.com/use-webinars-education http://blog.clickmeeting.com/use-webinars-education#comments Wed, 23 Jul 2014 08:46:15 +0000 http://blog.clickmeeting.com/?p=3210 Read more

How to Use Webinars for Education is a post from: ClickMeeting

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Time and space are considerations that have always figured in teaching and learning environments. Time is of the essence, so to speak, and careful time management is key to optimize discussions and pedagogical interventions. Meanwhile, designing a space that allows for effective learning and teaching constitutes more than just assigning a physical space, but, rather identifying one that eases the process of exchange between learners and teachers.

 

When learning institutions inquire about and assess the best possible approach to providing education and instruction, time and space factors are carefully measured to ensure that they are offering an environment that is most conducive to learning.

There is a need to identify the best time for instruction and healthy doses of interaction between teachers and students in a manner that carefully considers disparities in learning abilities, varying paces in grasping lessons and ideas, and differences in the learning situations of students.

 

Breaking Barriers In Education

allcoTime and space considerations are likewise figuring in the ability of students to sustain education. Geographic distances between learning institutions and the learners’ ‘home base’ often create a barrier for a growing number of learners and potential students, especially those who are juggling their studies and their own professions, in their quest for quality and sustained education.

Meanwhile, our social environment is undeniably growing more and more fast paced owing to developments in technology and electronic media, and traditional education in a classroom setting is struggling to catch and sustain the attention of learners. Traditional education venues, unfortunately, have found some difficulties in hooking up learners to their coursework.

Our current realities indeed point us to the fact that students are becoming more diverse in their learning situations. Many people, young and old alike, meanwhile, have found in the Internet a space to satiate interests and energies for learning, a place where they could have rapid interaction and almost instantaneous knowledge building and development.

For these reasons, academic institutions are faced with the question: In this time and age of high-speed Internet and fast paced development, how could education departments offer a quality learning experience that marries time and space considerations with the almost limitless bounds and appeal of the Internet?

As it may be a matter of sinking or swimming with the tide, academic institutions are increasingly keeping afloat with the aid of webinars.

 

How Webinars Benefit Education

155553143Webinars are fast proving to be the genius just lurking around the corner waiting to be unleashed as a super learning machine. Sure, it does not require a PhD to make use of technology and organize a webinar, but, your academic institutionís brilliant bunch of PhD holders can share their knowledge and inspire a number of learners anywhere in the country, or even across the globe, really, through the use of webinars. The need to compete with limited teaching slots in the face of dwindling school enrollment and classroom attendance could be a thing of the past and what could remain on its path is a healthy learning environment between teachers and students happening through webinars and distance learning.

Synchronous and Asynchronous Learning

Scientific inquiries into modes of learning indicate that teaching methods determine the effectiveness of traditional model of classroom education where teachers have face-to-face interaction with students and could provide them with timely and helpful feedback. It is for this reason that distance learning through the use of webinars is made effective by ensuring mixed modes of synchronous and asynchronous learning.

Facilitation

105939356At certain times, students could be required to log on to their e-classroom all at the same to watch and listen to real-time lectures and presentation from a remote location, share ideas with their teachers and course mates and answer sets of questions to measure their learning responses.

To enhance learning, webinars could also be simultaneously recorded or new webinars could be uploaded as supplemental teaching and course materials to be accessed at studentsí own time and pace. This becomes invaluable, especially, as compared to the traditional classroom, where many students scramble to quickly scribble notes during lectures, which, can result in the loss of focus and the absorption of the information being conveyed.

Webinars can even be organized and custom made to target specific students who have specific needs or encounter specific learning difficulties to help them keep up with group lessons or general course work.

Cost Effectivenes

Webinars are organized to make optimal use of available time and space for both teachers and learners. Geographical distances and available time differences are effectively bridged to provide a space for learning.

163271853Owing to this effective management of the resources of students, teachers and academic institutions, webinars are highly cost effective. Visiting lecturers from other academic institutions anywhere in the world can also be asked to participate in webinars and there wouldn’t be any need to pay for their travel costs.

 

Conclusion

Education departments can vastly benefit from technology to ensure that academic institutions provide the best opportunities for learning and knowledge exchange. Webinars could simulate traditional classrooms and further improve on its time and space limitations.

In the end, education departments can realize that with webinars, nothing is simulated, just pure and effective learning experience.

