As someone who thrives off the energy of a crowd, I prefer to present on stage and in person so that I have that direct connection with my audience. But, I also love that I can do multiple webinars in a week from anywhere in the world and it doesn't require myself or the participants to travel to be part of it. Thus, the love hate.
But, I'm seeing a trend in pre-recorded webinars and I've made a decision that I am no longer going to pre-record webinars. The safety net of these makes them not as good as live ones.
I can back this up from years of doing theater productions. While you can do a million dress rehearsals and press runs, there is nothing like the energy that happens on opening night. It is the first time you are doing the show in front of a live audience and everyone knows that they have to be "on" and deliver the best performance of their lives to make it enjoyable for everyone in the audience.
The same thing happens when you do a webinar. You have to be on, animated and fully ready to talk to the crowd as if it is the first time you've ever given it.
With Content Rules being out, we are averaging at least one webinar a week. A lot of the content is the same, but each time we give it there is a unique feeling to it based on when and where we give the presentation and no two are ever the same.
Last week Ann and I were together for the first time giving one and we had a caterer making veggie plates ready in the background (photo taken during the webinar). Talk about a live audience! Best part though was that everyone on webinar commented about how they loved the energy level of the webinar compared to many they have ever attended. You can get the recording here.
But, recently I've been asked several times about pre-recording a webinar and then doing the question and answer portion live. This is not fair to the people who sign up to take part in the webinar. It is also not smart when this industry changes so frequently and any presentation should always include the most up to date information possible.
I was just asked to pre-record a webinar on Facebook Pages. Talk about a topic that changes every week and I am currently trying to change the organization's mind. When I agreed to give the webinar, I did not know they wanted to pre-record it. Now I'm going to always ask that up front to any company that approaches me about doing a webinar.
Webinars are powerful content. They are smart things that companies should do. Heck, we dedicated one of the biggest chapters of the book to helping people conduct them better.
I will continue to give webinars and continue to have mix emotions about them.
But, I won't be pre-recording them for anyone who asks.