Webinars of the future – webinar design done right

"We will enter new spheres".

Trainers and education professionals need to present themselves well in the real and virtual world. That is why I have specialized in the implementation of new teaching and training methods. As a webinar designer you have to be involved in the development of new forms of knowledge transfer.

With my book “Designing top-class webinars in 6 steps!” (in German), I was finally able to realize my vision, according to which a book can also be implemented interactively in the form of a workshop. It is a further step into new spheres of knowledge transfer by means of webinars.

Overall, I see an intensification of digital transformation in educational institutions and companies in Switzerland. I find it exciting to focus on a few efficient digital tools for implementing the content. In the jungle of digital options, many companies and trainers find it increasingly difficult to make a suitable, efficient selection. Thus, we see a trend away from quantity towards quality. This applies to learning management systems, webinar software, but also to systems for internal communication in companies. In addition, there is a great need for didactic models that do justice to the digital transformation. In the midst of all the digital hype, many people have forgotten that the applicability of digital tools in practice is of primary importance. The fact is: the future has already begun. This is particularly evident in the implementation of webinars. What do customers expect from a webinar today?

Watch out for the “Black Swan”!

The days of simply turning on the computer, dialing up a soft focus to hide the ironing board in the background, and then playing a 100-page PowerPoint presentation with only chat as an interaction option are over. Although I have experienced just such webinars in recent years as a participant in various sectors, especially education – specifically including higher education institutions.

However, during the Corona pandemic, and especially in the “post-pandemic period,” there has been a tremendous surge of innovation in many areas of webinar design. Now everyone was striving for the perfect look and feel. At the same time, one also had to realize that webinars are not that easy to execute. Especially if you also take performance into account. On the contrary, in order to convey a positive image to the outside world, it requires a considerable amount of software, technical and didactic know-how as well as time resources. In addition, technology and software are constantly evolving, and new concepts, so-called “black swans,” appear on the virtual sea of innovation and shake up our established concepts. Many webinar providers avoid this complexity and fall back into old structures. My impression is that many providers lack appreciation for this wonderful form of external communication and fail to take advantage of the opportunities it offers.

What does the client expect?

The expectations of webinar participants have therefore risen. Customers are making comparisons. And they have the opportunity to view webinars from different providers. Consciously or unconsciously, customers react to the offer with their buying behavior. This is already happening or will happen in the future. Currently, some webinar providers have a kind of monopoly position due to their past. But the “black swan” offers innovative providers of contemporary webinars the chance to take the lead in the market.

Good webinar design is the basis for success

My conclusion: The target persons or customers want to be able to conduct the webinar independent of location (and if possible also time). They want competent support before and after the webinar. Above all, they want to experience an entertaining and inspiring webinar in order to leave the event with a lot of knowledge and a good feeling. After all, time is a precious resource that the customer no longer wants to waste on “pointless”. For us webinar designers, this means that we have to carefully consider in advance of a webinar which software, technology, supplementary tools and content should be integrated into a structure for which target group in order to ensure the greatest possible benefit for the participants.

2 Expert Tips from the Webinar Designer

Use the chat efficiently

Chat is often used in webinars for short surveys or feedback. However, the valuable information in the chat is often lost because it is deleted after the webinar or the many answers cannot be assigned to the questions asked. To ensure the sustainability of this information, I recommend saving the chat history and sharing it with participants. Prepare in advance all possible questions chronologically on a word file and copy-paste them into the chat. This way you will get many answers that will appear under each question. The chat can later be used as a “learning diary”. Another advantage of this method is that you don’t have to use an additional digital survey tool, which might overwhelm participants.

Open tabs

You know the problem that during the webinar you can’t remember where to find a certain program that you really want to share with participants via screen sharing?

My tip: Open tabs in your browser chronologically, for example the left tab for what you want to show first, and share the screen with the previously activated tab rather than the software. This way you can easily access the content you want and share it with your participants.

Raffaele Sciortino ist ein schweizerisch-italienischer Erwachsenenbildner, Buchautor, Musiker und Webinar-Designer. Mit langjähriger Erfahrung in der Unterhaltungsbranche arbeitete er mit namhaften Künstlern zusammen. Seit 2001 ist er als Bildungsmanager und Trainer tätig und spezialisiert sich auf Didaktik, digitale Themen und Webinardesign. Raffaele coachte hunderte Menschen und ist bekannt für seine humorvolle und anschauliche Art, Seminare und Webinare zu leiten. Er ist Gründer des "Instituts für Webinar-Design" und bietet Unternehmen und Bildungsinstitutionen Trainings im Blended-Learning-Format an. Als Speaker begeistert er sein Publikum mit Charme und Leidenschaft. Zu seinen Kunden gehören die Schweizerische Bundesbahnen AG, die Sanitas Krankenversicherung und die Hamilton AG. Neben seiner beruflichen Tätigkeit widmet sich Raffaele seiner Familie, der Musik, dem Segeln und dem Skifahren in den Schweizer Bergen.

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