How to Use Webinars for Education is a post from: ClickMeeting

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Old Dog, New Tricks: Upgrade Your Presentation for a Different Audience http://blog.clickmeeting.com/old-dog-new-tricks-upgrade-presentation-different-audience http://blog.clickmeeting.com/old-dog-new-tricks-upgrade-presentation-different-audience#comments Mon, 21 Jul 2014 12:42:31 +0000 http://blog.clickmeeting.com/?p=3202 Read more

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Putting together a presentation is a lot of work.  Doing the research, finding the perfect images, getting the wording right, and tweaking the slides (often at the last minute) takes hours and hours of mental labor. All that effort pays off when you really wow your audience.  And then it’s over.  It was great while it lasted, but odds are, that PowerPoint won’t be making the rounds again anytime soon.  It was designed with a specific audience in mind, and it served its purpose.

 

Or has it?  You will have other presentations, and some of your audiences may be similar or need some of the same information.  Starting over from scratch is working harder, not smarter.  Those slides in your old presentation are fodder for new videoconferencing ventures.  Next time you set out on the daunting task of putting a presentation together, revisit the work you’ve already done.  It can be a valuable resource that may save you a lot of time.

 

Let’s do the Time Warp again

177022114When you’re giving a presentation, you’re telling a story.  Sometimes a story is best told in chronological order; other times it makes sense to skip around for context – like flashback scenes or the entire film Momento.  The order of your original presentation may have made sense at the time, but perhaps you want to tell it differently to another group of people.  Play with the order of your slides, and it may make the presentation flow better for the story you want to tell.

 

Make new content, but keep the old

One is silver and the other is gold.  Be selective about what you include from the old presentation, keeping your audience in mind.  If you’re presenting to a magazine group on the topic of print versus Internet publishing, and your original audience was outside the industry, you could leave out some of the explanatory information that those with years of experience would already know.  All the sections about what services your provide – e-book publishing, for example – could be left in.  Then you could consider adding details about industry financial trends, like moves their competitors have made.  Different topics will hook different audiences, but some information is worth repeating.

 

Extreme Makeover: PowerPoint edition

124564455Sometimes all you need for a new perspective is a new look.  If you want to infuse something fresh into your presentation, try changing the template on your PowerPoint or other platform. It seems inconsequential, but this can really change the impression it makes on your audience.  Once that’s been done up, play with the layout of your slides.  Make images larger or smaller, move text boxes around, and break up text that can be separated into distinct talking points.  The orientation of information on your slides is directly related to how well you are able to captivate your audience.

 

Move from platform to platform

Do you remember the first time you saw someone use Prezi to present information?  How cool was that?  Part of the “wow” factor is that it’s so different from a PowerPoint, which is what most people are used to seeing.  Whether your presentation is in PowerPoint or another platform, consider trying something new.  Moving platforms allows you to tell your story in a different way using unique features of the software.  Some “wow” worthy, but perhaps lesser known, options include:

 

  • emaze – an HTML-based platform that has high-tech backgrounds, including 3-D and video.
  • SlideWiki – a Web tool that can organize slides in a hierarchy structure and is ideal for collaborative use.
  • Haiku Deck – visually appealing and fun to use, this platform for Web and iPad allows creators to focus on one idea at a time.

 

Now they see it

eyesAccording to science, we are all visual learners.  You can take advantage of this fact by turning your presentation into art.  After carefully reviewing the text of your presentation, see where it might be more effective to include an infographic or a powerful image.  People take in and process visual stimuli most quickly and in that sense, pictures can deliver information better than text.  Words will still be needed in your slides, as they are a key part of a holistic presentation (images can’t explain everything, and without context may have no meaning when referenced later).  A few choice substitutions of images for words will give them something interesting to look at – and talk about.

Old Dog, New Tricks: Upgrade Your Presentation for a Different Audience is a post from: ClickMeeting

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Videoconferencing Value-Sized http://blog.clickmeeting.com/videoconferencing-value-sized http://blog.clickmeeting.com/videoconferencing-value-sized#comments Fri, 18 Jul 2014 11:29:51 +0000 http://blog.clickmeeting.com/?p=3192 Read more

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Adding value to your videoconferencing experience is one of the most essential elements to having the lasting effect that graduating your business from mere phone calls into the more professional arena of what integrating video into your business solutions provides. Beyond simple interviewing and providing essential, quick, and relevant business intel, the videoconference requires that you keep a mindful check on how the process actually be improved.

