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Six Alternatives to a Webinar

February 22, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 133

Webinars are powerful tools for promoting your business and delivering educational material. They provide a combination of visuals, voice and audience interaction in a very flexible way, which makes them ideal for a number of message management situations. However, there are some situations where other delivery methods are more suitable and more effective.

Recorded Presentation

If you're not intending to engage your audience actively in your presentation, record it and publish it using Slideshare, AuthorStream or other similar tools. This means people can watch it whenever they wish (and whenever they stumble across it) and at their own pace. Of course, even a recorded presentation should be engaging (for example, with strong visuals, good stories, an interesting voice), but you might not plan to actively engage your audience (for example, with Q&A time, live demos, and calling on volunteers). These are the presentations that might be better as recordings.

Slide Show

Some topics can be presented with a stand-alone slide show, without any audio (that is, your voice) at all. In this case, again you can use Slideshare or AuthorStream rather than conducting a webinar. Of course, a webinar allows you to say more and actively engage your audience, but sometimes the simple slide show is better. People read much faster than you can talk, so if you don't need to talk much, your audience can get through the information much faster.

Video Conference

A webinar generally involves a presentation, where the audience sees the presenter's slides and hears the presenter's voice, but doesn't see each other, and sometimes doesn't even see the presenter. However, there might be times when you do want the audience members to see each other, in which case a video conference will be more effective. A simple rule of thumb is to use video-conferencing for "meetings" and webinars for "presentations".


Going to the other extreme, sometimes you don't need to see anything at all, in which case a teleseminar is more appropriate than a webinar. The participants call in and listen, but don't see any slides or other visuals. Of course, you can use webinar technology for this as well, by simply not showing any slides! However, some teleseminar technology provides additional features specifically for teleseminars, such as free-call telephone numbers, phone keypad options for participants, and automatic recording and download as an MP3 file.

E-Book or Special Report

Some people prefer reading to watching (because reading is usually much faster than watching), and some topics lend themselves to reading rather than watching (for example, some topics with detailed instructions or step-by-step processes). In these cases, consider whether it's better to write out the material rather than delivering a webinar. However, this isn't always the case with detailed instructions, and sometimes a webinar is more appropriate. For example, if you're demonstrating how to do something on a Web site, it can be easier to show it on a webinar than to describe it in writing.

Face-to-Face Presentation

Finally, for some presentations, there really is no substitute for gathering people together in a room. This is particularly the case where the group dynamic is important (for example, a humorous or entertaining presentation), audience members need to interact in small groups, or where the physical location is important (for example, a strategic retreat).

Gihan Perera is the author of "Webinar Smarts", the smart way for professional speakers, trainers, thought leaders and business owners to deliver engaging and profitable webinars. If you want to know how to reach the world with mic, screen and mouse, visit for your copy.

Source: EzineArticles
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