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Webinars provide Internet powered interactive presentations

September 26, 2005
By:  Ben Davidson

The term webinar is short for Web-based seminar. Webinars use the Internet to transmit a presentation, workshop, seminar, or lecture to a group of participants not located in the same physical space.

Often, the visual portion is presented over the web, while audio communication is handled through a telephone line or VoIP. Online audio or text chat windows are also sometimes used to facilitate communication between participants. Interactivity is what differentiates a webinar from most webcasts; a web seminar assumes the flow of information both ways.

How it works for you

Instead of flying across the country to present to clients or colleagues, organize a web seminar instead. With essentially the same planning needed to give an office presentation, you’ll soon be hosting a business seminar to a geographically diverse audience.

Maybe you’ll present a series of PowerPoint slides while narrating. Or perhaps you want clients in several cities to see that new program of yours in action, followed by a question and answer session.

Done well, a web seminar can convey the same information to your audience as if you were there presenting in the same room. Combine that with the time, money, and hassle saved from not traveling, and the attraction of the web-based seminar becomes clear.

A few tips

First, make sure the content is interesting and relevant to your target audience. Ever dozed off in a meeting? It can happen in a webinar too! Great content stands a much greater chance of inspiring people to attend and contribute.

Another rule of thumb is to provide at least 30 days notice. A webinar may offer the convenience of being web based, but it still requires people taking time out of busy schedules to attend. It’s also a good idea to offer a second presentation date for those unable to attend your first one. If you have a lot of information to convey, consider splitting the webinar into two separate sessions, perhaps over two days. Finally, use common sense. Friday at 4pm will probably result in sparse attendance, while Monday morning might find people too busy.

As a service to you and your clients, consider archiving your webinar event. Saved as a Flash file and uploaded to your company's website, it really conveys good support to your customers. It might even help you close a deal or gain new clients.

These are the basics of the webinar, one of the easiest and most direct ways to present online.

About the Author
Ben Davidson is a successful freelance writer and contributor to Web-Conferencing-Zone.com.  Your definitive guide to web conferencing services, online collaboration software and web meetings for business.

Also See:  [ Flash presentation creation via PowerPoint to Flash conversion ]
[ PowerPoint presentation tips for effective PowerPoint presentations ]
[ Webcasting -- broadcasting rich media online using a live webcast ]

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