Just as we look for increased value in a continually revolving slew of business commodities, we must turn to the videoconference and ask ourselves how we can possibly do this better. How can we add more value to our videoconference? What is value? How does this even begin to translate into ROI (Return On Investment).

 

Intruder Alert

bulbFirst let’s take a look at what value is not. True value isn’t a reflection of that which is already out there in the market place. If you want to look just like everybody out there, by the time your product hits marketplace, or whatever you are building, it is going to be so far away from market trends that you aren’t going to be on any consumer’s radar, especially not as a product of value. How do you get ahead of trends? How do you follow them? Is there some magical oasis of ideas where I can predict what people want?

Well for starters, trends are practically useless to watch, as mentioned, they are sometimes years behind. By the time something’s hit the market they have gone through years of pre-production, editing, and distribution. Basic just of the matter: don’t spend time trying to see what everyone else is doing, do it yourself. Beyond the notion of trends, it’s important to consider what exact value you that your product or service provides. Zoning in on this can help you objectively examine the importance of what you are selling.

 

Figuring Out a Newer Definition of Value

102764927When we think about value we can equate it to determining if a product or service is worth that money obviously, but when we talk of adding value to products such as videoconferencing, we begin to look more at intellectual space, presentation, and ease of access to information. This list meanders down this same river indefinitely. However, it is clear than it is much different than determining if the cost of a dinner was of good value.

Adding more value to your webinar is dependent on your ability to focus on a content driven, communicative, and relevant presentation. There is no room to squander your opportunity at success by imitating the work of those around you. If you want to say something important to people, you really just have to follow what you know and come from a place of confidence. Sounds really simple, and in reality it truly is, but take one step off that path and you can be sure that the results will show, and value will certainly depreciate.

 

Some Need to Be Shown the Way

audienceAnother thing to consider when we are looking at notions of value is that for many people they may not know exactly if something is of value to them right away. You have to pull your audience in and show them why what you are selling is of importance. You know it is and now is your chance to showcase that. Careful not to be pushy or arrogant. This can happen on the stop of a dime when overexcitement and nervous energy present themselves as something else. The best bet is to simply not over think things and to remember that if you really truly are trying to help enrich the lives of others, than that is what is going to shine through. Concerning yourself too much with how you come across definitely takes away from your ability to focus on the most important things right in front of your face.

 

Just Like Fishing (Isn’t It All?)

Adding value to your videoconferencing is much different than ordering a value meal. Adding value to your intellectual property is a balancing of act of throwing out all of your expectations on what you think people need, what they will buy, and how much you make, and in turn relying more heavily on simply providing an honest to goodness, truly valuable experience. Connect to your audience as people, stay professional if it calls for, but still reach out your best and go for that human connection.

Those connected moments are the ones that leave all of us feeling a more enriched and robust experience in life. Sometimes it’s like fishing, you may not always get one, but eventually you do learn where to cast your line. Listen to your audience, they will tell you where to go, and when it comes time for it, be true about it.

Videoconferencing Value-Sized is a post from: ClickMeeting

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Turn Your Virtual Trainings into a Class Act http://blog.clickmeeting.com/turn-virtual-trainings-class-act http://blog.clickmeeting.com/turn-virtual-trainings-class-act#comments Wed, 16 Jul 2014 06:46:59 +0000 http://blog.clickmeeting.com/?p=3186 Read more

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It has long been observed in the education profession that students get bored with being lectured. Not only does the learner lose interest by merely being given boatloads of information they don’t know how to use, but they also don’t always learn what they’re supposed to. If you do virtual trainings for your clients, you may have noticed something similar. Stony silence when you ask for questions and lots of follow-up about things you already covered in training are dead giveaways. It’s not uncommon for a straightforward, explanatory training session to leave clients more confused than when they showed up.

Most of us learn best when we do something, rather than being told something. Education professionals in the 21st century have recognized this and developed strategies to get past the lecturing model of teaching. “Doing” doesn’t always mean hands-on; it can also be applying critical thinking skills or even students teaching their peers – yet more ways your clients can apply the knowledge you provide them. Consider some of these teaching strategies to smarten up your next virtual training session.

 

Collaborative/Cooperative Learning

153681171Everything is more fun in groups. In the reality of the workplace, your clients will have to use your product or service as a team. Why not give them a little practice? In collaborative (or cooperative) learning, students work together to solve a problem, complete a task, or create a finished product. This is a great opportunity for businesses training clients on software or processes to get their clients to apply what they’ve learned.

Much of the learning in a collaborative learning exercise happens as the team members talk their way through finding a solution. It’s said that social interactions are one of the ways that people absorb information best, because it forms a distinct memory. They will also learn from each other, as they’ll be exposed to diverse opinions within their group. Clients will appreciate this opportunity to be challenged and they’ll start to see how the product or service can be used to their advantage.

 

Learner-Centered Teaching

bulbWhat a student wants to get out of a class, or what your client wants to get out of a training, ultimately depends on them. This is the philosophy behind learner-centered teaching – it places the responsibility for learning on the student (which is really how it works, anyway). Rather than hand-feeding your clients information and hand-holding their way through the training, have them develop some of their own curriculum. This could be as simple as posing a provocative question and giving them 1-2 minutes to come up with their answer. Then, lead into the lesson. Another idea is to show them examples of the “right” and “wrong” way to use a product and have them identify which is which.

Just because your clients will be taking the wheel doesn’t take you out of the picture. You’ll be in the passenger seat instructing them on the right turns to take and brakes to make. A key part of learner-centered training is that the clients are given explicit instructions on the skills needed to do the work. Whether you’re getting them to do a free writing exercise about a topic before going more in depth, or asking them to come up with a list of information based on what they’ve just learned, you’re still an integral part of the process.

 

Teaching With Case Studies

questionsCase studies are essential in the business world for showing examples of best practices and demonstrating how to replicate that success. Teachers in the classroom show case studies to demonstrate how a concept works or can be applied. In your virtual trainings with clients, you can do both. Show them how other companies have used your product or service in the field, and how they were successful because of it. Then present them with a scenario in which they – individually or groups – have to apply the product or service to solve a particular problem.

Your clients likely already have good logic and problem-solving skills, but haven’t yet used those skills with your product or service in mind. The case studies you give them are a gift of “thinking outside the box” – the box being their preconceptions of the product or service, and their past experiences with similar concepts. With some examples and practical exercises, they can start to think both idealistically and rationally about what your business has to offer.

 

Interdisciplinary Teaching

contentAs a virtual trainer, you’re always looking for ways to add value to your training sessions. Add interdisciplinary teaching to your trainer’s toolkit. This teaching strategy combines two or more topics into one lesson. In training sessions, this can be applied by offering the practical skills to make use of a product or service, combined with new information about the client’s industry. Think combining a tutorial on video editing software with a short presentation on new trends in the film industry for a documentary company.

At first it may seem that combining two topics into one virtual training session might be information overload. And it can be, if the topics are too unrelated or you present too much information at once. Give just enough information on both – and make sure to tie them together – and you will have clients who truly understand the value of your product or service.

Turn Your Virtual Trainings into a Class Act is a post from: ClickMeeting

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How To Use Webinars In The Real Estate Industry http://blog.clickmeeting.com/use-webinars-real-estate-industry http://blog.clickmeeting.com/use-webinars-real-estate-industry#comments Mon, 14 Jul 2014 13:29:16 +0000 http://blog.clickmeeting.com/?p=3166 Read more

How To Use Webinars In The Real Estate Industry is a post from: ClickMeeting

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Some of us old timers still remember the days when in order to spread the word about our business, or to engage or even educate customers we had to send salesmen to knock on doors, hang brochures on people’s door knobs and car windows and/or cold call everyone in town. Thankfully, these tedious and labor intensive techniques have become very outdated with the invention of the Internet, and along with it a magical tool called the webinar, which is simply an online seminar.

Remember the days when a group of people had to gather in a hotel conference room to hear a presentation? This is no longer necessary, thanks to webinars. People from all over the world can meet in a virtual space and be educated, sold to and engaged via a cost effective and streamlined method that offers optimal reach.

153694647Did you know that there are more than 3 billion daily searches online, just on Google alone every single day. That is how many spend time on the Internet, so why wouldn’t every industry take advantage of this unlimited reach possibility, and especially the Real Estate business that thrives on customer relationships.

 

How Webinars Serve the Real Estate Business

For the most part, all aspects of the Real Estate business, such as buying, selling and mortgage lending have to some extent an element of trust and reliability that needs to be established in order to gain the confidence of potential customers. Those that want to buy or sell a home need to be sure the realtor knows the rules, regulations and how to properly assist in the process of home sales.

177022114Additionally, those who are borrowing a mortgage loan also need to be sure the lender is knowledgeable, reliable, honest and trustworthy, especially since the process can be quite complicated and foreign to most of the population. This brings us to the other main aspect of the usefulness of webinars in serving the Real Estate industry and that is to create presentations that can be of use in explaining the various complex procedures of housing to a Real Estate target audience. This will include buyers, sellers and borrowers.

 

Ideas For Real Estate Webinars

There are many topics in Real Estate that can be used to create webinars as a way to entice new business and also help support existing clients.

 

For Realtors

Every smart realtor has a website, whether they are independent and have their own site, or, if they work for an agency and have a dedicated page on the agency site. A website is valuable real estate, excuse the pun, which, should be not be squandered as it is the ideal place to attract new business though the hosting of various recorded webinar archives. When traffic comes to the site they will appreciate all the useful information and it will greatly enhance and illustrate the level of expertise of the Real Estate agent, which, adds trust and confidence in their competence.

 

Webinar Planning For Real Estate Agents

paintPrior to launching a webinar, itís important to consider its goals. For example, do you want to target buyers or sellers? Residential or commercial? All of the above? Once that is decided there are various topics that will be ideal to present in webinar form. Webinar platforms or services, such as, ClickWebinar, offer features that are ideal to present complex topics in easy to understand ways, and also to create stunning visual presentations that are perfect in the Real Estate niche. The use of slides, images and videos can illustrate to the audience the steps involved in many relevant topics that otherwise would fall flat when presented in text or voice only.

For example, in a ‘How To Stage A Home’ presentation, images of staged versus un-staged can really show the difference and how it can facilitate a faster sale to a home seller audience.

 
Consider These Topics For A Real Estate Agent Website

  • Steps In The Home Buying Process
  • Steps In The Home Sales Process
  • Preparing For Your First Open House
  • What Qualifications Should You Look For In A Competent Real Estate Agent
  • Buying Investment Property For The First Time
  • How Property Taxes Play A Role In Budgeting For Home Ownership
  • Solutions To First Time Home Buyer Stress
  • Buying A Home ñ Assessing the Market And Locating Gems
  • How To Budget In Mortgage Payments
  • Buying A Home Within Your Budget
  • Tips For Buying Your First Home
  • How To Evaluate The Quality Of A Home
  • Selling Your First Home 101
  • How To Stage Your Home To Sell
  • Reasons Your Home Is Sitting On The Market Unsold
  • Buying Commercial Property 101
  • How Clutter In Your Home Will Deter Buyers
  • And many more.

 

Webinar Planning For Mortgage Lenders

noMortgage lending is a complicated process filled with rules, regulations and requirements, most of which is gibberish to a lot of people. It is incredibly important for the average buyer looking to fund a home sale to have a qualified and trustworthy lender who will not only take all the necessary steps to make the loan process run smoothly, but, will also be sensitive to the needs of the borrower in explaining clearly what to expect.

Webinars created on various topics in mortgage lending can be of great assistance to ensure buyers that the lender knows what he’s doing and also to just be helpful in explaining the complicated process that it is.

 

Ideas for Mortgage Lending Webinars

  • What To Expect In The Process Of The Mortgage Application
  • Understanding The Differences In Interest Rate Plans: Fixed Versus Variable Rates
  • 10, 20 and 30 Year Mortgages, Whatís The Difference?
  • How To Deal With The Denial Of A Mortgage Loan
  • Banks Versus Private Lenders For Home Mortgages
  • What Is Required To Be Approved For A Mortgage Loan
  • Financial Planning For Buying Your First Home
  • Federal Regulations Of Mortgage Lending and How It Affects You
  • And many more.

 

Final Thoughts

As you can see the Real Estate business is the perfect stage from which to conduct useful, helpful and valuable webinars. Focusing on a target audience, offering accurate, detailed and useful information can go a long way to converting simple leads into grateful life-long customers.

How To Use Webinars In The Real Estate Industry is a post from: ClickMeeting

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Build Team Focus By Getting Real http://blog.clickmeeting.com/build-team-focus-getting-real http://blog.clickmeeting.com/build-team-focus-getting-real#comments Fri, 11 Jul 2014 11:05:55 +0000 http://blog.clickmeeting.com/?p=3153 Read more

Build Team Focus By Getting Real is a post from: ClickMeeting

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In the fast-paced business arena, nobody has the sort of time to waste dedicated to going into personal details. Sure a little bit of talk around the water cooler could lead to better working relationships, but the truth of the matter in terms of videoconferencing is that we just simply don’t have the time to really relish on small talk.

No Need to Be Ruthless

So how do you keep things professional without hurting the feelings of somebody on your team? There is a certain desire to not let these emotions enter into your professional environment. After all when it is time to get down to rolling the sleeves up and getting to work there simply isn’t time for the sort of banter that takes away from productivity. The important thing to remember when you go about realizing this is to simply remind yourself that the person on the other side of the video monitor has a life beyond work.

153778573For a lot of people, having a social life comes far down on the totem pole when compared to other life necessities such as family and paying the bills. For this reason, that person that is going on about the horrible car accident, or the death of a loved one, might not necessarily have a big group of friends to talk to about the emotional trauma. It certainly isn’t the sort of communication that you want going on when you are ready to get down to business but how do you adequately say “shut up” without causing a little tear in the professional relationship that you are trying to maintain.

 

The Kindly Reminder

The kindly reminder is always fun. It works for a little bit. You tell the Chatty Kathy to stay in line and he or her just looks at you blindly. They may stay on task for awhile but odds are, more times than many, the behavior simply resurfaces. When it does resurface, this isn’t necessarily a reflection of not following standard protocol. Instead, it may in fact be, a good indicator that your team member is truly experiencing something that they need to get off their chest. Five minutes of time may seem like a lot to dedicate to somebody when you are busy on the task list, but those simple five minutes could go beyond simply helping you stay on task, you could essentially be helping save a coworker from a terrible personal downward spiral.

 

We Just Simply Never Know

pytanieNo matter what we do we simply do not know the full extent of what is going on behind closed doors. We all know how easy it can be to put on face and push down all of the personal matters that get into the way of excelling in the professional sphere. There certainly is never enough time in the day, every minute certainly counts.

By simply recalling that the person on the other side has an entire life that you aren’t aware of you can begin to open up a channel of empathy and understanding. It is critical to a healthy working environment to, once in awhile, take the brief time to get to know other members on your team. Videoconferencing is especially beneficial to cutting company costs, reducing travel, and helping you actually put a face behind many of the names that you have been working on in regard to a given subject.

 

Install a Free For All Talk Time

expertsGive your team a few minutes at the beginning, just as you would any meeting, for a little bit of that friendly banter that helps establish better working relationships. Give the team five or ten minutes, talk about something going on in the world. Make it work related if you want to, but it may be better to simply establish the fact that you all recognize that there is a world beyond the simple project that you are working on.

Once you step into this realization you can then begin to pull the team back together so that you can focus without the distraction of what some of the more personal matters and distractions can cause. Set a timer if you must. Give the team five to ten minutes to just kick back and talk about the World Series if necessary.

 

Just the Way it Goes

zegarThere will certainly be times when there is no available time whatsoever for giving your team the ability to talk casually. But if you do not take the time to give your team members that sort of opportunity you could be shooting yourself in the foot in the long run. We all have to work. We all balance a hectic personal and professional lifestyle. The more we reach out to those in our lives as people and less as a cog in the machine, the better and stronger a work environment can grow without causing dissonance between coworkers. A little bit of personal talk can go along way.

Build Team Focus By Getting Real is a post from: ClickMeeting

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How To Use Webinars For Non Profit Organizations http://blog.clickmeeting.com/use-webinars-non-profit-organizations http://blog.clickmeeting.com/use-webinars-non-profit-organizations#comments Wed, 09 Jul 2014 13:48:00 +0000 http://blog.clickmeeting.com/?p=3136 Read more

How To Use Webinars For Non Profit Organizations is a post from: ClickMeeting

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Webinars, or online seminars are the ideal method for non-profit organizations to organize, and convey information to a worldwide audience without having to incur the high costs associated with travel or educational materials. No matter how large the organization, webinars can be an ideal way to communicate with donors, volunteers and staff for both training, education, fundraising and various charitable program development.

High Quality Webinars:

  • Demonstrate various complex topics and concepts in an easy to learn visual presentation.
  • Provide transparency and full access to a nonprofit authority.
  • Addresses a large targeted audience, facilitating ultimate reach on a global basis.

 

Webinars For Staff And Volunteers

76756458Staff at non-profit organizations can benefit in many ways from webinars. And, since any excellent webinar service, such as, ClickWebinar, provides recording of live webinars, they can be used over and over in archive status allowing staff access anytime they need it and to train new employees and volunteers as they come on board.

 

Ideas for Staff Webinars

  • Donation software training.
  • Contribution procedures.
  • How to ask for donations.
  • Fundraising 101.
  • Best practices for online fundraising.
  • How to engage constituents with a website.
  • The ‘rewards of giving’ type of training that can help staff to understand the purpose of what they do.
  • Interacting with high dollar donors.
  • The mission statement of the organization.
  • The goals the organization wishes to achieve.
  • Dealing with typical problems that can arise with donors.
  • Government regulations for non-profits and for donations.
  • Donations and taxes.

 

Webinars For Donors

  • Webinars can be used to detail the various charitable contributions the non-profit is seeking funds for on an on-going basis.
  • Online fundraising webinars can be elaborate ‘online events’ and a great way to engage more contributors for a non-profit organization by using the power of the Internet and its traffic potential.
  • They can be used to provide a detailed description and to showcase the organization, its history and its functions.
  • Webinars can be presented on how the non-profit allocates its funds, this will provide trust for the donors, so, they know how their donations are being spent.
  • Annual or any regular fundraising events can be detailed via webinars and how they benefit the organization and the donor.
  • Emergency fundraising needs can be promoted through webinars.
  • ìDonations and Taxes’ related topics as they relate to donors.
  • Webinars can show the progress of the charity and how donation dollars are being spent.
  • They can also be used to present staff, volunteers and all those that contribute to make the charity work to donors, which, can further engage them to remain committed.
  • For those organizations that provide money to the needy, sick or the hungry, a webinar is ideal because the use of the video feature in a webinar can be used to go into the neighbourhoods, communities and hospitals where the dollars are put to use.
  • And many more.

 

Key Elements To Conduct The Best Webinars For Non-Profits

165250290The following elements can go a long way to creating a productive, functional and successful webinar.

 

The Organizer

First and foremost each webinar needs to have an organizer or facilitator assigned, which, will be the person responsible for the overall coordination of the event.

This includes, planning the time and day, organizing guest speakers, conferring with the presenter, promoting the webinar, coordinating registrations, communicating with registrants and implementing it the day it goes live.

Basically, this person will act as the webinar manager and coordinate all the angles involved.

 

Assistant

An assistant is an important consideration. They can aid the organizer in all the preparatory steps required and most important they can be there to assist when the webinar goes live.

An assistant can be invaluable to deal with technical issues that may arise, troubleshoot and to address tech questions from the audience without disturbing the webinar. They can also help to organize and triage the webinar Q & A questions that come from the audience while it is live and pass the chosen ones to the presenter.

 

The Presenter

The presenter will be the person actually conducting the presentation and so they will be the one to prepare all the webinar materials.

 

Webinar Platform Features:

  • Powerpoint Slides
  • Video
  • Images and Graphics
  • Charts and Graphs
  • Social Media Integration
  • Branding
  • Chat Rooms
  • Q & A Sessions
  • And a lot more

 

The presenter needs to focus on the goals of each webinar and then choose the presentation mediums that will best facilitate those.

A carefully laid out content plan that focuses on all the important points within the allotted time frame is the best way to ensure success.

Considering the audience is important as well.

For example, the content and presentation may be different if the webinar is being created for the high end donors.
The amount of detail and the specific content presented will vary when the webinar is informational versus one that has fundraising goals.

 

Guest Speakers

153694647For years Jerry Lewis led the fundraising Muscular Dystrophy telethons held each year, and the reason is that people knew him, he was a respected celebrity and the large amounts of donations raised reflected that.

For webinars that are created for a donor base, and especially those that are asking for contributions, one of the best approaches to take is to invite reputable guest speakers.

They don’t have to be celebrities, but, they should at least be experts in their fields, or trusted community leaders that can greatly increase confidence from the audience and facilitate more donations.

The guest speaker chosen will vary from one non-profit to another, but, it’s always a best practice to choose someone that is respected, can offer persuasive arguments to entice donations and someone who understands the topic that is being presented inside and out.

 

Final Thoughts

Webinars can benefit non-profit organizations just as they do for many for profit industries. When used to their full potential they can develop relationships with existing donors and also engage a variety of new ones.

In the office they help with staff training, lessening the workload on HR departments and other staff and mainstreaming the flow of pertinent information.

How To Use Webinars For Non Profit Organizations is a post from: ClickMeeting

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